Saturday, September 24, 2011

Death is not an Option

Inspired on 09/23/2011

This human body has an expiration date. Absolutely nothing we do will change that. No matter how hard we work at it, no matter how hard we try to extend our life here on this earth; when that day comes; it comes.

A healthy survival instinct is good; since we have and enemy that prowls around like a lion, seeking to destroy us. But we can be blessed in knowing that if we fall in the fight, we will awaken in a place where there is no death;  where there is no disease, suffering, or injury… not just for 50, 80, or even 100 years… but for all eternity; forever and always.

Isn’t it wonderful, that death is not an option for those of us that believe.

Do we compromise our eternity to please this dying flesh; do we give in to the longing of living; giving it sweet names, like the bucket list. Just to satisfy those final few years we have left in our earthly freedoms, or lives; in this capsule of flesh and bone?

Or do we start storing up our treasures in heaven, where we will always have them.

The Day Death Didn’t Matter Anymore

After a lifetime in church, we come to that day when we find or recognize our freedoms in Christ (The Anointing) . We look in the mirror, or someone happens by with one, and for the first time we actually see the man, or woman, God has been creating for the last 40 to 50 years.  Gradually we…  you start feeling a stir inside, a longing to leave the nest.

Completely against the laws of organized religion; against everything you learned and believed; you step out of the nest. Or maybe, just maybe, something happened to push you out of the nest.  And maybe, for the first time in your life, you feel your own air under your wings; we come to know as Gods Love, Mercy and Grace; like we have never known it. 

Suddenly the grass seems green’er, and the sky seems blue’er . You realize how free we are in the anointing and grace of God; under the blood Jesus shed for us.

But as Paul wrote, our freedoms may not be the same as others, and we should be very careful, as to not cause a brother or sister to fall… I believe that God, in His love and maybe even extended mercy, is bringing us old warriors and watchmen together; to see each other and connect; outside the usual organized religious forums. He is pressing us to carry His anointing, out of the confines of the church building; to the coffee shops, bike paths, and places our imagination has not even dreamed of yet.

If you are the sort that needs labels. I’m talking about the old fashion disciples, missionaries, prophets and the like… Men and women God has anointed and risen up, and sent out, into the world… into places they could never hope to enter wearing that Sunday suit, Smile, Haircut, and attitude. 

Some will step out of the nest and crash. Some will survive the initial flight, and others will be lifted back into the nest. If you think being a labeled Christian in church is hard, wait until you are out here, a labeled Believer.

Now don’t get all weird with all the semantics, because I’m doing my best to keep this short, a blog, not a book. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I got my scooter and away I went.  I was headed for the foot bridge behind Valley River Mall; why?  I have no idea .  I hadn't been on the east river bike path yet, and whoa! it is nice.  Right past the Delta Ponds and up river.  This is what I found...

I thought for sure I took a south picture...

Anyway, here is my scooter. 
My Wheels  Believe it or not, its easier to buzz around on this than to try and get in and out of my car.  Anyway... I sat & prayed a while.  Enjoyed the sun... Visited the mall... and zipped home.  Still do not know why I just had to go to that bridge.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do You Remember that Day?

Easter 1965... I can remember it like it was yesterday.  Mom was dressed in a peach colored Easter dress with a little 1960s matching hat.  Of course I was wearing my Easter suit and tie.  my dad always insisted that us boys should be wearing our slacks sport-coat and tie when in public, with school being the only exception.

We were in a little Baptist Church in Tacoma, Washington, and we were sitting third row center.  It was the most amazing morning in the history of the world, as far as I was concerned. It was like something had taken hold of my insides and was pulling me to my feet. The preacher was preaching in a soft voice, and his words floated around my head.  I couldn't help myself, when I started to stand up, mid service. I felt like I was floating up and out of my body, and if I didn't get my feet under me, I would surely fall over. Mom grabbed me and told me to sit down; but the lady next to her grabbed her arm and pointed to the isle.   As I stood, about five other people stood up and we just started walking toward the front.  

The preacher just stopped... he said, "who are we to mess with God's timing". He then asked if there was anyone else that felt the tug... three more people made their way forward.

The Choir scrambled to get into place... 

They started singing about the old rugged Cross; 

and I broke down to my knees crying.

An old man I had never met, knelt beside me and we cried together.  I wasn't quite 10 years old yet, and I already had the weight of the world, on my shoulders.  I wasn't quite 10 years old and yet and I was thoroughly educated in the many ways that pain can be inflicted upon the human body. I honestly could not feel my feet on the floor when that old guy took me to the back room where they kept all the choir robs. The release of all that pressure/weight on me was overwhelming.  He stayed right there with me and let me destroy his suit jacket.  I do not know where the hours went, but suddenly it was evening service and I was standing in the baptism tank.

I was pretty sure, even at that age, that I was going to die soon; and I wanted to be sure to go to heaven when I did. As that preacher layed be back in the water I felt something else; a warmth filling me from the inside out.  I thought I was on my way to heaven that very moment.  I thought Jesus had rescued me from my life.  It felt like I was under that water forever, but alas I came back up.  I looked at the preacher and he had a very strange look on his face... he started shaking and he followed me out of the tank.  For the life of me cannot remember the words he said.  I can see his lips moving, I remember the scene to this day, but I do not hear the words.

It has been my Hope... The one thing I look forward to... The day I feel Jesus hug me and welcome me home...

That was 45 years ago... and again this morning I caught myself praying... "Jesus, do you remember that day?"

I guess I just wanted to do feel nine years old again. To feel that one moment in my life when there was no fear or pain.

Sometimes all we need to do is remember...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

By Their Fruits

The Question was asked: "Just wondering... Do you think: What you say, what you wear, music you blare from your vehicle or places you frequent reflect the real you? What is your opinion on this one folks?"

Well... There is this verse in the bible where Jesus addresses an issue likened to this:

(Mat 11:17-19 NLT)  "'We played wedding songs, and you weren't happy, so we played funeral songs, but you weren't sad.' {18} For John the Baptist didn't drink wine and he often fasted, and you say, 'He's demon possessed.' {19} And I, the Son of Man, feast and drink, and you say, 'He's a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of the worst sort of sinners!' But wisdom is shown to be right by what results from it.""

Summer of 2001
I was standing on a foot bridge overlooking a popular park here in Eugene... and whoa!  There was a boom-box blaring and the whole scene looked like a hippie commune from 1970.  Nekked girls and all...  I was disgusted and said, "Dear Lord, get me out of here (Eugene)"

 I was leaning on the rail and the Holy Spirit barked at me like a Drill Sergent and said, "Stand up straight and look out there" referring to the whole park; "I love everyone of those people; I died for them; and I expect you to do the same". 

A week later I was out of food and looking around for something to pawn. When this ragged individual knocked on my door... She smelled like a brewery, she looked like something you would find behind a dumpster... "Here she said, God told me and my friends to bring you food" They carried in 5 bags of groceries. Since then, I have been 100% dependent on God for everything. AND... He never sends me anything via the churches around here. You have never been humbled until a single mom, with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth, knocks on your door and hands you her last $5.00 ... I had to learn the hard way... to not judge a person by what they look like or where they are... I have a million stories about that ... I go by... the fruits...  What happened.. what changed.. what magnificent thing is God doing in the wake of that persons life ?  

Matt 7 is a good chapter to read:

(Mat 7:17-23 NLT)  "A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. {18} A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. {19} So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. {20} Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced. {21} "Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as 'Lord,' but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven. {22} On judgment day many will tell me, 'Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' {23} But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Go away; the things you did were unauthorized.'"

Sheesh, I should blog on this issue... LOL.. I could really go on this subject.. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Toss and Turn:

I read this, this morning... It hit me in a very personal place. To be looked upon differently; to be judged differently; to wake up one day and find myself on the other side of that glass wall; unable to get around without a mobility scooter 90% of the time; and remembering the days when I was a athlete; sportsman; and even considered a candidate to run for public office.  


It can happen to anyone... FLASH ! BANG! ... in minutes everything about you and your life can change.  NEVER think, it couldn't happen to you.  

I Tossed and Turned: Look Me In The Eye

Story Courtesy of Rick Dancer Media Services

I didn’t sleep much last night. I tossed and turned, rocked and rolled. Moments of my day found their way from my memory into my consciousness and I couldn’t shake them.
I started my day with my favorite people, the clients of Full Access, Oregon Supported Living Program and Look Me In The Eye. We kicked off the month of September by proclaiming it “Look Me In The Eye” month.

Almost every city in Lane County made the proclamation. As did, Coos Bay, North Bend, Sutherlin, Roseburg and Albany.
Even many of our local school districts joined in.
We held a press conference to tell the world but only one radio station showed up. It doesn’t matter because our message is still loud, it’s clear and it’s so important it will spread through people like you.
As I looked out over the crowd of clients, staff, chamber members, politicians and interested community members I thought back three years ago when none of this existed.
I watched clients smile as we also dedicated a new elevator we put on our building. Not many people get excited over an elevator but we do because access is in our name and it’s what we are all about.
I watched my brother in law Chip Diehm as he saw people paying attention to him. He, and those like him were the focus of the day.
I was thinking to myself, this is probably the best thing I’ve ever been involved with. I was getting a little choked up as I thought of the importance of our message and those it aims to free.
All of the sudden I hear Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy say: “I’d also like to thank Rick Dancer for all his hard work and passion on this campaign.” She looked at me in the eye and smiled and I nearly lost it.
Her thank you was genuine. It wasn’t scripted. No one told the mayor to say it she just understands my heart for this issue and my passion for these people.
I thank you Mayor Piercy for your kind words. I thank you and the other mayors and school districts for seeing value in those we represent.
The day ended in front of the 4j school board where Amelia Abel joined me to explain Look Me In The Eye to the board. I watched my friend Amelia as she took her pain from behind a face that hides her ability and instead reveals her disability. I saw tears in the eyes of a few board members as she talked of her loneliness and her inability to change that.

We have the power to open doors for Amelia and others like her. There is a glass wall separating us and it is ours to open and folks we really must shatter the glass now.
Before the sun came up this morning I was driving to my usual running place when a song came on about a lonely girl. I started to cry, not just tears but cries with actual noise attached. I needed to let that out. I needed to remind myself that this is so important.
As I ran around the Walterville Pond I started shouting out loud. I was just cheering. Don’t worry there are no people around at that hour of day so I’m not wearing a straight jacket as I write this.  I think I’m finding my purpose hidden in the heart of the people around me.
When you see someone you don’t understand whether disabled, a person of color or someone who is gay or lesbian, take the time to simply look them in the eye and you will discover the only thing you see is that they are human and that they matter.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dying for Lack of Knowledge

If you you were tagged at FaceBook, its because I really do value your opinion on the following. 

Most people like to think of God as daddy. And in a lot of situations He does just that; steps in and takes a loving place in our circumstances.    But then there are those times He steps up and declares His father place in our lives.  

As we have seen throughout history and in every written manuscript about Him; He deals with us according to our faith, or maturity. Stanley Tam wrote a great and somewhat scary book called Gods Wood Shed. It explains the wood shed very well; How you got there, and how to get out. 

Questions to Consider:

  • So... Have we ever awaken, to find ourselves in the wood shed; and maybe not alone?  
  • How often does He catch us walking the line, testing and testing just how far we could go ?  
  • Have we allowed Philosophy; Doctrine; Economics; Business 101; Psychology 101; Greed; The Moment; to replace the written word in our hearts. 

(Reposted with Permission)

Dying for Lack of Knowledge
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Wednesday, September 07 2011

"The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God." 1 Chronicles 13:10

A business friend of mine confessed that he did not like to read. He found it a difficult discipline. I replied, "If you do not commit yourself to knowing what is in God's Word and following it, you will fail to know and experience God. God's Word is life to our souls. It provides knowledge that leads to life." The prophet Hosea tells us, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as My priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children" (Hos. 4:6).

God has given us His Word that has specific laws and principles that must be followed if we expect His blessing. King David forgot to follow one of those laws related to the ark. "...But they must not touch the holy things or they will die..." (Num. 4:15). When they were transporting the ark, Uzzah innocently reached to steady the ark but was immediately stricken dead when his hands touched the ark of God. Did David know this law or did he simply forget? Did Uzzah know this law? If so, did he really believe it? David thought it was okay to carry the ark the way Uzzah did. A man lost his life for his presumption.

Many workplace believers I know take God's Word lightly. They believe they can violate His Word without consequence. This is not true; the Lord stands by to uphold His Word. It can be life, or it can bring death. When God provides instructions, we need to follow them.

Knowing this about God brings a healthy fear of the Lord. "David was afraid of God that day and asked, 'How can I ever bring the ark of God to me?' " (1 Chron. 13:12) We must all have a fearful respect of God's Word. For truly, it is life or death. Do you take God's Word seriously? Is it life or death for you? Do you feed upon His Word daily so that you might know Him and know His precepts? Feed upon this knowledge and be blessed of God.