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Tag: Words

Martin Lurther Or How to Treat Your Enemies

I listen to many radio sermons throughout the day and night, and it is not uncommon to hear a preacher state just how divided this nation is. Many offer biblical solutions. The ultimate biblical solution is to read and follow the four gospels of Jesus. Not only did He teach us how to treat our enemies through His example, but He was and is the standard.

Many know Martin Luther as the priest and scholar who nailed the 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Castle Church door in 1517. What is not as commonly known is a pastor who hounded him until the day Thomas Münzer was executed in 1525.

A Little Backstory

After the exasperation and intervention of Luther’s spiritual advisor, Johannes von Staupitz, Luther learned the hard way of legalism over grace – Luther would confess every single thought and action that he thought was a sin to Staupitz.

After he overcame this obstacle, Luther believed in sola scriptura, or the supremacy of the Bible over the Church. He was considered a mystic: he prized inward religious experience over ritual. However, over his life he did return to both church and scripture, drawing the ire of Münzer.

Back To The Present

Münzer read the 95 Theses and considered Luther as his spiritual mentor. Luther recommended him for a pastoral position at St. Mary’s at Zwickau, where he immediately and increasingly criticized the Franciscans until he was dismissed. He, along with two other men, shunned book learning and preached that God spoke to men directly. And most damning, they deemed themselves the only ones qualified to interpret the Bible.

After this, he bounced from church to church, stirring up the peasants – the miners, corn threshers, and farmers – saying they could teach better than Luther. He wanted the learned slaughtered, particularly pointing out Luther. His Utopian vision consisted of bringing a godly Kingdom type of equality to the earth.

In a letter written to his elector Frederick (nobles who ruled territories), he asked for toleration for Münzer and his other enemies. “Let us leave in His hands the combat and free encounter of minds.”

Thomas Münzer was tortured into a confession of his crimes, but still unrepentant towards his current congregation in a letter, not taking responsiblity. He was beheaded and impaled, rotting there as a warning to others.

Luther never advocated execution on his enemies, advocating for exile instead. Romans 12:19 states, “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Closing Thoughts

The Reformation was not what it could have been because of the constant hounding of others, not only Münzer’s enemies but the peasants he used to foment his ideals.

I more fear what is within me than what comes from without.

Martin Luther

Faith

Grieving Enemies

For upwards of 20 years, I had a dream to leave the Midwest and start a new life.

My dream became a nightmare. And the death of my dream entails grief. Because of the ongoing nature of my nightmare, I don’t get healing or closure.

Last night, I was listening to my usual line-up of sermons. And I was about to fall asleep when I was awakened, and knew this time it was the Lord wanting me to hear this particular sermon. It was on handling grief. At the end, he said we need time to process grief of the people who are our enemies – people who abuse us. That got my attention.

As I was mulling this over, it came to me that the nation is going to face grief in the death of what we perceived as the American Dream.

Tidal waves of exposures are hitting our shores, sending many who have not been reading outside of the main stream media into denial, anger, bargaining, and depression – what some would call the first four grief stages of five. Some will feel guilt at being happy that enemies are gone. Some will feel regret that we could not unify and bring closure. Some will be angry that anyone will even be grieving.

Just as I yearn for healing and closure in my personal life, I yearn for the same for America. There will be a need to process grief once this scourge is over. America will not heal if we do not process the what and why of this loss. However, I believe God has better plans for us. Plans that are above and beyond our wildest imaginations, if we chose to accept it.

Faith

Losing Face

Listening a sermon on the radio, I heard the preacher address the issue of losing face. I have no experience in Asian culture, so I went to the World Wide Web for rudimentary knowledge. Losing Face is a complicated ideal, but basically incorporates acts that deal with individual and corporate respect and embarrassment issues.

Some aspects to this concept are praiseworthy: acts of kindness towards others and a civil society.

Moses and Aaron lost face with God when he publicly struck the rock in anger to produce water for the wandering Israelites. God had instructed him to speak to the rock. It cost them entering into the Promised Land (Numbers 20:1-13).

But I do have experience with American culture, and as I heard this phrase I immediately thought of mask wearing.

The masks have long been debunked as being safe in most situations. Now, it is being seen as a political tool to homogenize American citizens and rob us of our God-given individuality. A step towards transhumanism. I watched a YouTube video of a very angry young lady telling the mask mandaters where they could send the masks – definitely rated PG-13 for language and body language.

In the days ahead, as this plot – yes, plot – is exposed, many people are going to lose face. Compassion for those forced to wear masks is crucial in rebuilding in the days ahead. As a nation we will not heal if judgment reigns supreme. However, for those that mandated them, it can only be seen as a national security risk. On the surface, that seems harsh. But, our nation was founded on individual liberty and it is being stolen from us on the staircase to Hell.

If God would have wanted us to wear masks permanently, we would have been born with them on our faces.



Have a blessed weekend!

Faith

Holy Writing

Looking at the Vine’s Dictionary, the New Testament definition of holy is long, with different Greek words that are used. I see two things that stand out: conduct, but also a separateness from the world. Specifically, “ ‘Sanctification’ is thus the state predetermined by God for believers into which in grace He calls them, and in which they begin their Christian course and so pursue it.”

For Christian writers, the calling part is a given. I used to think it would be easy for me, being an introvert and not having to deal with the outside world per se. But in writing you can’t hide – even from yourself – whether or not you chose to publish in the myriad of ways available now. If God calls you to write, He might call you to write some hard truths.

Whether we chose to use foul non-gratuitous language is not a foundational conduct issue. Grace has to be given here. The real issue is being set apart from the world to write what truth God would have us write.

FaithWriting

Deliverance Roller Coaster Style

The more I live on this earth, the more I have come to appreciate God’s love for us.

I can attest to the goodness of God. The times of trouble were hard, gut-wrenching at times, but victory was sweet. And the times I did lose the battle, I can look back and say God knew what He was doing for me, though at the time I did not. The trials were losses incurred towards winning the war.

America is positioned at the top of the roller coaster, and the national exposures are going to make our stomachs’ swirl. The ride is just beginning. Buckle up.

Though it may not seem like He loves us in the next phase of our nation, He does. He has heard the cry of many Americans, and is setting us free from the forces that wish us all to be cookie-cutter citizens. We each have an unique, individual calling on our lives, and we have to be free to do the will of the Father. The world was formed out of darkness, and God said, “let there be light.” (Genesis 1:1-4 NKJV)


Have a blessed weekend!

Faith

Imprecatory Prayers and Poetry

King David, from the Old Testament, wrote many imprecatory prayers, or I would say imprecatory poems, otherwise known as psalms. From my NASB Study Bible, the footnote from Psalms 5:10 states “they are appeals to God to redress wrongs perpetrated against the psalmists by imposing penalties commensurate with the violence done – in accordance also with also with normal judicial procedure in human courts.”

According to Crosswalk, “Imprecations … are found in high poetry and are the product of reasoned meditation (not to mention divine inspiration!).”

Along with being “high poetry,” imprecatory prayers can mean the difference between living or dying. They are reserved for life threatening situations that have no relief available, and must be within God’s will. People praying these prayers have no human recourse for justice – and the evil never stops.

It is an attack not only on the person crying out to God, but an attack on God Himself. Most attacks of this kind are to destroy a person’s God given purpose, a way to shut him up permanently. Today this is extremely pertinent.

It has to be prayed with great humility, relying on the Lord Himself to bring justice and relief from the evil. Rom. 12:19 says, “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,’ says the Lord.” Humility includes no gloating during and after justice is served, or the Lord could stop his judgment on the evildoers. And if you are in such a state as to need answers to this prayer, relief means no gloating. Joy that the evil is over is very biblical, a way of thanking God for answering prayers.

Many years ago, I spent two weeks in a women’s shelter to get relief from a shaming relationship. The last several years, I am currently surrounded in a situation that requires these type of prayers daily. At the beginning of this current situation, the Lord gave me Psalms 35 to read, verses 26-27 catching my attention. It has been extraordinarily difficult, but God has been good, taking care of the big things and the small details. And I attribute a large portion of my protection to these prayers. As far as poetry, most of my posts tagged under “Empowered Individuals” describe my life in very metaphorical terms.

I feel the Church has, by design, been neutered in spiritual warfare. I believe we are where we are today because the Church is uncomfortable with spiritual warfare. Actually, with any form of power from the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we would do greater works than Him (John 14:12). The power is there if we use it according to biblical standards.


I have been hard-hitting this week. I normally like to encourage, but felt led to post the way I have. Tomorrow I will end the week with something light-hearted. Joyful.

FaithPoetry

Spiritual Journaling Hearth Style

One of the most, if not the most important, aspect to the Christian life is hearing the Lord’s voice. And He communicates in various ways and through various means. Dreams, signs, the Bible (the most important way!), impressions through our soul and mind. He is not a cookie-cutter God; He talks to us in our own individual ways. Since I am a poet, He sometimes sends me to a poem.

But if I don’t record what He says, then I might miss what He is trying to say to me. For sometimes it is a series of things – as the Bible says in part, or confirmations of what He said the first time. Confirmations come as repeated themes in a short time-frame; for me about one to two days. If I don’t record them then I have lost an opportunity to search out what He is trying to say.

Journaling is also not a cookie-cutter activity. I prefer pencil and paper. And scraps until I can permanently record. Dated, sometimes out of order because perfection is not the main goal.

Always it is important to hear Him, but in days like these it is extremely crucial. Stay in the peace that passes understanding.

FaithWriting

Dreams and Visions

When I started this blog during the beginning stages of the stay-at-home days, I determined to not follow conventional advice on writing blog posts. I am unconventional and spontaneous, and I wanted my blog to be authentic. And as a result, I have the most joy on this one than the others I have had since the mid 1990s.

So here goes a new turn…

I believe that God speaks to us in dreams and visions. Most all of them are for me alone, but the last one I had several days ago I think is for those that have ears to hear.

That is key…ears to hear. The Holy Spirit will tell you if it is for you. I read a lot of prophecies and know most of them are not for me.

In my dream, I saw a hand offer me a cup of hot chocolate.

I pray for wisdom to interpret, and then do research, then let it sit for a while – kind of like when writer’s let their drafts sit for awhile to get perspective. (Make sure to record them right after you wake up, or at least some keywords to jog your memory.)

The hand is a metaphorical representation of God giving me the hot chocolate. My dream symbol book, The Divinity Code, says that hot chocolate means anointing. And the scripture that they use for this is Psalms 23:5 NASB – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. The last several years have been full of joy, but also full of difficulty. I know this already to be true.

I believe that for those who walk with God in faith, that the best days are ahead. It looks dark and dire, but after the storm comes new beginnings. Before God created the universe, it was chaos. Then He brought in order.

Faith

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