…THE PHILOSOPHY OF SNOW….

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This is a snowflake….DUH…. 😀

You know, a LOT can be learned from a snowflake….it’s true!

Take this one, for example… see how delicate, how fragile, how BEAUTIFUL it truly is…?

Well…let me rant, and by the end of the rant you will be able to see it in a whole new light…

We never think on snowflakes much, do we…? Well…each one is formed through very specific sets of temperature, and atmospheric conditions. Certain elements have to be present to make a humble snowflake…the right conditions, temperature, air quality, moisture density….yep…a LOT of creation went into this simple thing.

And yet…. look closely at it..how delicate..how fragile…how unique it is from the other ones…

See how it lay there atop the other snowflakes? See how it presents itself without getting ‘lost in the crowd’ but enhancing the beauty of the others around it? See how it does the other snowflakes no harm, yet strengthens the community of other snowflakes?

When a snowflake is formed, it takes on a singular, and distinctive shape all it’s own.

There can be TRILLIONS of other snowflakes formed alongside it, and it is UNIQUE in it’s shape and texture.

It falls gently down on the wind, gliding with intent and purpose, and yet does not know it’s final destination.

It knows it WILL land SOMEWHERE, yet it does not give notice to the things around it. I mean, it could land in water, and be melted instantly, or it could be destined to fall on top of a very tall building, where it could be the ONLY one to land in that location.

It glides along…serene…calm…peacefully…until it settles and serves it’s purpose of it’s creation.

Now, some may say “Yeah, but snow is just snow”…WRONG!!!

Snow serves it’s purpose to replenish the water of the earth..to give LIFE to this planet….I mean, where would we all be if there was no water?!?!?

This small and seemingly ineffectual snowflake could be the beginning of a lake…or a stream…or a flood.

It ENHANCES the other snowflakes around it…it supports them, and is supported BY them until such time as they deem it needed to be useful to even MORE snowflakes and create (or destroy) what is around it.

This snowflake could be the one that creates an avalanche somewhere high atop a mountain and sends a ton of OTHER snowflakes cascading down to a parched and barren plain that is in dire need of water to sustain life.

It could destroy a city, or cause the grow of a forest…it could collapse a building, or be built into a house for some poor person trapped in the cold…keeping them alive until rescue comes..insulating them against the cold and making it’s purpose useful.

Consider this: YOU are just like this snowflake.

Oh yes…don’t shake your head just yet…wait for it….wait for it….

You are UNIQUE like this snowflake…yet there are BILLIONS of other ‘snowflake people’ just like you on this hunk of floating rock.

YOU could be the catalyst that causes a FLOOD of social change, or you could be the one snowflake out there who quenches the thirst of a parched soul.

YOU have the power to be unique and useful, just like this snowflake.

And let’s not forget the BEAUTY of this simple structure…you too are delicate, fragile, and easily broken…but given the right catalyst, you could be the barrier that stops society in it’s tracks! (Need I remind you of the Donner Party?…no…didn’t think so..)

You can create, or destroy…and yet, UNLIKE the snowflake, YOU are in control of your actions.

Every time you get angry at others around you…every time you lash out about something silly…every time you rage at someone, you are breaking down their beauty..THEIR soul.

You are meant to ENHANCE those around you, SUPPORT those around you, MAKE THEM see the beauty of themselves, just as God has made YOU beautiful so too are THEY.

While some may dispute my theory, I would like to think that one snowflake CAN make a difference…even if it lands somewhere it does not want to be, it can STILL do it’s part.

Ever just stand there and WATCH snow fall? The feeling of calm…serenity….peace?

It does not rage about social issues…it does not take sides in politics…it does not decry others around it for not adhering to a “set” purpose or goal…it merely floats it’s way to where ALL THE OTHER snowflakes will eventually go…and in the spring, when all is said and done, it melts away and becomes so valuable that people around that area will say (when the heat is all around them, and life seems bleak) “Man…I miss the snow”.

So too it is YOUR job to give those same emotions to all around you. To be be the ONE SNOWFLAKE that guides the others around you to acceptance of their lives, their beauty, and their purpose.

Not everyone appreciates snow, yet everyone seems happy when the first snowfall of the year occurs…I know…weird, right?!?!?

Realise your own unique pattern, your own unique purpose, and ENHANCE those around you with your peace and serenity, and I can promise you you will UNDERSTAND what I mean…and if someone asks you when a situation of social or political anger occurs, and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon shouting and screaming at each other: “Why are you always so peaceful? Why are you not all angry at this situation?” you can reply with a calm voice:

“Because…I’m a snowflake”…

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…CONCERNING WORRY…

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I see a LOT of people worried about life…about jobs…relationships… you know…LIFE.

This is just a little bit to remind you of the importance of FAITH IN GOD.

Now, some people seem to forget that God already knows EVERYTHING happening in your life right now. This is one of the BEST reasons to simply let life happen!

EVERYTHING is ‘Part of God’s Plan’..yep…even the bed stuff too. Sometimes the bad stuff is to temper you, like a blacksmith forging a sword, to make you stronger. You CANNOT make a good sword without putting that steel into a VERY hot fire…it just isn’t done.

So..with that in mind, I wanted to remind everyone of the way my Master put it so very long ago…

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.

For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.

And how much more valuable you are than birds!

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life ?

Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

“Consider how the wild flowers grow.

They do not labour or spin.

Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.

For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.

But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:22-32

So…when things get hot remember this: Breathe…Relax…Pray…

You’re going to be just fine!

…TO ANSWER THE QUESTION….

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So…I was asked “What does the Bible say about ‘The End of Times’..?” ..and more recently “Do you think it IS the end of times?”…well…let’s take a look in my Master’s own Words….

“As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,

“Tell us, when will these things happen?

And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you.

Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.

When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed.

Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.

These are the beginning of birth pains.

“You must be on your guard.

You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues.

On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child.

Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out.

Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.

How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!

Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.

“If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive.

But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it.

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

“But in those days, following that distress,  the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door.

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” – Mark 13: 1-31

His Disciples also expounded a bit more about this subject in the following verses…

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Have nothing to do with such people.

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth.

They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.

But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-9

Well…I am not a Theologian…nor am I a Prophet…..nor am I a person who sees shadows where there are none…but even THIS cleric can see that in the last half decade there have certainly been “signs” spoken of coming to fruition…

It is not for the likes of ME to interpret these things, but to simply help those who need the help to get their soul in order, so that if these ARE the ‘beginnings of the birthing pains’ then I know my duty is to do my job the hardest and best way possible.

My advice to ANYONE who asks these things? “Is your soul in order?”…”Would you be ashamed to stand before Him if TODAY were the LAST day?”….think about it, and look to your soul…for I know MINE is not ‘Lily-white’…hence why I will keep working till the very end to help those who need it.

…AN OPEN LETTER TO THOSE OUT THERE…

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Dear:  haters, baiters, militants, miscreants, trolls, ne’er-do-wells, and assorted nasties….

So…you say my praying ‘offends’ you? That somehow me mumbling a simple ‘Pater and Ave’ is somehow an affront to God?

That somehow me, a simple servant, is somehow trying to single-handedly ‘destroy the Church’…?

Oh…you poor deluded fools….let me explain something.

Not a day has gone by in my Ministry that I have NOT been reported, inboxed, or sent a nasty message regarding what I do.

You would figure, if you really stop to think about it, that if these people had NOT done this that somehow by now I would have become burnt out…that I would have given up, packed up my kit, and moved along to greener pastures…That somehow YOU belittling me or mine that I would just say “Oh well, this is SO not worth it”…?  Let me tell you something shocking…. BECAUSE of YOU, by EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU DO attack me, you make me firmly resolved to NOT give in….because, as we both know, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV) …and being a cleric who takes his job VERY seriously, why on Earth would I give into THAT sort of pressure!?!?

Why do you think Catholic’s have so many Saints and Martyrs? Because they did NOT give into lack-brains like you who seem to feel superior by coming at them and trying to chase them off the pitch.

You cuss, and scream, at ME because I pray for those YOU consider ‘unworthy’ or ‘outside of God’s Mercy’….and yet scream LOUDER at the world that ‘everyone is trying to destroy Christianity’….!?!?!

TAKE A SIDE, for the love of Saint Peter, CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER….is it ME trying to, or THEM???

How can you say I AM RESPONSIBLE, yet accuse everyone ELSE of doing it? It is either one, or the other…

Don’t you think that if GOD HIMSELF had a problem with me praying, then HE HIMSELF would say something? (And NO…He would NOT choose someone of narrow mind and loud of mouth to do as much!)

There ARE people out there trying to rid the world of our faith, yes that is true, but not THOSE WHO ARE OF THE FAITH! Get a grip, people!

If you go around criticizing others for doing what GOD HIMSELF has sent them to do, then how can you say WE are the one’s ‘destroying’ it?

Oh….wait…perhaps YOU did not realize something…MEA CULPA…you must have slipped a needle there….here..let me help you remember it now….

GOD DOES NOT NEED YOUR HELP DEFENDING HIMSELF.

“So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.

And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.

Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’” – Acts 17: 23b-28a

You like to say to me that YOU are right in all things pertaining to worship of Him? Well…I think you may want to read this and contemplate it for a minute…

“There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are you to judge your neighbour?” – James 4:12

“But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. “For he who is not against us is for us.” – Mark 9:40

“Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.

There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” – 1 Corinthians 12:3-11

Is it, perhaps, that YOU are having trouble praying for those God told you to pray for? Perhaps it is something in YOU yourself seem to have lost that you are trying so hard to eliminate from others…?

If you believe that by attacking others simply because of their faith, or because they are not doing ‘your faith’ the way YOU want, then it is because YOU are lacking in knowledge OF that faith.

Do you really believe that coming after me, and saying HORRIBLE things about me to others will somehow embarrass me? That I will say “I am not wanted here” and revoke my Ordination as a cleric?

You really need to read Romans 11:29 before you get THAT thought into your head…”For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”.

Why not concentrate your efforts on those who ARE trying to destroy OUR faith? There are MILLIONS out there (and without naming names I think you have a pretty good idea WHOM I speak of) who ARE killing, crucifying, burning, beheading, and torturing those of the Christian faith simply because they want THEIR brand of belief to be the ONLY one in existence.

Do you not realize it is not WHICH God we are worshipping that is the cause of all these problems, but HOW we are worshipping Him that IS?

You cannot stand by and attack YOUR FAITH, simply because someone is not praying, or kneeling, or going to YOUR church the way YOU want.

You have to understand that though there are differences in HOW we are worshipping God, we are worshipping THE SAME GOD.

How arrogant of you to believe YOUR way is the ONLY way….God is not Christian, nor Muslim, nor Jew…GOD IS GOD…if He sends someone to preach, THEY PREACH.

If He sends someone to comfort the grieving, or succour the downtrodden, or uplift the downcast, WHO ARE YOU TO SAY AGAINST WHOM GOD HAS CHOSEN?

Take a lesson from Jesus…my Master…HE told us what to do…HE sent us out there… and He himself said “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no commandment greater than these.”” (Mark 12: 29b-31)

Go…seek harsher climes….seek out those who ARE trying to destroy, and not those who are trying to help gather in…

“And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” – John 10:16

I may not be YOUR Cleric, or YOUR Minister, or YOUR Priest…but I AM HIS SERVANT…and there is nothing, if anything, you can do to dissuade me from doing as He commanded.

And I am pretty sure that if YOUR Cleric, Minister, Pastor, or Priest was aware of what you ARE doing that you would be chastised VERY harshly by them.

Find another pasture, because those who look to me to help them spiritually, emotionally, and mentally would tear you asunder should they see you doing what you do.

I will not quit…at least, not until HE HIMSELF tells me to, or I am before His Throne and He either condemns, or lauds me for my service…

“For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians 5:10

I WILL, however, suggest you go pray…yes..YOU pray (Just as I am praying for YOU as well!)…and ask of God what GOD wants, not what someone says from a lectern or pulpit…READ His Word….and gain understanding….for in the meantime, I have work to do and no time to listen to YOUR version of what you THINK God wants…He already TOLD HIS SERVANTS what He expects from them in HIS WORD.

END OF YEAR REVIEW: 2015

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I just wanted to take a moment to let you all appreciate something… I see many here say “I have no one” during the holidays…yes…they ACTUALLY say that….

 

Let me lay some facts on the table for those who think they are ‘alone’ in my parish:

Did you know the proportion of churches (according to the Church of England Census)  per individuals is now one church to 1,340 people; the size of the average Sunday congregation, however, is 84….we are now 2,301 members in my parish…

Some actually listen to haters and say “But they say it is not a REAL church” and “Animals don’t have souls”….you know the routine…well.. I wish to refute.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:18-20

So…THAT is out of the window….

I am but ONE cleric, and yet I am there for any number of those who come to my simple office for them. I spend whatever amount of time is needed for them, I put no restrictions on ‘schedule’…

So…let me put this in a light you will understand: God works 24/7/365…. I am but human, and therefore must sleep, eat, etc…and yet I am always there when asked for or needed.

This means no matter what time zone you are in…what your home life is (alone, married, or in a committed relationship) and no matter WHAT your social function/malfunction is, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

So…let us put the old theory to the test, shall we?

I have already filled FOUR VOLUMES OF BOOKS with prayers of every sort..deaths, births, sickness, depression, you name it…this means that OBVIOUSLY I am doing SOMETHING for those who come to me..which means YOU have someone you can go to when you need it. ERGO: YOU ARE NEVER ALONE.

The fact that we have a larger parish online than a rather LARGE chunk of other ‘organized’churches have in their pews, and that you have an almost 24 hour a day 7 day a week access to your cleric means that WE ARE NOT ALONE TOGETHER.

Face it…you have a family…one who cares enough to be there for you…is there when you need them to be…and always makes things better rather than worse…

So…the point is: You HAVE a family, ME (and 2300 OTHER family members)…so, why not see the brighter side and realize that even though you may not have friends who live nearby (even though MANY of you found out you DO, because Flat Friar’s journey connected A LOT of people who lived nearby but did not know lived THERE), or family nearby (but ONLINE family) you are NEVER alone unless you need to be.

I care for each and every one of you as if you were the ONLY one here.

So at this, the end of the year, I hereby renew my vows.

To help all who come to me for help.

To comfort those in Grief.

To help those seeking their faith (WHATEVER THEIR FAITH MAY BE) find their faith.

And finally…

To aid those of ANY faith regardless of what faith they are, should they just simply need a friend to talk to or to keep loneliness at bay.

I have the honour  to remain your faithful and loyal cleric, friend, and confidante:

Fra. J.L. Wallace.

 

….CONSIDER THIS….

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…I was recently asked a question…one that really drives to the heart of what people perceive ‘Religion’ as today.

“Why don’t you convert sinners?”

My answer is thus: it does not fall to the likes of ME to ‘convert’ ANYONE.

Let me clarify…

I would challenge ANY person to show me ONE SINGLE SCRIPTURE that says “Convert others”…or “Belittle and degrade them publicly for NOT converting to this or that church”.

The Word of God is NOT some hammer to pound people with, nor to drag them into some church or building and hammer them there with man made laws and ideology…The Word of God is meant to be spoken of, then meditated on, and if the person feels that it speaks truth to their soul, then it is up to THEM to choose how they will go about converting THEMSELVES.

Let me put it this way: Jesus said SPECIFICALLY what He meant according to preaching His words…

“A farmer went out to sow his seed.

As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up.

Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

His disciples asked him what this parable meant.

He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

“ ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.

Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root.

They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” – Luke 8:5-15 (NIV)

We are NOT commanded to pound faith into people…we are meant to speak The Word, and let the seed of it germinate in their hearts.

If they accept what we have spoken, what HE said, then it will blossom into fruit…if not, then we can (as His servants) say “I have done what you commanded Lord, but they did not receive it”…and that is not meant in a BAD way, simply that we as His servants tried and failed to sway them from their addictions of this world.

So…what EXACTLY were we, His servants, commanded to do?

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15 (KJV)

So… this is why I do not ‘convert’ or ‘criticize’ or ‘condemn’ another because of their faith…for we were not told to spread RELIGION, we were told to spread FAITH…to be more precise: THE WORD.

Faith comes from inside a person’s soul.

It is the very voice inside of that person saying “this is the path I have chosen to bring you to God”… so how can someone ELSE’S voice be that?

Oh sure, I can preach His word, but if the person will not listen, or will not decide to choose this path, then who am I to force them to do something that contradicts the very word Jesus said for us to do?

Did He not say: “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’

If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.

Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.

Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,

‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you.

Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’” – Luke 10:5-11

This is how we will know if His Word, by our recitation of it, has taken ‘root’ or will ‘blossom’ in them…for if we, His servants, feel the same passion…the same joy, and fear…that WE do at His Word, then others too will feel it in our very voices, our very souls….and this will sink in and grow within them.

It is by OUR example that other’s will come to know The Word.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.

There is no fear in love.

But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.

The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

We love because he first loved us.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” – 1 John 4:7-21

So…when other people grow angry at me for not ‘converting’ people, I simply say “Peace be with you” for I know that The Word is not really in their hearts…for if it were, then they too would have read and understood that you cannot force anyone to love God.

The Word…the REAL Word..not some pulpit spouted rhetoric…not some screaming-pew-pounding-jump up and down- type of dogmatic speech is not ‘Hellfire’ and ‘Sinner unclean’ or ‘Save everyone’…for everyone CANNOT be saved. That is just fact. So why grow angry that they will not follow YOUR version of The Path? Have they considered that God has OTHER plans for them?

The very word people of this faith defines themselves as is “Christian”…yet few actually follow what Christ, The Founder of this faith, said or meant.

Were not the Samaritans the “ungodly” of the people of His day? And yet, did not Jesus use them in parables to speak of Mercy, Love, and Forgiveness?

So too others who follow a different path are also on HIS path. When someone asks me “What religion are you?” and I say “Christian” they look confused.

They ask “What church?” and I say “No church…I am a Christian”…I do not follow a Church’s laws..I follow GOD’S laws…CHRIST’S laws…for, in effect, is not a Christian SUPPOSED to follow Christ’s laws before some committee of men’s laws?

This is the difference between religion and faith…

Jesus said “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” – Luke 10:16

Have you considered that, although they are NOT of YOUR church, that they ALSO are of His “Flock”?

So consider this when you cannot understand why some do not follow the path you yourself have chosen.

As His servant I simply deliver The Word, hoping it will find root, and praying it will blossom forth….because in the end, it is not ME who must stand before God for THEIR soul…that is in THEIR keeping, and they must do what THEY think is right according to how they feel…but, and I stress this..”But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15

 

…..THERE IS NO EXCUSE…..

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I start this with wanting to wish everyone an open mind, open heart, and in hopes it may call those who read it to action.

This is not my normal sermon, nor one I hoped as a cleric to ever have to write. See, I believed that if I gave out The Word, as I have been commanded to…spoke of peace, love, tolerance, and understanding…hope, joy, and the promises my Master gave…that it would somehow inspire and move people enough to realize what I have been trying to do and say all these years…

Sadly, I see little of what I had hoped for.

See, I look at my feed on facebook and what do I see? Politics…this candidate is wrong, this one is right… hatred of this race, love of this one….recipes for cakes….cartoons (and not that I am against those, you understand…for I too have a wicked sense of humor) but I see THESE types as decrying one thing or another in hopes of swaying someone to believe one set of ideals or another…politics or anger at some social thing.

I had hoped to see “I went to this shelter, and fed this many” or “I saw this person in need, and I helped them”..yes, I have seen one or two like that, and it always stirs me….but winter is coming, you see.

The forecasters have said this will be one of the most brutal winters on record…how it will be severe with snow, cold, and well below zero temperatures…and I think of all those who have nothing, or nowhere to go.

This world has become so jaded, so scared of itself, that good people cannot do anything for fear of being robbed, or attacked, or hated for doing GOOD things.

Take me, for instance.

I have been preaching love, understanding, healing….for 8 years now. Every day I wake up to an inbox filled with hatred of the vilest sort. Anger at who I am..what I do…who I help…and these attackers all go by one name: Christian.

How can that be?

How can they justify attacking someone who is only doing what is right? Doing what Christ TOLD us to do?

“He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – Mark 16:15

I remember an old saying “If God be for us, who can stand against us?” (BTW: they took that from Romans 8:31, just to be clear) …and yet they seldom embody the principles and instructions He gave to us to help one another.

I see governments passing laws making it illegal to be poor or homeless….I see them keeping people so afraid to help ANYONE because of the colour of their skin…or their religion…or where they are from…

Sad really, when you think about it.

We used to pride ourselves on the quality of our hearts, of our generosity…now we measure ourselves by the bank ledger, or goods we own…

I have tried to set the example…I have no money, nor property, yet I give all that I find (be it the pennies others have dropped on the sidewalk, or the extra can of soup in the larder) to any who have naught regardless of their colour, or race, or religion…

…I had hoped this would inspire others to do the same.

My Master set out what He expected of us in a parable…

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.

All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” – Matthew 25:31-45

“But”, you say “The government has made it illegal to help the poor”…..

Who rules your heart?

Who do you put your hope in?

Who promises you life…is it the government? Or God…?

When you appear before God in Judgement, how will you justify your actions? Will you say “It was not convenient at the time”..? THIS WILL NOT DO…you cannot set aside the dictates of God for the laws of man…

Even my Master said “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (Luke 20:25 …yes, pay your taxes…yes, obey the law of the land…but when the law of the land tries to negate the law of God, then you must choose.

Sure, it may mean a jail time, or fine…heck, I myself have been cautioned by the police on several occasions about feeding the homeless….but have I stopped? No.

I am not strictly speaking about MEN…for homeless is not limited to mankind…

I am talking about those animals whom God entrusted us to care for as well.

I see stray dogs, cats…I feed them as well..

And yes, I have been cautioned about THEM as well…

It is NOT convenient for me to be arrested, or locked up for going against their laws….for many here would miss my presence…however, I cannot name ONE SINGLE PERSON who would be angry with me FOR doing what I do.

I cannot see one person rebuking me for following the laws of God rather than the laws of man….

So, if I can do it…what’s stopping YOU?

This winter promises to be bitter…that is fact…so…what can YOU do? I am sure there is at least one or two cans of food that would not go amiss from YOUR larder..there is probably a blanket or clothing that is in your closet that YOU can live without…..

Or, to put it the way my Master said…

“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.

Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.

The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper.

‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”” – Luke 10:26-37

I say to you all…for every one of you who have come to me for aid, solace, or comfort…for spiritual knowledge, or relief from life’s pain….for every one of you who came to me that I have never turned away…for the times I spent leaving my own rest so that I could help you find your’s…for ignoring my own problems so that I could make your’s go away….

“GO, AND DO LIKEWISE”….

…I DARE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU TO ACCEPT!….

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THE ANNUAL ‘FRIAR JEFF CHALLENGE’ IS HERE!!! …so…beginning this week (Friday) I will start buying 2 cans of dog food, 2 cans of cat food, and a bag of bunny kibble (weekly cost: LESS THAN $10!!!) and as the pile grows, I will be posting pictures of this…once it gets the second/third week of December I will be taking this HOARD of food to Mrs. Murray’s Cat and Dog Rescue Shelter…(yes, they also put up bunnies for adoption…S’where we got BILLY!)….so….WHO IS GOING TO JOIN ME IN THIS CHALLENGE???

I believe in being the type of Cleric who LEADS BY EXAMPLE!

My Master said “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.

All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’” – Matthew 25:31-45

I see companions in shelters…rescues….and I see those same establishments STRUGGLING to make ends meet….so… while everyone else will be buying expensive gifts for EACH OTHER, I will be feeding my Master’s “Least of these”…not for praise, for that belongs to my Master….not for MY Glory, but for HIS…not for recognition, for I shun that as everyone knows…

Come on…just $5 in food a week….set it aside…heck, you can even go to the DOLLAR STORE and get a LOAD of goods for pets on that…treats…blankets…food…toys!

If pets are not your thing, then donate to the local HUMAN shelter…canned food, gloves, scarves, hats…ALL of these things can be gotten at the dollar store…and come Christmas, when they sing His praises, YOUR name will be in their hearts as they thank HIM for helping…

Since God is a bit busy with things like gravity, air, and making sure things grow, it is up to US to HELP OUT…come on…BE THE HAND OF GOD and help out either those in need, those in want, or those who cannot speak for themselves!!!

….THE FEAR OF ‘FIGHT OR FLIGHT’….

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…Isn’t faith GREAT?

I know…not the way you would expect a sermon to start, but there it is.

Now then…on to business…*AHEM*….. GOD DOES NOT PLAY DICE WITH YOUR LIFE. Thought I would just clarify things before beginning.

See, most people when they encounter a problem in life IMMEDIATELY blame GOD for the problem…they sigh, look up, exhale deeply and say “Why me?”…want a revelation? GOD IS NOT THE ONE DOING IT…how do I know? Just look at JOB.

WHAT?!?!? NEVER HEARD OF JOB!?!? Here…let me help…(and remember, this is only the FIRST chapter)…

“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job.

This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants.

He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.

His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and made off with them. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” – Job 1

See what he did there? He resisted the usual “WHY ME!?!?” and instead PRAISED God….he realized one basic truth: IT ALL BELONGS TO GOD ANYWAY….so if God wants it back, who is he to resist or complain?

Let’s look at another part…

“On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”

Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” – Job 2:1-10

Now WHY am I making this point? To help you realize one irrefutable truth…Faith can bring you through ANYTHING….it can help you stay calm in the face of fear, help you seek solutions to life’s overwhelming problems, and even help resolve the guilt or fear you have of your past..faith, my friends, can see you through ANYTHING.

You think YOUR life is hard, look at Job’s! What is an overdue water bill compared to having your house fall down? What is having a simple flu compared to having boils and sores all over you?? Yep, old Job had it rough…but in all of the trials and problems he suffered he NEVER lost his faith.

I see people who claim to have deep faith, but the minute something goes wrong they start blaming God for it….instead of laying the fault at the feet of the one who IS responsible for it..oh yeah..THAT guy….the OTHER one.

See, I seldom speak of Lucifer, or the devil, or satan…because I do not allow his wiles to infect my mindset…but I will divert from that, and explain my reasoning JUST THIS ONCE.

The Devil has a LOT of tricks in his arsenal…everything from lust, to grief. He uses these things to try and do one specific thing: to tear you away from God…to make you doubt, or even worse, ABANDON God in times of woe and worry.

He does every sneaky underhanded trick he knows to make you fall into his little quicksand pond..and that’s what it is, ladies and gents…QUICKSAND. You fall in, you struggle, you scream, you claw…and you only sink deeper….never realizing that if you relax, THINK for a moment, and look for a simple solution you can get out of it.

Now, I know some label this “Fight or Flight” in their heads, because they think that if they fight they will lose, or run away and have the guilt of whatever it is hanging over them for the rest of their lives.

Here is the sticky: WHAT IS PAST IS PAST. PERIOD. You either ACCEPT that errors were made, and make corrections in your way of thinking and acting that will make sure it never happens again, or you sink.

I have made mistakes…heck, if it were an Olympic sport I would be a triple gold medal winner …but the difference is I ACCEPT what I did, and have strove to make sure I do not make it again…which brings me to one other point:

GOD’S GRACE AND FORGIVENESS ARE GREATER THAN ANY MISTAKE YOU HAVE MADE…

Yup…it’s all there…waiting for you…all you have to do is ASK HIM…

My past is not stellar…nor is it happy…but because I one day simply said “Please Father, forgive me and help me” it all went away…oh, sure..the PAST cannot be changed, the mistakes are still there, but I DO NOT FEEL THEM ANY MORE.

Life is a series of challenges…we go from one thing to another, and in doing so we grow…and if we are careful and pay attention to our faith, it will grow with us. That is what life really IS all about…growing, and changing.

Now Job there, HE knew what he was about…he held onto his faith…did not blame God…rebuked those who would try to tear his faith apart…and what did he get for all of this? What can WE do when all of our troubles boil up around our neck like quicksand? Let me tell you…PRAY…yep…prayer….simple as that….

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16b

Prayer and praising our Father in Heaven not ONLY heals any wounds you may have given to God’s heart, but it ALSO cleans and bandages the wounds you do TO YOUR SOUL…a simple “Forgive me, Father” or “Help me, Father” and you would be amazed at how it works.

Faith is the ONE THING NO ONE CAN TAKE AWAY FROM YOU…it is your shield, your stronghold, your tower… they can damage the body, destroy the possessions, and take away all you have…but in the end, your faith is all you have. Either you hold onto it and use it to help buffer against the tide of woe and misery around you, or you cast it aside and sink into that cloying, slimy, stinking abyss that is regret and sorrow.

Let me share a bit of my past with you…

One day, a long time ago, I was in the Middle East, (Army tour, don’t ask), and I was having a REALLY bad day. One of the locals, a wise man of the local village who was my friend turned to me and said “My friend, I see you are troubled. Here, let me help you…this is a small bit of wisdom I have learned after many years of serving my God…’ALL IS AS GOD WILLS IT’…once you realize this, then nothing will take away your heart from God”

THAT is the marker…THAT is the point I woke up and realized “Hey,…IT IS JUST A BAD DAY…not a BAD LIFE!”… focusing on what we DO have, instead of what we DON’T…focusing on the GOOD we have done, and not the BAD…well…THAT leads you away from the “Flight” part and into the “FIGHT!” part….

But back to Job…all of these things that happened to him..all of these woes…how did God reward Job for his patience and faith? When even Job’s FRIENDS told him “Give up on God”?..he PRAYED for them..and this is what God said:

“My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.

The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation.

And so Job died, an old man and full of years.” – Job 42:10-17

In the end, friends, it is the same for us all…the king and the pawn go into the same box… it’s how we act DURING the in between that makes us memorable…we can either wallow in our misery, pining for days gone by, or over wrongs we did or were done to us…or we can stand up and take our lumps, accept that we made mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and march forward to a better life…either in this one, or the next.

…THE SHARP POINTY STICK APPROACH…..

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So…I wish to make a confession.

I am sure it comes as NO surprise that I, J.L. Wallace, am a sinner….oh yes, don’t look so shocked (or laugh too loud). I am a sinner, and what’s more I KNOW IT.

See, therein lay the entire crux of what I am about to expound. For some, knowing they are a sinner is something they could care two figs about…for others, it is a source of deep abashed feelings or emotions….for ME, however, it is a source of never-ending resolve.

When I became a Cleric, I resolved to notice every day that I fail God in so many ways…BUT…I also resolved to correct those ways every single day. Some days I do not meet my mark, of course, for I suffer from one of the WORST sins in the book…WRATH.

When someone asks me “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?” and “By whose authority do you do this?”  I say “I am the Reverend Friar, Dr. J.L. Wallace, ThD (That is Advanced Degree in Theology in case you did not know)..SERVANT of God..I do what I do by HIS authority, for I need NONE HIGHER”…yeah…I let them get to me almost every time…stupidity does that to a person who suffers from Wrath….but I am working on correcting that. 🙂

Recently I was approached by a real pew-pounding-HEY HALLELUJAH type. You know, one of those who believes they do no wrong, are sinless before God, and want to convert EVERYONE to the way their church thinks because (and I quote) “There is a war for souls…Satan is trying to take over their soul, and the world”….well…DUH! Of course I responded in a typically ME fashion “Satan does not concern me”. It’s true! What some fallen angel tries to do with weak minded people who make weak minded choices is really NONE of my concern.

They seemed put out that I was not “Preaching the sword of truth” and trying to get people afraid…so afraid that they will lose their soul and therefore not be redeemed.

Let me fill you all in on something: God gave man free will..the ability to choose who they worship, who they follow, and what they want to do with THEIR SOUL. Their soul is not in my keeping, for I am only here to serve them FOR GOD and to help them find their way back to their faith (WHATEVER THEIR FAITH MAY BE), nor is it my duty to scare them into running to a church. There are PLENTY of churches out there doing just that right now…see how well it is working for them? (that was sarcasm, by the way)

You cannot convert someone by poking them in the heart with a sharp pointy stick and say “convert or die”. It just does not work. Oh sure, they may go to the church and do their pater and ave like a good Christian…but when they leave the church they seem to leave something behind…GOD. They go home, and sink right back into their sins because they believe they are “saved” simply because they attend a building service once a week. I, on the other hand, remind them DAILY to keep up the good work and keep striving to better themselves in His Graces.

Their faith is limited to the building they attend…when they leave it, they leave Him there among the pews.

Me, I go a different path. I use the “Feather Hammer” approach.

I gently remind them of God, His mercy, love, forgiveness, and willingness to accept their flawed and imperfect selves back into His graces if only they remember who they are, who made them, and WHY they need to change. I do not scare them into loving God…for if you make people afraid, then the change is not real.

The change has to occur INSIDE of them.

THEY have to realize what they did wrong, and ask for His forgiveness…not have it handed to them on a public forum and have them shouting “I AM A SINNER!” before a crowd.

People are touchy creatures, and it only takes a nudge instead of a shove, to get them to do the right thing..lest they become outraged,or embarrassed, and slink away back into the life they had before their ‘conversion’.

Take my Parish, for example.

MANY of the people who are in my online Parish are those the CHURCHES ‘threw away’…why? Because they did not follow THE CHURCH’S LAWS.

Now, I don’t know about you but I was under the impression we were supposed to be following GOD’S laws. ..I will come back to that point in a second, but first let me say this: I love how in this day and age we have public education, and all the modern miracles and tools of learning at our fingertips.

We learn to read, comprehend, and put into practice the language we are taught to speak and write….it is truly a marvel that less than 100 years ago only a handful out of a thousand COULD read or write. Now we have computers, and media technology that makes the entire WORLD at our fingertips…sigh…truly a marvel.

So..with that said…I return to the subject…is there ANY SINGLE PERSON on the face of this planet that has NOT heard of God? Heard of Jesus? …Are there people that have been living in a cave for hundreds of years who have NOT read about things like The Resurrection, Heaven, Hell, Adam and Eve, sin, redemption, salvation, and repentance…?

I know many CLAIM to have ‘read the Bible’…but have they READ the Bible???

If they had they seemed to have missed something…which I will cheerfully point out now….

YOU CANNOT PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT GOD SAYS. If God has chosen someone to spread His word, and commands it to be as it is written, then who do YOU think you are to try and change that?

Do YOU know the mind and will of God?

Are you THAT arrogant that you believe that only YOUR church is right?

I have heard EVERY church claim that title…hence why I am not IN a church. How can EVERY church claim to be the ‘one true faith’?

Will it not cause confusion and drive away the very people you are trying to save?

Will it not make them say “If they are ALL the ‘right way’ and yet fight among themselves, and their people judge others outside of their belief system, then how can I choose which one to follow if they are not ACTING LIKE CHRISTIANS SHOULD?”…???

What God dictated to mankind in The Bible is FLAT FACT…PERIOD….it is not open for discussion, nor is it open for interpretation. You cannot pull ONE scripture out, found a belief structure upon it, herd people into the church with sharp pointy sticks, and MAKE them believe.

Jesus Himself never emotionally, or mentally, battered people into believing in Him. He simply stated His mission, told them the laws, and expected them to make a choice…believe in Him, or not. For in the end it is on THEM and THEIR SOUL should they choose otherwise.

He spoke of His Father’s love, mercy, forgiveness, and willingness to give EVERYTHING people asked for, all they had to do was believe in Him, and simply to ask.

He also spoke of “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:16)…so if you speak the TRUTH, UNALTERED AND UNDILUTED BY DOGMA AND RHETORIC then people WILL flock into the church…but sadly, I have seen little of that lately.

There is a reason people are not going to church now…there is a reason people’s faith is slipping…they do not like being judged by MAN. They do not like having someone point out their flaws and yet not correct THEIR OWN.

Now, I know that churches have their rhetoric, dogma, rules…but tell me, how can these rules apply to everyone EXCEPT the people ‘preaching’…? I have NEVER thought myself above everyone else…never looked down on a ‘sinner’..never said “They do not believe as I do…so I cannot associate with them or talk to them”.

I am like everyone else…I am a sinner, and I fail God. The only difference is that I KNOW these things, and am willing to put my all into helping OTHER people to realize that God loves them no matter HOW flawed they are, and that if they just simply trust in Him, BELIEVE in Him, then they have a better shot at getting into His Kingdom.

The point I am trying to make is NOT with a stick, it is with a LOVING HAND that I reach out an grasp the hand of another…

As my Master said “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (Luke 5:31)…and I have never met a doctor who yelled at his patient saying “YOU SILLY,SILLY SICK PERSON…GET INSIDE AND BE HEALED!”. I HAVE, however, heard my Master (the GREAT Physician) say “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” ( Matthew 5:47)…hence why HE HIMSELF sat with tax collectors, soldiers, prostitutes, and every kind of ‘scum’ know to man back then.  It was because of this He also said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)

Point of fact: He ALSO said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31)…and… ““Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2) …so…explain to me how you can call someone a sinner, yet do not realize that YOU YOURSELF are a sinner as well?

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:3-5

I tell ya…sometimes it gets my blood boiling so hot when I see other people condemning what I do, yet they themselves are not willing to take up the yoke and help other people. What I do, I do out of LOVE….Love for God…love for MANKIND. I do not do it for numbers, or fame, or money, or simply to say “I converted so many people”…I do it because yes I realize “The End is near”…I even say to people “repent, for the kingdom of Heaven draws near”. (Matthew 4:17)….but I ALSO know this…that if you speak TRUTH…if you speak PEACE, then people WILL understand and change their ways…as they did with my Master…”THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.” (Matthew 4:16)

People are not idiots…well…not MANY at any rate… 😀 But they DO understand that God is watching, I know because I remind them..they DO know God is judging ONLY THEM, not en-mass…but as INDIVIDUALS…again, I know because I remind them…but I remind them GENTLY…for is it not written “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”  (Galatians 6:1)…and so…in helping others realize their problems and help them through them, I in turn help MYSELF so that I too may not fall into the same trap.

You cannot yell at someone, scare the bejeepers out of them with talk of sin, hellfire, damnation, and then expect them to want to come join in your prayers!

You have to make them understand that GOD IS LOVE but by doing it GENTLY..USING HIS WORDS….”No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” (1 John 4:12)

I am reminded of when my Master said “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15)…I myself realize my faults, my sins, and my errors…but ONE error I refuse to admit to is that I am “teaching false doctrine”.

I give The Word as it is written…no interpretation…no dogma…no rhetoric, for it itself NEEDS NONE FOR IT STAND ALONE AS THE WORD OF GOD. It is written in plain black and white, and since people CAN read, they too know it’s interpretation. So, if I simply give it as it is written, and without interpretation, and I do not spout church laws or doctrine, therefore (LOGICALLY) I cannot be preaching ‘false doctrine’.

Some people, however, no matter HOW hard you try will not accept the facts…they will splutter, and fuss, and use words pounded into them from a pulpit, and be as blind as a bat in daytime to anything anyone says differently.

“Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?” – Luke 6:39

In conclusion I will say this…I cannot be converted, for my faith is solid…for it comes from CHRIST HIMSELF. It was HE who sought me out…HE who commanded me to serve…and until HE says otherwise, I will continue to serve as He has shown me to…for I took MY schooling from HIM. If you read the Bible, then you know how He instructed His disciples, how He appointed them and said “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)…sorry, but you cannot do that only on Sunday…behind the walls of a building….without actually DOING something about it..

You cannot scream at them how much of a sinner they are, order them to redeem themselves, and not do something to help them out of the hole they fell in because they were not as strong in faith as you are.

Again I quote: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.

If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless ?

Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”  – James 2:14-26

That is the difference between those like ME, and those like THEM. I dared to give it all up, and reach into the darkness to help pull them into the light with a LOVING hand, not a mailed fist.

So…PUT DOWN THE POINTY STICK, TAKE UP THE BIBLE, READ IT, THEN FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS!