A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

AVALANCHE

There is a trend developing in alternative media and online forums, with certain “influencers” claiming that they’re finally fed up with the restrictions and aren’t going to take it anymore. What they’re trying to do with their public show of frustration is to rally the troops, with the ultimate aim of getting a large-scale organized resistance movement going.

As a born-again believer, you need to be very careful about becoming involved in any kind of resistance movement other than the one you were grandfathered into when you were born-again. I’m not going to get into a discussion here about whether or not I believe some of these influencers may or may not be controlled opposition. I’m only interested in what they’re trying to do, which is to tempt their audience to show their hand (that is, to identify themselves) and to react openly and violently against the ptb, first with words and then with actions.

Now is not the time for heroics. I had a vision a few days ago of an avalanche moving down a mountainside in slow-motion. The avalanche was moving slowly, but it was massive and unstoppable. As it inched down the mountain, it swallowed everything in its path, including people who were standing in front of it shaking their fists.

Off to the side of the mountain, just out of reach of the avalanche, a few people were standing and watching. They weren’t doing anything, these people, other than for watching the avalanche descend. They weren’t shaking their fists or trying to stop it; they were just standing and watching.

The avalanche is coming, whether we want it to or not. No-one can stop it. It has been put into motion, and no-one can stop it, any more than the flood could be stopped in Noah’s day or the rain of fire and brimstone could be stopped in Lot’s. There is no praying or fasting this avalanche away. This is not a Nineveh event, where everything will go back to normal if everyone would just repent in sackcloth and ashes. This avalanche cannot and will not be stopped.

Knowing that, if you choose to stand in front of it shaking your fists, thinking you’re somehow a hero to do so, you’ll get swallowed up by it, just like everyone else in its path.

We need to be like the people in the vision who were standing off to the side as the avalanche descended. We need to be aware of what’s going on, but not to be part of it. We need to let it happen, like Noah let the flood happen and Lot let the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah happen. This is entirely in God’s hands. We need to get out of the way and let God take care of business.

The time for spiritual heroism will come, but it isn’t now.

If you step out now, you’ll join the ranks of Barabbas and Judas Iscariot, who also believed they were fighting the ptb and were heroes.

Me, I’ll continue to stand with Jesus, off to the side of the mountain, and let God’s will be done.

THIS LAND IS MY LAND

I recently moved to a property in rural Nova Scotia that used to be a farm, with a river running through it and a woodlot out back. To either side of me there’s nothing but thick forest. Even if I used a megaphone to call out, my nearest neighbour would only hear me if the wind were blowing in the right direction.

The expansiveness and remoteness of the land is exciting and soothing at the same time. Deer come right up to my window and stare in at me while I’m working. It used to be a much larger farm that got cut back to 22 acres, and that’s what I sit on now – 22 acres of rolling fields, hedged in to the east and west by thousands of acres of forest.

I mention all this because, in the eyes of the world, I don’t legally own this land.  I’m renting the property from someone who just purchased it and likely holds a mortgage on it. But even if that person bought it outright and owes nothing on it, taxes still need to be paid to make good on the ownership. If the taxes don’t get paid, the land and everything on it is eventually forfeited to the state.

The land could also be wrested from the person through expropriation – that is, the state could take it all, paying the person only the assessed or “fair market” value of the land and chattels. This happens more often than the general public realizes. Under a state of emergency, expropriation can take place within 24 hours, and Nova Scotia is currently under a state of emergency due to the ‘pandemic’.

So while the new owner holds title to the land and everything on it, the state could end that ownership by sundown today. Does that mean the state owns the land?

It does, as long as the state doesn’t lose it in a war or by annexation. If, for instance, the US invaded from the south or Russia from the north or China from the west, the property would become the victor’s.

So here’s what we have so far: I, as the tenant, don’t own the land; the person who ‘owns’ it doesn’t own the land (as she could lose it through non-payment of taxes or expropriation); and the state itself doesn’t own the land, since the state could lose it through war.

So who actually does own the land? Does anyone own it?

God, of course, owns the land. He owns everything in creation, including this 22-acre former farm and everything on it. As his daughter, I am his inheritor. Inheritor’s rights mean that I own everything that God owns, which is everything in creation.

So who owns this land?

I do. On a spiritual level, I own it because God owns it. All of God’s children – his inheritors – co-own all of creation with God. Jesus is the first among us to claim his inheritance, and we now share it with him.

So this land is my land. That land is also my land. As far as the eye can see – up to and including and beyond the farthest star – it’s all mine. But it’s also all yours, if you’re a born-again follower of Jesus, because being a born-again follower of Jesus makes you a child of God, and therefore God’s inheritor.

In which case, all of creation is your inheritance as much as all of creation is my inheritance.

So I guess, on a spiritual level, you and I both own the land I currently sit on.

Jesus said that those who purposely die to this world to follow him will get houses and land aplenty in this life, and in the world to come, eternal life.

So who owns this land?

God, and all his children.

Verily I say unto you, there is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

Mark 1:29-30

But big proviso here – just because we own all of creation together doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t follow the laws of the world while we’re still in human form. God put the world under the authority of Satan and gave him laws to institute – including laws of land ownership – so we’re duty-bound to adhere to those laws for the rest of our time on Earth.

Remember when Jesus was coming back to his house in Capernaum, and a state official requested tribute money from him and the disciples? Jesus asked Peter:

What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.

Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shallt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

Matthew 17:24-27

From scripture, we know that everything that is God’s is ours, which is everything in creation. But Jesus – the Messiah himself – scrupulously adhered to the laws of the land by paying tribute, even though he openly stated that, on the spiritual level, he did not owe it. When these conflicts occur between what is ours by spiritual inheritance and what the world demands of us by local and state laws, God will always intervene to provide for us. And when God provides, he does so miraculously, as we see by the gold coin in the fish’s mouth.

If you’re genuinely a follower of Jesus, you know exactly what I mean when I say that God will intervene and provide for his children miraculously, because you live those miracles every day.

That, too, is an inheritance of God’s children.

PEEKABOO!

Jesus wasn’t a fan of grandstanding. He had nothing good to say about the ostentatious show of religiosity that characterized most of the religious establishment, or what he called the hypocrites.

Jesus was clear that when you pray, you pray in private to God, not in public for show. Ditto for giving charity and donations, which were to be done anonymously, expecting nothing in return – not even a thank-you or a tax receipt. If we give charity and donations for the thanks or the tax receipts, that’s all we’ll get. That will be our reward. But if we do them secretly so that only God sees us, God will give us our reward.

Everything we do and say (and think) is known to God. We cannot hide anything from him. It’s impossible to hide from God. If you think you’ve ‘gotten away’ with something, it just means that God’s giving you the time and space to repent. If you don’t repent, you’ll get what’s coming to you. No-one escapes God’s justice.

The measure of your faith and your character can easily be determined by what you do when no-one sees you. When I say “no-one”, I mean no human. God sees you, whether you accept he does or not.

Paul says we should do everything as if unto God. If that’s our default – to do everything as if unto God – then we’ll always choose what’s right and do everything to the best of our ability. Sadly, I don’t think that’s the default for many people. I know it was for Jesus, and I’m pretty sure it was for Paul, but is it for you?

God sees everything we do, hears everything we say, and knows everything we think. Jesus says that everything we do, say, and think will form the basis of our judgement. When figure skaters prepare for a competition, they practice in their training gear, which is any clothing they find comfortable and functional. But when it’s time to compete, they wear special clothing and make-up, and they fix their hair in a special style. Then they go out before the judges and spectators and perform their routine, the same routine they’ve performed hundreds of time during training before an empty arena and in comfortable clothes. They have only one chance to get the routine right when they’re before the judges. No matter how brilliantly they skate during training, it counts for nothing at the competition. All that matters at the competition is how well they skate before the judges.

God’s judgement is nothing like that. God doesn’t judge us on our costume and make-up and performance under pressure. Jesus says that we’re accountable for EVERYTHING we do and say, not just what we do and say when others see us and hear us, or when we’re all dressed up in our Sunday best and on our best behavior, sitting in a pew.

I think that for many, this thought is incomprehensible. They can’t accept that God can see and hear everything, so they live as if God can’t. When they think no-one is looking (or at least no-one of importance), they do whatever is expedient for them at the time, even if involves breaking commandments.

This is the true measure of who we are – what we do when no-one sees us. Jesus didn’t accuse the religious powers-that-be of being hypocrites for what they did in public, but for what they did behind closed doors. God saw them, heard them, and read their thoughts, and that information was made known to Jesus, who then delivered the damning verdict of hypocrisy.

We do not want to end up where hypocrites end up – in the lake of fire. We should instead want to do everything as if unto God, to pray in secret and give charity in secret. We should want to choose what’s right and to do everything to the best of our ability, knowing that our every move is being watched and recorded. We should want to do everything precisely as Jesus says we should, veering neither to the left nor to the right, but keeping straight on the path.

It can be sobering to acknowledge that God knows everything about us, but acknowledge it we must. It is by far the most direct way for us to do the right thing in every circumstance, whether we’re seen by others or not. We are judged on everything we do, but God pays special attention to what we do when we think no-one sees us.

So what do you do?

THE LONGEST LONG TERM

I used to help people write applications for academic positions. One of the requirements was for the applicants to explain their future research and career plans. The request was usually broken down into 5- and 10-year plans, with 10 years being considered “long term”.

As born-agains, our long term is forever, and the position we’re applying for is to be “like angels”, as Jesus described.

When you make plans and decisions based on a term that lasts forever, those plans and decisions are completely different than when you make them based on 5 or 10 years, or even a lifetime.

Let’s have an example. You’ve had some business and personal dealings with someone who is less than honest and who has maligned you to others to cover the dishonesty. You’ve considered outing this person as a warning to others, but you know that Jesus’ directive is to love your enemies and to pray for those who treat you badly. Giving bad press to someone isn’t loving them or praying for them.

From a short-term perspective, you might consider confronting this person about what he’s done and try to extract an apology or some kind of promise that it won’t be done again.

From a longer-term perspective, you might consider warning your colleagues about this person so that they don’t end up with the same issues as you.

But from an infinite perspective (that is, from God’s perspective), your job isn’t to correct this person or to warn others about him; Jesus said that you’re simply to love him, bless him, and pray for him.

I can tell you from personal experience that it takes some habit-building to get to the point where you no longer try to correct, extract an apology from, or trash-talk someone who’s done you wrong. But as you’re forming the habit, you can see and feel the difference it makes in your life. When you choose confrontation, there is no peace or rest. There is just an unease that doesn’t go away. When you choose to trash-talk, there is an even greater sense of unease that also doesn’t go away. There is no resolution to conflict by trying to correct or malign someone. You have to love that person through prayer and blessings and let God take it from there.

I just went through a scenario where I had solid grounds (in the eyes of the world) for complaining and demanding restitution. But after I’d cooled my heels a bit, I decided instead to go with Jesus’ way, and I bought a gift for the person and gave him good reviews for his business. The unease that had plagued me for a few days when I was contemplating how I should deal with the problem immediately fell away, and I also stopped thinking about him. What he did was done and could not be undone, but it could be forgotten and no longer spoken of. He certainly knew what he had done to me, so my gift and praises must have been a head-scratcher for him, to say the least.

I am not his judge. Those who do wrong purposely do it because they’re in some kind of emotional pain and are lashing out. Christians are typical targets. My gift and gesture of good will was either a balm to his soul or was heaping coals on him, but either outcome is no concern to me. He’s in God’s hands. When I think of him now, I wish him well in my heart. There is no longer a sense of unease or outrage.

When you love and bless rather than curse and avenge, you are making decisions and plans based on the longest of long terms, which is forever. You can live your life thinking short term, long term, or lifetime, but the decisions you’ll make based on those relatively short perspectives might not be the same as those you’ll make when you’re thinking in terms of forever.

I don’t want anything to get in my way of making it to Heaven. I don’t want to appear before God and Jesus on Judgement Day with them pointing out to me that I should have forgiven when I had the chance. I don’t want them to shake their heads at me sadly and tell me I knew better, but it’s too late now.

So I put my pride aside and I bless.

I put my pride aside and I pray.

I put my pride aside, even as people are calling me a sucker – I put my pride aside and buy a gift and give a good review. I can feel God’s Spirit working through me powerfully when I do that, and for me, that is a far greater rush and reward than “getting even” could ever be.

I’m not making decisions based on short term or long term. I’m not even making them based on a lifetime. I’m making them based on what’s right for all eternity, rather than what’s expedient or what appears to benefit me right now.

I hope that you’ll also make decisions and plans based on forever.

TAKING SPIRITUAL STOCK

Most companies that deal in material goods take stock once or twice year. Taking stock just means finding out what you have, what you’ve sold, what you need, and what you’ve lost through shrinkage (which is a polite word for theft or damage).

Spiritually, we should also be taking stock as born-again believers, only we should be doing it a lot more than once or twice a year. We should actually be doing it at least once a week. Sabbaths are a perfect day for taking spiritual stock.

But how can you take stock of something that is by nature spiritual?

By asking questions of yourself and of God.

Here are some sample questions:

  1. How is my relationship with God?
  2. How is my relationship with Jesus?
  3. How is my relationship with my neighbours (that is, everyone else)? (Be honest, now!)
  4. Am I holding any unforgiveness in my heart? (Definitely be honest here.)
  5. Am I blaming someone for something that’s gone wrong in my life? (Ditto above.)
  6. If someone did something to me that I don’t like, am I cursing them or blessing them?
  7. Am I reading the Bible every day?
  8. Am I applying what I read to my life?
  9. Am I putting God first in everything, and loving him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength?
  10. Am I teaching the Gospel, either by example or through actual lessons?

There are many other questions you can ask yourself when you’re taking stock. That’s just a selection of some of the ones that I find helpful and at times quite sobering. They can be like a shepherd’s staff that taps at you sharply to keep you from wandering farther off the path. We all need that. It’s good for us and keeps us honest with ourselves and with God. A sharp little tap at the right place at the right time is a whole lot better than getting run over by a spiritual Mac truck when you least expect it and least need it.

I took stock today using questions 1 to 10 above, and in case you’re interested, here are my answers:

  1. Great.
  2. Great.
  3. Not bad, but could be better. As my Grade 2 teacher once wrote on my report card under the category Plays well with others. – “NEEDS IMPROVEMENT.” (lol)
  4. I was, but I’m not now.
  5. I was, but I’m not now.
  6. I was cursing them, now I’m blessing and thanking them from the bottom of my heart.
  7. Yes.
  8. Yes.
  9. Yes, with bells on! I LOVE MY DAD!
  10. Yes, but I could always do more.

How did you do with your spiritual stock-taking?

One of the hardest lessons (and one that can make even saints squirm) is accepting that God allows people to come into our lives who do nasty things, either to us or to others. He allows them to come into our lives so that we can learn to love even the unlovable, and to pray for them and bless them. Jesus talks about how easy it is to love those who love us and that even hypocrites can do that. We’re called to love those who hate us, who are mean-spirited to us, or who are blissfully unaware that something they’re doing is driving us crazy.

Loving those who despise us or who simply get on our nerves can’t be done without a conscious effort on our part. It also and more importantly requires God’s help, and we need purposely to ask him for that. Taking spiritual stock once a week is a good reminder not only of who we need to forgive and bless, but that we need to forgive and bless: “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.”

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

John 13:35

REJOICE! A TIME OF GREAT BLESSING IS UPON US!

We are immensely blessed to be living in this age, with our backs forced against the wall and people showing us their true colors.

This is a blessing, not a curse.

Knowing precisely where you and those around you stand is a blessing.

Seeing clearly is always a blessing.

God is removing from our lives obstacles that have gotten in the way of us doing his holy will. Where jobs were getting in the way, the jobs are being removed. Where people were getting in the way, the people are being removed. Where possessions were getting in the way, the possessions are being removed.

The whole world is shifting, and what a glorious time it is to be a Witness to God’s Word!

The more “privileges” that are taken away from me, the more time I have to devote to the Kingdom. I thought earlier that these were blessings in disguise, but now I see them as outright blessings.

It is a wonderful thing to be banned from all the distractions of the world, whether that be shops or cinemas or night clubs or cultural events. The best thing that can happen to Christians (besides coming to God, following Jesus, and going to Heaven) is to be fired from their jobs and banned from society. It’s a true blessing, as it forces us to refocus our lives on those things that matter most.

Thank God I can no longer go shopping!

Thank God I can no longer go to restaurants!

Thank God I can no longer travel or use public transportation!

Thank God that all the time and effort I used to waste on worldly diversions I can now spend on God and his Kingdom!

God is unleashing his people by removing distractions and obligations from their lives.

This is a time for rejoicing, not for protesting.

This is a time for thanking God, not for cursing politicians.

This is a time more than ever for preaching and teaching God’s Word as if our lives depended on it, because they do.

These are the times of global testing. As with all other tests, we need to face them cheerfully and in full submission to God.

THANK YOU, GOD, FOR TAKING OUT OF MY LIFE EVERYTHING THAT WAS KEEPING ME FROM DOING YOUR HOLY WILL.

Being banned from society is one of the best things that has ever happened to me, and I thank all who made it possible.

THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

PRAISE GOD, AND PRAISE JESUS!

Amen.

THE ALARM IS RINGING

You have one year left to live – what would you do with it?

Would you continue your life as it is, or would you make radical changes? Would you continue working at your job, or would you find some other way to get money? Would you contact people you haven’t spoken to for a while to clear the air with them or maybe thank them for something they did long ago? Would you read the Bible more? Would you throw yourself at God’s mercy and beg him for forgiveness? Would you forgive?

You have one month left to live – what would you do with it?

Would you continue working, or would you walk away from the daily grind? Would you stay where you are or go to your favourite place with your favorite people? Would you be honest with friends and family about the one month you have left to live, or would you hide it from them? Would you grow closer to God and Jesus or push them away in anger?

You have one day left to live – what would you do with it?

Watch a movie? Read a blog?

Unless we take matters into our own hands (which I do not recommend), we don’t know how much time we have left on Earth. Even Jesus didn’t know until his time drew near. God keeps this information from us so that will make choices of our own free will. We are judged on those choices. Jesus says that our every idle thought and word will be judged.

The choices we make when we think we have many years left to live are quite different from those we make when we know we have only a few months or days or hours. It’s like the difference between moving house, when you can take all of your belongings – furniture, clothing, food and knick-knacks – and bugging out, when you can take only the bare essentials in one bag.

During his ministry years, Jesus lived in bug-out mode. He was constantly on the move and only took with him those things that he needed for the short-term. This is what he modeled for his followers, who likewise were constantly on the move and only took with them those things they needed for the short-term.

We have no guaranteed time on Earth. We get what God gives us, so we need to do our best every day, not just sometimes when we feel like it. Scripture tells us about the person who thought he had a long time yet to live and so backslid into a depraved life, only to be caught unawares and to end up dying in his sins. This is a frightening cautionary tale. If it’s not frightening to you, you need to read it and reread it until it is.

Jesus tells us to live with our loins girded and oil in our lamps, ever-ready to leave at a moment’s notice. This state of readiness should be our permanent state of being on Earth. Think of firemen at a fire station in between calls. They clean and maintain their truck so that it’s optimally functional; they work out to build their physical strength; they rest and eat nutritious meals to maintain their health… so when the alarm goes off without notice, they’re 100% prepared to leave the station within seconds.

How many Christians live up to this ideal? How many live their day-to-day lives with loins girded and oil in their lamps, ready and willing to leave at a moment’s notice and with no regrets?  I think very few do. I think most Christians put the thought of death far from them and never think about what they would do if they had only one year or one month or one day.

Or one hour.

Or a minute.

We need to think about our physical death even more than we need to think about our physical life; we need to prepare for death even more than we prepare for daily life. Death can come to us at any moment and in any number of ways. This thought shouldn’t frighten us but instead inspire us to look closer at how Jesus lived and taught us to live.

It’s a cliché to say that life on Earth is a journey, but it is a journey, and the destination is death. It can’t be any other way. You can’t avoid dying. Even Jesus died for a short time. But what you can do is prepare for death and what comes after death, and do so to the best of your ability. This should be your obsession. It was Jesus’ obsession.

Everything he did was with an eye to his final moments on Earth and the glory that would come afterwards. Every step he took he did so knowing his steps were numbered. This gave him the drive to work ceaselessly for the Kingdom with full understanding that only work for the Kingdom had any lasting value.

Before he launched his ministry, Jesus reviewed every aspect of his life and removed from it anything that did not in some way contribute to his work in the Kingdom or that outright interfered with it. He did this without a second thought and without looking back. To him, there was no other way forward to his destination than to clear the path of obstacles. Sometimes people are the main obstacles in the way; sometimes we’re our own worst obstacle.

So I ask you once again – if you had only one year, one month, or one day left to live, would your life change radically from what it is, or would you continue as you are? This is not something that you need to tell me, but something that you need to discuss with God. And you need to do so with the same urgency as a fireman springing to life when the alarm rings.

LET THERE BE WARMTH

The first lines of John are a reworking of the first lines of Genesis, about God creating Light and seeing that it was good. Throughout the ages, until very recently, light was synonymous with warmth. The sun is bright and warm, fire is bright and warm – all natural and derived sources of light up to and including the incandescent light bulb were both bright and warm. The two qualities of brightness and warmth were universally considered part and parcel of light.

God, for all his perfection, is not known for his personal warmth. I laugh to myself as I write this, because I know God to be very warm. He’s as perfect at being warm as he is at everything else. But “warm” is not one of the character traits that immediately spring to mind when people are asked to describe God. “Almighty”, “all-powerful”, “omniscient”, “perfect”, “eternal”, yes, but “warm” rarely makes the list. We should remedy that.

Jesus, on the other hand, personifies warmth. Even when he’s yelling at his disciples, you know he’s not doing it because he despises them, but because he cares for them so much he doesn’t want them to fail and go astray. Jesus’ interactions with the sick and grieving, and especially with the very young, reveal a classic warm personality. John, in his reworking of the opening lines of Genesis, frames Jesus as the Light – a light that not only has the eternal brightness of his Father, but also his Father’s eternal warmth. Both the brightness and the warmth that characterize Jesus come from God as inherited traits.

Just as Light comes from and originates in God, so does the quality of warmth come from God.

Light that is bright without the underlying quality of warmth is an abomination. It’s fake light. Not surprisingly, the Satan-inspired powers-that-be who have eliminated God and Jesus from public spaces have also done away with the warmth in light – even going so far as to make it illegal to buy certain lightbulbs that radiate warmth. Light, in post-modern, post-national, post-Christian globalism, has to be coldly bright rather than warmly bright.

The ptb’s henchmen – the environmental brown shirts – have labeled any heat-generating devices not specified for use as heat-generating devices as verboten and “bad”. They’re removing the offending devices from the market or are shaming those who use them into giving them up. Only artificial light that is cold is considered acceptable and “good”. With these changes, we are being reprogrammed to view cold light as good and warm light as bad. There’s always a reason for programming that defies the natural, God-given order, and the reason is never good.

The sun’s warmth is likewise being demonized, with “solar dimming” aerosolized spraying projects up and running as we speak.

I imagine that Satan, when he appears as an angel of light, will shine coldly. There will be no warmth in him, or maybe just a cloying feigned warmth, like the fake flames in the fake logs in electric fireplaces that blow hot air, or the computer-generated “fireplace” on TV that has sadly replaced real fireplaces in most homes.

I move around a lot, and everywhere I go, I replace the cold light bulbs in the rental units with warm ones. This is my silent protest against cold light.

Satan may yet win this battle, but we win the war.

WHAT DO YOU DO ON YOUR DAY OFF?

I’ve written before about how Jesus would go up a mountain alone to pray when he needed time off from his ministry work. He didn’t fly to Vegas or visit his family in Nazareth or go on a pub crawl with the boys – he went away by himself to spend time with God.

What people do on their time off is a fairly good indicator of where their heart is.

We all need to work, and we all need to take time off to rest. God made taking a rest one of his Commandments, it’s that important. But he also hallowed the official day of rest, meaning that he made it a holy day. He made it so that we can spend time with him without worrying about being interrupted by work or other obligations.

The day of rest isn’t meant to be a day off from God or from being a Christian. On the contrary, the day of rest is a day when we can draw even closer to God, like Jesus did on the mountain, or like Mary did sitting at the feet of Jesus while Martha ran around frazzled from housework. The day of rest is meant for us to recharge spiritually so that we’ll have the spiritual strength we need to get through the coming week.

What people do on their time off, particularly on their day of rest, is very telling. God made the day of rest not for us to spend in worldly pursuits but to spend with him. It’s a holy day, not a holiday.

I lived without God for the first 36 years of my life, and the last thing – THE ABSOLUTE LAST THING – I would ever want to do is to live without God again, even for a day. Anyone who is genuinely reborn feels the same. I never need a holiday from God; it would be like taking a holiday from breathing or from my heart beating: I would die if I were even one minute away from God.

I thank God that he’s made me to need him that way. He’s made me to love him with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, and there’s nothing in that first and greatest Commandment about taking time off from loving God. I don’t see in the Gospels any evidence that Jesus took time off from loving God. How can you take time off from loving the one who gives you everything you need and asks for nothing in return but that you treat others as you would want to be treated? How can you want to take time off from someone like that?

When Jesus said “I and the Father are one”, he didn’t mean that he was God; he meant that he was so deeply intertwined with God that there was no separation between them: What God wanted, Jesus wanted; and what Jesus wanted, God wanted. It’s like a marriage, where two people eventually become one. Those who are genuinely reborn start the process of becoming one with God, like Jesus was one with him.

You can’t take time off from that. You can only take time off from God if you’re not really a believer. If you’re genuinely born-again, being with God and Jesus is all you want to do. But God wants us to work in his Kingdom, too, so he made it that we can pray to him wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. In that way, we can always be with him and Jesus, just as they’re always with us, through God’s Spirit.

What people do on their day of rest and on their holidays is very telling.

THE REALM OF LIES

I’ve written here before about professional liars, meaning politicians and mainstream media, and the feigned nemesis of mainstream media known as alternative media (most of which is controlled opposition). But last night when I was watching a movie, I had an epiphany of sorts about another field of professional liars – actors. Unlike politicians and the media, actors don’t hide the fact that they’re lying. They openly pretend to be someone they’re not, to be doing things they’re not actually doing, and to be living lives that don’t exist. And here’s the kicker – the better they are at pretending to be someone they’re not (that is, the better they are at lying), the more accolades they receive.

The more “believable” their lies, the better actors they allegedly are.

Which still doesn’t hide the fact that they’re professional liars, that is, people who lie for a living.

Like politicians, nearly all actors lie for money. If they weren’t getting paid to lie, very few would do it. So when you see actors on stage or on a set speaking lies, they’re at work. They’re doing their job. Their job description is to lie.

Some actors have a “natural talent” for lying, while others have to take lessons to learn how to lie better. I know something about this, because I took lying lessons when I was a teen-ager. And then I would go on stage pretending to be someone I wasn’t and to be living a life that didn’t exist, but I foolishly did it for attention and applause rather than money. All that work for only a few seconds of adulation. I was an amateur liar.

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that people choose to lie for a living. The world is, after all, the realm of the Father of Lies. It’s only fitting that those who live in the realm of lies and are under the authority of the Chief Liar should themselves choose to lie for a living. I guess it’s those who choose not to lie who are the oddballs here.

Oddball signing in. The instant I was born-again, I was spiritually shifted out of the realm of lies and into the realm of Truth, and I’ve been here ever since. The thing about living in the realm of Truth is that you have a God-given sixth sense about lies. You can sniff them out much better than those who are still under the thumb of Satan. When Paul says to test the spirits, he’s telling us to apply the spiritual sniff test to see whether someone or something is of the realm of Truth or of the realm of lies.

Sadly, there are those who pretend to be in the realm of Truth when in fact they are still in the realm of lies. They’re false prophets, and most of them, like politicians and actors, do it for money. If they weren’t being paid to pretend to speak God’s Word, they wouldn’t do it. That doesn’t absolve them from lying, it just offers an explanation of sorts (the lust for money being the root of all evil). Others pretend to be in the realm of Truth because they’ve been lied to about what the realm of Truth is. They believe the lies, and so believe themselves to be in the realm of Truth, when in fact they’re still very much in the realm of lies. They’re being deceived.

Amidst those who purposely lie for a living and those who are deceived, there are also those who lie not as stagecraft or as a political tool, but to manipulate for their own devices. These are psychopaths and sociopaths, and we’ve all likely had personal dealings with them. Most professional liars are borderline psychopaths; you’d have to be, to spend so many hours of your waking day lying. The main difference between professional liars and full-on psychopaths is that professional liars know they’re lying (that is, they can set a difference between when they’re lying and when they’re not lying), whereas psychopaths set no difference between lies and non-lies.  They are so deeply embedded in the realm of lies that, like Jesus says of Satan, when they speak a lie, they’re speaking their own.

It is a sorry thing that people choose to lie for a living or to lie for perceived gain. Our time here on Earth is so short, that to waste it either knowingly or unknowingly lying is a great tragedy. You are not on the narrow path if you lie for a living or live a life based on lies, and if you’re not on the narrow path, you’re not on the way Home. If you’re not on the way Home, there is only one other destination, and that is not a good one. There is no applause waiting for you there, no pleasurable rewards, no accolades of any sort, only pain for all eternity. Because, ultimately, pain is the true reward of lies, whether the lying is done for money, or for adulation, or for personal gain.

As for me, I don’t think I’ll be spending any more time watching professional liars ply their trade, no matter how good they are at it. If it’s a waste of a life to lie for a living, it’s a waste of time to watch those who do it. And time is something we should never waste.