Indie Jesus

29 05 2013

There is a stark contrast going on between what we read of our Lord Jesus in Scripture as opposed to what is marketed about Him.                             Here at TN Lighthouse Ministries, that has been our main focus: Dispensing with the hype and seeking out a deeper understanding through the Word of God.

We see the Lord Jesus as someone who would today be called an “Indie” or independent thinker. Ever notice how HE didn’t fit the mold and seek to join the religious institutions of His time? For example:

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  Matthew 9:10-13 NIV

Sadly, just as in Jesus’ day, many of the hierarchical, fraternal or ‘Mom and Pop’ institutions being run today bear little resemblance to what our Lord reveals to us throughout the sixty-six books of the Holy Bible. Today, our Lord Jesus would be considered an “Indie”…“Independent” or itinerant preacher and teacher. Some have even called Him a Revolutionary since Jesus’ teachings expanded on the Pentateuch [the first five books of the Bible (a.k.a) the Laws of Moses/Mosaic Law]. Not only that, but as we see in the passage above, He lived what he preached. Will we too be as brave?

Prayer:  “Lord Jesus, let us not be controlled by people-pleasing, but strengthen us to fearlessly do Your will                                       in the earth this day.” Amen

Be Blessed!
The Light Keeper

Credits: Painting by the artist, David LaChapelle, “Jesus Is My Homeboy” 2003; Bible Quotes by the good folks at http://www.Biblegateway.org





America & Israel = Unity

30 12 2012

Prayer Changes---Things

FISCAL CLIFF: The Holy Bible tells us: “Been there, Done that.”

Let’s investigate for ourselves in the book of Zechariah (just two books backwards from the beginning of the New Testament as in: Matthew, Malachi, Zechariah… got it?).

Once you arrive at the book of Zechariah, we want to focus for this study on chapter 7, verses 9 through 14 (The end of the chapter).

A little background: When Israel was prosperous, well populated and flowing with commerce through the blessings and grace of the Lord God; they got greedy, selfish and withholding among themselves and other nations. They forgot God and from Whom all their blessings flowed. It became a lot of religious lip service, power grabbing and divisiveness at every level.   ‘Hmm… sound familiar?’

Our Heavenly Father got fed up and empowered the Babylonians and others to ride in and topple the whole system as well as carry off the inhabitants of Israel to become imprisoned (captives) in foreign lands for seventy years. Whew! That’s a long time.

However, at this point they have now been freed after seventy years (70 years) of captivity to re-inhabit Israel. The people want to know if they should keep the same solemn fasts and prayer vigils that they kept while in captivity… or just skip it since they were now back home?

One of the prophets {Zechariah} heard from the Lord and answered the people. Verses 9-14 are what our Lord God replies; reminding them through His prophet, Zechariah, how things used to be and how they got in the predicament in the first place. It is the same truth we can apply to ourselves here in America 2012/2013 as we near the so-called Fiscal Cliff.

“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner (immigrant) or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

Now doesn’t that sound like it was plucked straight out of a leading news story today? The criminal justice system in the USA has been corrupted; the hardest hit in our society are the senior citizens; the largest number of people in poverty within the United States are below the age of fifteen years old; the most aggressive laws within the United States are centered around deportation of “foreigner’s, illegal immigrants;” and the highest rise of mass killings without mercy or compassion, but showing an intelligent plan (plot) have all happened within a country that sang about how, “God shed His grace on thee and crowned thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”

However, the Lord our God continues to speak through His prophet, Zechariah…

11 “But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.12 They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.

Has anyone asked themselves, “What is going on with our crops and food resources?” Our food is not nourishing us but poisoning us with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension; especially in our children; which is our next generation, our future and strength. Why is this all happening?

13 “When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty.14 ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.”

Let us pause and reflect on the last line of the 14th verse:
This is how THEY made the pleasant land desolate.

We are each responsible for our country, our rulers, our brothers and sisters whom we have never met… our neighbor.

Pray for those who have the rule over you [Hebrews 13:7].

We ask for your obedience in this, inclusive of All government officials, whether you voted for them or not. Pray without ceasing, calling on the name of the Lord. Pray that our Heavenly Father will have mercy and bless America again. Fast from: Texting, gaming, chatting, sex ting?  and so much TV watching… Fast and pray a solemn prayer of repentance; calling on the name of our Lord Jesus.

                                                                …and as always:  Be Blessed! The Lightkeeper





The Bible and Prejudice

18 11 2012

James on Prejudice: Chapter 2: 1-10 Amplified Bible in Italics

From the very first verse of James’ second chapter, he tells us very directly; ‘Don’t even THINK about practicing the faith of Jesus with that kind of snobbery.’

Vs 2 (AKJV) “My brethren, pay no servile regard to people {show no prejudice, no partiality}. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord] of glory [together with snobbery]!”

Being born and reared in the shadow of the “City of Brotherly Love,” [that would be Philadelphia, for the uninitiated] with its’ friendliness and famous outspoken ‘directness’ regarding the practice of fairness; I have a special mouthy-activists’ warmth for James and the Book of James.

I’ve often considered that James had a particular level of ‘heat’ with his messages to growing number of Believer’s of Jesus. You see, James was the brother of our Lord Jesus. Many of us already ‘knew’ that… That’s nothing that needs deep research to uncover; in fact, it’s probably at the footnote of any Bible that contains footnotes.

However, James growing up in the household of Joseph and Mary didn’t really have a clue that his older brother, Jesus was the incarnate God-Our-Deliverer; Emmanuel. Perhaps, like most siblings, James didn’t consider his brother, ‘ Ye’shuah’, as anything special one way or the other. Now, our Lord Jesus had more than one sibling; which included at least another brother and definitely a couple of sisters.

It is the Light Keeper’s contention that James was probably the very brother that stood outside of one of Jesus’ earlier meetings with their Mum, Mary, and sent word that they were waiting to have a ‘word’ with him… outside.

Matthew 12:46-50

Amplified Bible (AMP)

46 Jesus was still speaking to the people when behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 [a]Someone said to Him, Listen! Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak to You.48 But He replied to the man who told Him, Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?49 And stretching out His hand toward [not only the twelve disciples but all] [b]His adherents, He said, Here are My mother and My brothers .50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother!

Footnotes:Matthew 12:47 Some manuscripts omit verse 47.

 Let’s think about it folks: If you owned a small family business dependent upon manual labor and the oldest kid was gone most of the time, hanging out with twelve of his ‘Buds’ and chatting it up in the local chat room; you’d probably want to have a little talk with him too. In fact, to bring out the ‘big guns’ it would be a good idea to bring ‘Mom’ on board to straighten him out and tell him a thing or two.

Why do we think human nature is so very different in the first century than today? However, that’s another topic for another day. All we’re saying is that James, didn’t believe that Ye’shuah was any more the ‘Son of God,’ and the prophesied Messiah than… pigs could fly!

It is after: After, James hears of the miracles, after he hears about some of the profound things his brother reportedly said, after hearing of the resurrection of Lazarus, but skipping ahead; it is definitely after the crucifixion and His personal resurrection visitation that James believes and understands.

The Book of James is a fabulous book, written by a man who no longer will tolerate life with blinders attached. Here is a man who now ‘sees’ what and whom he had right beside him and available to him every day of his life and he’d missed it, because he wouldn’t open his heart and see his own sibling with love.

Are we following the dictates of society, closing our eyes and hearts to the loving truth all around us? I invite you to take another look at the mighty book of James, the Brother of our Lord Jesus and hear his confident pleadings of one who knows how easy it is to ‘blow a good thing right in front of your face’! All due to preconceived notions… Prejudice.

Until next time and as always, “Be Blessed!”

The Light Keeper is THANKFUL for the reader’s of TN Lighthouse Ministries. Don’t forget, we are available for speaking engagements, weddings, wakes and Bar Mitzvah‘s (okay–maybe not that last part), but you get the idea.

Be sure to comment, we love hearing from you!





Amen, Awman, Aw-mayn, Ameen, Aman

10 09 2012
Safe!

Safe!

Various forms of the word “Amen” is found throughout the Bible, the Torah and the Qur’an. We say it in Church and Temple. We say it when we wholeheartedly agree and we also say it with varying degree’s of sarcasm.

The word ‘amen’ has crossed over from many languages, from the earliest days of recorded history; while still maintaining its general meaning: “So be it, or to confidently affirm, agree or concur with a speaker.”

It is an affirmation, an agreement for the trustworthiness of and belief in, what is being said. The Hebrew word translated as “faith” (to believe)  is “emunah“, derived from the Hebrew rootaman”, meaning to nourish, to make firm and strong; like a nurse or caregiver over the one being cared for nourishes to strengthen and benefit.

In Genesis 15:6 after God showed Abram the countless stars of heaven, telling him that similarly his children would be without number; it is written… “Then he (Abram) believed in the Lord and HE reckoned (or accounted) it to him as righteousness.”

The word ‘believed‘ in Hebrew is listed within Strong’s Concordance as number 539, “Awman,”the root of “amen;” which is the same word used to depict a nurse or mother, holding a child or baby. A baby who is relaxed, fully and expectantly depending and dependent-trusting; to build up, support, to be permanent, settled, and at peace.

Our trust applies to faith: Faith, being a state of relaxation, a posture of rest; not struggling or straining. It is a faith that lies in complete trust ; like the sleeping baby in our arms, we are safe in the arms of the Lord…

Ending our prayers with “Amen” is an act of our faith. We are declaring humbly to the creator of this Universe that we will depend upon Him; trust in Him. We can rest and  relax in the knowledge that HE will bring “it” to pass. Are you at that point in your faith yet or still striving in your own strength?

Ephesians 2:8 should hold a deeper meaning for us now as we read what the Apostle Paul said to those Ephesian Gentiles of his time: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–” NIV

Please enjoy the Love Alive V Choir: 25th Anniversary 1998 of “Safe In the Arms of the Lord” as arranged by the late Bishop Walter Hawkins.  As always: “Be Blessed”

Amen!

http://youtu.be/A9WQXLf-ilQ?t=7s





UNEVENLY YOKED?

15 08 2012

Christian believer’s marrying  unbeliever’s; Christians marrying ‘other-than’ Christians. It’s not a smart move. In fact, it tore apart the Kingdom of the wisest man on earth, Solomon; who indulged in serial-marraiges to unbeliever’s.

This was a ‘Hot Topic‘ discussed on The View due to comments made by Rev. Pat Robertson in answer to a young man contemplating marrying his Muslim girlfriend of three years: “Don’t!”

The women of The View, headed by Barbara Walters and her gal-pals had much to say on this topic. What do you think?

The Apostle Paul told the Christians of Corinth within his second letter to them:

“Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what partnership has light with darkness?”  2 Corinthians 6:14KJV 2000

What’s a yoke? It is a harness that is placed over the heads of two or more farm animals to keep them moving in the same direction at the same pace.

This “fellowship” and “partnership” is not confined solely to marriage as some teach, but emphasizes a variety of relationships and/or bonds of alliances and agreements. The ‘light vs darkness‘ and ‘righteous vs unrighteous‘ refers to two opposing or strivings (differing) points of view.

Bullocks Yoked

Wedding Rings Symbolize Being Yoked Together In Marriage

As Christians, in kindness and respect, we are to “prefer” one another. “Be kindly affectioned  one to another  with  brotherly love;  in honour  preferring  one another…”   Romans 12:10 KJV

This writer has always experienced good success when utilizing the services, skills, and purchasing through ‘acknowledging’ Christians.

For example: Our outdoor faucet (hose bib) cracked and was spewing water (small lake) in the back yard. When our failing efforts came to a close; as Richard Dawson, the original host of The Family Feud would say: And the answer is!” Call the Plumber. We did.

We prayed and opened the phone book. The Ichthys, or “sign of the fish” displayed in his listing was a great hint that he was a Christian Believer too. IchthysPraise God, not only did he keep his scheduled arrival as promised, work expertly, neatly, professionally, and friendly; he did many, many extra’s. Prayers had gone up regarding some ‘other’ needs we had for the yard, but lacked the muscle and/or tools to see to them.

This Christian Plumber took care of our plumbing needs and a few days later came back to take care of our yard ‘wants’ as well. We hadn’t told anyone about what we wanted, but Jesus.

When Dave showed up with the big tools and equipment, did the work with a big smile and refused to charge us a dime for his help; we praised God! Dave was moved only by the Spirit of the Lord. God used him to provide the fulfillment of the desires of our hearts.  Dave is and will be blessed, as will his business.

For the task at hand, we prayed, moved in faith and  ‘yoked’ or attached ourselves into the capable hands of a Christian Believer whom God used for His glory and to the benefit of us all. That is just how completely the Lord Jesus works through The Holy Spirit in the world today.

So: Pray, submit yourself to the will of God in all that you do and before you do whatever it is you need to do… Get it straight with the Lord first. Don’t leave Him out of your plans, alliances, friendships, contracts or any aspect of your life.

This describes what the Lord God told Joshua as he embarked on entering ‘The Promised Land‘ filled with its’ many blessings and many challenges: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8 NKJV

Unevenly yoked in marriage, friendships, partnerships, contracts and alliances? Seek the Lord Jesus in prayer, and study your Bible. HE is the answer to all of our challenges.  Be Blessed!





GOT FRUIT?

1 07 2012

Bearing Fruit is seasonal. Bearing fruit happens within an appointed time. After which there is ripeness; which is dependent upon growth; however that can only occur if the plant is able, or has the potential to bear fruit

 

Ecclesiastes 3:“To ever thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…”   KJV

The above verse lifted from this famous passage of Scripture continues on to describe a variety of times and seasons in life; leaving us to understand that “timing is everything.”

As seen throughout the Bible, the fig tree is representative of various ‘timings’ and forecasts for many of life’s circumstances.

The fig tree represents:

  • Plenty, Potential and Provision
  • Deuteronomy 8:8; I Kings 4:25; Mark 11:13 and Luke 13:7
  •  Warning; (things that are) Uncharacteristic; Untimely; and Out-of-Season
  • Habakkuk 3:17; Joel 1:7; Luke 21:29 and Revelation 6:13
  •  Fear, Destruction and Non-productive
  • Genesis 3:7; Hosea 2:12; Jeremiah 5:17 & 8:13 and Luke 13:7
  •  Rooted and Settled
  • Zechariah 3:10; Isaiah 36:16; Luke 13:6 and Micah 4:4
  •  In-Season and Timeliness
  • Isaiah 34:4; Isaiah 36:16 (again) and Mark 13:28

In Luke 13:7-9, I believe Jesus is allowing us to eavesdrop into the realm of a ‘type’ of conversation between Father-God and Himself (pre-incarnate):

7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 but he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[a] you can cut it down.’  NKJV

If you’ll recall, on other occasions, Father-God became fed-up with humanity continually producing nothing but evil upon the earth and decided to destroy His creation, but He repented (to stop and change direction) as He did with Adam and Eve; Noah and the Ark; the Tower of Babel; Moses and the Israelites in the desert; Sodom and Gomorrah; the city of Nineveh; and many other times too numerous for this small space.

Jesus is mankind’s last hope and the only One standing between sinful, spiritually unproductive; unrepentant humanity and God’s decree of eternal damnation. That’s it folks; that is the bottom-line; everything else is simply a symptom of a bigger condition: Unrepentant sin.

Jesus came to the earth to pay for our sins. HE fertilized around our individual ground-scape with His shed blood; while the Holy Spirit ‘digs’ and tugs at the corners of our heart continually.

Jesus stands ever-ready so that if we confess to Him our sin; repent of our sin and decide to move our scrawny little feeder-roots into the refreshing water of His Word as our Savior (Jesus: the Word made flesh); we can be strengthened; we can be healed; we can be SAVED. The potential is within our grasp.

If doing things ‘your way’ hasn’t been working out… Let’s pray this prayer together:  “Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me; forgive me for forgetting that;   I ask that You wipe my sins away and receive me as your child. I commit myself fully to you.” Amen†

If you prayed with us today, please drop us a line. Be Blessed!





Love and Selfishness

6 06 2012
Arm Wrestling

Power of Love

Love and Selfishness:

*The two most powerful forces on earth.

*Two forces diametrically opposed to one another.

*Two forces consistently battling one another for total domination.

*Each are the catalyst of dynamic results.

*Each stands available as choices every second of every day.

In the Bible, the book of James, chapter four (all) begins by asking us “Where do wars and fights come from among you?” James, the brother of our Lord Jesus is definitely not stuck for an answer. In fact, James gives us stinging detail throughout the next seventeen verses.

The Reverend Al Green made a popular song, ‘back-in-the-day’ called, “Love and Happiness.” In that song, one verse stands out: “Love and happiness… Love, it makes you want to do right…”

You see, only the word of God [Love] can overcome the works of the flesh [sin/selfishness] so that we can accomplish the plan of God in each of our lives…
it makes you want to do right…”

The Apostle John, who is the Bible’s own Head Curator of love; tells us in his letter: I John 2:15-17 how we can hang on tight to the love of God while the world-system crashes and burns all around us.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Note:                                                                                                                                       “But he who does the will of God abides (lives/stays with Him) forever.”                So then, love is a choice, and an action that our very lives depends upon.

Yup, that’s ‘the power of love…”   Have a smile and visit with Rev. Al Green http://youtu.be/uPh-31TtEOI?t=2m21s

Be Blessed!








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