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

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ACCEPTANCE

15 04 2012

Cornelius Medal

If we could simply tie a string around our finger, maybe we can remember to keep reminding ourselves that we are “Accepted” and loved by God.  Acceptance is the key to our lives. Acceptance is the root cause of human behaviors.

Let’s leave out the judgments’ [good/bad] for a moment and consider that what each of us ‘do’ in an average day is the sum total of our acceptances; i.e. ‘not running with scissor pointing out,’ is an acceptance that we could hurt ourselves or others.

Faith begins with acceptance. In studying the Book of Acts, chapter 10; there is a Roman centurion named Cornelius who accepted God: Acts 10:1 “…there was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian Band.” Acts 10:2 “A devout man who venerated God (reverenced, esteemed God) and treated Him with reverential obedience, as did all his household; and he gave much alms generously to the people and prayed continually to God.”

Here we see that Faith begins with acceptance. Cornelius ‘accepted’ God as Almighty God in his life and for his family also. Acceptance moves us to reverence, then obedience, and then an outpouring act which reflects that faith.

Later in this chapter of Acts, we see that God has noted this one man’s faith and sends an Angel to tell him so. Notice that it wasn’t regarding Cornelius’ gender, ethnicity, job, wealth or social standing; however, when Cornelius ‘accepted’ God as his God… then God ‘accepted’ him and all that was a part of his life.

Finally, the Apostle Peter himself had some ‘accepting’ to do in obedience to God and proclaims in Acts 10:34-35: “…in truth I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.”

These are days of societal knit-picking; divisiveness; and finger-pointing, along with all kinds of –‘isms’. Let’s allow ‘acceptance’ to water our garden of Faith to delight our Lord and Savior.

Let’s Pray: “Heavenly Father, I pray we keep our eyes firmly fixed on You and how we might accept Your word into our hearts; as we accept one another in Kingdom-love.” Amen.

Please take a fresh look at the Book of Acts; which overflows with examples that ‘acceptance’ is our first step of faith in God. If you’re interested in the famous family of Cornelius in history; see the notes below and be sure to visit the footnoted website.  Be Blessed!

Here’s a previewCornelius the Centurion: The word centurion implies a Roman Officer, or captain in charge of a century, which in ancient Rome meant 100 soldiers under his command.

Cornelius comes from a large, well-known family line within the framers of what became the Roman Empire, and is considered historically the first gentile and high-ranking Roman officer ever converted to Christianity. He is often referred to traditionally as the first Bishop of Caesarea, or First Bishop under Caesar’s rule. His life is traditionally celebrated every fourth day of February. One of his known descendants was Cornelius the Fourth Bishop of Antioch who ruled in  167.[i]

By the way, this Roman centurion’s descendants are alive and well today, living in America.





Along the Way

18 03 2012
"The Temptation of Christ

"The Temptation of Christ" by Liturgical artist, painter Eric Armusik http://www.ericarmusik.com

(Disciple) Greek- “Learner” Unger’s also adds, “…one who professes to have learned certain principles from another and maintains them on that other’s authority.”

Discipleship is what we do “Along the Way” as we live our life in Christ. We don’t get it perfect every day (personally, nowhere near perfect), but it’s what we strive toward by following the One who is perfect.

In Matthew chapter four, focusing on verses 1-4 where Jesus is tempted by Satan. Let’s take a look at what happens:

1.     Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2.     After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

3.     The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these  stones to become bread.”

4.     Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

That got me to thinking about accomplishing by having clear: Direction; goal(s); vision and focus. To go through life without these attributes, we (absolutely) will be…

Tempted by Satan to be:

  • Distracted from our goal.
  • Discouraged about our goal.
  • Doubt our ability to achieve our goal.
  • Doubt God’s will and love for our lives.
  • Negative regarding the reality of God’s word about His presence; His provision and His peace for our lives, our calling and our tasks in the earth.

Out there in the wilderness, Jesus showed us the way for our lives today. Jesus was tempted just like we are today to ‘throw in the towel,’ blame our Mother/Father/Others; blame the circumstances of our birth; our past and our present; get stressed and pick up the double-fudge ice cream (okay, maybe that’s T.M.I.), but you get my drift.

In today’s society, mega-bucks are made by selling us on the lie that we should ‘throw in the towel,’ blame Mom and Dad, blame the fact that we are tall, short, skinny, fat, black, white, underprivileged, too rich, or too poor. In fact, extreme time and money is spent on marketing campaigns targeting us all to ‘do’ something about it by buying their products.

Additionally, there are folks keeping secrets in the Church pews. Whenever the Minister teaches on the temptation of Christ from the book of Matthew; the secret-thinking says:  “Yeah, that’s fine for Jesus, but He’s the Son of God; I’m just me.” 

We have forgotten that Jesus’ example is for us to imitate. How do we combat the temptations of Satan, the ‘Prince of the Power-of-the-Air’ himself; when he was up against Jesus: The carpenter’s kid, born out-of-wedlock, working-class, uneducated, from a small, poor township; a young guy who was out there in the wilderness with (seemingly) no one to help Him, but all of heaven watching?  That was a big [hold your breath and lean forward] moment if ever there was one, but Jesus quoted the word of God at each and every instance of Satan’s temptation. The main lesson is that the word of God is our only winning defense against the temptations of Satan-then, now and forever.

That’s it; just the word of God-nothing else. That seems way too easy doesn’t it? However, Jesus also said regarding our being His disciple (a disciplined follower); which we are if we are Christians: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:30. Our ‘yoke’ then is the service required and our ‘burden’ is to fulfill that requirement in order to live abundantly in the earth: Take Him at His word; believe His word; apply His word to our life and speak His word about our life. That’s all folks!

However, this all calls for a basic decision; we must decide to: Hear that word, agree with that word; live that word; behave that word and speak that word in relation to our own lives and where we stand today. In fact Joshua said it best:  “…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b

To bring this out further, we will be taking a look at the book of James chapter one, verse eight (8); where James declares: “A double-minded man (person) is unstable in all his ways.”

Until next time: Be Blessed! The Lightkeeper

By the way: Isn’t this a FABULOUS painting by Eric Armusik? Visit his website and see what else he’s up to.  Liturgical artist, painter Eric Armusik  http://www.ericarmusik.com

 





CAPTURING THOUGHTS

9 03 2012
Capturing Every Thought

Capturing Every Thought

“Demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  II Cor. 10:5 NIV 

So okay… Most of us admit we fall down a lot when it comes to  actually applying the above referenced Scripture, right?  What’s that? Did I see some raised eyebrows back there among you? Well, here’s another question: How well have the last 70 days been since making that New Year’s Resolution? How is Lent going? Umhmm, thought so (me too).

Be sure to read the entirety of the second letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth. His letter taught us about putting on the armour of God. Verse 5 describes what that armour empowers us to “DO” if we use it. Keep in mind that the armour isn’t againstfolks out there,” but it is to protect the Believer (us) from satan getting his hooks into us: body, soul and spirit.

We can be just like Garfield’s friend, Little Odie – out there bouncing-back and going after his goal. As Believer’s in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have the advantage of being able to always seek Him through His Word so that we can train ourselves to: Think like God thinks; speak like God speaks, and do what God does.

Alright, I could hear you cheering until you got to that last one: Do what God does.” We know it’s true, but we (gulp) agree and then rarely take Him at His word; like when He said:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12 NIV

Just a small side note: Notice Jesus says “anyone?” That pretty much includes YOU and me; not just Apostles or ancient folks in ancient times. Similarly, Jesus said, ‘whoever’ or ‘whosoever’ ~ depending on your Bible translation. It’s an all-inclusive pronoun. However, let’s also note that it is dependent upon some action on our part… Faith.

Sometimes it can feel lonely as we walk this ‘narrow way’, but Jesus is with us every step of the way.  Know this too, that somewhere out there I’m jumping like Odie, after my own life-butterflies… Capturing thoughts and imaginations and every high thing that would (try) to exalt itself in my mind and heart against the knowledge ~ against what is sure enough known to be true ~ in the Word of God.

Let’s say it together… Let’s get in one of those holy huddles like they do during the NFL Championship games… Let’s all put our hearts and hands together saying:

“… I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME !”                     Phil. 4:13 NIV

Now let’s get out there with our own butterfly nets and start capturing those negative thoughts, imaginations and everything the enemy of our soul throws our way in his desire to make the Word of God a lie in order to defeat our faith.

TN Lighthouse Ministries is praying for you, and  there are folks connected with this Ministry from all over the world praying for you… India, Greece, Japan, El Salvador, all over the United States of America, Canada, Africa, Brazil… the list goes on and on…

Let us lift each other in prayer as we lift up the name of the only One who died for us and lives forever; making intercession for us all: JESUS, our Lord and Savior.

To Him be Glory forever~ Amen!       Be Blessed, The Lightkeeper 





Five Smooth Stones

30 01 2012

Five Smooth Stones

Prayer, Love, Courage, Humility and Effort. These are the five smooth stones Believer’s in Christ Jesus must hold ready to defeat the giants in their life today.The account of David the shepherd boy defeating the giant Goliath with a stone and a slingshot is legendary. You can read all about it in I Samuel 17: 1-58.

Why did David need five stones? Goliath had four other brothers! Why ‘smooth’ stones? Those stones came from the brook called Kedron. They had been smoothed by the water flowing over them for many years.

Today, we need smooth stones to defeat the giants in our lifetime. Those stones are found in the word of God; polished smooth in our hand as weapon to defeat the enemy of our soul on a day-to-day basis. The victory was in David’s confession of faith to what God could do through him. That’s the same confident confession we can claim today. Read about David and Goliath again and let the word of God polish your stones. Be Blessed




FEAR NOT – Part 2 of 2

12 01 2012

Fear Not ~ The Standard of Christians & Martyrs

  “Faith and fear are equal in their dimension: both demand fulfillment.” (See Part I-“Fear Not”)

Let’s begin by momentarily suspending the subjectivity of ‘good and bad’ and flow within a different level:

When we accept and speak thoughts and words; we are in creation-mode just like our Heavenly Father. When we speak Faith-filled words, the power of God given to humankind goes into effect to fulfill those words, since we are made ‘in His image’.

Conversely, fear-filled words of faith are a catalyst for creative power also.  However, it is the power of Satan (the ruler of this world-system) who responds to fulfill fear-based desires. In fact, it is his legal right to do so and Satan is the father of Legalism as well as being the Father of Lies. John 844  The book of Hebrews 11:1 (again) tells us that, “Now faith is” Is what? The substance of things… The dictionary 4 definitions of ‘substance’ as follows:

Faith creates:

SUBSTANCE:
1.That of which a thing consists; physical matter or material: form and substance.
2.A species of matter of definite chemical composition: a chalky substance
3.The subject matter of thought, discourse, study, etc.
4.The actual matter of a thing, as opposed to the appearance or shadow; reality.

So then, faith creates thoughts (subject of direct focus);  thoughts create desire (the focus ofgoals, imagined outcomes, completed expectations); desire ignites action (speaking and doing) and these actions bring results. Note that the subjectivity of ‘good and bad’ is not mentioned here. What we must realize is that creating ‘good or bad’ is left up to the individual through the intentions of our heart. God recuses Himself from interfering with our man-made decisions unless we specifically invite Him into our lives through prayer, repentance and submission.

The Word of God is in the earth. It is eternal (unchanging). We either live in cooperation with His word or we choose to live in opposition to His word. If we do not know His word; the Holy Spirit draws us to God through “A measure of faith given to everyone “; Romans 12:3

In the book of Job (the longest book of the Bible), we see early on in chapter 1, verse 5, that Job had “fearful faith.” When we arrive at chapter 3, verse 25, Job says: “for the thing I greatly feared has come upon me and what I dreaded has happened to me.” It then takes Job 39 more chapters before he ‘knows deep down,’ saying, “…I know that ‘You’ can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of ‘Yours’ can be restrained or thwarted.” Job 42:1 Amplified.  Considering Job’s 39 chapters of misery and questionings; this statement is a perfect example of repentance and (‘deep down knowing’—see part I) most of all, fearless faith in God Almighty.

We can be held captive by fear for years, but that has never been the plan of the Lord for our lives. Let’s see what the Lord says to us about our future: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

How many of us have known about the cause of certain diseases and illnesses, but refuse to start doing or stop doing those things that would deprive a foothold for disease? Exercise, rest, drink more water, eat more green vegetables, consume less salt, fats or sugars, etc.

Trust me; I put my rock down long ago since this is written from a Glass House; but “I press toward the mark for the prize of the High calling of God in Christ JesusPhilippians 3:14. We’re simply doing some 2012 Selah (pause and reflect) to make the point that all disease and illness has a root, a cause, a beginning and it is found in rebellion and out-and-out sin; even generationally as “word curses”, i.e., “you’ll never amount to anything; “you people are all alike;” “you have nothing but bad luck,” etc..

Additionally, we can ‘invite’ unclean spirits into our own lives; attracting them by what we “say” about ourselves or what we ‘believe’ (have faith for) about ourselves. Let’s equip ourselves to say what the Lord says about us and think how He thinks about us as we lift Him up in praise for how He is lovingly kind toward us every moment of every day.

But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 15:57

By earnestly submitting our thoughts, words and deeds to our Lord and Savior, who always causes us to triumph, we can be assured that 2012 will be our best year yet… “Fear Not!”

Be Blessed





FEAR NOT – Part 2 of 2

11 01 2012

When we accept and speak thoughts and words; we are in creation-mode just like our Heavenly Father. When we speak Faith-filled words, the power of God given to humankind goes into effect to fulfill those words, since we are made ‘in His image’.  Read the final installment of FEAR NOT – Part 2 of 2. Be Blessed! ~The Light keeper~tnlighthouse.wordpress.com

 








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