Thursday, October 26, 2006

Renewable Assets?

Here we are in a war. Our greatest asset is being assaulted by an implacable enemy. And the prime question is “how do we repair the damage to this asset?” Or …

How do we heal, renew and give life to our hearts?

I think we need to realize that, in the same way we are given freedom to choose allegiance with God, we are given other freedoms as well. Freedom to:

  • Participate in the war.
  • Participate in the love relationship.
  • Take healing, renewing action.

There seem to be things God does of His own volition. And there are things we do of our volitions. And there seems to be things we do in cooperation. Perhaps we begin alone and then join in a cooperative effort. But freedom brings us to a place where we need to take action.

So, how do we heal, renew and give life to our hearts?

Monday, October 23, 2006

We are in a war

Man lives from his heart. So, God wants to strengthen and renew it. The enemy wants to crush it. In the spiritual war, man’s heart becomes a very important strategic focal point.

If God’s family is God’s attracting force, some should be able to judge the heart of God’s family by evaluating how attractive it is. That is, are people motivated in becoming part of God’s family?

In some parts of the world, God’s family seems to be exploding. In the West, it sometimes seems to be imploding.

Some people who study these types of trends indicate that God’s family has remained static for several decades. Some indicate that God’s family is losing ground. And some indicate that it is shifting. That is, there are new and difficult to measure types of family. So, if progress is being made, it is through a visible, but basically underground movement. Otherwise it seems that the hearts of God’s children has been damaged and they are not healing.

We need to remember that it is an enemy who waging war on God’s family. The battleground is the heart. The objective is to infuse renewal and life into the hearts of God’s children.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Heart

Imagine that you are the enemy. You have undertaken to stop, as much as you can, any movement toward God. You want it as simple as possible. You want as much bang for the buck as possible. Just as God renews the heart, the enemy can halt renewal by attacking the heart, using the inside-out law to his advantage.

Given that God’s family is his attracting force and people live from their hearts, then the enemy could attack the heart and remove any attraction God’s family may have.

  • God built the bridge between man and Himself. This issue of man’s rebellion had been dealt with. God still deals with moral failure. It still has the capacity to disrupt the love relationship. But now it cannot cancel the love relationship. Man needs to deal with the failure and repair the relationship. If the enemy can get God’s family to become pre-occupied with their failures, they lose their compelling nature. Guilt is not attractive. It ruins peace. Destroys joy and confidence. And self-preoccupation and love are just mutually exclusive.
  • Man’s rebellion created alienation between all men. God put in man’s heart the need for true relationship. Since, God’s family is a picture of what true relationship should be, the enemy can attack the relationships within the family.
God intends love to be the bright, neon lights of His family. The enemy stresses areas that show a lack of love. He has convinced family members to hold onto slights, and minor distinctions. He convinced them to focus all attention among themselves. So, failure to uphold the standards the family proclaims weakens the attractive power.

God intends His family to be a lighthouse, showing the correct ways to travel. The enemy stresses the problems, the drawbacks, and the dangers of being highly visible and fully engaged with those outside the family. So, God’s family tends to circle the wagons. And they perform family business in ways that make it very difficult to connect with outsiders. Simple lack of engagement robs those unaligned with God any light to see that allegiance with God is a viable option.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How God uses people

Before I get too far down the road, I should mention that this thinking process began after reading Waking the Dead by John Eckeard. I want to give credit where credit is due, but I don’t I am going to be able to clearly delineate where idea ends and another begins. So, if you want to give John credit for this whole mess, feel free.


God is trying to captivate people who have no allegiance to Him by drawing them with those who do. He creates interest by:

  • Blessing them. That is, He does good in their lives. This could include miracles, healing, provision and guidance.
  • Renewing them. That is, changing their hearts so they live closer to the original way God intended.

This renewal is by healing and recreating their hearts. God puts renewed life in their hearts, and them by the law of inside-out, man acts in a renewed way.

So, the enemy’s main threat is God’s family, living in renewed ways within themselves, with others in the family, and with people outside of the family.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Heart of Man

I am now getting to the point where I am beginning to cover new territory. Up to this point, I am merely getting everyone on the same page. (Basically, that means I’m getting on the same page with myself.)

To paraphrase Stephen Covey, anything man does is always created twice. It is created in his inner being; and it is created in the world as words or actions. This is the way man works — from the inside out.

Those who follow God often describe the innermost being as the heart. This is the term I am going to use. So, all of man’s life, all that takes place in the world originates in man’s heart.

When man chooses allegiance to God, God places part of His essence in man’s heart. It is in man’s heart that the love relationship takes place. It is in the heart that God initiates change. It is there that God gives help, support and renewal. It is all the things that give his family its extraordinary and compelling nature. One could say that after Jesus’ work, man’s heart becomes the focal point of God’s purpose.

Because man lives from his heart, to affect change at the heart level means the change will ripple out through the man’s life. Because man lives from his heart, empowering man’s heart is planting the seed of the Kingdom. Because man live from his heart, it is the main target of the enemy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Building Blocks 4: The Enemy's Strategy

Of course, the enemy has a strategy too. And it’s pretty simple. Counteract God’s strategy. Try to keep people connected to the world system and separate from God.

The enemy tries to insulate people from moral failure. Popularize various types of relativism. And if anyone is confronted with moral failure, provide all sorts of excuses.

Encourage a focus on mediocre living. Promote excitement or entertainment. Introduce a flurry of ideas that promise peace, meaning and fulfillment. Above all, distract them from God’s solution.

If God wants to draw people’s attention to the extraordinary lives of his family, then crush God’s family. Throw every sort of temptation, trap and obstacle in their way. When they do stumble, wave that failure like a banner. Use sirens and klieg lights. Never let them forget it.

If they should demonstrate authentic living, stress any departure from that life. For example, God wants his people to show peace. Underline and highlight any instance of anxiety.

If God’s family should live in love and unity, stress any and all distinctions. Stress the most insignificant differences. Promote friction and grudge holding.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Building Block 3 : God's Strategy IV

Negative influence seeks a separation from the world system. Positive influence seeks a connection with the God-system. Up to now, I have not discussed any of the mechanisms involved with these influences. With positive influences, we cannot ignore the mechanisms, because they are essential to the strategy.

God uses positive influences to motivate people to desire a relationship with Him. So, He has chosen to display His relationship with his family. People who choose an allegiance with God are described in a number of ways. Family is one of them.

He uses his family as the attracting force. He uses individual lives and spiritual communities to draw vivid comparisons to what he intended life to be like and what it is like.

He blesses his family to show his commitment to them. He helps them live in integrity with His life governing principles. He helps them walk authentically in whole, life-giving ways. He puts these people into spiritual communities so his main principles — love and unity — can be visibly carried out.

While these individuals and communities are not perfect, they are growing and living in ways that are visible and compelling. These demonstrated lifestyles should attract and motivate others to seek whatever it is that enables these people to live this way.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Building Blocks 3: God's Strategy III

God applies a negative influence to separate people from their attachment to the world system. He wants to reveal any ideas, values, attitudes or perspectives that hold people back from allegiance with Him.

There seems to be two main ways that God uses. God confronts people with their moral failure. And He accentuates the existential dissonance between the ideals people seek and the reality they live.

The goal is the same in both. To get man to wake up to the fact that there is something wrong with life. And with their life in particular.

Each way applies a different type of pressure. In the first, everyone understands that there is a right and a wrong. If they try to live morally and become aware that their choices embrace the wrong too often, they may seek a solution that only God can provide. The way that Jesus provided. And that way requires a change of allegiance.

In the second, we need to realize that God has made man to live a fulfilled life. Songs, stories and commercials all show man is looking for that fulfilled life, but does not seem to find it. That's because man was designed to live in a love relationship with God, and any attempt to find fulfillment that does not include this relationship is doomed to failure. So, God uses life experiences to draw attention to the dissonance man feel in his longings for fulfillment and the reality he lives. Man will seek to bring harmony to his internal dissonance. So, he will be drawn back to allegiance with God, and the life he is meant to live.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Building Block 3: God's Strategy II

We see that God has provided a way for man to restore a relationship with Him. Because He intends it to be a love relationship, He gives man freedom to accept restoration, or to reject it.
Because it would negate the type of relationship He seeks to establish, God has ruled out some sort of force in the restoration process. So, he must promote in people, some sort of internal motivation for change. Man must come to believe/feel/consider his current situation with regards to God/the world/people to be intolerable, or at least inferior, to what his circumstances would be like if a change was made. Moreover, the change they need to make is a change of allegiance from “whatever” to the Father of All.
So, God seeks to create dissatisfaction with the status quo. Then, He must generate an attraction to a life lived in relationship with God.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Building Block 3 : God's Strategy I

God’s strategy falls into two parts. The first part deals with satisfying God’s holiness. Holiness is a large integral part of God’s nature. If God ceases to be holy, he ceases to be God.

Holiness is an uncompromising separation and resistance to sin. When man rebelled, he broke his allegiance with God, and now they were separated. Because of his holy nature, God could not have a relationship with man, which was part of God’s purpose for creating man. Man had broken the possibility for experiencing a love relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Now, God looked for a way to overcome this separation and renew the relationship with man, without compromising his holiness.

God’s law of justice meant that man needed to satisfy God’s requirement. He was the rebellious one. But, man broke a relationship he was not big enough to fix. Only God was big enough. So, God became a man. And God became the sacrifice that satisfied God’s holiness.

Now, there was a bridge between God and man. There was now a possibility of renewing the relationship between God and mankind. Crossing the bridge meant man going to God, restoring the original relationship – Creator and created, King and subject, Father and son.

Since, each person was given the opportunity to cross this bridge, and the freedom to choose to cross or not, the second part of the strategy must deal with showing people that crossing the bridge was worthwhile, advantageous and the right decision to make.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Building Block 2 : The Enemy's Purpose

Of course, there is one small problem. The enemy is still around, and he has a plan of his own. Simply put, his plan is to mess up God’s plan. He wants to perpetuate the “fallout”. He wants it to become worse. His purpose is simply, "if I can't get what I want, my way, I am going to make sure nobody else can either."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Building Block 1 : God's Purpose

I have started thinking about something recently. I intend to begin exploring it here. I think to understand it correctly I need to begin with some basic stuff. I need to clear away the brush so I can see what’s going on more clearly. So, the next couple of posts will be this basic stuff. (Like there is a million people out there reading any of this already.)

Once upon a time, God created the world. It was a perfect paradise. No sickness. No pain. No lack. And God put people in the world. He intended to have a love relationship with them.

Then, an enemy crept in. He deceived the inhabitants of the world and convinced them to disobey God.

There has been a lot of fallout from this one act. Because people rebelled:

  • The relationship between God and man is destroyed.
  • Man is condemned for his part.
  • Disobedience seems to get locked into man’s DNA.
  • Man fell into an unintentional agreement with the enemy, giving him a hold over them.
  • The enemy becomes the de facto ruler of the world.
  • Man is alienated from God, other men, himself and nature.
  • All the problems in the world result from the ever-growing ripple effects of this deed.

God’s creation has been warped to its core. And God thinks that it is wrong for the world to be this way. So, He begins executing a plan that will restore the world to the way He created it to be, reverse all the “fallout” and bring it back as part of His kingdom.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


It won't take too long to figure out that I am a follower of Jesus. I am somewhat eccentric about it. I feel that no matter what circle of christians I am involved with I have an oblique perspective to their view of life, God, spirituality, etc. I have been unable to label myself as to what type of christian I am for about 10 years now.

I am not too sure I even like the word "christian" anymore. In the first century, I get the feeling that the word was originally used as an insult. As it was used more, it became more accepted. Now however, in a large part of the world, the word conjures up an image of a way of life, that I don't think Jesus would be pleased with. It doesn't mean that everyone lives that life. There are many wonderful people who call themselves christian. But a lot of people view christians badly, because some people who call themselves christian live in a less than love, gracious, Jesus pleasing way.

First Post

I gave the blog this particular title, because I feel that it describes life. We spend a lot of time in the dark. Finally, a shaft of light appears on the horizon. And, as the sun comes up, it gets brighter and brighter until the full day. Life is constant learning. We never graduate from school. At least, we shouldn't.

I created the blog, so that I could have a place to write down what I am learning. About God, people, realationships, change, prayer, community, growth. You could call it a diary or a journal, but I don't intend to review my day. If I am the only one who reads what is written here, that's ok. Just the fact of writing something down makes it more real. Psychologists talk about using more centers of the brain (reading, speaking, writing, listening) carving an idea deeper into a person's brain. I know that the simple fact of putting "words to paper" has the effect of making it clearer to me anyway.

Hopefully, I will learn more from it. Which is the point. And hopefully, I won't be so totally serious. That's another part of life.