Things I Think

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57 Responses

  1. nomans says:

    A weak but heartfelt “amen” to your 1,3,6 &7

  2. covered says:

    I agree Michael, more pain, suffering and confusion than I’ve seen in a while. I hate to see so many that I love hurting so bad. You say, “We have been called to minister through a providentially difficult season in history and we have to step up to the challenge.” I’m running out of answers and like you, I’m in the business that many expect to have the answers. All I can do is point the One on the throne but it still hurts to watch.

  3. Michael says:


    I’m really focusing on three things in my little church and sphere of influence. Person, providence, and promises.

    I’ve been in the books of Ruth and Esther, so I’ve been able to laser focus on the covenant faithfulness of God in every circumstance…because I need that laser focus to get through myself.

  4. 1 & 2 – I’ve never been more disgusted with American politics…and I’ve always been pretty disgusted with American politics. I was teaching in 1 Peter Chapter 2 yesterday, so we discussed how to honor a political leader while disagreeing with his positions. I think it was a fruitful discussion. We are blessed to live in a country where we are free to disagree. As Christians we are called to do so with honor, and in a loving manner.

    3. I do believe.

    4. That’s why the Panthers stink again. It’s the replacement refs.

    5. I don’t know that it is possible. I avoid the news.

    6. Thank you. That’s a wonderful reminder.

    10. I had wanted to watch that documentary for a while now. I’ve started watching and too many painful memories are coming back. That was a rough time in my life.

  5. Em says:

    “We have been called to minister through a providentially difficult season in history and we have to step up to the challenge.” praying for this

    “we are free to disagree” … or are we? when is that conclusion a walk away conclusion in place of taking a stand and holding the ground? and how do we stand without the agressive fanaticism that is popular in science and false religions? … you all are raising too many questions in my mind when it should be occupied with the logistics of sorting and packing today

  6. Em says:

    #3- i can only believe in God, in what i know of Him … miracles always surprise me … how can one *expect* a miracle?

  7. Papias says:

    Politics has barely a blip on my radar right now, and quite frankly, I’m the better for it being that way. I can totally relate to points 1 and 2 though.

    3. I do believe. I want to think I believe so much that it wouldn’t phase me if I saw it, but I know I’d be blown away. We just had a divine intervention of sorts here – We accidently left our garage door open the other night, and nothing happend. Nobody and nothing missing. Just chalked up another “Thank you Lord!”.

    4. GO PACKERS! I plan on watching a little bit of tonights game9which would be my first this season) – once I get the kids to bed. Before then, its impossible – they’re too cute.

    5. TV News thats impartial – good luck with that. I like what Bill Hicks had to say, “You ever watch CNN for longer than, say, 20 hours in one day? I gotta cut that out. Watch CNN. It’s the most depressing thing you’ll ever see, man. “WAR, FAMINE, DEATH, AIDS, HOMELESS, RECESSION, DEPRESSION, WAR, FAMINE, DEATH, AIDS.” Over and over again. Then you look out your window – (crickets chirping) – where’s all this *&^% going on, man? Ted Turner is making this *&^$ up. Jane Fonda won’t sleep with him, he runs to a typewriter: “By 1992 we will all die of AIDS. Read that on the air. I don’t get @$#%, nobody gets @#%$.”

    8. I have been encouraged to attend a class at church about Christian origins, taught by a prof of NT Greek at seminary. Smart guy, and excelletnt class – it makes the 1st century come alive. But he has an axe to grind on Rom 7 being a non-believer, as he spends about 5 minutes of the last two classes on this point. I may have to sudy up on this just to throw a wrench out there for him – just b/c. 😉
    Its also getting me to read this:

    10.The less said about Bentley, the better, IMO.

  8. Xenia says:

    1. I think in all my years of ministry I’ve never seen so many struggling in so many ways. In addition to the economic<<<

    I don't know. When I was a kid in rural Ohio we had kids who were so poor they couldn't afford mittens and came to school with their dad's socks on their hands to keep out the bitter cold. We had a student whose farm had no electricity. I had a friend whose house consisted of a basement- the rest of the house was never built. Poverty was a little different then that it is nowadays.

    2. My hope is in God and not in any temporal leader. <<<

    For sure. Place not your hope in princes or sons of men in whom there is no salvation.

    3. “do I really believe in that sort of divine intervention”?<<<

    I do, absolutely. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

    5. What we need in this country today on a secular level is a true news agency that isn’t beholden to any political position. <<<

    We have a free press. The Internet offers hundreds of sites where the owner is free to say what he likes. TV news shows have commercials which means on some level they are beholden to their sponsors. I don't believe anything I see on TV and very little of what I read on the Internet.

    6. God is for you, my friend… even in the most difficult of circumstances.

    Is God for everyone?

    8. I haven't read much new stuff lately<<<

    I am reading a lot of old stuff. Like Papias, I am studying the history of the early Church, in my case via the San Francisco Institute of Orthodox Studies.

    9. This is His world and all things come through His hand.<<<

    This is why I don't concern myself too much with this benighted election.

    10. Here's a new documentary about the Lakeland “revival” and that snake Bentley.

    No thanks.

  9. Em said: “we are free to disagree” … or are we? when is that conclusion a walk away conclusion in place of taking a stand and holding the ground?

    That would be part of “with honor”, and “with love”. Err on the side of love and honor. If you know you can’t converse and be loving/ honorable, refrain from conversation.

  10. Reuben says:

    I felt almost relieved today to tell one of my hyper-conservative friends that I am not voting, unless I can vote for a third party.

    I don’t care about politics like I used to.

    If someone asked me why I would vote for a third party, and I do have one in mind, I would not even care to expend the energy to explain.

    TV and radio news media are a bunch of filthy scum liars. That includes the righteous conservative christian ones too.

  11. It is absolutely impossible for a news agency to be unbiased and is in fact an unreasonable request.
    News agencies have a bias just by what they choose to report on.

  12. Em says:

    #10 – Reuben, do you ever wonder if they’ve fooled themselves before they turned on us? the press and both the political parties are amoral and obsessed with power – all the rhetoric is just bait – we, the people, are in a pickle and not ready or able to just shut up and pray – yet … truth be told, i’m not sure what to ask of the Lord … mercy, perhaps

  13. Reuben says:

    Em, I don’t know. I think news editors get to the point that they “know better” and feel obligated to revise history as a means of setting things right.

    My wife and I are 18 today, and I am proud of that.

  14. Nonnie says:

    Do I believe in God’s sovereignty and divine intervention? I am right there with Xenia on this one. Absolutely! I believe…..O Lord, help my unbelief.

  15. I too believe strongly in “the doctrine of the sovereignty of God in providence”… however, I don’t know that I rest comfortably there – knowing in God’s sovereignty he can squash me like a bug. Where I do find rest and peace in in his mercy.

  16. 1. I can’t help but wonder seeing all the economic issues in my own family members who are struggling if this isn’t in the long run better for us as Americans in causing us to rely on God more than money and things. Sometimes I almost feel guilty thinking this, but I know I have. I make about half of what I made two years ago, but I rely on the Lord far more than I used to.
    2. Amen!
    3. I wonder more if I am praying for the right thing a lot of times when I pray for people.
    5. True.
    6 and 7. Amen!
    8. Picked up a copy of Spurgeon’s Mornings and Evenings a week ago and it has been really hitting home. Besides that I have been reading Jim Cymbala’s “Fresh Faith” which I picked up at the local thrift store.
    9. That has been a recurring theme in my life lately and I see it more and more clearly.
    10. Todd Bentley…ughh that made me throw up in my mouth a little.

  17. Em says:

    “knowing in God’s sovereignty he can squash me like a bug. Where I do find rest and peace in in his mercy.”

    had to reread that and realize one “in” was probably an “is” and then i say, “amen”

    I KNOW that God is sovereign and He is God because of His attributes and i am so thankful for His mercy, including His mercy in revealing what He has of Himself to us/me.
    That said, miracles will always be a surprise to me – we know we aren’t worthy of His mercy, let alone personal miracles from His grace … but do you ever think of the probability that we are much more important than we realize? there has to be a cosmic (for want of a better word) reason for what we are enduring, what is playing out on this planet – whatever it is, could it have been without the human race? God created us for a reason, not on a whim … or so it seems to me – Paul said there were things he’d seen that we couldn’t bear and he went on a submissive, determined and faithful servant of our God

  18. #1-9 AMEN!!!

    #10 BARF!!!

  19. Having said that, I may just watch the documentary anyway. My blood pressure has been low enough lately, so I think I can handle it. We’ll see.

    RE: #9 – Agreed. On the other hand, I just received my copies of Heart for God by Sinclair Ferguson and Jesus: A Theography by Len Sweet. Not sure when I will start them, but I’m looking forward to both.

  20. judy says:

    But there’s something about desperate faith, faith that needs God so badly because nothing else will do. The revivalists knew about this kind of faith. Leonard Ravenhill preached about it. It’s that “I’m grabbing onto you God because I don’t have anyone else and I’m believing that your word is true and I’m waiting for you to move and do a miracle.”

    If you’ve ever been desperate or to the point where you have nothing but God, then you know what I’m talking about.

  21. Nonnie says:

    Amen, Judy……I believe in miracles…a part of me expects them, and then there there is that other part of me.
    I’m so thankful for the story in the gospels of that man who believed Jesus, sought Jesus, but was honest enough to say “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) And Jesus met him at his point of need. No spiritual pretending needed, no need to work himself up to “look” spiritual, no jumping up and down, shaking, screaming, no positive confession over and over again….just a needy man who loved his child and came to Jesus with his need. He is the sovereign, gracious and merciful One we can trust.

  22. Re: the Bentley video, – a commenter on the YouTube site summed it up best;

    “I seriously believe this guy can see all these things and even possibly physically heal. He just does it by the power of Beelzebub. This guy is worshiping a demon, not God.”

    All of these 3rd Wave guys are like this – even those who are critical of Bentley, they are still in the movement and do the same work of the devil… they just don’t like the way Bentley does it. They think that the work of demons should be done their way.

  23. I disagree MLD. Bentley is a total fraud. Doesn’t see anything, doesn’t heal anything. No power at all.

  24. Nonnie says:

    TB is just show business…… It is a circus of flesh disguised in bible talk. Pure vomit.
    Don’t get me started. 😉

  25. Josh,
    I don’t think you draw the crowds being a fraud – I think the demons even inspire the people who go, because no Christian in their right mind goes to those things unless they too are deceived by the prince of darkness..

    The important issue is the old 3rd Wave guys – we even have one here on the blog.

  26. Nonnie says:

    MLD, I will respectfully disagree with you there about the beloved gentleman on our blog. We may not agree with some of his form or method, but I have seen the fruit of the HOLY Spirit in what he has written and done, over and over, and over again. I am sorry, but I think you are being waaaay too harsh in what you are saying about our friend here.
    TB, is a whole other issue!

  27. Nah, a good con-man can draw a huge crowd. People are dying to believe a lie. Nothing Todd Bentley has ever done that can be explained by showmanship, or just outright lying.

    Now, that in itself is demonic, and those crowds are certainly deceived. But as far as any real, supernatural power? Nope. All a game. To a large extent the crowd is playing along.

  28. Em says:

    didn’t watch the Bentley link, not going to – but there is a very active unseen demonic world, so even though i agree it is enough for us to say it’s show business, my late grandmother’s caution was to stay as far away from the demon world as possible … the flesh itself is hard enough to manage – i’m expecting delivery today of a rewrite of a book that i’d written which deals with gossip and yesterday i gossiped! – today i confess and repent … again

  29. Nonnie says:

    In so much as Satan is the Father of lies….OK, Todd Bentley circus is demonic. His circus show was certainly an extravaganza of lies and deceit. Perhaps even he was deceived.

  30. Nonnie says:

    Dear Sweet Em, I think each one of us, if we are honest, will have something to confess and repent of daily. So thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness and thankful for honest friends to live as examples of what it means to be a child of God.

  31. Em says:

    Nonnie, i’ve reached the age where good people start complimenting you – the other day someone said that i’m the smartest woman she’s ever met – my first reaction was, ‘how come it took this long for someone to notice that?’ then i realized that i’m in the zone now, we start smiling beatifically and look demure and all say isn’t she the sweetest old thing – old people are still sinners, just too tired to display it too much 😆

  32. Babylon's Dread says:

    Listening to the documentary… so far it is excellent and without guile.


  33. Ok the documentary was not really investigative… it was pretty sympathetic… But it is good to see a point of view that says people were helped and that should not be overlooked.

    Todd is still bent. But all my emotions over him are at the bottom of the sea… I have no energy for anything Toddish

    Started to write about Zimbabwe… cannot …

  34. Michael says:

    You need to Dread…how else will we know?

  35. Babylon's Dread says:

    Michael… take a glance at Peter Godwin … The Fear and his earlier book When a Crocodile Eats The Sun…. And then imagine a country that went from being the richest in Africa to a nation with 1/4 of its population in diaspora, more orphans per capita than any other in Africa … a rampant AIDs plague killing off the people… 6% employment… a president who lost his rigged election in 2008 who has beat and tortured thousands of people for voting against him in a free election…

    Then come with me to a neighborhood that was beginning to prosper until the government plowed it under with dozers to intimidate and turned it into a squatters domicile … one room mud-brick homes with no utilities… teachers who set up a school for their children who do not get paid… they teach on the top of bare rocks in the sun. The children sing and dance instantly when they hear a note… their joyful smiles betray their broken lives. They do not really know how life is outside the neighborhood.

    Bullies take us into custody for taking pictures of children selling fruit even though the kids were delighted. They make it plain that they have the power to do as they wish. The authorities are all ranchers…the land they own was once the richest in southern Africa now they ask American preachers if we know anything about farming. We know how they got the land. The pastor we worked with has a home full of orphans and has already been dragged back for questioning after we left. You can see the title to that first book on the faces.

    Abused people protect the abusers with their silence. You have to be abused to get it. I was not and still I smelled the fear that empowers the devil.

  36. Michael says:


    My heart goes out to you and to those you ministered to. What can we do? You have to keep this in front of us…remember, attention must be paid.

  37. London says:

    What’s the cost of one teacher for a year?

  38. Babylon's Dread says:

    These teachers are volunteers… a couple dollars a day will keep them going… sadly

  39. Em says:

    a very long time ago (maybe 40 years, not sure) a man named J Vernon McGee focused on a part of Africa and asked people to pray for Rhodesia, a beautiful and, i think, Godly land – i believe he said that demonic forces were making inroads and the Church and its work there was in grave danger – now BD posts what that land has become – things happen so slowly over time that no one really understands the process that brought any of us to where we are now in this world – this night is Yom Kippur for the Jew – i feel a need to soul search – not a time for pontificating

  40. Sarah says:

    Dread…I agree with Michael, we need to hear these stories and to know what is happening.

    I can only imagine the frustration, similar I would assume to Michael’s when he speaks of Juarez, in trying to communicate something so vivid and so needful of attention only to have responses that betray our uncomfortableness with the situation. We feel helpless and that is hard to hide in our responses (not saying that of London or Em, etc…just generally).

    I have been overwhelmed lately with the needs of some children near us who are in all likelihood not going to live through the coming week. The emotion and the need and the cry for a miracle are overwhelming.

    The brokenness of our world can utterly undo us, and maybe that is exactly what God would have.

    We should be utterly heartbroken at the situations like Juarez and Zimbabwe…and broken in a way that leads to action not to numbness. It is one thing to hear the stories in generalities, but to hear your stories with such clarity and power and emotion….they move us more.

    We start with prayer. We start with prayer that is founded on the belief that our prayers reach a God who cares and who is willing to be moved and who is able to act. We don’t know where else to begin…but please do not take our willingness to pray as futility or as a lackadaisical response. And, Lord, help it not be….but prayers of power and force and emotion and urgency.

    Beyond that, guide us and help us to know how we can act.

    Praying this morning with a heart that is heavy as I see the burdens….of dying children, of elections that bring fear and hope and all mixture of emotions, of countries torn by evil (studying North Korea with the children this week), and of friends who are burdened by what they have seen and frustrated that others do not see….and yet praying as well with hope and determination because

    Our God is Mighty to save.

    Our God is the Creator of all.

    Our God is willing to hear…

    I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
    From whence comes my help?
    My help comes from the Lord,
    Who made heaven and earth.
    He will not allow your foot to be moved;
    He who keeps you will not slumber.
    Behold, He who keeps Israel
    Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
    The Lord is your keeper;
    The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
    The sun shall not strike you by day,
    Nor the moon by night.
    The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
    He shall preserve your soul.
    The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
    From this time forth, and even forevermore. Psalm 121

    Praying for your heart as well this morning, Dread…for strengthening and healing and for determination and clear vision of what you are called to in this situation where the story is filled with named people with voices that you hear and faces that you see. Praying for God to move and the evil to be held back, for the Spirit to rise up within you and within those pastors in the midst of the situation…for power and strength. And for calm and for peace in their hearts that spreads to all who come in contact.

    Praying for those children, that their voices are preserved in songs and their songs pierce the darkness. Praying for their innocence and for their protection. Praying that the enemy of their souls, and ours, would be held back…would be defeated. Praying for hope to spring in their midst that is stronger and more filling than the fear that fills their eyes now.

    Praying for the leaders who are corrupt to be overcome by their corruption…that it will gnaw at their souls and will color their view and will bring distraction and frustration and restlessness until they are humbled and call out to God.

    Praying. And praying more…even as my view is filled with a laughing, whole and well little girl who fills the room with peace and I wonder what it must be like to be living in such fear.

    Don’t stop talking, Dread…and Michael.

  41. Em says:

    Truth be told, the Body of Christ, the True Church, has been aware of the direction that these tortured lands have been going and the sober-minded in the Church have been praying – and working – all along … even if some of the most influential congregations and their pastors may have slipped into a narcoleptic, satisfied slumber of churchianity

    Western colonialism and Christian evangelism had a symbiotic relationship in times past and that may have fooled the Church into thinking that we would reform the world. Unless one reads Scripture to say that we, the Church, will prevail in the whole world and conquer evil, unless one reads Revelation’s warnings in its description of the seven churches as random types, this situation we see now is the predicted progression of evil as described in the Book. This view does not release the Church from responsibility, from standing and praying and working and declaring salvation and truth – i am not arguing against going on in the Faith as servants nor am i in any way arguing against support or denigrating the heartache of those who are working for the Kingdom in this time and in these places. IMHO

  42. Here is the problem… are we really decent people or do we just have options that let us shake our heads at the wickedness of others. What if I had supported a dictator when he had the promise of being a good leader? What if he had rewarded me with a good job and land that I could justify in my mind as having been taken from unjust and cruel predecessors? What if I knew that if he lost power what I had gained would be taken from me? And what if I did not have the option to flee the country or to easily change allegiances? Would I be a good and just person? Would I do the right thing if it took my security and my job and endangered my loved one?

    I am not sure that I am a decent human being. I think maybe I am just not pressed to have to find out. It is easy to condemn the unjust. It is another thing altogether to stand up to them when they have power over you and your wives and children. Easy for me to say that Zimbabwe needs a new government I have no skin in the game.

    But I read the stories of those who suffer and they remarkably realize that they CAN endure it with courage and resolve and many refuse to give in… astonishing.

  43. Em says:

    BD, would it be the right thing to take a job and security and turn a blind eye to an evil government? that is a very deep question in these times …

  44. There is no question that turning the blind eye to evil is wrong… the question is one of courage… no one knows if they have it until they are squeezed.

  45. Em says:

    BD, hmmm, now you’re given me another ponder … is courage under the morality banner? can we be moral and still be cowardly? … hmmm, i kind of hope so as, sometimes, i am very cowardly … then other times i’m foolishly brave …

  46. Another Voice says:

    There is no question that turning the blind eye to evil is wrong… the question is one of courage… no one knows if they have it until they are squeezed.
    Yes, Dread. It is hard for me to imagine a whole lot of Christians would have done what Corrie Ten Boom (and others) did in Nazi Germany when they are too fearful to object to evil today when it is actually safe and free to do so.

    Like trying to run in the Olympics without ever practicing beforehand.

    I believe we can start now, in our own circle of influence.

    If we see a bunch of teenagers loudly cussing around small children in a public place, go up to them and demand they shut up.

    We see some angry mom wail on her kid in the store, go up to her and rebuke her.

    I do believe God gives us what we need in the moment we need it, assuming the preparation throughout life has been present. If we sow to the Spirit we will reap from the Spirit.

    That’s at least what I believe (and preach).

  47. Dread, I’ve seen you mention that China is colonizing Africa. I am ignorant to how international forces like that work. Will that absolutely hurt the common Africans, or may there be some short term relief because of the money brought in?
    I sincerely don’t understand, and hope that my questioning doesn’t seem insulting.

  48. Em says:

    MLD, are the Chinese “colonizing?” – China is one the move with money in their pockets – it is one of the reasons for all the grief in Sudan – they’re buying up Africa’s huge natural resources by the ton, literally – they are a market for the oil down there in South Sudan

  49. Josh,

    China is pouring money into Africa via relief and building roads, public facilities, all kinds of infrastructure… in return China will ask for mineral rights, market favoritism and all kinds of perks… China is helping Africa rise into a consumer culture so there will be bigger markets. Africa is suffering in so many ways they accept the help… Chinese are immigrating in amazing numbers to the African cities… Just like the original colonization it is all based on natural resources … interestingly no one see Africa just yet as a cheap labor market… well no one in manufacturing… mining companies love the African work force…

    There is much more to the story… I am just an observer… but the Chinese are definitely coming…

  50. Em says:

    interesting things to thing about here today – do the Chinese and the Muslim get along? better than either does with the Western world – let alone Christianity?
    global power shifts in my lifetime amaze me – just yesterday, So. Africa and Israel were a major team in keeping those guys at bay …

  51. Another Voice says:

    do the Chinese and the Muslim get along
    EM, Zimbabwe has only a tiny minority of Muslims.

  52. Another Voice says:

    If this wiki article is accurate, it is clear that China’s main partners are those that are not Muslim: Angola, Namibia, Kenya, The Congo etc.

    Not exclusively of course, but I’m sure the Chinese have it far easier in nations that are not Islamic.

  53. Chinese are friends with whoever has resources to be gained… they are the consumer megalopolis on the rise… a new Babylonian wh*re to ride the Beast. But I think they prefer the southern African nations just now.

  54. Another Voice says:

    If I recall, China muted its “year of the pig” celebration a few years ago so as not to upset the Muslims in its land. Islam is making strong inroads in China, and now having the expected problems develop as parts of China become their own “Deerborn Michigan”

    I doubt the Chinese are looking to bow to anybody…and as long as they can fleece those nominal Christian nations listed in that wiki article, it may still be awhile before we see them capitulate to Islamic demands.

    In my opinion…

  55. Em says:

    reading everybody’s input here and thinking about the recent violent Muslim demonstration in Australia (against some sort of U.S. movie?) … in Australia? !!! … BD’s beast is rising out of sea of Muslim humanity, but i’m not sure just who is riding … or carrying for that matter – i do know that what you are bringing to our attention is stunningly sobering for me today … kind of like Peter out there walking on the water and, then, waking up to the more imminent fact of just where, in the flesh, he stood

  56. I am learning so much from this conversation. My prayer list just got a lot longer. Thank you BD and everyone else too.

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