Thursday, December 02, 2021

Santa Tells the Story of

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!!! I am SO glad that you are here!

Would you like to hear about the very first Christmas Eve?

It’s a very exciting story about a mom, a dad and a child that would change 

the world.

Pg 2

A long time ago, even before I was born, there were two people who were 

very much in love named Mary and Joseph. They lived in a land that is far 

away from here and they were going to get married.


One special day an angel named Gabriel appeared and he said, “Hello Mary! 

I have some amazing news for you!” 


Well Mary was afraid but Gabriel said, “Don’t be afraid Mary, you are going 

to have a child, a very special child  and this child will change the world!”

Mary was frightened, she had never seen an angel before but she knew this 

was something that she wanted to do since this visitor Gabriel was sent 

all the way from heaven to tell her about it. I have to tell Joseph about this!

Pg 5

Mary burst into the house of Joseph saying,  “Joseph I have big news!” 

and Joseph exclaimed, “Mary I have big news! I had a dream and-” 

“we are having a child that will change the world” they exclaimed together!

The Joseph told her about a dream. 

“An angel visited me in a dream and told me you are going to have a child 

and I am going to be his daddy and he will change the world!”


Sometime before the child was born the king sent out a letter that said 

all families need to go their home towns so they can be counted with the rest 

of their family and so Joseph got a donkey for Mary to ride and off they went

to Bethlehem.

When Mary and Joseph rode through town and as they came upon an Inn 

Joseph went in to see if they had a room for them and no one had a room for 

Mary and Joseph or for the child about to be born who would change the 


Finally they came to an inn that was run by a very kind man who still had no 

room for Mary and Joseph or the child about to be born who would change 

the world but he told Joseph that they were welcome to use the stable for 


Meanwhile on a hill not too far away there were shepherds looking after their 
sheep. They were gathered around small fires talking about their day when all 

of a sudden a single angel appeared high up in the sky and said, “Don’t be 

afraid, I’m hear to tell you some great news! Today in Bethlehem a child was 

born, a child that will change the world!” and the sky opened up and night 

became day as thousands of angels appeared proclaiming together 

“Glory to God in the highest and peace be in the hearts of men!”

And the sky was empty, leaving the shepherds blinking and wondering what 

had just happened. 

Then one of them said, “lets go into town and see about this child who will 

change the world”

And one of them had noticed that when the angels disappered a new and very 

bright star appeared! That star must lead the way!

Well the group of them got into town and found the stable. They began to 

crowd around the stable door to get a peek in- Joseph put his finger to his lip 

saying “The baby is sleeping” 

And they were all excited to have met the child who would change the world.

And THAT my friends is my favorite Christmas story because it's the first one
And it's about the child who grew up to change the world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

the romance of the cross

take a step back
take a step to the right
now get another look at the cross

it began long before
long before he ever walked
clear from very beginning of this creation

HE knew
HE knew it would break
leaving us all in a mire of our own mud

come walk with me in the cool of the day
come climb this mountain to its heights so we can talk
won’t you pray with me for one hour

a man of sorrow
a man not pretty
a man without stature

be healed but tell no one but the priest
this man is not blind for the sins of his parents
where are your accusers

blessed are you
blessed are they
blessed are those

whitewashed graves
vipers and serpents
you say but I tell you

a man without blame
like a sheep before the shears
no single word broke his silence

john this is your mother
I am thirsty
it is finished

it is finished
without a broken bone
but crown of thorns and a heart exposed for all to see

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Farming for Beginners

I was talking with a friend about the deliverance earlier today and that took me down a merry path thinking about what I have seen in the 40 plus years that I have conscious of the need.
My christening moment was watching TBN in the early years and watching one (or both) of them going off on rock music imagery and backward masking... (I've got to admit, some of that stuff is amazing and they made a strong case for it.

From there I was spending time looking into the darkness in order that I wouldn't be caught unaware.
Spent some time in the navy to earn some money for bible school where I was introduced to Bob Larson, who had a radio show where he tore everything and left no joy or innocence, vilifying everything that would raise a menonites eyebrow.

I was pretty much just keeping my ears open and listening for truth and I began to find some pretty remarkable teachers. I learned early in this portion of my journey that the people who actually had revelation to teach when googled, were very often plagued by the guardians of mediocrity who would actually have five or six web addresses that would come up in the search before the the subject of their venom and my interest.

I also had recognized the need not to just take someone else's word for anything but actually look into it (still not great at it tho'). I heard Larson talk about the books "Pigs in the Parlor" and some clinical psychology(-ish) book whose name I can't recall.

Later I found Graham Cook who mentored me (I met him once in a hallway in Portland, Oregon and thanked him for being my mentor for the past 20 years) and one of the lessons that he taught me (and it stuck) is that to ask for ones anointing is to ask for a burden that you aren't prepared for.

I think that laying on hands is like infant baptism... It is a seeding where the seeds are actually left on top of the soil with the idea that that they will be tended to, as with a child...

If I remember correctly, or at least at the child dedications that I have attended, the agreement with those in attendance is that they will all be part of raising that child up in the knowledge of Christ.

Todd Bentley, as a young christian, spent a lot of time meditating on what he saw and heard reading the bible without the narration of folk that read what they read in the same voice that read it in the first time which sounded a lot like the voice of the preacher thaat explained it all to them in the first place...

There are revelations in that book that you only read when you read it as tho' it's your first time.   John Crowder was holed up in a travel trailer in Alaska when he gleaned truths, blatant truths, about man's place in the Kingdom of God that are filled with freedom instead of the hierarchies of current church governments.

So my point is, if you see someone or something that really intrigues you don't just think that to have someone lay hands on you is enough, seeds must germinate, be protected, soaked in the nourishment of the soil and the provision of the Father. Then they will come to kingdom level fruition. A fruition that will be beyond your ability to assess and that is when faith comes in.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

One of the things that I have noticed through the years is that the established tribe wants to keep what they have and they don’t look favorably on anything that might upset their apple cart.

The missionary has for centuries tried to make people become who the missionary is, for fear of being led astray by the traditions of the missioned peoples. They have been fearful enough to forbid drums, vocal styles, even meeting locations for fear of demonic intervention, rather than “taking on all comers.” I will speak of the native American, but with the caveat that they aren’t the only aboriginal peoples who feel this way. The path of reconciliation is well worn and bears little fruit. 

The modern church researchers have begun to recognize that people groups have sounds associated with both them and the ground that they inhabit. The Aborigine in Australia incorporates the sounds of their surroundings into the music of the didgeridoo. The Hawaiian dances in expression of the sea that gives them sustenance. The Native American calls out thanks to the animals that share the land and life with them. The Native American actually has a Trinitarian god who manifested in the earth because he was too great for man to comprehend as a spirit being… Sound familiar just a little bit? 

Their complaint is that the modern church (since its arrival) has judged them simple heathens and turned back their honest expressions of worship. The drum, the flute, their dance has all been judged as an expression of a baser faith which includes animism and reverence of dark spirits (all of which can be discovered to some degree in our church today). 

We MUST accept their identity in its full expression, which includes tobacco, sage and cedar which mirror elements of the jewish worship with what is indigenous to the region. All are used as incense. Their use of the drums communicates Gods heartbeat and they consider each time their foot touches the ground to be a prayer, especially when they are wearing a “jingle dress” which adds the texture of a tambourine to their dance. The sound of breath filling the air around the flute so easily represents the breath of the Holy Spirit being breathed over a group of people, and yet people have feared these exhortations, these expressions of the spirit and in the Spirit may have been used for a dark purpose or by the unordained and therefore insulting to the deity who, in fact, said, (New International Version) Mt 28:15&16 He (Jesus) said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” 

Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” 

 Rev 7:9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 

He receives them. Who are we to be so bold and so proud as to “protect” Him from them. It is a lie that God cannot look on sin. A lie, pure and simple. Jesus was not abandoned by His Father on the cross, He was fully man in that moment, experiencing death crying out as any man would. Adam is proof and did what man has done ever since, until that moment on the cross. God came looking for Him. In His ability to shut off His omniscience so that Adam could hide from Him in His shame? I believe that He wanted Adam to come out and trust the friend that he had always walked with in the cool of the afternoon. 

Enough with the rabbits, Jesus is certain to redeem every tribe and tongue, and every means eery just like all means all. There is no “skiming the till”, He will get everything that He has paid for. All of it.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The New Man in Gadara

He had always, it seemed, lived in the darkness. Only a faint memory of light hidden in his memory under a pile of resentment fed by the cold and the smell of his own rotting manifestation and a feeling that he was once much more.

It had been eras since he had last syphoned from the light in a host. He had been happy until being discovered by a new man. up until that time moment he had it pretty good living as part of a horde within a man who would do our bidding in exchange for supernatural strength. Eventually we had him replenishing the lot of us with energy that was meant to sustain his mind and body to a glory that I resented- we all resented... and took great pleasure causing him to let his own blood, his own life force flow.

We found great sport in it.

Beyond being our source of the glorious energy that we fed on he was endless entertainment, pulling stones from graves and raising them high over his head, we would wager on how long he could keep it there before it landed on him. Or threaten passersby with threat from stick or stone or eventually even just a scream was effective in keeping him in isolation.

Those of us within were warm and safe reveling as we sucked all of the glory within that reminded me of a better time.

I was beautiful then.

This bone that you see when you look at my head? The large one that looks like a horn? It was once a crown filled with jewels, but as my manifestation was deprived of sustenance, the energy derived from the man in the graveyard, it has deteriorated through the last two millennia into what you see here.

Where once my eyes were a bright glowing red, red like the embers of a fire, now are hollow and for all intents and purposes I am blind.

The vibrant colors that colored my armor now monochromatic shades from grey green to a black.
Once smooth and creaseless, gaps between bones and joints separated by a coagulant viscosity that drips off occasionally like the flesh of the Gadara. the smell is far worse probably because it is my own.
The new man? We only knew him as master, wondering why he had come before it was our time to vacate the decaying flesh we inhabited.

Somehow our host caught sight of him and ran, although our resistance caused him to trip more than once as we fought for control.

We had taken intelligible speech from him, but one of our more fearful number darted for his ability to speak and asked if the New Man was here for us...

Knowing that he had brought disaster upon us one of the more powerful among is thought to negotiate our exit. He tried to negotiate for a new host, not nearly as delectable as the one we had, he asked if we could be released into a herd of pigs.

...This horde into a herd of pigs, a disaster at first consideration, but I think he thought it would buy us time and we could regain entry or find another host, but in the moment we left I felt the change.

The New Man had come to bring a change into this world that was my home... had been my playground, feeding ground, the land where I lived a life of leisure, and now into a herd of pigs that no matter how we tried to control them still managed to stampede into the river.

They had no thought for reasonable compromise, we couldn't dominate them we were stuck in our compromise with the New Man. Stuck swimming, crying, clamoring, the weaker pulling the stronger back down as they would reach a possible safety, all and each clinging to existence knowing that life as we knew it was over.
The New Man never gave us a glance.  It was as though in this moment a lesson had been taught. A victory recorded and a history rewritten.

Now I sit in the cold darkness. Feasting on memories of a time I cannot return to. Unless perhaps...

Come closer, how would you like the power to...

Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Eternal Romance

Here is a quick historical survey of the EARLY CHURCH regarding their beliefs about HELL:

THE FIRST 500 YEARS: In the first five centuries there were six known theological schools. Four of them taught that all men would EVENTUALLY be rescued from Hell after a remedial time of purgation: these being the theological schools at Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea and Edessa/Nisbis. One school, Ephesus, taught Annihilationism (that sinners are totally incinerated into nothingness in Hell). Only one theological school, Rome/Carthage taught eternal punishment. Source: The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Universalism entry, p. 96, Baker Book House.

"The main Patristic supporters of the apokatastasis theory, such as Bardaisan, Clement, Origen, Didymus, St. Anthony, St. Pamphilus Martyr, Methodius, St. Macrina, St. Gregory of Nyssa (and probably the two other Cappadocians), St. Evagrius Ponticus, Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, St. John of Jerusalem, Rufinus, St. Jerome and St. Augustine (at least initially [However, even after abandoning the doctrine of apokatastasis himself, Augustine very interestingly recognised that a great deal of Christians in his day did embrace it, 'indeed the vast majority' (immo quam plurimi). These very numerous Christians, 'albeit not denying the Holy Scripture, do not believe in eternal torments' (Ench. ad Laur. 29) page 683]), Cassian, St.Isaac of Nineveh, St.John of Dalyatha, Ps. Dionysius the Areopagite, probably St. Maximus the Confessor, up to John the Scot Eriugena,28 and many others, grounded their Christian doctrine of apokatastasis first of all in the Bible." Page 11, The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis: A Critical Assessment from the New Testament to Eriugena, by Ilaria L.E. Ramelli (2013). Ramelli's work is comprehensive (800 pages) on this and her credentials beyond reproach. I daresay its the most comprehensive and scholarly book on the subject ever written. She is working on a shorter user friendly version soon to be published.

1ST CENTURY: PAUL. It is interesting to note that Paul never used the word Hell in any of his writings, though he was considered the theologian of the New Testament. He spoke of God's post-mortem purging fire in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, but never of Hell per se. The Gospel of John, the disciple perhaps closest to Jesus' heart, never used the word Hell in his Gospel. It is also interesting to note that the Book of Acts never mentions the word Hell, except to speak of Jesus' liberation FROM it. Acts NEVER uses the word Hell to describe any part of the Christian message which established the Church. The following passages suggests Paul's seminal thinking on the eventual and ultimate salvation of all men: Romans 5:17,18; 10:9-17; 11:25-33; 14:11; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 15:22-28; 1 Tim. 2:1-6; 4:10; Eph. 1:10; 4:1-10; Phil. 2:9-11; Col. 1:20, 23.

2ND CENTURY: CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA. Clement was the first to speak of God's fire as a "wise fire" which purges the sinner unto salvation. "God's punishments are saving and disciplinary (in Hades) leading to conversions, and choosing rather the repentance than the death of the sinner, and especially since souls, although darkened by passions, when released from their bodies, are able to perceive more clearly because of their being no longer obstructed by the paltry flesh. We can set no limits to the agency of the Redeemer to redeem, to rescue, to discipline, is His work, and so will he continue to operate after this life." Clem. str. 5:14.90.4-91.2; see also; and hyp. (frg. In Stahlin, Clemens Alexandrians, 3:211).

3RD CENTURY: ORIGEN: "When the Son is said to be subject to the Father, the perfect restoration of the whole creation is signified, so also, when enemies are said to be subjected to the Son of God, the salvation of the conquered and the restoration of the lost is in that understood to consist." Origen, De Principiis, Book III, Chapter 5, Section 7, Anf, Vol. 4. Origen was the first Christian Systematic Theologian. A fundamental and essential element of his theology was the doctrine of the universal restoration of all fallen beings to their original holiness and union with God. Gods mercy and goodness are all-inclusive and ultimately irresistible. Hellfire is corrective and purgative, not punitive and eternal. This doctrine was called Apocatastasis, "the restitution of all things" per Acts 3:21. Origen was the greatest enemy of Gnosticism (per his Against Celsus) and is considered the greatest theologian of the early Eastern Church. "There is hardly a major thinker who is not deeply indebted to Origen. From the middle of the Twentieth Century, focused scholarly symposia of the Greek and Latin Church have once again begun to study and critically expound the rich Origenian legacy." The Westminister Handbook of Patristic Theology, WJK.

4TH CENTURY: GREGORY OF NYSSA: "What therefore is the scope of Pauls argument in this place [1 Cor. 15:28]? That the nature of evil, at length, be wholly exterminated, and divine, immortal goodness embrace within itself every rational creature; so that of all who were made by God, not one shall be excluded from his Kingdom. All the viciousness, that like a corrupt matter is mingled in things, shall be dissolved and consumed in the furnace of purgatorial fire; and every thing that had its origin from God, shall be restored to its pristine state of purity." Tract, in Dictum Apostoli, Tunc etiam ipse Filius subjicietur, and c.p. 137, and seqq. Gregory was one of the three great Cappodadocean Fathers who protected the doctrine of the Trinity from the Arians at the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople.

5TH CENTURY: Theodore of Mopsuestia. "They who have chosen the good, shall, in the future world, be blessed and honored. But the wicked, who have committed evil the whole period of their lives, shall be punished till they learn, that, by continuing in sin, they only continue in misery. And when, by this means, they shall have been brought to fear God, and to regard Him with good-will, they shall obtain the enjoyment of His grace." Assemani Biblioth. Orient. Tom. iii. Par. i. p.323.

Church history is fairly clear that this view of Hell was not just the view of a few, but rather was the majority view of the Church.

Basil the Great (329-379) said that, "The MASS of men (Christians) say that there is to be an end of punishment to those who are punished." De Ascetics.

Saint Jerome (347-420) said, "I know that MOST persons understand the story of Nineveh and its king, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures." Homily on Jonah.

Lastly, even Augustine (354-430), who vehemently opposed Universalism, acknowledged, "There are VERY MANY in our day, who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments." Enchirdion cxii. (The Latin for "very many" is imo quam plurimi, which can be translated majority).

When the Church rejected this high view of God's goodness and replaced it with a view of God as an eternal torturer, the dark ages began, almost to the day. Ever since, there has remained a small, constant and stubborn strand of those imbedded in the Church who believe Hell is not an eternal torture chamber, but rather God's final crisis-center, a cosmic ER station where God performs complicated, intense and painful surgery on our souls in order to remove all our false sin-identies accumulated over our lifetime.

With no permission from Richard Murray

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Begininning Of A Beginning

In 1998 just outside of Belfast Ireland there was a revival, and in the midst of it I fell in love.  I had been involved in music for my whole life, but there was an expression that I had never really heard that was featured, that of the drums.
The drums were playing as one of the speakers commissioned me as a warrior, and as I fell to the floor, I opened my heart and asked God for the drums, and He gave them to me.
I didn’t have any idea what that was going to mean, only that I would have a new weapon in my little arsenal (and I really didn't actually know that  I had n arsenal).  I went out and bought an Irish bodhran (boe-run) and began to fiddle with it and eventually got the sounds out of it, now to get the rhythms out.
The challenge was to playing in 4/4 time when it is designed to play in 6/8 rhythm, but the ingenuity of someone who plays intuitively can overcome pretty much anything. 
Having been a musician most of my life I had certain sensibilities to overcome, and there was a bit of a struggle; including the pastor not feelin’ it, so to speak.  In those times you hope for an intervention.  Someone who has the vote of confidence from those whom you see yourselves under and someone who has you respect as well.
Enter Georgian Banov of a band called Silverwind back in the 1970’s.  And he had his eye on my drum…  that I was having trouble playing in 4/4 time.  He asked if he could play and then should me how to play within the worship setting.  He handed it back to me and I was set free.  Before long it was congas, udu, djembe, quika, ocean drum and so many others- each has a sound, a voice to speak into the atmosphere and change things.

So that was me, breaking loose.  Then on line I ran across a group called Psalm Drummers.  Powerful concept, drum intercession.  Founded by Teryl Bryant, a studio musician from London.  He put together a drum circle that as held at Penn State that had over 400 drummers participating made up of Christian drummers from across the nations that chartered local psalm drummer groups.  I never belonged to one of them, but I saw the strength in the concept.

I have played since that time, breaking through brass heavens and hard hearts and closed minds.