“Willow Tree Wisdom” #2

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Welcome to the willow tree today, as we consider our Father’s House.

Do we forget how fragile is this house of clay, as so many die in a single day? But our spirit… is not fragile at all.

Thus Jesus taught the lesson of a house built upon the rock, compared to lives of sinking sand. God is calling all prodigals back to the Father’s House. There is power in the House!

The prodigal wanted his stuff NOW. I am amazed how many Christians want their stuff NOW. They want God to give them a mansion NOW. Gold in the bank NOW. Impervious to sickness NOW. The best parking space NOW. Food in my house NOW, never mind anyone else. My best life NOW. Me, mine, my. Is this what Jesus taught and lived?

What is your definition of “best life”? Does it bare any resemblance to what Jesus taught, or lives of the early church fathers, or the early church? Or does it resemble the prodigal, a life desiring material things and pleasure, delivered by our Father, NOW? As I have sat under the willow tree watching, I see a lot of the latter. Does the modern Christian scoff at the ways of the early church? Do we even know much about them? No? I wonder why?

But here we are. One virus has invaded the world and we ALL suffer. We have become one big Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, but it’s not a good day. We’re not even through our present challenge yet, but we must consider, what does this future global community look like? What is the financial effect of all this? What will be the new poverty level? By how much will its’ ranks swell as so many of us live paycheck to paycheck, and our world shuts down?

Do you have a house you desperately need to sell, and now it’s like a cement block tied round your feet pulling you down? Has your cruise or vacation gone up in flames, or your retirement been delayed? Right now we feel the pain of those dying alone, but what comes next? Have we considered? I’m sure we have. Will the economy come roaring back as the words of our President has suggested? What will the survivors face as Mother Nature seems to have declared war on the elderly, the weak, the vulnerable? Will everything go back to business as usual? Perhaps even shift into hyper-drive?

This is my fear as I sit under the willow. People will rush back to their stuff and ignore the lessons that this earthly life is short and fragile, build on spirit! The definition of a prodigal is someone who leaves home, usually for bad reasons, and less than good terms. It says the prodigal wasted his money in wild living. In the Avengers movie; “End Game”, I believe Tony Stark gives a quote, “Money never bought a second of time.” We all know this, but what will we do when the gates open?

A lot of people are dying ALONE with this thing. It is an evil of itself. But I wonder how many lay there, making the journey back to the Father’s House before it’s too late? And if they could tell their family, what would they say? Such a sad way to return, but perhaps the wisest act of their whole life coming right at the end. Yes, today’s willow tree is indeed a weeping willow, and they say the worse still lies ahead. Are we bracing for it?

How shall we rise up out of this global mess like a Phoenix? That is the question. President Trump wants America to be a leader of it, and he just might find a way, he does have his moments. And if so, many will see it as GOOD! But will it be godly? And how many even have the wisdom to know the difference anymore, as we scoff at our early church fathers.

The prodigals will love it! It will be hard to resist! And they will enjoy their years of loving money and loving stuff, until the pig pen comes! And it comes quickly, not so much in material terms, but a pig pen of the soul!

I believe I have seen a thing, COVID 19 setting its’ stage. Doors fling open and those filled with lust of every kind rushing through those gates, eager to have and consume! A flood issuing forth, a flood of prosperity, but rather than dare call it evil, the modern church will embrace! She will not raise a righteous standard against the flood. Self-seeking will be her way even as she preaches giving and sacrifice. Even as she asks the question of “what would Jesus do?” But she does not do what he DID. The love of money is evil, thus saith the Lord, but many will not resist, nor admit to their love. A time of great seduction. The prodigals will ask for their money, their wealth, their material goods and earthly pleasures as they leave the Father’s House, rejoicing all the way, not believing the pig pen that is their destiny, until they are there. Perhaps even Revelation. But in the quiet of this time, as we sit in our homes, as Passover and Easter “just happens” to be before us? It is time to turn off the video games and come back to our Father’s House, and do not leave! When the seduction begins and the gates open wide.

I see the strangest things sometimes, sitting under this tree. Who knows if true? But beware, do not be deceived, our Father’s House is simple, as in simplicity, as in child-like. Many are running the rat race of prosperity while they neglect their soul and the flesh grows fat, even unto a spiritual heart attack. Repetitive man-made programs that are lifeless, are offset by services full of hype and shish-boom-bah. Not the still voice of our Father. Lots of bells and whistles and stage shows; but very little depth. Very little stopping to think and consider, but always the rush! Do not think about what Jesus DID, while asking what he would do!

What did Jesus do? What did he really do? Was he impressed with large buildings, earthly goods, and man-made programs? Or did he set before us the simple ways of a child and tell us no one enters the Kingdom of God without becoming the child? God is a paradox to us. We enter that paradox of God by faith.

Spiritual warfare is before us. The best spiritual warfare is from within the powerful walls of our Father’s House. I teach spiritual warfare by way of living in the Father’s House and loving the House Rules. They are wisdom. They cut through the cares of this life in a different way than a cheap sword from China. The Word of God is powerful, and sharper than any man-made sword. And God is always calling the prodigals back, but sometimes His whisper is stronger than others. Perhaps this is such a time.

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Be still and know that He is God. We will speak more of the power of living in the Father’s House.

 

 

“Willow Tree Wisdom” #1

20190709_133833 “Our Father’s House is alive!”

Outside my house things are coming alive, spring has come, rebirth; but my house is a dead thing in which I live.

Mother Nature is very big and strong. She does not realize when she steps on us, like perhaps now. Outside my house are dangers of every kind, but also tremendous life, so much so we must be careful lest we fail to survive.

Man is a living being who builds his shelter from the dead, and lives within, but also must go out to drink in that great life of outside.

The Indian teepee made from fallen trees and dead skins. The Eskimo igloo, ice so cold to the touch. Shelters and houses of every kind, and yet they are dead in themselves. We are the life within. And there is life without, trees not yet fallen and animals not yet dead. Life so strong and bold we dare not be foolish in our adventures.

My house is such a comfort zone of death; made from dead lumber, drywall, nails, cement, glass, plastic, wires, and paints. This dead thing in which I live, so I can go out, and come in again.

But I must go out. Should this house cease to be a house and become a prison? Even at this moment a live bird, outside, manages to penetrate these dead walls with his song announcing the rising sun, and I hear it…outside…life…sun…wind…song. This bird confirming my every word.

But some are in prison at home. Do they even know? Their lack of adventure, lack of love of nature, fear of discomfort zones and hardships, bugs and dirt, sweat and strain. They stay inside… a lot!!! They run from box to box. Boxes of every kind. Dead boxes of every kind, even unto the coffin. Big boxes and small. Boxes on wheels and boxes in malls. Doctor boxes and money boxes but so little time in the simplicity of “no box”, just open sky.

But not I. Like the wolf, the bird, the tree, the flower… I need some wind, some sun, some green grass and blue sky, some wet leaves and rain, a mountain stream and quiet lake. I need some sweat and strain, a bug or two, a sudden view to surprise my soul, perhaps even a little cold to make me whole. Only then can I go back inside and be the life of the dead thing I live within.

But God is different. He does not live in the dead. My Father has a living house. I am that House. Easter cometh. Selah.

20190708_172612 The above article and others like it can be found at “Sitting Under the Willow Tree”. We invite you to the wisdom of the willow tree. willowtreewisdom.home.blog

Covenant of Darkness P-1

I have known for a long time, the Old Covenant, the Old Testament in our Bible, is darkness to man, not salvation. And because it is full of a lot of good laws by which to conduct society, and the ungodly, we do not realize its death to us.

From the very beginning, the first covenant was meant for man to fail, and God to fulfill!

How many times have you asked someone if they are a Christian, and they answer by saying they try to live by the 10 Commandments? This only reveals their lack of understanding of God, God’s Word, and God’s way of salvation; for the Covenant of the Laws only prove us guilty! Worthy of judgement! No man has ever successfully kept the Old Covenant save Jesus Christ Himself, God Himself! Which He did in order to save us from the judgement our failure deemed us worthy of! And that judgement is based upon the First Covenant, with all the “thou shalt nots”, and “thou shalts”!

Please consider this scripture as a first step in understanding this very important biblical concept: “So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it.” (Hebrews 7: 11-12 NLT)

Jesus is the beginning of a different priesthood, which the Bible describes as a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, a very mysterious person who shows up for Abraham way back in Genesis 14! Jesus begins a different priesthood because he established a very different Covenant, which we enter into through Him! And whereas the first Covenant was based on 10 Commandments, our Lord’s Covenant is based on only 2! And we will look at the very different nature of the 10 and the 2, for there is great purpose and meaning in that difference!

As a first step in understanding this difference, please note our scripture speaks of a “perfection” God intended in that first covenant. As every human well knows, we do not do well with that word, “perfect”. In our world there is no such thing as perfect, especially in the behavior of man!

Jesus spoke of this perfection in his famous Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 5: 48, when he said, “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

But how are we to achieve such perfection? It certainly cannot be done by way of the First Covenant. That was why Jesus was here. To fulfill that Covenant and that perfection for us, and establish a new order of priesthood and a New Covenant, powerful enough in “His” perfection and “His” blood to save a true Believer! Wow! Is that awesome or what! But this also means the First Covenant is only failure for us! It is defeat, judgement, darkness, no hope, no light, no heaven! Only hell!

It did bring the One who is Light to us. Praise God! And that was God’s plan from the beginning. It does save us in a round-about way, if we realize that First Covenant is pointing towards Christ the whole time! It is meant to be as a school master teaching us the way to salvation, but it is not the salvation we need in itself. It announces the salvation to come, and gives us many lessons and warnings as to why we should not neglect the great salvation to come, for we do not want to die in the Covenant of Law! The Covenant of Moses! But we rejoice in the coming of God’s Covenant of Grace in Christ Jesus!

“There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Man always seems to think he can do it himself. That is our own logic and our natural way, unless we understand how defiled we are, and how far short of perfection we fall. The Bible teaches if you break even one of the Commandments, you are guilty of breaking all! And Jesus added to the difficulty of the challenge when again, in His Sermon on the Mount, he said if you even look at a woman with lust, you are guilty of adultery! If you are angry with someone, you commit murder! The mark of perfection is so high, man was without hope!

Now that we have established the basic understanding of how the Old Covenant is not life to us, but death; I can now begin explaining how I came to call the First Covenant, the “Covenant of Darkness”. I never called it this, nor did I even think of it in this way, until one day I realized by the time Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden, it had to be dark! Once I realized this, I became curious if all the major moves of the Old Covenant had darkness involved, and it did! I was amazed! And I realized that once again God was showing us more truth! It was more than my own curiosity, but the Holy Spirit was leading me.

So… you can begin looking at it yourself if you like, but next episode (P-2) we will look at Adam and Eve’s expulsion, and every major move of the Old Covenant thereafter, clear up to Jesus completing the Old Covenant Himself, on the cross. You might recall God brought three hours of darkness in the middle of the day in that event! And three hours is no simple eclipse!

And why is this so important? Because Jesus brought us the Covenant of Light. You will also see that every major move of the New Covenant, such as Christ’s resurrection, is performed in light! These cannot be mere happenstance! And so… if we try to pull anything from the Covenant of Darkness and force it into the Covenant of Light? Are we not guilty of forcing darkness into God’s light? But who does that, you might ask.

Well… our modern church does not even realize the love of money they are guilty of, which is the root of all evil! The New Covenant in Christ is based on two very different commands than the original 10. We are to LOVE God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And we are to LOVE our neighbor as ourself. The early church established by Christ functioned on LOVE OFFERINGS. Even the Pastors lived off LOVE OFFERINGS. When did tithing come back into things? Is it possible it was drug from the old and forced into the new because of the greed of man? We do not even realize how many ways we may be bringing law into God’s love and liberty.

I have pondered if this is even a slap in the face of Jesus as he hung on that cross paying the price for us to live in liberty and Spirit. I fear to answer that with a yes, but I see the possibility. We have a warped version of Jesus and as a result, we create warped disciples. Jesus said an easy yoke and light burden, and yet we make church a heavy thing, full of lifeless programs, boring repetitious routines, and very little true liberty and relationship.

Once upon a time I was excited when God revealed all this to me. But today I had to force myself to obey God and begin the work of putting this out there, because I have already shown this to others, only to find they are so programmed they can no longer look at scriptures for themselves and actually see what they say. Either that, or they just don’t care that much. I usually encounter one of the two.

So… I’m making this effort because I believe this is way more important than the reaction I usually get, and someone has to keep shouting that the “King Theology” has no clothes! Laodicea has no clothes! We should be looking to Smyrna! It is a very dangerous time to be Laodicean! But can the programmed ever see?

There is much more to show in the proving of this message. I know I have only begun to give you solid evidence of what I have said. I hope you realize the importance of this enough, that if you still have doubts, you will come back to examine all the evidence. But for now this is enough of the elephant for any person to eat in one setting. Chew on the fact Jesus changed the priesthood and the laws, because the First Covenant was never intended for us to succeed, but only fail. It is not based on LOVE, but LAW and PERFECT FULFILLMENT. This meal is to be continued…soon. Comments welcome.

 

 

Sitting Under the Willow Tree

I discovered a treasure hidden away in the midst of congested streets, traffic jams, stress, and rising blood pressure. Its been there for years and I never knew, it is so well hidden. Evidently few people have found it because every time I go there, it is void of people! I enjoy it all to myself. Whoever owns it must be always working and never able to enjoy his hidden treasure. It is as a Garden of Eden in the midst of a concrete jungle.

This place inspired me to start a second blog site. “Path Without End” has always been a place to go deep into God’s Word, and we’re about to start a series called “Covenant of Darkness”. However, the new site is meant to be more light-hearted and fun. A place about dreams, and for dreamers. It is meant to inspire a life full of the joy of the Lord, peace, and spirit. It has a subtitle of “Simplicity, Serenity, Spirit, – and growing older”.

One of my dreams is to travel America (on the cheap) and ride my bike in many places while visiting Salt Churches. I have a plan and it is already in operation. We write of these things on the other site I named: “Sitting Under the Willow Tree”. I hope you will visit under the willow tree. Here is a link to the site, followed by a few pictures:

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The wind still blows under the willow tree, but who today ever takes the time to sit and listen? Let us be one of the few.

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Journey to Micro Church – #5

Black_elkHoF Black Elk Speaks > Chapter 10 > “Walking the Black Road” >

“Wherever we went, the soldiers came to kill us, and it was all our own country. It was ours already when the Wasichus (white man) made the treaty with Red Cloud, that said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and water flow. That was only eight winters before, and they were chasing us now because we remembered and they forgot.”

Do we think we’re different now? White man found yellow metal in those hills, and nothing, not their word, not laws or right or wrong would stop them. Are we saved today by the teachings of Jesus? Then why do I see the same in the Church!? Have we forgot? Have we forgot what Jesus said and did? Hey Preacher living in your wealth! Have you forgot? Have you distorted what Jesus said and did? Have you distorted his Word? Have you twisted the truth until it is true no more?

These are but a few of the things that drove me out of of our modern Churches to begin a simple path in which two joined me. One had been a devout Catholic all his life, and never baptized in the way the Bible actually says. He asked me to baptize him, and we did. It was simple, meaningful, and my great honor to do so.

So we started a small group of three, called it a “Fellowship”, and named it “Fellowship of the White Path”, because Jesus walked the red path of his own blood, so that we might walk the white path of his own righteousness.

We also began having a proper Passover every year, according to what your Bible still says, and I believe God is very pleased in our effort to do the best we can with what we have learned as we study early Church, those first 300 years, of which man seems to have tried to muddy the waters of history, so it can be difficult to see. But once the maze begins to open up, a lot of light begins shining in very rapidly, even as a flood!

How much of what we did to the native American Indian is still in us? We try to deny it, but what do our actions so plainly reveal? Our actions betray us! They betray our words to be nothing but lies! When will our hands be clean? Not till we actually live what we profess, and flee those leaders who do not!

I see so much greed in the Church where it should never be! But it is. Where are the Pastors living on faith and love offerings today? Where are the Pastors developing disciples ready to split a group and multiply, for the sake of keeping it as family, and the sake of Gospel Propagation as the early Church did? No group should be bigger than what a Pastor can properly pray for, and a family atmosphere can maintain. We are the family of God, not a copy of worldly ways who love money, numbers, and an image of success.

As mentioned before, I am working towards starting a Podcast on this subject, as someone suggested I should do. We have our equipment now. We have downloaded “Audacity” and hooked up to it. We slowly progress, but I still have things to learn before we achieve this goal, and these technologies do not come easy for me, but if God’s will is in it, it shall be done.

I think it’s pretty obvious now how my trip to the Black Hills seeking God, and God leading me to a book by a very wise man named Black Elk, has helped confirm many things to me about a path I was already seeking, and had begun, without even knowing, and how I eventually discover we are very similar to what is now being called Micro Church. I need not write more on this at this time. It was a strange path perhaps, by what would be modern standards, but it has led here, nonetheless. It amazes me.

I have it in me to begin a series called, “The Covenant of Darkness”. It’s about the Old Testament and how from the beginning it was designed for man to fail, and God to fulfill, so that we might have a covenant actually bringing salvation. Jesus not only saves us from our sin, but also the judgement of the Old Covenant, an eye for an eye. For us to drag anything of law from that covenant is as a slap in the face of Christ, and what he died for, to bring us the New. It is as if we practice Judaism, rather than Christianity, and this includes the teaching of tithing. Drug from the Old, it can not be supported from the New, unless you are a Pharisee.

We live in a day when the love of money has twisted much. More Churches are like Laodicea than Smyrna. And Smyrna holds a great key to unlocking the man-made-Maze! We need to get back to our early Church fathers. We need to get back to the disciples of the disciples. We need to get back to the Apostles and what our Bible actually says. We need to get back to Jesus!

“Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Journey to Micro-Church – #2

Black_elkHoF Black Elk > Oglala Sioux Medicine man.

“But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man to weak to use it;…”

As I shared in episode #1 the great vision set before me, my mountain to climb in my old age, I so feel the words of this Indian wise man. I am so excited about the growing move of God in this spiritual wave we have given a label of “Micro-Church”. I see a growing wave still far out at sea but rolling this way, and I want to be a part of it! It’s building as it rolls. It’s growing into a fresh move of God. It can be called a 2nd Reformation for surely that is how it feels to us who have become sickened with a prosperity message, a “king theology”, and traditions of man! We’re coming out!

But at the age of almost 64, how much of this wave can I still ride? Is this a vision given to a man to weak? And yet, I have to believe, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD!

As I write these words we just got very bad news on my sister who is three years younger than I. It was only supposed to be one artery 70% blocked. A simple stint was supposed to fix it. She would be out of hospital next day. But as we drove to visit her and celebrate a successful procedure, my phone rang. Her husband gave me the new report. 5 blockages! Main artery 90%. Another artery 70%. Transferring to a different hospital. Major open heart surgery. We wait for a doctor and surgery date.

I’ve been aware my whole life how heart disease, diabetes, and colitis runs in my family tree in a big way. We do seem to escape the “C” word for the most part. My only sibling developed the type 1 diabetes very young. And now the heart disease. I’ve had the colitis most my life, but very mild compared to my mom. Still… our days are numbered and how well we know. Most my grandparents died in their sixties. We do not live in denial, but we trust God in all things. So yes, at my age the vision God has given me looks quite large, like a huge mountain, but life would be so much less interesting without it!

I was 61 as I hiked that mountain path that day, the one now called Black Elk Trail, and I didn’t even know who he was, but I knew I was going to find out. I had been 41 when I hiked it before, twenty years ago, and believe me, I noticed a slight difference, but the joy was just as great!

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It was just me and the Lord that whole day. I asked him how his Church had become such a place about money, and more business like than family oriented, when He had been so against hoarding money, and was totally non-materialistic! How do rich pastors preach from luxurious platforms about the man who had nothing, and called us to lay aside our kingship for a time, and be servants!? To live a life rich in love and sacrifice! How do we justify all this? I could make no sense of it.

I hiked all the way up Black Elk Trail to that small mountain fortress at the top. I was there earlier than the normal tourist season and had the whole place to myself. The weather was awesome! It was a shifting swirling thing! Bright sunshine and warmth for a few minutes, then clouds and snow blowing for a few! It was totally inspiring as I ate my food at the top, shared some of it with 2 ground squirrels and a Jaybird of some sort. And God spoke to me as only he does, and gave me a strange phrase: “The path of the white feather.” I have kept those words in my heart ever since. I pondered those words as the elements shifted back and forth around me.

I spent an hour or so at the top. Offered up prayer and worship. Came down out of the mountain and drove back to town where I found an old bookstore. They had a very nice copy of “Black Elk Speaks”. I was very excited as I bought it!

When I got back to the hotel I did not waste any time opening it up, and soon found this man before my time, speaking of the “darkness in men’s eyes”. I was amazed at how simple and true his words were, and wondered why our preachers today seem to lack that? The words of Jesus are simple and true, too. The path of the white feather. I had come to South Dakota to get away in nature, seek simplicity, hear God, and God was showing me a path I would never leave.

I may have left the Black Hills, but my feet had been set to a spiritual path leading to a move of God I was unaware of. Little have I known. (To be continued.)

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