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Tidbits and Mindbytes

Small bits of words crammed together to form thoughts, with a taste of opinion.

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Poem-Christian

Elections

Hello all!

Long time no posting! Sorry, life catches up to you when it’s your senior year and you’re graduating as a teacher. Yes, I have a wonderful job teaching kindergarten in a rural school. Primarily Spanish-speaking children, but there is also a dual-language school within my school district that also meets the needs of dominantly Spanish speaking children. It’s a been an adjustment going from West Coast Washington, to Eastern Washington but God has his plans, and above all he orders the World in which we live.

This brings me to the elections. Yes, they have finally ended. Yes, Trump is in the White House. But, as Christians, does this really matter in terms of ‘who’s in control?’ If you are finding yourself answering yes to this question, then we  should talk more. Because in all honesty, that means your faith is not growing. You have begun to live in a Worldly bliss of what self-indulgence, negligence to your relationship with God which allows for you to worry that Trump is President. Nervous, sure. Change is always unsettling. Excited. Absolutely, because it’s a new beginning. But worry? Worry is a sign that you aren’t letting God be Sovereign.

I have found a new Church, one where I find myself being able to talk relatively deep on topics like politics. I have found that peace comes from knowing that Presidents are ruled by the Soverign God, even when it doesn’t seem to be. I had the delightful time of talking with one of the ladies in the church on Sunday. We had just finished praying and I found myself at even more peace than before we prayed. I was trying to talk to her about having that confidence, and it was great to hear a voice much like my own in the fact that God is in control.

Read all of Daniel 4 because it is worth a good read to remind yourself who truly is in control. But I am excerpting from Daniel 4: 28-37(NIV), which is the end of the chapter.

All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar.  Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”  Even as the words were on his lips, a voice came from heaven, “This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken from you.  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like the ox. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes.”  Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. 

At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High;I honored and glorified him who lives forever.

His dominion is an eternal dominion;
    his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
 All the peoples of the earth
    are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
    with the powers of heaven
    and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
    or say to him: “What have you done?”

At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Let’s put this in perspective. Nebuchadnezzar was not a great and awesome ruler. He was horribly corrupt, he was willfully destroying the Israelite people, and he was an enslaving master. He worshiped false gods, and he worshiped himself as god, but he was also great at building cities, master minding world affairs, and negotiating. He was plagued by what he thought were nightmares, and he often summoned people to help interpret his dreams. Daniel, was one such person and because Daniel sought the Lord Almighty as Sovereign, he often was called upon for the accuracy and finality of his interpretations. In short, Daniel had knowledge beyond that of the mere men masquerading as having a gift of foresight, discernment or even interpretation. Daniel also had a deep relationship with the Creator of the Universe. It did not allow for him to quake, it gave him peace and security.  Compared to the shaky earthly king, Daniel had nothing to fear for God is sovereign, even over the most cruel of rulers. The vile king had another such dream, and Daniel had revealed the meaning. At verse 28, we see the actual action of the dream take place: Nebuchadnezzar fulfilled his own curse. He was brought down to insanity, driven into the wilderness to roam the lands until he acknowledged the true authority of God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. He was made mad by his own ego, and self-aggrandizement. God brought him to his knees. God dealt severe penalty to the cruel king. God reclaimed the honor, and the title, and the worship for himself.  We don’t know what happened to the kingdom, maybe they experience a time of peace and refreshing. Maybe they were partying it up, and celebrating…all we know is that God dealt swiftly according to his promise and humbled Nebuchadnezzar before all people. This meant that ultimately, God is and was in control.

So, how does this apply today? Because no matter who the President is, the real power is not found in the office of the President but in the Sovereignty of God. He has who needs to be in office there, and he has ordered the world as we know it again. Once you come to realize that the true power is not the person in the political seat, but the God of the Universe over everything, you will find peace in your soul, hope for a future, and understand that He works out all this according to his will for our good. God, the Sovereign lord of the all, the one true God, is not afraid of any person on this Earth. He will bend people to his will if he decides it’s necessary, he will break people like the ocean breaks on the shore…

Do you still feel worried? This is my challenge to you: Find out how big your God is. Is he a tiny, boxed in God that you just call on as needed, or is his truly the ruler of the universe, the Sustainer of all that is right, and your everlasting father? Do you have your relationship with God squared up and away? Are there really big leaky holes in your walk that make you lose your Spirit and fill up with the World? How often are you talking to God? What is your prayer lifelike? These are the things we have to understand before we can truly address the issue of “who’s in charge” really. Once you have the right perspective, than you can see clearly that no matter the elected official, God has not changed. He is the ultimate, sovereign, unsurprised, unchangeable, center of all our Christian walks. He is the true source and the one who makes the rain fall on the saved and unsaved a like. He is concerned with our needs, but already knows the beginning and the end. There is nothing that catches God off guard. Not even Donald Trump winning the election. If necessary, God will do like he did with Nebuchadnezzar…

Read Daniel 4. Take heart. This too shall pass.

 

Nah, y’all got this. You know you don’t need to worry right?

dan4-neb-field

Caption: This beautiful image represent the humbling of Nebuchadnezzar. Think of the most richly adnored king, going to this state. That, is how awesome and powerful our God is.

 

 

 

Uneducated Praise and Worship (a work in progress)

Uneducated Praise and Worship: Why it may be better for the Church.

Nowadays, many of the Churches across this nation seek out praise and worship leaders with bachelors in music/liberal arts. However, as they have sought out this prize, they have also lost the passion and conviction that has come with true praise and worship. In the Bible, we do not see the college educated leading worship, we do not see the great psalmist David having a master’s degree but a sheep farmer by birth, nor was John the Beloved more than a mere fisherman. Most of the men of the Bible, that led, were given their talents by God and in turn gave them back to Him. This does not mean they were not educated, they were not professionals. They were not looking for their degrees, and not hired based upon them. They were all educated to what may be middle school or high school education. Most of them had apprenticeships, and other forms job training, and only the Priests and the family of Levi had specific training in the “worship” of God—as was done through Levitical texts. Thus, when David, the Psalmist and King, was writing his music for God, he was not looking at his pedigree, but looking at God for who God was. He was actually focusing solely on God alone.

Thus, a true worshipper does not think of themselves at all. Their true heart is to praise God with all their heart and soul. Yet, too many churches are leading by performance which focuses on the pedigree and talents of the ‘worship’ leader. They have to fit a certain style, and look sleek, there must be fog machines and other concert material. They also must have their BA, and even a Master’s if they want to get the big bucks, and most of them are paid…turning worship into a job. However, this is the outward symptom of an even larger issue within the heart of the Church.

Have we turned Christianity in a profession? Professional pastors, professional worshippers, professional janitors? Where is the confessional, and imperfect, and the outcast? Have we ever considered that we have taken our faith and focused on ourselves instead of God? In all reality, we have lost touch with what it means to be Christian. Christ is the reason, and Christ is the only reason we should ever bear the garments of Christianity. All other reasons, make your faith shallow or invalid. If it is not Christ alone, then it is not Christianity. It’s true, most people don’t even read their Bibles because they get their feel good injections of Gospel on Sunday. The Gospel Innoculation, is what I have heard it called among my Bible professors and I have watched the changes in the way we approach God. We have become so us focused, that we have no shame, nor guilt, no fear or awe when we approach the Almighty. We just barge into His throne room, and make demands of Him like He owes us something. And since our focus has been us, is it right to call us Christian anymore at that pace? The Church in America has absorbed too much of the culture, and not enough God and Christ to really be of use. There are too many self proclaimed, overly educated, unSpirit-filled, narcissistic people who have taken over worship (and other leadership positions) to lead the people not to God, but to themselves where they build up their own little kingdoms. And this is why the Church is all wrapped up in the humanity of it all, instead of focusing on God’s will and commands, and She avoids it as much as possible.

CS Lewis once wrote, “IF we aim for Earth, we never succeed. But if we aim for Heaven, Earth will be swept up in the flow of love from the Father down to Us, and our love back to the Father.” Since the Church is so focused on “fixing Earth” instead of “glorifying God” we have lost our perspective, and indeed have even become the Lukewarm Church.

Revelation 3:14-22

14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. 15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ ” [1]

Revelation speaks about this Lukewarm Church, and what we are to do in order for us to be redeemed. Can the American Church do it though? Can she toss aside her desires for the materialistic, and power, and prestige that comes with being ‘known’? Are we truly able to repent, and willingly repent? Can we bend our knees and pay homage to the Almighty Creator in whom all life is truly found? Can we put God back on the throne in more than just pitable words? Can we cling to the Cross, and find our first love again returning to what it means to be a true Christian? I see many people call for a Revival, but until the Church recognizes her faults, her sins, and her persistent lack of true worship…There will be NO revival until she does this and comes to her knees in more than haughty worship that they did in the synagogues at the time of Christ. She the Church, has been tarnishing herself by accepting sin, and turning a blind eye to it.

No, legalism is not the solution, as it drives people from the Gospel, but there is a deep need for correction and counterbalance. We need to quit focusing so much on ‘saving Earth’ but worshipping God. We need to lose our desire for power, and look for our God as our Source. We need to return to being lover of Christ, instead of coveters of Gold. Honestly, I do believe looking that the face of the Church today, we deserve a lot of the harsh criticisms that we receive from the public, about hate speech and not being true to ourselves. It is in fact a point that we need to examine as the Body of Christ in America. Are we actually being Christlike? Once we have come to terms with the absolute lack of Christ in us, then maybe we can begin the process of returning to worship that is true to the heart, and of the heart that wants to be closer to God rather than closer to our own little kingdoms. We need to stop seeking only those with titles, degrees, and sleek appearances to lead us into worship and to feed us as a flock.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Re 3:14–22). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Sleepless

Sometimes, my mind turns on and a million questions flood and keep going.
Sometimes a loud noise or sudden sound will awaken me from deep sleep and then my mind wanders and goes down the infinite bunny holes it can create.
And then…there are the times I fall asleep slowly and just don’t really sleep and a quiet noise pulls me out it and I stare blankly at the ceiling wondering about too much and not enough to make my mind go silent.

No, I don’t have insomnia. I just lose sleep once in a while…
And tonight is one of those nights…
It happens.
But now I have to try to get sleep before the dawn breaks and I don’t know if my mind will cease for a bit….
Too many questions run amok in my brain and the person I want to ask them all to doesn’t even know I exist or  ignores the fact I do…like I am some ghost.
It makes me ask more questions.
Deep questions emotional questions things that I don’t have answers to.

Sleepless I am tonight…

image

There are moments that can be suprising like beautiful flowers and bees being strange…

Leap

This is a small poem, currently I am faced with a lot of challenges in my life and this has just sprung from it all. Hope you enjoy this new poem: Leap


There are times I wonder,

Something doesn’t feel quite right,

Maybe I will just flounder,

Or something out of might…

Drifting aimlessly across the sky,

Dialing in old lullabies,

Alien among the sheep,

Maybe I’ll take that leap.

Slowly the mind wander,

Bunny trails and fingers nails

Lead me to ponder

Will he ever read those mails?

Sadly, and definitely I’ll never know,

Only through the show,

Yet here I write, and pen goes on,

Till the break of dawn.

Drifting aimlessly across the sky,

Dialing in old lullabies,

Alien among the sheep,

Maybe I’ll take that leap.

That leap of faith and trust,

Where I’ll find myself strong

Courageous, and embolden much,

Waiting till the night turns to dawn again

Dreams



Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

This is the plane where I escape,
Drifting among the stars and seeing the earth from afar.
Space is clear, and bright, the moon gleaming.
There you are, alone and vacant in the sky.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

The jungle encloses around you,
Echoes of the past screech at your heels.
Deep sense of fear seeps like the raindrops from the season,
Torrents of water stream from the leave above.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

The waters are rising around you,
The flash flood is overcoming,
Desperation seeks it’s hope,
Where the land meets the water there is someone…

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

The air feels cool and damp against your face,
Ice falls from the sky,
Gentle moments recall memories,
Moments that are not long gone.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

Darkness drowns the rest out,
A deep dark void,
A light that never ends,
Shines just for you.

Are you running, are you chasing?
Do you see the moments where we meet?

You awaken, you look, you see…
Do you remember me?
©RJD 10/12/2012

Two New Poems

I come, weary. 
 

Simply I walk oblivious to the space,
Drowning in this consciousness,
Beating the soul to shards,
While wasting in wailing,
The depths of despair are wrought,
The breaking of the heart is heard.
More painful than anything else,
Many different emotions let loose,
A rushing torrent cascades from the soul,
Longing, desire, fear, shame, pain,
Love hope dreams and strange joy and peace.
Feelings that express the myriad,
The seas of uneasiness in the heart.
Sanity seems to at last return
Or what seems to be sanity
But there was always this glimmer,
A light a far that always brought hope.
So, back to the toil I go.
Hope my source of energy.
©RJD 10/4/2012

“Walking Away”

I need to walk away for a little while…
I see the need and desire but I don’t want to be there.
A place that is unsafe and it scares me.

Yes…I need to walk away for a little while.
I’ll see you soon enough…
But for now…I need to be still among the trees.
There I normally find comfort…
But the trees even taunt me.
There I usually feel the breeze but it haunts.

Where will I walk without these thoughts?
Where can I be settled again?
Calm my heart, my mind, and soul…
©RJD 10/2/2012

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