A Harvest Story

This weekend, I have been laboring at harvesting our redskin potato patch.

We store them in a dark room in the basement in bus bins. I have made a rack so the bins work like drawers. I haven’t had time to wash them yet. Don’t judge.

Bins

To get the bins to the rack, I had to carry them past this little item hanging on a nail in the door frame:

The Masher

I’m not cruel to little potatoes. I told them to hide their eyes.

Divide and Conquer

Lady Justice, modeled on the Greek Goddess Themis, who was regarded as the personification of justice, has been depicted as blindfolded since the 16th century. Her blindfold represents impartiality. I believe this concept has found its way into the judicial systems of many societies because it is intrinsic to the character and nature of God and we are made in His image. Therefore, we have within us the same understanding of the rightness of impartiality in judgement. Listen to Peter:

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Acts 10:34-35

What American is unfamiliar with at least the beginning of the Declaration of Independence? Here too, the concept of equality is spelled out.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Second Paragraph of the Declaration of Independence

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1868, six years after the end of the American Civil War. The amendment clarified who is a citizen. Clearly the intent was to circumvent discrimination against former slaves. Two years prior, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens, “without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude”. Note, however, there is nothing in the language of the Fourteenth Amendment that identifies any class of persons.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1

Taxonomy is the formalization of a system of classification. Its very purpose is to organize living organisms by identifiable differences. The process has been applied to humans. There are at least eight levels: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. The graphic below is a partial illustration. The quotations above are all aimed at the tip of the inverted pyramid – Man (the species). That is, all of us.

Partial Classification of Man (my graphic)

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, continued with the approach of the Civil Rights Act of 1886. The newer act forbade discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin. It had the effect of creating “protected classes” of people. These acts came about because of general recognition of discrimination against some by business owners, landlords, even government officials, to name a few examples.

Additional legislation has been expanding “protected classes” ever since. Race, color, sex, religion, and national origin have been joined by disability/handicap, familial status, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status.

These additional classifications amount to subspecies branching out under the point of the taxonomic pyramid which have turned the figure into a pyramid resting on the roots of diversity.

It seems to me our forefathers had more wisdom than our later selves. The act of naming these subspecies in the law and making protected classes of them is antithetical to equal protection under the law. We did not need protected classes. We needed, and still need, equal protection under the law. It does not come by dividing us.

The Merriam Webster definition of “divide and conquer”: [Strategy] to make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together against one.

These problems are not accidental.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Well, Well.

Back in the land of pseudointernet (service is 1502 kbps down/382 kbps up, woo-hoo!) after more than a week. The ADSL modem went belly up. Windstream doesn’t have a “store” in our state. They first shipped a Wi-Fi extender by warehouse mistake. Today an actual modem appeared via FedEx and well, here we are!

Withered?

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.

20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

from Mark 11
Photo by Dave Meckler on Pexels.com

I sat with an acquaintance (who shall remain anonymous) this evening who was recounting one after another of the things he judged to be perpetually wrong in his life, voicing his anger toward this family member or that one, the failure of mental health people to help him, his various “diagnoses”, why others were to blame for Every. Single. Thing. I found only one thing he said that I agreed with: the failure of those working in the mental health profession to help him. The truth can set one free from all these maladies. Coping strategies are, at best, only learning to live with one’s demons. If one has been conditioned that error is truth and truth is error, well, the steering is going to be off. Neither mental health professionals, nor I, nor anyone else can force someone to walk in truth they have discounted. (Why that condition exists in this case is a long story.)

I did try to get this friend to agree to look at the passage in Mark 11, especially verses 23 & 24. If one has a mountain to move, what are his chances of success if he dissipates all his energy giving voice to his inadequacy and the impossibility of the task?

The passage talks about believing and not doubting. Doubting in this context is simply unbelief. Belief vs. unbelief. Verse 22 says “Have faith in God.” That is who we are talking about here. People who know God. This friend says he is in that category.

I am sure the fig tree in this passage serves as an object lesson for exactly how to have a withered life. (Hoping one would choose to avoid that end, of course.) Where is the wisdom in a man cursing his own existence? If one does so, while blaming God for not “fixing” it, what shall we do with that promise in verse 23 that says, “[H]e shall have whatsoever he saith”?

I have written extensively before about the value of lending one’s voice to the truth the scripture proclaims about the believer. That is, acknowledging who we are in Christ.

My unhappy and misguided friend is applying his energy rushing headlong in a diametrically-opposed direction. We would all still be on that path if we were unable or unwilling to believe Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin is sufficient. Something deep inside recognizes the truth that we deserve destruction, except we acknowledge the value He places in us. Redemption in Christ brings us into His glorious light, even from the deepest darkness.

Lord, please open my friend’s eyes, for things are possible with You which are impossible with men. I know also, that he is not alone. I know what it is like. I thank You for leading me away from cursing my own life with the lips you gave me to express gratitude and Your majesty, and to marvel at all You have made and continually sustain for our benefit. I pray these words might give guidance to any who need to find You and learn to say what You say. Blessing and not cursing.

Liberty and Belief

I want to introduce you to a blogger that I have been following for some time. The link below is to a worthy read. You may have noted a steadily growing list of companies getting on board with the government’s emphatic desire to see everyone “vaccinated” and making getting the shot a condition of employment. I am one who believes God is my healer. I am pragmatic enough to understand that hedging my bets with another belief that does not depend upon Him is (at least for me) an expression of unbelief which works against my seeing that healing – already purchased by Jesus – manifest in my life. I know this may turn some of my limited audience off. But, I think it is important to think this trough from the spiritual perspective. Liberty stands squarely on that very foundation. I ask you to consider well. As things foretold draw nearer, we are going to need all the liberty we can maintain.

https://www.monkeywerxus.com/blog/to-jab-or

By Him All Things Consist

I am grateful that You have already given everything needed for life and godliness!

But he answered and said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Peter 1:3-4

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Thank You for a pleasant day traveling toward home with You and Jeannie!

Jesus: You are welcome! Happy to be along!

Me: I cannot imagine a way to thank You enough for Your promises! The bonus of being a partaker in Your nature seems to eclipse all the promises individually, and even taken all together, as great as they are!

Jesus: If you are filled by my Holy Spirit, how could you be otherwise than a partaker of My nature? My divine nature is My Spirit. Likewise, My Spirit in you is My divine nature.

What you have lacked in understanding stems from the view that My Spirit is ethereal in the commonly held sense of no substance discernible by the physical senses. My Spirit is ethereal, in fact. But unlike the common conception, the mighty flow of My Spirit powers the entire created heavens and earth, the spiritual realm as well as the physical; giving form and substance and energy beyond the ability of man to conceive.

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Colossians 1:16-17

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Me: Marvelous! I love You Jesus! Thank You!

Jesus: I’m glad you liked My revelation to your heart! You are welcome! I love you!

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Many may be Hypnotized in America

I am grateful to be off to spend more time seeking a deeper relationship with You!

These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment.

He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:

But to them that rebuke him shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them.

Proverbs 24:23-25

Me: Good Morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good Morning Jon!

Me: Holy Spirit, I just watched a video demonstration wherein Roy Masters hypnotized a man to do odd things, mostly to demonstrate to his audience that one can be made to do things when hypnotized that he would not normally do. The subject appeared perfectly awake some of the time. The odd thing that Mr. Masters had his guest do was put his shoes on the wrong feet, simply because he suggested that that they were uncomfortable the way they were. He then had the man examine how other people had their shoes on. What happened next was breathtaking. The man with his shoes on the wrong feet began to passionately implore the rest of the audience to exchange places with their shoes, that they might be more comfortable too.

It was not all nonsense. Next Mr. Masters told his subject to answer with complete honesty. Then he quickly discovered that the man harbored much anger and seething resentment toward his (now dead) parents for their treatment of him. To make a long story shorter, the man was able to forgive his parents and release his anger toward them. This was a great thing for the man and the emotional release was all but palpable. But the important issue for the rest of us came when Mr. Masters observed that the negative emotion (anger) was what made him susceptible to being hypnotized in the first place. Who among us does not have these negative emotions in play?

Holy Spirit, Mr Masters also mentioned that the (organized) communists are well versed in these techniques and employ them in a widespread manner and did not need a concentration camp to do it. Can you tell me more about people being hypnotized to carry out evil? I am thinking of those who support turning our nation to communism and are working on every front, from rioting in the streets and crying to stop funding law enforcement, to making evil decisions in the courts and legislatures. How often have I observed that a newly elected congressperson does not seem to last twenty minutes on capitol hill before they have gone to the dark side. Is hypnosis involved? Is there a way to guard against such attacks? I noted one other thing he said that rang a bell. He said, “Excuse making is incontrovertible evidence of one rationalizing illogical positions he has been hypnotized into”.

Holy Spirit: You already know that your spirit is redeemed because you have accepted Jesus. You know also that entertaining sin in your life still opens you up to the schemes of the devil. The more one toys with sin, the higher his risk. Mass hypnosis (to use that term for it) can easily be carried out over the television. I submit to you that the news media are not reporting much “news”, but are instead delivering commentary that has much in common with what you saw Mr. Masters do with his guest. The scripture gives enough guidance for resistance:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:23

If you are allowing My gifts to be manifested and to increase in your life, all the more, the devil will not find a foothold.

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Ephesians 4

Encourage others to walk in the Spirit and let My character be that which comes out in them at all times.

It should not surprise you that if a believer habitually tolerates sin in his own life, he will be open to more of the devil’s agenda. Even more, the one who has clung to rejecting Jesus has no real protection.

If I am allowed to shine the love of God into a person’s heart; love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, kindness, self control, gentleness will be the light that drives out all darkness. (Ephesians 5:19-21)

Jesus knew the devil had largely succeeded in taking over the hearts of all. That is why He prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You Holy Spirit! Preserve our nation, help wake up the ones who have been taken over. I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love You! Many are coming awake. Few know the full extent of the risk of straddling the fence.

Finale of the Musical In God We Trust at Charis Bible College on July 4, 2021

In God We Trust

Gripe Not

I am grateful that You are the Sovereign of the universe, and I am not.

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening Jon!

Me: I was reading Step Four in the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelves Steps and Twelve Traditions book, and it was talking about various character defects as examples that they might help one learn to examine them. It sort of jumped out at me that this sentence was one of those hit-the-nail-on-the-head moments:

… griping that others failed to recognize my truly exceptional abilities?

While the authors didn’t also mention the desire to say, “I told you so!”, they could have. Then the thought came that You had many fail to recognize Your truly exceptional abilities. Yet, I’m sure You never griped about it and I can’t think of an instance of You telling an individual that they had been warned after things went wrong. What is the secret to being at peace about such “votes of no confidence”?

Jesus: Have you noticed that you do not also have a tendency to analyze ways in which your own shortcomings contribute to various problems, especially failing to help those you are responsible for adequately prepare to meet what is expected of them from those with higher authority in the organization? I know that the items that progress into crisis mode are most evident once someone in authority begins to express they view it as a problem. But as a manager (technically) responsible for directing the work of another you would do well to help them with your experience. I know the “chain of command” that is referred to in military service is often violated in private business; your protege’s get directions you hear nothing about unless there is some kind of trouble. Meanwhile, you tend to assume all is well, whether there is a storm brewing, or not.

I know the end from the beginning. Do you ask Me about these things, and what you should do about them? Recognize My truly exceptional ability to help! I ask My Father about everything. Then I do what He tells Me. This is the answer to your question about how I remained at peace. It is faithless to gripe about things you have asked Me to help with. If you have not, it is because you have asked not.

The best kind of discernment, is My discernment. I will help you with insight into the unseen. I know the thoughts and intents of the heart. Just ask.

Recognize, also, that I chose a few to disciple. These were generally not among those casting no-confidence votes, though they were all works in progress; as are you. This is the secret to multiplying the exceptional abilities that I Am giving you. Seek Me. Listen carefully. See clearly. Be diligent. Abide in Me. Keep My love for you and for your charges in mind. Love them in the power of the Spirit.

If you find you have detractors, so do I. Do not blame them. Pray for them. They are being used by the accuser, almost certainly without consciousness.

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You! I ask you to help me make a habit of seeking You about these situations. I have so much I need to grow in!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you! I am helping you grow. I Am the Vine.

Ownership

I am grateful that You are over all and through all and in all! (Ephesians 4:6)

For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church ἐκκλησίᾳ and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

Me: Good morning, Father!

Abba: Good morning, Jon!

Me: It is perplexing that the word “ἐκκλησίᾳ” is translated church when the word “church” is derived from a different Greek word.

I discovered the English word “church” is derived from the Greek “κυριακός” meaning “of the Lord” and “κύριος” meaning “one who exercises absolute ownership”. The Greek ἐκκλησίᾳ, on the other hand means “called-out ones”.

Abba: The sense of these definitions must be understood in light of My nature and the voluntary character of My relationship (or lack thereof) with My children. Surely you see that if the relationship is between us is whole – all that I Am meaning for it to be – then these Greek words would be synonymous. If My people who are called by My name voluntary placed themselves under My lordship, asking Me what is best and doing it wholeheartedly, what difference would there be between “called-out ones” and “of the Lord”? What if I was the Heart of their heart? What if they knew they are the apple of My eye?

pexels – Thanks to Tina Nord

However, these relational definitions are not what come to the mind of most who contemplate “church”. The true definition does not describe an edifice. True, Jesus is described as the Cornerstone, but mere brick, mortar, and glass are purely physical. I Am Spirit. You cannot properly relate to Me except by the Holy Spirit, as I Am desiring earnestly to enable you (John 4:24). The exercises that comprise most “worship services” can be written on paper for people to follow along. These are programs. They are not Spirit. A few manage to find Me anyway. These have the gift of managing to become still in the Spirit amid and in spite the din of the program (Psalm 46:10).

The Cornerstone is the Perfect Reference to the spiritual house that I Am building.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church ἐκκλησίᾳ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:15-18

Me: Thank You Father! I love You!

Abba: You are Welcome! I love you!

Resistance is Not Futile

I am grateful that You speak to us and have equipped us to hear, if we want to.

In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Psalm 56:4

Me: Good morning Father!

Abba: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I was reading in the beginning of the book of Job, the last day or so. There are these instances where You explicitly allow Satan to have his way with Job, or is it that You let him have Your way?

Abba: Does that seem out of character for Me? There is nothing I have made that I cannot use, even rebellious angels.

Me: It seems contrary to Your name as Jehovah Rapha that You would make Job sick, even using/allowing Satan to do it.

Abba: Then that would be an important issue for you to resolve, since the world is full of sick people. You often rightly say that sickness is of the Devil. That it came into the world by Adam deeding his authority over to Satan. That is why you see him on the earth:

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” Job 1

You see from the notes in your Bible and the interlinear part of BibleHub.com that the word translated “Satan” throughout this passage in Job is “adversary, one who withstands”. It is what he does. And surely you know the text in written from a human perspective. Satan did not have to appear in a particular location to speak to Me about what was on his mind, like the members of a human extended family assembling to talk or Job’s friends coming to see him. When the scripture talks about My sitting on My throne, it is a statement about my positional authority; not my physical location, since I Am everywhere all the time. I Am Spirit (John 4:24).

Think about what you know about strength training. Straining your muscles against a force that withstands or opposes your efforts makes them stronger. Straining your brain against a challenge makes it more able. Even fighting against a virus equips your immune system to overcome it if it attempts to invade again. Do any of these seem pleasant in the moment?

Me: No. If experience did not teach that these things bring improvement, my natural inclination would be to shy away from them at all costs.

Are you saying that we need Satan that we may resist him (James 4:7) to develop our “spiritual muscles”?

Abba: I am saying that I work all things for your good (Romans 8:28). Since Satan is your adversary, it makes sense for you to be strong in Me (Ephesians 6:10-18) and put on the full armor I have given you.

Me: Thank You Father! I love You!

Abba: You are welcome! I love you!

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

(Post featured image from Pexels, Fascia of the previous Newseum, mine. )