Some years ago, I posted a picture of a freshly decapitated copperhead in my front yard. The responses were mixed. Some people were okay with me killing the snake in my yard, while others were more admonishing of my actions and even upset. What many did not know at that time, is while tending my yard that day, I killed at least six young copperheads. One was within four feet of my front door. I am not sure how any of you will take this, but that's not really my concern. My yard is my yard. My yard is my domain. My yard is my ward. My yard is also where my family lives and where my children play. It is my responsibility to make sure it is free from dangers seen and unseen. Will I go out into the wild, seeking to upset or destroy wildlife? Not at all. That's called "looking for trouble." So is the same for danger setting foot in my yard.
Now, let's look at this from a different angle. This is actually in line with my post about "deletion". Think about the Trojan Horse. After the Greeks saw that they could not conquer Troy in a straight up fight, Odysseus devised the plan and tactic of the Trojan Horse. Let's say I am Troy, and the devil is the Greeks. I, knowing who I am, and knowing fully who Satan is, I would have not accepted ANY gift, in ANY shape or form from my enemy. THIS is how the devil works, convincing many that he is harmless and means to be at peace with you, drawing the sympathy of millions. Now you have human beings fighting harder and more passionately for animal rights than for human rights and safety. You do realize, again, that Satan's plan is to turn all of God's Creation, plan, and order upside down, right? I love animals and don't like to see their suffering, but I do place human life on a higher pedestal. Can I trust a rattlesnake to know and understand my property lines and not cross them?
"Sympathy for the serpent" is a malignant tumor of a mentality, inhabiting brains and hearts, on which I can speak for hours, even days! I will just leave a few verses:
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." - Romans 1:20-25 -
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
As I was comparing documents and files on my laptop to those on my desktop, I started marking duplicates for deletion. When I finally clicked on the "delete" tab, a box popped up, asking if I was sure and advised me that once they are gone, they are gone for good. I thought to myself, "If I wasn't sure, I would not have clicked 'delete', dumb dumb!" Well, my mind went immediately to today's verse, found in James 1:21 which says, "Therefore, get rid of all filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you."
The purpose of deletion is to rid; rid your computer of unwanted and unneeded things or to rid your life of unwanted and unneeded things. That pop-up is the devil, asking if you're sure. What he is really asking you to do is allow him to stay in a closet of the house of your heart, or for a place on the sofa in the den of your mind, or to have a say in your actions when you find yourself bored and alone. Take time to read up on the history of God's people, Israel. Look at the times they've suffered as result of NOT completely DELETING the things God commanded them to annihilate. Like that one ant, turns to hundreds and like that one spec of mold eventually consumes every crack and crevice, hanging on to what God advises us to let go of will only lead to trouble and loss.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
When fulfillment is sought through pleasure, rather than prayer.
When malice, over merit, can make you mayor.
When more money is pumped into vanity than into putting food into your child's belly.
When sin is beautifully fragrant, and morals and values are old and smelly.
Men and Women have turned away from God and His redeeming agenda.
Instead, they worship themselves, giving all praise to their own pudenda.
Children giving birth to children, raising them to become only a result of lustful notion.
To be a man; to be a woman, has been lost in the translations of bitter and bruised emotion.
In the land of man, money is king.
But in the Kingdom of God, for you, money does NOthing.
Like a ship with holes and no rudder, our society is doomed.
Yet, there is a lifesaver called Jesus, and your heart He desires to consume.
On a highway to hell, whom would you rather be?
A goer with the flow, or an insurgent like me?
In a room full of gods, there is only ONE with a capital "G".
He is the O.G. (only God) living in me, about me, and driving me.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
Last night I had a dream. I dreamed that My Love and I were shopping in a mall somewhere. We were in a particular store, preparing to check out. While digging through my wallet and pockets for my store credit card, My Baby takes a work related call and moves a few steps away. While I'm still searching, the cashier walks away to go help someone else. By the time I find what I'm looking for, there's no cashier and I look over to see a man pressing hard against My Woman. She's got on arm extended to hold this guy off, while the other holds the phone, as she is trying to maintain composure and finish her business call. Immediately infuriated, I walked over and separated this dude from My Baby. Of course, I lost my (poo emoji).
He then proceeds over to the work the cash register. "WOW", I thought to myself! He was an employee, pushing up on a customer (MY WOMAN) in such a way!!! I then, demanded to speak with a manager. A manager comes over and by now, my anger has grown exponentially. The more I expressed my upset, the more furious I became. My Baby said, "It's not worth it. Let's just go." Usually, she is the "Bryan Tamer" and can calm me with just a touch or whisper, but it was not working here. For I was tired of letting such foolishness of the world slide or be laughed off. I wanted so badly to inflict pain on this man! I wanted to see him in agony, behind the works of my bare hands! I got to the point, where I could no longer form words.
Suddenly, my body woke me with a calling out for the restroom. As I stood, still breathing heavily from the anger expressed in my dream, it hit me. Thinking of my behavior and how angry I allowed myself to become, in defense of the Love of My Life, in response to a fool's actions, and to prove a point.......Why am I not this way about God and His Saving Grace, Jesus Christ?? I am fiercely defensive of my household and those within it, and I should be just as defensive of the Gospel, which has redeemed me and protected me all my life, as well as all those I love. I should find myself just as offended by those who dishonor God, and misuse and abuse His Word, for selfish gain.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
A cannonball, fired from Heaven, struck the Earth, forever altering the course of mankind. Upon impact, the cannonball shattered into 12 massive bullets. These bullets, propelled as if by jets, struck multitudes, center mass, changing their lives eternally, before finally falling to the ground. The hearts which were blessed to be struck by these 12 bullets with no names, exploded like dirty bombs, infecting all around, yet cleansing. Shrapnel of love and truth, shaped like the initial 12 bullets, have been blowing up hearts ever since.
Paul - Bullet with no name on it.
Ghandi - Bullet with no name on it.
Malcom - Bullet with no name on it.
Martin Luther - Bullet with no name on it.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Bullet with no name on it.
Martin L. King Jr. - Bullet with no name on it.
Nelson & Winnie Mandela - Bullets with no names on them.
Stephen Biko - Bullet with no name on it.
Mother Theresa - Bullet with no name on it.
Billy Graham - Bullet with no name on it.
Aunt Stella - Bullet with no name on it.
Sam & Charlotte Eichold - Bullets with no names on them.
Joe & Zula Walters - Bullets with no name on them.
John O. Eddins - Bullet with no name on it.
These are just a few of the Bullets of Love with no names, which have been pierced the hearts of this world, and mine personally, without prejudice; a love partial to none but unconditionally all's!
THANK YOU JESUS, FOR ROCKING MY WORLD, MY BEING, MY EXISTENCE WITH THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL!!! AMEN!!
Today, I share with you all the thoughts that bedeviled my brain all day yesterday. Actually, these thoughts launched their attack on my mind last Wednesday as I sat on my back deck with my friend Richard. We considered the things happening on that very day, back in the day, as Jesus prepared for the inevitable and unavoidable task for which He came. Imagine ALL that we have lost sight of over years and years of non-biblical traditions which we've planted around this ONE day, out of 365 and a quarter. Think about those final few days of our Savior's life on earth, what He knew and what we still could not see. Today, many of us are still blind to Who Jesus truly is for us. We show up on Easter Sunday in our brand new dresses and suits, looking to impress no one but ourselves. We bring our kids, prepped and ready for the Easter Egg hunts, minus any education of what we're really there for. But I digress. Forgive me. This post is not about what we've allowed ourselves to do to greatest day ever. This post is not about the "C.M.E.'s" who only see reason to attend church on Christmas, Mother's Day, and Easter. Then, maybe it is. So, let's get to it.
Our mother's, father's, grandparent's, and such have blazed trails and forged paths for us, hoping that we'd be decent human beings as we grow. Many of them have created these trails, to lead in the direction of God. Now, think of a family member that means a lot to you. Think of a relative whom you love dearly, and whom has done nothing but good for those around him or her. As I pondered what I am about to type while driving yesterday, I felt a bit hesitant. Why? Not everything that I think of to write is for the faint at heart. Nevertheless, here I go. I thought about my Aunt Stella, an angel on earth. I am sure my family and those who knew her would agree that she was the sweetest, most gracious, most merciful, most forgiving and loving of all of us. Amen.
I, then, imagined the police showing up, snatching her from her home and accusing her of things that aren't even crimes, like loving too hard, healing broken hearts, forgiving those who've hurt her, and sharing the love of Christ with whomever she met and knew. There was no trial. As crowds formed to see what was going on, the cops began beating her without relent. You could see the heat of evil steaming in their eyes as nothing could be done to stop them; punching her, kicking her, spitting on her, and she never did anyone any harm! Then, a cross is dragged out and they laid her upon it. Swollen, bruised, and bloody beyond recognition, my Aunt was, as nails were driven through her flesh and into the wood. They raised her up for everyone to see. As we stood at her feet, dripping with blood, she whispered, "I do this so the family does not ever have to suffer." Suddenly, one of the cops plunges a knife into her side, draining the remaining life from her body. Helpless, we were, and could do nothing about it!
Now, take your favorite or most beloved relative and put him/her in the place of my Aunt Stella, on the cross. Imagine those things as they are happening. Can you feel that? Is there anything stirring in your soul, to imagine such a thing happening to one who has done absolutely no wrong? Don't worry, Aunt Stella showed up a dew days later, letting us know that it's alright and that she is perfectly fine and safe in God's care. The only thing she said was for us to love as she loved and spread the word about Jesus Christ. My Aunt Stella was definitely one of the greatest trailblazers in my life, along with my parents, who pointed me in God's direction early on and throughout my life. The Beaten Path which they've led me to is Jesus Christ, the ONLY way to God, the Father of all Creation. Jesus took the worst that mankind had to offer, so that we would not have to. The Beaten Path of Jesus Christ provides redemption and salvation for our souls. He did not die for us to be only concerned about His mission once a year. Every day of our lives should be a day of remembrance of what Christ did for us. There is nothing commercial, capitalistic, religious, or bunny-ish about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Think about your yesterday. What was it really about for you? Be honest. What was your first thought, upon rising? Was it, "Oh boy, I can't wait to put on this new suit/dress!"? Was it, "I can't wait til church is over, so we can go eat at Golden Corral, Firebirds, or The Original Oyster House!"? Was it, "I gotta get the kids to the Easter egg hunt early, so they can get the most!"? I can't bring myself to be blindly accepting of non-biblical practices or emphases. Neither can I allow my vision of our Savior to be clouded by material things. Think about it. How many of you have seen or heard the stress that folks put on themselves to find the perfect Easter outfit; one that will turn heads? How about those who stress finding the biggest and best Easter baskets for the kids? You see more emphasis and stress surrounding these dead things than the RISEN, STILL LIVING JESUS CHRIST on the day our Salvation was made complete! The Easter Bunny is considered a folkloric figure created by German Lutherans, while some historians credit pagan origins. You may as well be posting up baal memorabilia and/or ashtoreth poles around your church. Extreme? Not really. Allowing one ant in the house will soon turn to hundreds, if not more. Religious traditions are some of the toughest of strongholds in our minds and society.
"Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
'Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?' For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 'He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.' Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God (John 12:37-43)."
Satan's greatest weapon, at times, is distraction (or the blinding of eyes as mentioned above). Incorporating the ungodly and non-biblical traditions into the Body of Christ, continues to destroy the church as Jesus meant it to be. You see it throughout the history of God's people, failing to rid the land of all that God said was no good for them. Each time, they came up short, by seeing personal value in things that God deemed useless and perilous to the purpose for which He called His people. Soon after their disobedience, they would find themselves prisoners to the very things they had no business keeping in the house to start with (the cycle of sin and salvation; study for yourself). These traditions are so ingrained and focused upon, many can't see "church" without them. Hence, the distraction from the true purpose of the Church.
When Jesus stands before us, saying, "I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE!", all else falls away. There is only ONE! HIM! The Beaten Path! We are living in a time when we need Jesus more than ANYTHING! More than material things, and definitely more than pacifying church traditions, WE NEED JESUS; 100%, unadulterated JESUS! Jesus did not die for us to be content with this world and its ways. He did not die for our feelings and emotions. He surely, did not die for us to ignore and deny His purpose and cause. He died for the salvation of our souls, yet it is still up to us as individuals to put our trust and faith in Him, over ALL else. Sorry pastor, you're not the One! Sorry denomination, you're not the One! Sorry world, with your ways, you're not the One!! Sorry T1, T2, Matt, and Dave, I am NOT the One! No one has done for us what Jesus has done! What He did, what He taught, what He preached, how He lived, who He is, and why He is, is all that matters. The Beaten Path, He is the only way.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams