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This is an age of feelings. Feelings have been ignored for so long that they have now taken center stage. I cannot teach truth, I have to coddle feelings. ‘People never forget how you made them feel.’ These are the buzz-words of the day.

We are body, soul, and spirit. Our feelings are important. They connect us with ourselves and with the surrounding environment. It is important to note that they are our own. They are the way we process and adapt to the world around us. They are, therefore, our own. We must own them. We cannot blame other people for them. They are our perceptions and interpretations of life’s events.

Sadness and joy, pain and pleasure, anger and anxiety, love and hate are all feelings. Sometimes they are based on facts and sometimes they are purely based on our perception of the facts. In any case, they are important, they are our own and we must own them.
Other people can join with us and share our emotions/feelings to bear some of the burden and share the joy. If they are true friends they will also try to help us find the reason for our feelings and find the source of the reason why we have acted or reacted to the situations around us.

It is important that we do not cause situations that create painful feelings for self and/or others. At the same time I am not responsible for your feelings. What I am responsible for is to treat you with respect, truth, and dignity and not unnecessarily create troubling feelings.
I can empathize and share with your joy or sadness but I must remember that it is yours and not mine. I am not responsible for your feelings and you are not responsible for mine. It is important that we accurately discern the facts and intents and accept the legitimate feelings that are produced in those situations.

Those feelings are profound interpretations that can be such amazing experiences in our lives. Feelings are designed to enhance life but can not be allowed to control it for self or for others. Feelings follow facts and not vice versa. Feelings that are accurate interpretations of life events make life a rich experience. Feelings that are used to control or are inaccurately interpreted will make your life a miserable experience for yourself and those around you.

Boundaries are very important in understanding feelings. If I feel responsible for your feelings I am violating your boundary. If you feel that you must make me happy at all costs, You are violating my boundary and not respecting your own. If we do not respect boundaries, we will blame each other for our feelings. We will not know how to respond to that blame because it is beyond our control.

Immature people do not take responsibility for their own feelings and will use their lack of boundaries to violate your boundaries and blame you for their feelings. They will use feelings to control and manipulate you. Your acceptance or rejection of me is not my responsibility. My responsibility is to live a consistent Christian life with all intention and integrity and then you are free to interpret and have the feelings about me that you choose. Mature people make wise choices and communicate and interpret the behaviors of others as they are intended and actually experienced.

I am me and you are you. We need to live in ways that respect each other’s actions and feelings. I am not responsible for your feelings and you are not responsible for mine. Your feelings are yours and mine are mine. We can share and compare and hopefully be drawn closer together. But, we cannot live on the feelings or we will not know who we are and will not know who anyone else is either.

Facts and events can be interpreted to suit our intents and the feelings that follow often do not accurately represent the events.
Facts presented to a person who is controlled by feelings can be interpreted as invasive or manipulative so that the actual events are rejected and the feelings preserved that create the image to match the image in the mind or the image of the self that has become their identity.

These identities are so difficult to dispel because they are spirits of fear and worthlessness and those spirits work against the power of the Holy Spirit. When we find this, we have to bring that person out of the control of the evil spirits. Only God can really do that.

We are body, soul, and spirit. It is so important that we are wholly committed and submitted to the Creator and His Holy Spirit. Only then can our feelings be the huge blessing and the sensitive experience that He intended for them to be.

Pain and Lies


Emotional pain can make us believe lies about God, self, and others.

Truth and Consequences


What My Obedience to God Costs Other People
By Oswald Chambers

As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon…, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. —Luke 23:26
If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the pain begins. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything— it is a delight. But to those who do not love Him, our obedience does cost a great deal. If we obey God, it will mean that other people’s plans are upset. They will ridicule us as if to say, “You call this Christianity?” We could prevent the suffering, but not if we are obedient to God. We must let the cost be paid.

When our obedience begins to cost others, our human pride entrenches itself and we say, “I will never accept anything from anyone.” But we must, or disobey God. We have no right to think that the type of relationships we have with others should be any different from those the Lord Himself had (see Luke 8:1-3).

A lack of progress in our spiritual life results when we try to bear all the costs ourselves. And actually, we cannot. Because we are so involved in the universal purposes of God, others are immediately affected by our obedience to Him. Will we remain faithful in our obedience to God and be willing to suffer the humiliation of refusing to be independent? Or will we do just the opposite and say, “I will not cause other people to suffer”? We can disobey God if we choose, and it will bring immediate relief to the situation, but it will grieve our Lord. If, however, we obey God, He will care for those who have suffered the consequences of our obedience. We must simply obey and leave all the consequences with Him.

Beware of the inclination to dictate to God what consequences you would allow as a condition of your obedience to Him.

New Wine


Repentance prepares our hearts

To become the new wineskins
Into which God can pour the new wine

Of His Holy Spirit.

Is Your Eye Single?


Is Your Eye Single?

Are you Single?
I am not single, I am married but my eye is single.

Jesus said: Your eye needs to be single if you want your life to be full of light. He meant that your eye needs to focus on what is right and truth.

I am married. I am not single, but my eye is single. That means that I have a wife and she is the only person that my eye desires. I have daughters, daughters in law, sisters in law, students, friends, Spiritual daughters and sisters. I am a Spiritual father and brother to many women, but my eye is single. I have only one wife. No one else is in that category in my life. No one comes between us. My eye is single. My focus is single.

Human language and life are based on definitions. Terms have meanings. Husband and wife are terms with definitions and meanings.

A husband is a man who has promised and pledged his life and love to one woman. She is his wife for as long as they both shall live.

A wife is a woman who has promised and pledged her life and love to one man. He is her husband for as long as they both shall live.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.
Colossians 3:18-19

If a “wife” is not faithful, she ceases to be a wife. Her life is no longer a living definition and illustration of the word, wife.

If a “husband” is not faithful, he ceases to be a husband. His life is no longer a living definition and illustration of the word, husband.

A “wife” who is unfaithful to her husband is no longer a wife. She has destroyed the definition of the word “wife.” She is, by definition, no longer a wife.

A “husband” who is unfaithful to his wife is no longer a husband. He has destroyed the definition of the word “husband.” He is, by definition, no longer a husband.

Disobedience disregards the definitions of the words and concepts. A wife is exhorted to be submitted and faithful to her own husband. If her “husband” is not faithful, he is no longer a husband by definition or by practice and should not be treated as nor given the privileges of a faithful husband.

No woman should tolerate infidelity by her ‘husband.’ She has every right to tell him, “It is either me or the other woman, women, porn, etc. You can have me or them but you cannot have both. You have to decide.”
“For now you do not have me. When you decide and give evidence of faithfulness, I will be available.”

A man may be a Spiritual brother or ‘father’ to many persons, but he can be husband to only one person – that is to his wife who is keeping herself for him alone.

A wife can be sister or mother to many other persons but she can be wife to only one man – that is to her husband who keeps himself only for her.

For the hardness of hearts, Moses tolerated poly relationships. But, from the beginning it was not so. Marriage has a definition along with definite terms. Those terms are husband and wife and children. The definitions of those terms may be challenged but they are not negotiable.

Is your eye single?

The light of the body is the eye:
Therefore when your eye is single, your whole body also is full of light;
But when your eye is evil, your body also is full of darkness.
Take heed therefore that the light which is in you be not darkness.
If your whole body therefore be full of light,
Having no part dark,
The whole body shall be full of light,
As when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. Luke 11:34-36

This is the Word of God. Is your eye single? Are you focused. On what are you focused? Are you a husband or are you a “husband?” Do you keep yourself only for your wife or are you destroying the definition of the word, husband by having a divided focus?

Do you want your life to be filled with light or are you allowing darkness into your life? This is an easy question with an easy answer. You have to decide. Are you a single minded-man or are you a double-minded man?

Why do men think they can get away with this? We will answer to God for all the deeds of our lives. It is time to think, men, and to make sure that you are a husband to your wife. That is the call of God on our lives. You know what you need to do.

Polygamy in Our Modern World


Polygamy in Our Modern World

We usually think of polygamy (or in some cases) polyandry as components of pagan societies. As any society moves further toward paganism, it should not be surprising to find these sinful practices present. Why should they show up in our Anabaptist communities? That is my observation and question.

Polygamy is a man having many ‘wives.’ That is a simple process in today’s world. A man can have a wife and family and also have access to other women through actual contacts or through pornography. A man can have many ‘wives’ all the while appearing to be a faithful ‘husband’ at home. This is adultery.

Marriage is a covenant of faithfulness between a man and a woman. They promised to live in faithful harmony, FORSAKING ALL OTHERS AND KEEPING MYSELF ONLY FOR YOU. They said, “I will” or “I do.” The Bible language is: LEAVE AND CLEAVE.

This is unmistakable language. They made an unalterable, unbreakable PROMISE FOR AS LONG AS THEY BOTH SHALL LIVE.

Modern polygamy provides a harem for the husband. He gets all the women he wants through images or actual physical contacts. He gets all this while he expects unquestioned, faithful monogamy from his wife. This is infidelity. Infidelity is being unfaithful to the vows that make you either a husband or a wife. That lack of faithful living can take many forms. In the modern world, cell phones, clubs, computers, etc. make it very easy and available to anyone anywhere.

For those who are not married, infidelity is actually fornication because of intimacies with many images and persons to none of which, they are married. They are sinning against God and against their future spouse, should they someday choose to marry.

Polygamy has become commonplace, even expected in this modern age. Just like pagan and Godless societies of the past, we are in an age of unfaithfulness. Men think their wives should just accept that their ‘husbands’ need and deserve the freedom to have access to as many women as they want. If and when they are caught or decide to confess, they expect their wives and families to forgive them and not really expect them to change their polygamous ways.

Young boys discover the easy access to captivating images and various types of porn. They develop a taste for illicit images and activities that continue even after they marry. Some are choosing to not marry. The silver screen or live harem is replacing the real person that God intended to provide love and care for both for life.

From the play room to the board room. From the farm to the factory. From the chairman to the chaplain – polygamy is alive and well. We are all the losers. It goes on from generation to generation. Fathers think their sons and daughters know nothing of their behaviors. Wrong. They find out and they know.

These men are living empty lives. They live with the knowledge of their own duplicity and their own dishonestly. They are double-minded men who are unstable in all their ways. How can they live with that? A generation devoid of integrity.

God’s plan was Adam and Eve – one man – one woman. Moses allowed a corruption of God’s plan because of the hardness of hearts but, Jesus said, “From the beginning it was not so.” It is to be “not so” now either.

Human marriage is a type of the marriage of Jesus Christ and His Church, His bride. Isn’t God’s way the best way? Why would you corrupt or damage that perfect image that God created? Why?

Excellence part III


Ministering in Excellence

A. Calling to ministry
Follow me
1. The call to salvation – a complete change of life
a. Called by God
b. Confidence in the call
2. The witness of the Holy Spirit – an indwelling counselor
3. The changed life – an objective reality
For early Anabaptists, atonement was the transformation of the believer’s life, an ontological change brought about by the work of Christ and the faith of the believer.

B. Directing the focus of ministry
The words I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are life. Jn. 6:63
1. Discernment – Spiritual sensitivity
2. Wisdom – to rise above the material, cognitive, emotional
3. Word and Spirit – an Anabaptist understanding
a. Not beyond but ON the sacred page that we see the Lord
1.) Spirit and Word in Anabaptist history
2.) Spirit and Word in agreement
b. Absolute commitment to the Scripture
c. Absolute dependence on the Holy Spirit
This more satisfactory view of justification also recognizes the dynamic role of the Holy Spirit as absolutely essential to the work of Christ, rather than an understanding which involves only the Father and the Son.

C. Directing the workers within the ministry
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.
1. Lives of holiness
2. Lives of excellence
3. Lives of sharing God with people
Jesus and Nicodemus
a. Provides unexplainable guidance
b. Creates categorical tension
c. Draws to the Spiritual dimension
The work of Christ also includes the actualizing power of His Spirit whereby people are able to appropriate Christ’s saving work.

Quotes from The Atonement in Anabaptist Theology by Frances Hiebert