Sheep Arrested in Unprovoked Slaying of Wolf; Shepherd Fined for Violating Dangerous Sheep Statute!

By Patrick Hawthorne

sheep

“Extra…Extra….Read all about it.  Sheep arrested in unprovoked slaying of wolf; Shepherd fined for violating dangerous sheep statute!”

Warning:  The following post contains tongue in cheek humor with a purpose.  Turn away if your religiosity makes you so thin skinned you barely have enough covering to keep from bleeding to death.

The other day, in a poor attempt to mind my own business, I came across a social media snippet of an over-the-top preacher whose message I disagreed with.  While I understood the point he was attempting to make, his delivery was kind of like smelling overly sweet and greasy donuts on an empty stomach.  While the donuts may look appealing to the eye, one bite could result in an all day audience before the porcelain prince.

That being said, the preachers message was not very gospelish but neither was it heretical.  It just kind of sat there like a hair on a biscuit, serving no real purpose other than to look unappealing.  And, in my humble opinion, his message could possibly lead a baby believer down a path of error.  Either way, that was not what got my knickers in a knot.

Out of the whole situation, what made me sad was the manner in which another pastor released the media snippet. He kinda chunked it out there with nothing more than a short one liner message stating that it was not the gospel.  The problem is that he offered no teaching for his sheep followers as to why or how the other pastor was in error.  Nor did he offer correction for a few of the comments that were bitter against the errant preacher.

The Bible tells us, in 1st John 4:20, If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”  When any shepherd (pastor) does not correct a sheep (lay person) whose comments are directly aimed against the man and not the message there is a problem.  When comments are seeded with such words as ” I loathe that man” – meaning intense hate or dislike – and are not corrected, a slippery slope has just been laid.

Do I think the non-correcting pastor , the errant and over-the-top teacher, or the commenting lay person are evil?  Heaven’s no.  I have no doubt they all love the Lord with an intense love.  However, leaders need to be accountable for their sheep and to reign in the snipers so that none go rogue.

It is a fact that all of us will stub our toes in this earthly walk.  The question is, “Will we learn from it and not kick that rock again?”  This is just something for those in authority to think about. After all, we don’t want any headlines involving killer sheep, now do we?  Be blessed.

If you are interested, please check out an associated post Who Called the Bible Police??

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Why AM I Thinking This Way?

By Patrick Hawthorne

thinking

I would like to share with you a little journey that I have been on.  From my title, I bet – if I were a betting man – that you think this is yet another post on wrong thinking.  Nope!  It is actually a post on a progressive type thinking; thinking that is taking me from a finger pointing, black and white, my way or the highway thinking, to a more sympathetic, less judgmental type thinking.  Perhaps this is a more Godly way of thinking?  Notice the question mark at the end of the previous sentence.  Anyways, some of you might agree with me while others may disagree.  That is alright.  What fun would life be if we all agreed on everything?

Don’t get me wrong.  My thinking does not let a person off the hook for wrong doing.  Improper actions must still have consequences.  With that I remain inflexible.  Yet, it is towards the actual soul of the person that I am beginning to adjust my thinking.  I guess you could say that I’m beginning to have a Godly sorrow – a,”But for the grace of God there go I,”  – type sorrow.

For instance, a woman in the area close to where I live, was arrested for killing her baby in a horrific manner.  It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that a person could be so calloused, so cold…so evil.  Yet, when I thought about her and what she had done, my immediate thought was, This woman needs Jesus.  Do I believe she should be punished to the full extent of the law?  You betcha.  Throw the book at her.

But… the other side of me, the possibly more Godly way of thinking side of me, says “Lord, this woman is yet another casualty of sin and death.  I pray that her eyes are open to the truth, open to you.  Help her see that she has been led captive into a pit of destruction that is inescapable except through and by You.”

I’m not saying I’m perfect in my thinking.  Sometimes, especially with politicians, I still want to pinch their little pencil necks off for some of the stupidity that spews forth from their mouths.  Yet, I am now beginning to realize that most are simply little pawns being maneuvered by the devil in his game of destruction.

“Now Lord, please help me to not be so judgmental against my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who vote for these morons.”

Ok… so my Godly way of thinking has miles to go.  Leave me alone.  I’m still a work in progress. “But for the grace of God there go I.”   Be blessed.

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Posted in Christian, story

And, Here I Go Again on My Own…

By Patrick Hawthorne

geico 1

In my younger days – my rocking – air guitar playing – singing into the make believe banana microphone days – I enjoyed jamming to one song in particular.  It was White Snakes, “Here I Go Again.”

And here I go again on my own
Goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known
Like a drifter, I was born to walk alone
And I’ve made up my mind
I ain’t wasting no more time

 

geico 2

Ok… that was a fib.  It was just yesterday that I was jamming out but please keep it our secret.  We don’t want the neighbors talking.

While the song has a totally different meaning than what I am writing about, it has recently come to mind thanks mainly due to a recent string of Geico commercials.  Yet, the lyrics above fit perfectly with my thoughts for today.

For the past several weeks, memories that I thought were dead and gone have begun to spring up out of nowhere.  Issues that I haven’t given a single thought about in many, many years have suddenly begun to surface and show their ugly head.

Que the White Snake song. “And here I go again on my own…

At first I was a bit miffed that these issues were rearing their ugly head.  How dare that ole devil bring up these long dead issues.  “I rebuke you, you foul spirit.”   But then I realized I was blaming the wrong source.  I realized that the resurfacing of these memories was a God thing, a Holy Ghost “Remember When” session.   “Whoopsie!  Sorry Lord.”

Ya see… Lately I have been praying – with great sincerity, mind you – for the Lord’s help in walking out a life of holiness.  It has been a struggle, no doubt, with a plethora of bumps, bruises, and scrapes to show the many times I have fallen flat on my face.  Yet, my case is not unique.   Anyone striving to walk a life of holiness will not be exempt from the Holy Spirit “Remember When” sessions.

Everyone has their so-called demons from the past that they must contend with; their skeletons in closets.  No matter the area of your struggle or the temptations and failures you are dealing with today, there is always a root cause, a first time, that began it all.  Sometimes we wish the Lord would wave a magic wand and instantaneously heal us of certain life’s issues.  Yet, unless we are willing to allow Him to dig down and yank out the roots of what began it all, those issues will continue to resurface over and over again… just like those Geico commercials that I thoroughly enjoy but could live without.

As for me, the Lord is simply bringing up unresolved past issues from my early child hood that was the root cause for many of the issues I face today.  And, as He shows me these things, I ask Him for total healing in that area.  I don’t dwell on it.  I don’t beg and plea for forgiveness… I DON’T BLAME ANYONE INCLUDING MYSELF.  If forgiveness for others or myself is needed, I forgive.  And mostly, I simply ask the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf with prayers that I don’t quite know how to pray.  And lastly, I move on.

So now, when these issues surface, I will not sing, “And here I go again on my own…”  For, I am not on my own.  I have the Holy Spirit dwelling in me and the peace of God through my Lord Jesus to help me through the root yanking process.  So do you.  You just need to ask in sincerity.  Be blessed.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 KJV)

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Posted in Christian, teaching

That Person is Too Mean for Even God to Touch…Or Are They?

By Patrick Hawthorne

angry

We’ve all met one.  I’m referring to that cold, heartless person who is so mean they are lower than a snake in a wagon’s rut.  Nothing makes them happy.  Nothing makes them thankful.  Their whole countenance is no better than a wet cat on a rainy day.  If we are not careful, it is so easy to look at this person and think, “Bless God…Even He couldn’t make a dent in their rough exterior.”

Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious….  — 1 Timothy 1:13

While it is tempting to think that about certain people, think about yourself before Jesus got a hold of you.  Better yet, think of Saul of Tarsus.  Saul, who became Paul after his encounter with Jesus, was a hateful man right down to the core of his very being.  The Bible tells us that Saul was a religious Jew who hated Christian’s so much that he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and one who liked to inflict injury on those whom he thought were his enemy.

According to Rick Renner,  “The word “blasphemy” is the Greek word blasphemia — and it does not primarily refer to speaking irreverently about divine matters. It has a broader meaning that refers to any type of debasing, derogatory, nasty, shameful, ugly speech or behavior that is intended to humiliate someone else. Paul used the word “blasphemer” to describe his own past words and actions when he   purposefully   mistreated   and  humiliated  believers for whom he had no tolerance.”

The next time you feel like throwing in the towel on a certain person, remember that there is always hope with Jesus. All it takes is one little encounter with the Holy Spirit to jerk the old out of a person and replace it with the new.  There is none who is beyond the touch from the Master.  You do your part and keep on praying for them; Jesus will do the rest.  Be blessed.

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Drawing From an Empty Well?

By Patrick Hawthorne

 

memory

Have you ever tried drawing water from a empty, dried up well?  Well, neither have I but I’m attempting to wax allegorical  here so cut me some slack.  

So often, I hear fellow Christian’s speak negatively out of one side of their mouth while trying to apply faith out of the other.  They then wonder why things do not seem to work out well in their favor. To this, I must ask, “Can a mouth that spews out garbage bring forth the fragrance of a rose?”

James wrote concerning this very issue.  He asked, “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh. (James 3:11-12).  

I recently heard a friend refer to himself as “losing his mind,” “lunatic,” and a host of other negatives.  That was just in one sentence.  Then, in the next breath, my friend wondered aloud why he was not being used more by God.  To that I simply said, “Maybe it’s because the Holy Spirit has nothing but an empty well to draw from.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well…have you listened to yourself?  Everything you say about yourself is negative.  Why don’t you say what the Word says about you instead of what the devil whispers in your ear?”

Crickets could be heard.

“Listen,” I said. “God, through His Word, has declared you righteous (2 Cor 5:21).  His Word says that you have the mind of Christ Jesus (1 Cor 2:16).  You are the child of the Most High God.  Instead of  spouting off a bunch of negatives, start declaring what God says about you… When was the last time you spent any serious time in His Word?”

“Well…it’s been awhile.”

“Ya know… the Holy Spirit cannot draw out of you what you have not put in.  If you want to hear the Holy Spirit, you must spend time in the Word and in prayer.  Most often, while I am in prayer, His Word will rise up inside of me.  However, if my well is dry, so too are my prayers.”

Did my friend listen to the solid advice I presented?  I really don’t know.  However, I did my part by planting the proper seed.  What about you?  Are you giving the Holy Spirit something to work with or are you full of a load of garbage?  It is up to you to decide if you will allow Him more than an empty well to draw from.  Be blessed.

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Who Called the Bible Police??

By Patrick Hawthorne

bible bash

This particular post is quite far from what I normally write.  Yet, at the same time, it is right up my alley.  Actually, this topic has been on my heart for quite awhile.  It was, however, given new life by an article I just read.  In Southern terms the article, “Got my blood to boiling.”

The article that I read is one where a pastor needed correction and, if allegations are true, needs to be removed from the pulpit, immediately.  However, it is the the manner of correction and the person doing the correction that really ate my goat.  Instead of going through proper God tested and Bible approved channels, the correcting minister took to social media to lodge his complaint against the errant pastor.

Time and time again, I have seen the damage and the hurt caused by too many self appointed Bible Police in the church, the Body of Jesus Christ.  These self-anointed, self-appointed men and women of God, many of whom are pastors, have taken it upon themselves to police the Body and to look for infractions from every church except their own particular congregation.

The problem?  The problem is that they are acting out of a self righteousness that is not from God but is from the devil.  These men and women have made it their mission to seek out and destroy any minister or denomination within the Body of Christ that does not fit their finely tuned theological box of arguments.

 “It’s a black hole when you start to believe you’re the police of the body of Christ but you’re not getting that from above. You’re getting it from the devil.” Person quoted not listed intentionally.

With an air of piety, these men and women, lash out at other ministers and ministries declaring them to be false and inaccurate in their theology.  Using a type of strong arm tactic, the pious po-po proudly declares, “I will no longer follow the teachings of this or that group because they believe this and I don’t.”  Forget the fact that both camps believe 99.9% of what the other believes; it is the .1% disagreement that matters in the eyes of the pseudo Bible police.

If a minister is called by God to police a certain portion of the Church – the Body of Christ as a whole – that is fine.  I have no problem with that.  However, if a minister has made it their personal mission to seek out and correct others in the Body who are not under their spiritual authority, I have a big time problem with that.  And, to you offenders I write, “Stay in your lane, Bro.”  Be blessed.

Personal Note:  I have been guilty of this very thing that I write.  This is as much an admonition for myself as it is a lesson for others.

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God’s Fragrance Diffuser’s

By Patrick Hawthorne

Aroma oil diffuser and candles on blurred background

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Cor 2:14-17 KJV)

The other morning, I was reading the above verses when my eyes lit upon verse 15. I have read this verse many times but had never really stopped to think about what is being said.  I understand that we, as lights, are to shine in a dark earth.  I also understand that we are as salt, preservers and enhancers of the Word.  Yet, I had never stopped to think that we are also called to be a fragrance diffuser, filled with the aromatic oil of the Holy Spirit. To those who have accepted Jesus, we are a sweet smell; the smell of life and goodness.  However, to those who are perishing, we carry with us the stench of the knowledge of death.

Some might be thinking, “How is it that we can attract some with our sweet smell and yet be offensive to another with the same smell?  Well, think about it for a second.  Have you ever seen maggots on a rose?  The answer is most likely a solid, ‘no.’  The reason being is that maggots are attracted to the stench of death and decay, not the sweet fragrance of life. So too are some people.  The fact is, there are some who are repulsed by the the life saving aroma of the Good News.

How do you become the unmistakable aroma of the victory of the Anointed One to God – a perfume of life to those being saved and the odor of death to those who are perishing?*  It is simple.  Never water down the message of God’s Word and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to heat the aromatic oil within you.  To those seeking life, you will be like the pollen to a bee.  Be blessed.

*portion of verse 15 taken from the Passion Translation.

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