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Friday, May 27, 2016

Messengers and Negotiators

For the most part things used to be simpler in the olden days. God would choose a man, equip that man for service, give him a message, and that man would faithfully deliver the message he was given even if it meant prison or death for having delivered it. More often than, not it did. Being called of God was neither a way to grow rich nor was it a way to grow famous. It was a calling, one that was to be carried out diligently by the individual who was chosen for the task at hand. Faithfulness, obedience, humility, and boldness were indispensable, and the men chosen to speak on behalf of the Almighty possessed these things to overflowing.

In some rare cases, individuals chose to attempt and skirt their duty. As I said it was rare, but it did happen. Even back then there were men who attempted to flee from their responsibility, but eventually, whether voluntary or compulsory, they carried out their mandate and delivered their messages dutifully.
It goes without saying that one does not try to run away from umbrella drinks and endless days in the sun. One does not attempt to flee prosperity and blessing, one does not attempt to bypass a life of ease and leisure. Whenever we see men within the Word of God attempting to skirt their duties, we must always keep in mind that their duty, whatever that duty might have entailed was always difficult, treacherous, and would likely cause personal distress of some kind or another.

All one need do is read the lives of the prophets and study what they went through to realize just how difficult a task and calling these men had on their lives. Rarely lauded, frequently derided, these men became the repository for the rebellious heart’s lashing out against the will of God, the physical manifestation of the cringing of the teeth and the shaking of the fist. If those rebuked and corrected by the mouthpieces of God could not lash out at God Himself, they would lash out at the next best thing; the messenger He had sent to speak on His behalf.

Nowadays men aspire to more than just being messengers. Nowadays the selfsame virtues that were indispensable to the servants of old are mocked, looked down upon, and wholly rejected as antiquated practices which can be interpreted as intolerant. Boldness is seen as aggression, faithfulness is seen as zealotry, obedience is seen as shortsightedness, and humility is seen as fear of success.

For many in the limelight today, being a simple messenger is construed as an offense. It is too lowly an office; it is too humble a calling. It is too insignificant as far as their egos are concerned.  As such, they take it upon themselves to become negotiators, assuming they know the mind of God, and feeling as though they are within their rights to negotiate on behalf of God. They give leeway where God gives no leeway, and they are overly gracious toward those whom God commands to repent and turn from their wicked ways. The messenger is still derided to this day. The negotiator is praised and embraced by the world, because given enough time they know they can whittle the negotiator down to agreeing to the proposition of men entering heaven laden down with sin.

What those praising the negotiators don’t seem to realize is that they are not negotiating on behalf of anyone other than themselves. They come neither in the authority or with the permission of God. Their promises are just as empty and hollow as their hearts, and though they promise heaven, they can do nothing in the way of making good on that promise.

Even so, many within the household of faith today prefer the career of the negotiator to the calling of the messenger.

A messenger is a lowly, thankless job, but a negotiator has the power to wheel and deal, to speak words that have profound impact on the lives of others, and those without understanding, those whose pride has blinded them to the need for humility, revel in the notion of possessing power, even if said power is an illusion.

It takes but a passing glance to realize that there are far more negotiators in the church today than there are messengers. Though some of them have not the temerity to outright say “Thus says the Lord”, they nevertheless insinuate it, and only backtrack when called out for their supposed message of open and unrepentant promiscuity being A-Okay with God.

Until the masses realize that the negotiators are negotiating without sanction or authority, they will gravitate to them, elevating them to prominence ever so joyfully because they offer them an easier path than that of the cross of Christ. Love for sin has compelled many to search for an alternative, while conveniently forgetting that no man can serve two masters. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Behold the Madness

Madness has taken root. It is has blossomed, and the fruit thereof is more madness. Men and women alike are abandoning reason and logic in droves, bowing at the altar of political correctness, and applauding decisions made by individuals who will never be subject to the selfsame decisions they’ve imposed on everyone else.

The latest in the battle against logic and reason is Target’s decision to allow men to use the women’s restrooms if in their convoluted minds they ‘identify’ as a woman.

What could possibly go wrong here?

It’s not enough that as a society we are attempting to justify and excuse the behaviors of the perverted, we’ve gone one step further and decided to put catnip out for them. When in order to placate and accommodate less than 1% of the population a government or a corporation willfully chooses to endanger the other 99% of the population it is nothing less than madness.

I’ve held my tongue these past few weeks. I’ve been busy with the new radio program and with watching my daughter grow, but this morning, as I drove to the office I had an epiphany of sorts. Though my voice is small and feeble, my silence can be misconstrued as consent, and I for one will not be silent. This is not so much for me as it is for my daughter, and however many children God chooses to bless us with in the future. I speak for them, because if the Lord tarries, I can’t even imagine the kind of cesspool they’ll be living in twenty years from now if we continue going down this slippery slope.

So what are we to do? The answer is neither simple nor easy. The answer demands that we give up certain comforts for the sake of our principles, and stop consenting to the madness by willingly giving our hard earned money to these monsters, as though their constant push for less of God and more of hedonism neither affects us nor matters to us.

I realize not getting your morning Starbucks is tantamount to persecution, but this is a corporation that openly derides Christians, and thinks of you as a lesser citizen for not vociferously embracing, applauding, and celebrating two men playing tongue hockey while pretending to get married.

I realize to many not getting their weekly dose of worthless, cheaply made, Chinese baubles that clutter up their home and are of no practical use from Target is tantamount to being fed to the lions like the Christians of old, but this is a corporation that just told you to your face that the safety of your children, the safety your wife and your daughter is of less concern to them than the feeling of being accepted is by perverts and pederasts.

Would every rock star, corporate CEO, or governor who have become the spokespeople and champions of the perverted consent to a legally binding contract that they will spend ten minutes in a locked room with the father of the first little boy or little girl who gets touched, fondled, or worse in a public bathroom because of their decisions?

I thought not. If you’re unwilling to put some skin in the game, you overpaid, idiotic, buffoonish boot lickers of the perverted don’t you dare call me bigoted or accuse me of having some sort of phobia or another for wanting my wife and daughter to be safe.

The reality we are living is this: most Christians today are unwilling to sacrifice their comforts for the sake of their principles, yet they still delude themselves into believing they will suffer persecution unto death if it ever came down to it.

We keep soothing our consciences with the notion that these are just little things, passable things, things that will never affect us, but here we are, these things are directly affecting us, and the household of faith has been so marginalized and brow beaten into silence, that rather than roar like lions we cower in the corner hoping the godless don’t notice us and pick on us.  

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thoughts, Impressions, and A Teachable Moment

It’s been a whirlwind sort of week. From flying out to Dallas on Thursday, to spending the next three days at the conference while simultaneously trying to spend a few minutes here and there with my wife and daughter, I had no time to check e-mails, respond to correspondence, or even answer phone calls.

After arriving back home last night I started going through the e-mails that had amassed, some one thousand or so, first weeding out the offers for section 8 housing, meals in a box, cheap airfare, carpet cleaning, hair plugs, and countless other things that just clutter my inbox to the point of coming real close to mass deleting everything, then going through what remained to see which e-mails I needed to answer, and how soon.

As I was scrolling through them, the title of one particular e-mail caught my eye ‘You Should Have Listened’, said the title, and when I checked the date, it had been sent the morning we flew out to Dallas.

Since the title of the e-mail intrigued me, I clicked the icon and opened it to find the following message, “In your pride and arrogance you ignored the prophets. Not only that, you endanger your family by bringing them with you since there will be a biological attack at the meeting this weekend.”

Since I am typing this at 4:25 in the AM on Tuesday morning, you might have surmised there was no biological attack at the conference. The closest we came to a biological attack was someone pooping in the pool, but thankfully there was no need for hazmat, nor did anyone get quarantined. All it took was an aging gentleman named Ramon and a pair of latex gloves to solve the problem.

Now I don’t know who started spreading the rumor about a biological attack at this meeting, nor do I particularly care, but this entire situation serves as a teachable moment on a couple of fronts.

First, prophecy does not trump the Word of God, and the word of God commands us not to fear. If we run and hide every time there is the potential for danger, then soon enough no one will be preaching anywhere anymore, because persecution is on the horizon, and the attempt to silence the church is in full swing.

Even if there had been an issue, I know that God would have kept both me and my family safe. It was neither pride nor arrogance that convinced me to attend this conference, it was obedience.

Second, could we please stop throwing the title of prophet around as though it were some common thing? Could we exercise just an ounce of discernment once in a blue moon and not glob on to every feeling, emotion, or impression and spiritualize it to the point that we call it revelation? Projecting one’s feelings or desires does not prophecy make!

The difference between a sentry, a sentinel, or yes, even a watchman and a dog is that the sentinel uses discernment and discretion as to when to sound the alarm, while the dog barks at everything.

Though we may take these things lightly, God does not. It is a fearful thing to speak in the name of God when He has not spoken, and assign to Him things He never said.

As far as the conference itself is concerned, although I cannot speak for anyone else, this is what I saw there:

I saw people who sacrificed both their time and resources to come together in fellowship. I saw men, and women, young and old, some who drove for forty hours just to hear the truth. I saw hunger, I saw tears, I saw repentance, I saw restoration, I saw the name of Jesus glorified, and I saw hearts pierced by the Word of God.

(If the sister with the brain tumors happens to be reading this, or someone reading this knows of whom I speak, please know that I looked for you but did not find you the next morning. Know that you have been in my prayers. Contact me, and if at all possible I will come to meet you and pray with you wherever you are.)

The presence of God was undeniable, and even I was moved to tears on more than one occasion.

The world is quickly spinning out of control, and the household of faith seems to be distracted with vendettas, personal agendas. Just now as I was brewing my first pot of coffee, I glanced at a newsfeed that said Bruxelles was hit by a terrorist attack. The storm is here, and we’re about to feel the full effect.

Can we please stop wasting time and playing these childish games, and get back to preaching Jesus? Can we actually start walking in the callings to which we were called and stop trying to poke each other in the eye?

Can we try, maybe just a little, to make it about Christ rather than about ourselves? Just try. It may turn out to be the most rewarding thing we’ve done in a long, long time.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Book Saga

I've been away for a few days just getting some warmth back into my bones and visiting friends, so I've been unable to update you on the book saga. All but two of you did not receive the books I sent, so the packages are lost somewhere, the post office will not be any more specific.
That said, new books have been ordered, and as soon as they arrive, I will ship them out since I have all your addresses on file. I am so sorry for this whole thing. On the other hand, you've got to smile when the enemy gets petty.
Please keep my family and I in your prayers, and I will do likewise.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Scalpels, Cleavers, and Grenades

I really should stop giving this thing oxygen, but I can’t help myself. The reason I feel the need to revisit this situation is because I believe it is a teachable moment for everyone including myself, and though some seemingly no longer have need of teaching –  for they have reached the pinnacle of all wisdom and knowledge – I still learn something new pretty much every day of my life.

It’s not that I am a slow learner, but life is infinitely more complex than a soundbite, or a tweet, or heavens forbid a hashtag campaign. As human beings we can do the wrong thing for the right reason, the right thing for the wrong reason, and yes, we can even do the right thing for the right reason but go about it in a very damaging and counterproductive fashion.

Although a black robe might be slimming on a man such as myself I have always found it a dangerous practice to play at being judge, because I’ve seen far too many who have taken to judging others like a fish to water only to wither and slink away when the limelight inevitably turned on them, and they were shown the same level of grace and mercy as they had shown others in the past.

We confuse judging with being judges, I think, and this is where we veer off the path into the land of self-righteousness and spiritual elitism. We are called to judge; we are not called to be judges. When we judge a thing, we weigh the facts and if deception is present, we proceed to excise said deception from the body, but when we play the judge, we pass sentence, condemning someone to eternal damnation without the possibility of repentance, reconciliation, or redemption.

Maybe some folks really do believe that when James writes there is only one lawgiver and judge he was talking about them, but I’ve always been lacking in the self-image department, so I’ll pass on making that sort of claim.

The world needs both butchers and surgeons. It needs men who know how to wield a scalpel, and men how to wield a meat cleaver, but I don’t know if the church necessarily needs both. Butchers dissect dead things. Surgeons do their utmost to remove the offending growth while still keeping the patient alive. What victory can one claim if in getting to the tumor he has sliced through three major arteries and the patient has bled to death?

There are those rare occurrences wherein even a grenade is necessary, but you pull the pin and lob the grenade only after you’ve made certain there will be no collateral damage, no friendly casualties, and no innocents maimed, wounded, or even killed by the action. Anything less is dereliction of duty, and you hear of soldiers being court martialed for maiming or killing innocents even in live combat situations. The fact that it was live combat is not sufficient justification. A soldier is held to the standard of his office, and expected to carry out his duty in a manner befitting said office.

The Word of God calls us to be surgeons not butchers. It calls us to identify the offending member and remove it while keeping the body alive, intact, and causing as little damage as possible so as to allow for the healing and restoration of the body in the shortest amount of time.

As for those of you who took issue with my sarcasm it is a coping mechanism for me. I either turn the valve and let out some pressure once in a while, or I become bitter in my heart, and become of no use to the Kingdom. It is also my way of highlighting the absurdity of some of the arguments we make as believers, and my radio program next Thursday is actually entitled ‘Christians Say the Darndest Things!’

If all it takes is a little sarcasm to offend you unto death, then I fear for you, for the future holds much heartache and tribulation for believers, things much worse than a wee bit of dripping sarcasm. You are in my prayers.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Into The Fray Part 2

A couple days ago I posted a few thoughts on an upcoming conference I will be attending in March. To those of you who seem to have no issue with not only judging but passing sentence on the matter, I’m hoping you could help me out a smidge. I’m having a hard time finding the memo wherein this upcoming conference changed over from a call to repentance and a time of worship, revival, and restoration to what I am assuming by the tonality of your vitriol a black mass séance held on the night of the full moon, wherein many a chicken and not a few sheep will needlessly lose their lives.

I am finding it very difficult to reconcile what I know of this upcoming event and some of the speakers that will be attending it with words like Luciferian, works of darkness, demonic, from the pit, and other such pabulum.

Did the Nicene council reconvene without my knowledge and decide that though the declared purpose of this gathering is worship, revival, restoration, repentance, and a return to righteousness in Christ it is in fact a nefarious plot to brainwash those in attendance and make them all diehard followers of Harold Camping?

A couple of you have quoted the passage in Corinthians, and if this were still an issue presently, then there would be a need to sit down and discuss it, but to the best of my knowledge I do not know of any ‘wicked man’ who will be speaking at this conference.

While I’m at it, D. Pearcy, if you happen to be reading these words, not only did I have the courage to post your comment, I’m actually going to take a few minutes and address it.

What can I say? When you got me, you got me. You are absolutely correct. I already spent the money I was paid for this conference buying an island one over from Mel Gibson’s island and upgrading my private jet, so now I have to go along just so I don’t lose out on my ‘financial gains’. The fact that I rent an apartment in a dinky town in Wisconsin, drive a Dodge with over 100K miles on it, and sell stuff on eBay to support my family, that’s just for the optics. It’s just window dressing. I am secretly a millionaire, and I hobnob with other millionaires in secret hideaways in the mountains.

I realized that by the tone of your comment you neither know me nor know the ministry I am part of. It is also likely that you do not get my sense of humor, so just to make it clear, yes I was kidding about the jet, the island, and the secret hideaways. What I do not kid about is the reverence I have for the work of God, and my willingness to sacrifice everything for it.

It offends me that though you do not know me, you assume that after 30 years of ministry I would throw away my integrity, the reputation of this work, the memory of my grandfather and my mother, but must of all that I would betray Jesus for money. For this assumption sir, may the Lord rebuke you!

To those of you who encouraged me through your comments, I thank you. To those who had sincere questions and concerns, I hope I’ve been able to alleviate them. And, to those for whom no explanation will ever be good enough, who are convinced of a thing even though all evidence points to the contrary, may God open your eyes, and when He does may you have the humility to repent to those you have wounded and besmirched.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Into The Fray!

I consider myself as having pretty tough skin. Growing up as a fat kid who wore polyester pants made by his grandmother, one got used to insults, taunting, teasing, and an amalgam of other not-so-nice experiences. In many ways my childhood seasoned me and prepared me for adulthood, and so I am not easily offended.

Someone really has to go out of their way to offend me. I don’t take everything personally, I don’t try to find issue where no issue exists, but there are certain things that are like live wires for me, and after a handful of e-mails hitting one such live wire, I’ve decided to voice my opinion on a certain matter, for whatever my opinion is worth.

As some of you know I am scheduled to speak at a conference in March. It will be held in Dallas, and I received my invitation sometime after the entire fracas and drama unfolded. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s better that you don’t. If you know what I am referring to, then this post is for you.

I will not sit here and armchair quarterback what happened. What I do know from countless mediations and requests to counsel couples is that there is never one party who is exclusively innocent, nor is there one who is exclusively guilty.

The reason I felt I needed to write this post today and clarify the situation is because of certain assumptions that are being made as to my person; assumptions I will neither let stand nor abstain from calling out.

The first assumption that is being made by those of you bombarding me with e-mails demanding that I denounce this conference, remove myself from the roster, and vilify everyone who is connected to it is that I did not pray, seek the face of God, or receive a release to go before agreeing to appear as a speaker.

If you assumed this, you are dead wrong. I grew up traveling with a man whom I consider one of the most genuine men of God I have ever known. The fact that he was my grandfather plays no part in this, because if I had seen hypocrisy, doublemindedness, or inconsistency in his life I would likely be a very different person today, and not writing this post. It was his genuineness, obedience, and faithfulness to God that stirred in me a desire to grow and mature in the Lord. I learned a lot from my grandfather, including praying and seeking the face of God upon every invitation one receives to go and speak anywhere.

It has been my practice ever since God has called me into ministry, and it will continue to be my practice until either God releases me from this calling, or I go to my reward.

Whether a home group of five or a congregation of 5000, when I am invited to speak I take the time to pray, and do not agree to do so until I receive a release from God.

The second assumption that is being made is that I have to choose a side, do it now, and be vocal about it. Actually, I don’t. I choose Jesus, I will always choose Jesus, and I will always be on the side of Jesus. Big boys who have squabbles need to put on their big boy pants, and put the Kingdom of God before their own egos, taking the entirety of the situation into consideration and not their own agenda or proclivity.

As long as I am allowed to preach the Gospel of Christ, am not asked to tailor my message, or withhold what God has commanded me to speak, I will go and preach wherever the Lord releases me to go, and preach the Gospel to all who would hear it.

We must put souls first, and though there might be a hundred voices clamoring to be heard, the truth will rise like a phoenix, and the seeds of truth will be planted in the hearts of the hearers.

It saddens me that though the hour is so late we are still so childish in our thinking. It saddens me that though the hour is so late we are still more worried about our reputations and how we are perceived by one segment of Christendom or another than whether or not we are doing our utmost to trumpet the message of the cross of Christ.

Perhaps what saddens me most of all is the sheer relish and giddiness with which some purported believers are viewing this situation, trying to stoke the flames, and do what they can to create an all-out blood feud among the children of God.

The easiest thing to do is sit in the shade with a cold drink in your hand and comment on how poorly those laboring in the field under the hot sun are doing, or sit on the sidelines and either cheer or jeer while others are doing battle, bloodying themselves, and giving their last full measure. If you’ve never plowed, if you’ve never planted, if you’ve never prayed for God to send the rain so that the seed would take root, if you've never done battle and been on the frontlines, yet find it perfectly acceptable to sling mud every which way because you’re bored and have nothing better to do, then I beseech you, repent, and seek God’s forgiveness.

I could say more, but self-restraint is a gift I am learning to exercise more frequently of late. I will, however, leave you with this. In the early 90’s my grandfather was called by a representative of the Mormon Church to go on a speaking tour. After praying and receiving a release to go we went, did a handful of speaking engagements, and saw hearts turned to God, even though at the time some people declared that by agreeing to go and preach to Mormons we had effectively destroyed our ministry, nevermore to be revived.

Some twenty years later we are still here, still feeding the poor, still clothing the naked, still preaching the Gospel, and yes, still hearing from some of the individuals who attended those meetings and whose lives were forever changed.

Mark 2:15-17, “Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, ‘How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?’ When Jesus heard it, He said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinners, to repentance.’”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.