Do you have a Hunger Games story?

20200719_073715 What is your personal Hunger Games story? I believe most people have at least one. 

I have collected special movies that inspire me over the years, and I have often pondered if I had to choose just one movie series, which would it be? I do not find it an easy choice, but I finally decided it would absolutely have to be the “Hunger Games”.

When the first movie came out and I learned it was about people forced in an arena and must fight to the death till only one person is still alive, I really questioned if that was a movie I wanted to see? But I soon discovered there is so much more to these movies! They have very deep messages that particularly appeal to me, and with the newest addition to the series, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, the message of the Mockingjay becomes even deeper, and more complete.

I’m only 63 pages into the book, so don’t worry, I don’t plan on any spoilers here, other than the story is AWESOME so far! I’m completely hooked! But as we are in the midst of a SEA CHANGE on planet earth, and also in my own path concerning ministry, I want to start using “The Hunger Games” as an analogy at this site.

I love good analogies. As you know, one of my favorites as a follower of Christ is to live my life like a sailboat with only my sail to catch the wind of heaven and power my vessel. I call this being a Soul Sailor, and several past articles have pertained to being this Soul Sailor.

But as to The Hunger Games, for me, it is all about what it takes for a vision to catch fire and become an inspiration to others. To cause a real movement there has to be at least one main leader who becomes the Lightning Rod for that vision. There will be other leaders too, who probably have smaller platforms, all working together to play their part in the big wave of the movement, but there must be the Lightning Rods, and just how do you catch Lightning in a bottle?

George Floyd probably did not plan on becoming such a lightning catcher on the day he died. He paid for this movement with his life, like many others down through time have, when they caught lightning in a bottle and cast it forth. Sometimes we become a Lightning Rod by accident, but most of the time there is something about the person that perfectly suits them to the task, and such was Katniss of the Hunger Games. This is the magic of these movies, the rising of a symbol of inspiration and fire! The rising of such a person, even though unbeknownst to herself. Circumstances beyond her control played a big part in ordering her path.

She never planned to become the Mockingjay. It was others who saw it in her, and began pulling it out. And now that I think about it, when she shoots that arrow into the lightning and short circuits the whole arena? WOW!!! How symbolic! Lightning in a bottle! And she was willing to die, if that were to happen.

Katniss volunteered for the Hunger Games to save her little sister. She only had a slim chance of surviving. She put herself between death and her sister. She had a talent with the bow, and she loved nature. She knew how to hunt and survive in the woods. She had beauty, was fit and athletic, she had a chance, but no one could be sure what would happen, and Katniss was not even aware of what she was becoming for a long time! She didn’t even want it in the beginning, but they crossed the line! Sometimes something crosses a line with us, and then that’s it, GAME ON!

Brian Sanders and his book/church, “UNDERGROUND CHURCH”, has become a Lightning Rod for me. He is a Mockingjay. Jesus Christ is my ultimate Mockingjay, but I also have others, smaller ones you could say, and I would love to be one in my own small way. That is why we have sought God for a vision, a holy task, a mission to go forth with and it shall develop as we go. The vision has come and we intend to pursue! It’s my Lightning in a bottle sent from Christ to inspire!

Most people are playing a Hunger Game. We are a people of desires! Appetites! Hunger! Wants! Emotions! ETC! But what have we chosen? What do we spend our time fighting for because we desire it? That’s what it comes down to, you know. What is that Lightning in a bottle for us? In our culture of SUCCESS, many are those seeking wealth, materialism, a castle, a personal empire, fame, fortune, pleasure, SELF, etc. etc. Snow was a leader too! He caught lightening in a bottle! But as we well know, so did Hitler, and leaders can be just as evil, as they can be good. What are we personally hungry for? Where do our appetites take us? What are you a Mockingjay for?

The people who know us, when they think of us, what would they say we are a Mockingjay for? In the Hunger Games the bird had become a symbol of rebellion against the rich and powerful of Panem. The Jabberjay was sent out to die! But somehow it survived by mating with the mockingbird, and became a bird known as the mockingjay. It did not die, it adapted and thrived! I believe that is already happening in what we call “church” today. A Sea Change is happening. To what are we to adapt? Do we surrender to worldliness, or is there a great victory ahead for all those sold out to Christ? King Saul was falling even as a little shepherd boy was rising!

“Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6) For those who claim to follow Christ, this should be our hunger.

For some of us, Christ and God’s Kingdom is our Lightning in a bottle! At least for a time, the idea of the Mockingjay will become a regular analogy of this site. What does it take to become a leader others are inspired to follow? Are we a Lightning Rod for Christ? Do we hunger for righteousness? Will we catch Lightning in a bottle and give it to others to drink from? There is death connected to this Lightning, but also life abundant! Choose you this day…

The title of the book also completely intrigues me. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”.

“Lot was a Righteous Man”

20171202_173614 The story of “Yinney the Sloth who needed to Poo” is going great and will continue, but I have felt led of the Lord to take a small break and share some thoughts I’ve had relating to the Yinney story, Predator Cities, and Predator People.

The nephew of Abraham, Lot, has always intrigued me. By his own choice he found himself living just outside the gates of a predator city, and he was very involved with that city, even choosing to sit at the gates. Which was a strategic place to be, where the powerful and rich usually had some kind of presence, keeping tabs on what was coming in and out of the city, and political power.

Lot had a very questionable history of walking with the Lord. When Abraham, his uncle, who had been good to him in so many ways, gave Lot a choice of which land to take, he took the best for himself and left his older uncle with the worst! Hardly seems like the Christian thing to do.

Soon we find he has made his home outside the gates of a very wicked city called Sodom, as in Sodom and Gomorrah, and he sits at the city gate. When two angels show up to see how bad the city has become, he persuades them to stay at his house and not enter the city. Sodom and Gomorrah were definitely predator cities full of the kind of people who want to eat you! (I’m not talking cannibalism, but murder, rape, thievery, and sin of every kind was rampant.)

He even ends up offering his two virgin daughters to the angry mob who confronts his home desiring the visitors be handed over. Things were different back then, but I do find it somewhat surprising when II Peter 2:7 says: “But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man …”

II Peter 2:9 tells us he was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he heard and saw day after day. Now I hate to say it, but I have experienced the same thing here in America. Perhaps the whole world is becoming this way. Lot chose to live near Sodom. He had a choice, but do we? Or are we stuck in this Lot situation with little choice in the matter? Admittedly, it’s very hard.

This is one reason I’m so interested in Lot, his story, and the details of his rescue. I am convinced we are more and more surrounded by a world turning into Sodom and Gomorrah. Are there things for us to learn from Lot? Important things? Jesus speaks of Lot when speaking of the last days. (Luke 17:28) We do know that angels were very heavily involved in the rescue of Lot and his family. Are we mindful of our angels?

So we see that Lot was surrounded by wickedness, even by his own choice, and his soul was tormented by what he heard and saw every day, and yet somehow he remained a righteous man in the eyes of God. So I guess we can too! That’s encouraging.

The other night I went to a video store looking to rent a good movie. This is a perfect example. I could choose not to watch movies or TV, but I have not and I entered this gate of my own choice, just like Lot?

If you want an example of how far the mind of man can sink into depravity, just look at the awful movies some people are making and a certain percentage of our society love to watch. Hate, violence, sex, violence, murder, sex, gore, violence, dark grossness, sorcery, violence, revenge, stealing, sex, nudity, violence, gore, darkness, wickedness, sickness, depravity, and more violence.

Now folks, even if you’re not a religious person, it’s pretty scary to think of a growing population of people out there, who love things of that nature. Perhaps you are not a predator. You just want to live and let live. You’re a wonderful person who simply wants to go on a date with the person you love, have a nice meal out, see a good movie, but we have to be aware all these other people are out there too, and who knows what they might do? Even if we don’t believe in God, is that the kind of world we want to live in? But without God, how can we even say what is wrong? How can we say there is a normal, or a standard? And if society as a whole sinks far enough, eventually anything becomes your truth, your right, your delight.

This is also the story of Yinney. Every seven days he needs to leave his tree, go to the ground and poo! All he wants to do is poo in peace! But there are predators down there. It is the most dangerous thing he does.

I ended up renting a movie called “The Bookshop”. That movie would probably bore a lot of people to sleep, but I found it most interesting and left me with much to think about. I love a movie that leaves me thinking. But it was slow moving; the hopes, dreams, and interaction between characters was the glue that held you. Nobody was murdered, but there were predators, and a dream did get murdered. We can be attacked and die in many ways.

This one old lady and her husband, but she wore the pants in the family, they were definite predators, but they used money, manipulation, politics, and power to get what they wanted. Unfortunately for this one peace-loving lady with a beautiful dream, she got in their way. Her lovely dream got in their way.

This paragraph: spoiler alert! This lady was brave and fought back, but she did not have the teeth and claws they had. She became their victim. She loses everything! (But her life.) And as she is sailing away in sadness, the movie projects forward something beautiful is still born out of the sacrifice she made. We just never know.

So let me say this, predators may not know it, but they never win in the end. All us God-fearing and God-loving people? WE DO WIN! And it can be seen even in the present, not just one day in heaven. The predators will never admit it, but theirs is a very sad and empty life. LOVE really is the only way to live and be happy. We win every day. I was so happy I actually found a good movie that strengthened my spirit man, rather than attacking it. That movie was a win in my book.

In “Part 2” of this article I want to look more at the details of Lot’s rescue. I’ve seen the trailers of movies I can’t believe anyone would want to make or watch. Those people are out there! They are a growing population! If the Church don’t get her act together, we will be in the days of Lot as prophesied! It won’t be pretty! Only the predators will be loving it until they realize, that those who eat others, eventually get eaten themselves, and it is a horrible way to die, that is the sting of death! Think about it.

But if I am right about the last days growing all around us, then Lot is someone we would do well to consider. His story has much to offer if we are the kind of person who like being “prepared”. It may not be pretty, but God does know how to deliver his people. That is what God’s word says. But do we know?


“The Christian Mystic” Part II

indian lady (5) “At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, ‘Are you also going to leave?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.’ ” (John 7:66-68 NLT)

The Christian Mystic. Devoted to the words of life, and challenged of God to be witnesses of that life in a world cursed with death. According to wikipedia, here is a quote from J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter. >

“My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry’s parents. There is Voldemort’s obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic. I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We’re all frightened of it.”

I think that was a very honest statement on her part. Based on the world she chose to create in her books, I assume she doesn’t believe the Bible version of the hereafter. Most people, whether they will admit it or not, are probably frightened about death. The question of what is really on the other side, if anything at all? If not for my faith in God’s word, I’d be the same. Probably any sane person would be.

For the Christian Mystic, the Bible has our answers. If our faith is strong, this brings us peace. But Rowlings is a Mystic of another sort. She would probably classify herself as “spiritual”, but just exactly what does that mean? Perhaps it means to suspect there is something on the other side, but not sure of what it is, so it is also feared. If Christian Mystics prove to be right, then Rowlings has made multi millions off of glamorizing what it means to be a magician in Pharaoh’s court battling against the people of God. When the books are opened to give an account of our deeds on earth, she may have a lot to explain.

But Mr. Potter contends against a really evil dude! She has made Harry a symbol of something good! As I said, she has glamorized what God’s word reveals to be evil. Power based on seeking witchcraft, hexes, satanistic rituals, spells, incantations, and so forth. Perhaps she believes it all to be pure fiction, but according to the Bible, it is not. Therefore, if Christian Mystics prove to be right in their faith, people like J.K. Rowlings will have a lot to explain. They believe they are having their good time now, but the Christian Mystic understands this world is cursed, and this is not the time to be having our good time. The flesh is a life built on sand.

Our Lord explains about the true riches of joy, peace, love, helping others, and serving the Father. He has the words of life. A life built on spirit is the only true blessing. There is really nothing in this world we can possess except God. Unless you can keep it forever, you don’t really possess it. Your fancy car, your mansion house, even your very life you will release one day, all of it, gone like dust in the wind. You possess nothing, unless you possess God. This is Christian Mysticism.

I intend to use Harry Potter as my main dark side antagonist to the Christian Mystic simply because of it’s extreme success, setting some major new records in our current culture around the world. If we picture our world as Pharaoh’s court, Harry Potter is definitely Pharaoh’s magician, not God’s Moses. Here’s some stats.

The first novel: “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, came out on June 26, 1997 and the series has been received with immense popularity and commercial success. The books have a wide adult audience as well as non-adult. So Harry Potter has been with us for two decades already, and a child of eight then, would be twenty-eight now. The Harry Potter generation is coming up to bat!

Wikipedia stats say as of May 2013 the books had sold more than 500 million world wide and is the best selling “book series” in history. Four of the books consecutively set records as the fastest selling books in history. In the U.S. alone, the final installment sold eleven million copies in 24 hours! In 2016 the total value of the Harry Potter franchise was estimated at 25 billion! So if you’re looking for a character to represent a “good wizard”, Harry Potter is the one everyone knows.

But why should this be important to us? Because the Christian, whether mystic or not, should realize we do live in a matrix. I wonder how many wannabe Harry Potters we have coming into power ready to contend with the people of God on every level? To them, the God of the Bible is a monster, a belief system we just spent five episodes proving the opposite of, and thus the Christian Mystic (CM), the devout follower of Christ, finds himself at odds with this world’s version of being “spiritual”. Jesus himself said in this world we would have tribulation. The Bible calls Satan the prince of the power of the air. Be forewarned, in the arena of ideas, beliefs, and faith in this world, we have a real battle on our hands.

But is it all just harmless fun? Perhaps it could be if it were not for the matrix we live in. God’s word says the tongue, (words and beliefs), set on fire the course of nature. It changes and sets on fire the very direction of nature! The CM understands the spiritual and physical effect we all have on this planet. In the end God’s snake eats the others and the child of God ends up in the promised land, but the painful path of getting there is full of tribulation. But don’t bother a J.K. Rowlings with little details like that, she’s busy getting hers now, and she doesn’t believe you anyway. You are the fool for believing such things. (Yet she fears what is on the other side.)

These articles will eventually speak more of what it really means to be a Christian Mystic. They strongly believed in and sought a life “transformation” by the power of God. It’s all really cool stuff. But first, I think it’s important to realize just how much our world is falling in love with a version of Pharaoh’s magicians. Do not be fooled. The Disciples said it: Where else would we go, Lord, for you have the only words of life. We may not understand everything the Bible says, but as a follower of Christ we know the answers are there, and as a Mystic we delight in diligently searching them out. These are true riches we can actually possess! We should not settle to be average in our Christianity. We should seek God, and the understanding of His mysteries with all of our heart, because we delight in Him. This is the truly transformed heart. This is the Christian Mystic, a seeker of things above, more than here on earth.



Dark Night of the Soul / Star Wars


Obviously I can’t say much without causing spoilers, and I really hope not to do that yet. At least for a week. So… I don’t think I’m spoiling anything if we touch on Luke being on the island. It should be common knowledge, based on previous movie, and trailers of this movie, Luke has fallen into a “Dark Night of the Soul”. Ever been there?

But first… Did I enjoy the movie? “YES.” It does have some slow spots, but in the over all IT DOES DELIVER. And it sticks in your mind. I found it easy to conversate with my wife afterwards. Different thoughts kept coming. The show still rolls through my soul as I sit here pondering what I can share?

I have mentioned reading Brian Zahnd, someone new to me, and his point about Revelation being a book about living in a “super power nation”, contending with the worldly forces of “Empire”. Star Wars has always been about the downtrodden fighting overwhelming odds against a mighty Empire. The Bible has a lot of that. As a Christian I readily identify with the struggle these rebel forces must endure. But most of us here in America have not had to contend unto blood for Christ, not yet, but a few have. Ours is more a slow seduction, a poisoning of our soul, if were not wary.

It’s so easy to be swept away by Empire. If we have been raised in the Empire culture, we may not even recognize how many ways we have conformed to the pressures around us, shaping us, unless we take a good honest look at ourself in the mirror of God’s Word. And if we begin to live different than our culture around us, if we resist the pressures and fight back, forces will surely come to put us in our place, or render us silent.

In Revelation, those who follow the Lamb of God end up in New City Jerusalem. Those who follow the Empire, the Beast, end up in the Lake of fire. Are we a resistance to the Empire? Here in America, with so much emphasis on money and success, have we found that proper balance God will approve of, or have we raised a white flag, go along to get along, let the good times roll? Tough questions to answer, I know.

Luke was not one of those to be swept along by the Empire Peer Pressure. Not only had he been resistant, he had gone on to start a school, raising up others who had it in them to become a Jedi Knight, until something went horribly wrong, and he blamed himself. One too many horrible things happened, he plunged into dark depression, and decided to hide away from the world. Others had fought on without him. Now they needed him.

Hhmmm. Never stay too long in your cave. Elijah ran to a cave after Jezebel threatened to kill him. David found himself in a few caves. Sometimes we need a dark place to refocus, find direction, hear that godly whisper again. But be careful, for the dark night of the soul also lurks there. Many things may try to grip you in that darkness. Don’t turn to other things in your hour of need thinking they will help you. Just wait on the Lord. His voice will come. Be still and know he is God. He will send someone, or something, to lift you out of the fog. Wait it out in faith. Let the fog slowly clear. If you doubt not, the fog will clear, and his voice will come.

Once God helped Elijah get to the cave, he then asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Elijah explained how hard he had fought for the Lord, how he felt he was the only one left, and now they would get him, too. He was in a dark night of the soul, but God gave him some assignments anyway, got him back to work, and had him find his replacement. Elijah then left earth in a fiery chariot, not as a defeated soul dying alone in a cave.

This movie is not as predictable as others have been. I hope you enjoy it and get some good food for thought. It’s never easy resisting an Empire, especially if you live in it. Luke went to the island of his own choosing. John the Revelator was exiled there against his will, but it did not stop him. I can here God asking him now, “What are you doing here, John? Let’s see what we can do with this.”