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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where We Go From Here


As perfect storms go, the one currently brewing is a doozy. If this were a military assault it would be like looking at simultaneous attacks from air, land, and sea, with little to no ability to mount a defense, never mind an offense.

It seems like every day I see ten different things I can write about, but I’ve come to realize it is all low hanging fruit. The nation has chosen sin over God, rebellion over obedience, and now, everyone’s part of the evening, the bill is coming due and we’re all thinking we got overcharged.

We didn’t. God keeps good records, and though we might have forgotten about it, or dismissed it as innocuous, everything we have done as a nation in diametrical opposition to His will and ways, every decision we that broke His heart, every sin we embraced and virtue we rejected, is itemized and accounted for.

This weekend I travel with my brother and a friend to pray for someone who is suffering untold pain. Please keep us in your prayers, and pray the Lord will do as He wills in regards to this situation. We know we serve a God who is able, a God who can heal and who can restore, and we have the faith that He will work in a mighty way.

When I return we will delve back into Peter’s first epistle to see what more the Lord would teach us.

I’m guessing you get enough Ebola talk from everyone else, so me piling on won’t help matters any. We fear not, for we know the One we serve. We fear not, for we have been buried with Christ, and with Him raised to a new life.

Will it get worse? Most definitely. The Book says men’s hearts will fail them for fear of those things coming, and looking at the current landscape of this broken world, one can already see a handful of things that would cause one to have palpitations, if not outright stop their heart.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fulfillment


How many warnings must fall on deaf ears before even God Himself is accused of crying wolf? How many unheeded messages and messengers, how many unheeded dreams, how many unheeded prophecies, how many unheeded calls to prepare and sanctify ourselves before even we must admit that God has been more than gracious, and merciful and patient with us?

How long before we, ourselves, begin to cry out for judgment rather than mercy?

Although ‘what’s the Lord saying’ is by far the most popular question I get in my correspondence, whenever things begin to heat up and we begin to see more pieces falling into place, a quiet hum becomes a roar, and I have to wade through e-mail after e-mail asking the same question over and over.

I understand the need or desire to want to know what the Lord is saying, but the Lord has been saying many things, for many years, all of which have gone wholly unheeded.

‘Humble yourselves, repent, turn from your wickedness, and pray!’

‘Yeah, we don’t want to do that, so, what else is the Lord saying?’

‘Prepare yourselves, sanctify yourselves, and steel yourselves for what is to come.’

‘I think we’ll pass on that one too…just tell us what’s going to happen and be specific.’

God has spoken, and He is still speaking, but He is not saying the things the church wants to hear, so the church has chosen to ignore Him altogether.

Even when He is specific, even when God in His love and mercy outlines everything that will unfold, if it doesn’t happen within a hair’s breadth of being uttered, well, then it must have been a false prophecy. We want the quick turnaround. Utter today, fulfill tomorrow, ask no more of us than what we’re already doing for the Kingdom, and we can all go about our business. Never mind the fact that God warns far enough in advance to give people time to repent. Never mind the fact that most true revelation is uttered far enough in advance as to be deemed improbable if not outright impossible at the time it is put forth. We took the initiative and changed the rules on God, and He’d better adhere to our new parameters, otherwise we’ll throw a hissy fit like the spoiled children we are.

So what is the Lord saying? There is one resounding message that the Lord is speaking today. It is clear, perhaps clearer than any other message I’ve received in recent years, and that message is fulfillment.

One word, but it encompasses everything we need to know concerning the season into which have entered. Fulfillment! Of what, you might ask? Of everything God has said is coming, of everything the Word of God forewarned us will take place in the latter days, and all the optimism and platitudes and wishful thinking and positive attitude in the world will not spare the unprepared from the horrors that are on the horizon.

Even those speaking messages of warning got caught up in thinking they had more time, that the things they had been shown were something afar off, perhaps ordained to take place after they would have passed from this life to the next, but we are seeing it is not so. The time is not afar off, the time is now, and if we are not in Christ, if He is not our anchor, our rock, our foundation, our refuge, our hope, our peace, our strength, our provision, and our joy, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

We have had ample time. But alas, time has run out.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Upended


We make heroes of monsters, and monsters of good men. We idolize the perverted and depraved, while mocking innocence and making light of hard work. We are barreling headfirst toward destruction laughing raucously all the way, not realizing we are the joke. We are the punchline the world is laughing at, and we no longer even entertain the idea that they’re just laughing with us. We now know they are laughing at us.

Everyone squeaks and squawks about equality, but equality isn’t really what anybody’s after. The desired result, what is being sought and pursued with vigor, is for the majority to be culled, made to heel, and to be ruled by a minority. This is the only equality that they will accept, and most people are indolent enough, concerned only with instant gratification rather than the long term effects of what is being done, to be bothered.

Give them bread, and give them circus, and the vast majority will care not a whit about what is being done behind the scenes, or the perilous edge their nation is balancing upon.

We treat more harshly one who forgets to feed their pet breakfast, than one who willfully murders an unborn baby. We laugh at sin, and refuse to acknowledge the consequences of it, finally finding someone else to blame for the shambles our life has become once the cancer of depravity has run its course and all that remains is an empty shell with broken dreams and a dark and haunted future.

The church, the one place that ought to be safe haven for the broken, bruised, and hungry has become home to thieves and hucksters, two bit con artists and confidence men who come up with wilder and wilder stories, promising bigger and bigger returns on one’s investment, hoping to snare another gullible innocent in their web.

Indulgences are readily available for the right price, and if you’ve got enough cash, you will surely find someone to talk you right through the pearly gates, into Abraham’s bosom, using the VIP entrance.

Maintaining one’s integrity in a climate such as this is becoming more and more of a struggle, especially when you know you can come up with better shtick on your worst day, than most of the oily peacocks prancing about on stage.

From time to time you find yourself growing envious of the naïve and ignorant as well. You know the ones, those waiting at the bus stop for one way charter to heaven, because at least for now, it seems their ignorance affords them a blanket of bliss that knowledge stripped from you long ago.

I find myself becoming more cynical and I don’t like it. I find myself looking for the angle, even with those who identify themselves as Christians, and the sad reality is that most often the angle they’re playing at isn’t very well concealed.

Worst by far, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that by and large the enemy has deceived much of the church into believing the lie that though they serve a supernatural God, He no longer does supernatural works. We are a world upended, and sadly a church upended, and because we no longer believe in the manifest power of an engaged God, we mistake darkness for light far too often, and reject truth as though it were a lie with startling regularity.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Save For the Gospel


At first I thought I missed it. I am by no means infallible, and though I’d read certain passages within God’s Word vehemently contradicting what I was hearing from not one, or two, but more and more preachers and teachers – and continue to hear to this day – I was open to the possibility that perhaps I’d read certain passages too fast, or didn’t see certain words as I ought have.

There were too many men claiming certain theories as undeniable fact, and doing so with such authority and vehemence that I began to wonder if I’d somehow missed the boat, if I’d somehow misread the Word and had for all these years decided to make life harder on myself just because I was striving for some unattainable figment of my own imagining.

Persecution hasn’t even started in America, yet more and more believers are looking for justification and permission to deny Jesus, save their skin, and apologize later. If, as some major Christian figures have stated we can be first in line for the mark of the beast and still make it into heaven long before the door is shut, who is a little denial of one’s Lord and Savior going to harm?

It’s not like we would really mean it, and we can always apologize after the fact, having been wise enough to spare ourselves undue distress.

Save for the Gospel, the excuses, justifications, and explanations we give to ourselves for having hypothetically denied Jesus if we were ever called upon to suffer for His name’s sake, are plausible and would even serve to appease our burdened conscience for a season.

It is the Gospel that dispels these childish notions, and clarifies this position once and for all.

I did. I wanted to be sure. I went back and read all the relevant passages, and though I find myself in the minority, I realize I didn’t miss it on this one, and when Jesus said, ‘If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven,’ He didn’t qualify it at all.

He didn’t say, ‘If you deny me before men, and really mean it,’ or ‘if you deny me before men and don’t cross your fingers before you do,’ or, ‘if you deny me before men and don’t apologize afterwards.’

Matthew 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

Mathew 10:38, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”

Matthew 16:25, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My name’s sake will find it.”

Maybe it’s just my translation of the Bible. I’ll bet that’s what it is. There couldn’t really be that many preachers out there teaching things contrary to the words of Jesus just to placate the cowards in their pews could there?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no qualifiers when it comes to denying Jesus. You can’t do it just on Wednesdays, you can’t do it if you plan of apologizing after, and you can’t do it only if your life is in mortal danger. Jesus did not qualify His statement with any adjectives. He simply said, ‘if you deny Me, I will deny you!’

We can’t allow for personal opinion when it comes to Scripturally established issues, and though we might be tempted to twist ourselves into a pretzel trying to make these passages say something they don’t, the truth is far simpler, if ever more unpleasant a thing to contend with for the flesh.

‘Whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.’ Seems pretty straightforward to me, but then again, I don’t have the weight of a seminary degree to tilt my perception to the left.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

And So It Begins


It happened sooner than I thought it would, and that is not a good thing. A United States citizen was beheaded on U.S. soil, of all places in Oklahoma. There will be plenty of people trying to spin this story and call it workplace violence, or some other politically correct euphemism, but the reality is what it is, and no amount of spin can change it.

A woman was beheaded in America, by a man who professed to be a Muslim convert.

To all of you who left the lovely comments about me being a fear monger, hate monger, war monger, intolerant of other cultures and whatnot a couple weeks ago when I wrote my article on moral equivalency, what say you now?

How many will it take for this nation to wake up and realize that it’s not the Bible bangers, Jesus freaks, turn or burn crowd, or churchgoers that are the imminent danger?

Will it take five? Will it take ten? Will it take fifty beheadings throughout this country before it becomes impossible to cover up the truth of what is happening?

This is the inevitability of what occurs when you glamorize sadists. This is what happens when you show the guys in the ninja suits walking in slow motion, carrying their black flags in the desert, and never mention that they likely smell like stale sweat and week old sheep lard, or that they’ve likely never been privy to a running shower. Am I profiling? No, not in the way you might think. Are the brain dead among us going to miss the point of this post altogether and start ranting about how I’ve proven my intolerance?  It is likely.

We’ve romanticized murderers and homicidal psychopaths, but this is nothing new. It has been going on for long and long, from Charles Manson, to the two brothers in Boston a couple years ago, to a handful of others the mass media has decided to glamorize and romanticize as though they were something other than the sick and evil twists they are.

I have always been a prepare for the worst, and hope for the best sort of guy. Oddly enough, I think the worst most folks are preparing for is far less than the reality we will be confronted with will be. When you place butchers among sheep, even a handful can rack up a hefty body count.

For the most part, I cannot say most people are ill equipped, but they are ill prepared for the brutality with which these individuals are pursuing their agenda, and the inevitable reality that if such events increase in number and frequency, their lives will forever be changed.

What can we do but steel ourselves? What can we do but be prayed up, and certain of our place in God? What can we do but what we’ve been doing for long and long, and simply be faithful servants of Christ Jesus even unto death?

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Not God's Best!


There are certain expressions, within certain contexts that really get my goat. It’s not just that they’re annoying and foolhardy, they actually make me angry. Although the list hasn’t grown for a while, of late I have steadily been adding expressions to it. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just me getting older and becoming more of a curmudgeon, but in hindsight I think anger and annoyance are the proper response to these expressions.

For long and long, somewhere at the top of my list were either the drunk drivers or texting tweens who plowed into an innocent and killed them, employing the go to line, ‘I wish it was me instead of them.’ I’m sure you do. I’m sure the individual’s family wishes it were so as well, but if wishes were horses we’d all have stables, and there would be allot more cowboys about.

Every time I hear the line, it just angers me instantly. You chose to drink and drive, you chose to text and drive, you took a life because you were reckless and foolish, and you wishing it’d been you and a quarter will get you a stick of gum, if that.

Another expression that really gets me fired up is ‘he is a good boy,’ within the context of some testosterone filled young man or another doing something truly awful, then having his aged mother come to his defense. Obviously he is not a good boy, madam! He shot three people, killed one, and tried to run over a police officer with his car. He is not a good boy, and you saying it does not change the reality of what he has become. Perhaps, when he was younger, playing with his Legos or Tonka trucks he was a good boy, but now he is a full grown adult who has taken a human life, and his having been a good boy at one point does not change the present reality.

Now lately I’ve been hearing another expression coming from America’s spiritual luminaries, and it has the capacity to infuriate me more than any other. If we were to look back, I believe the originator and purveyor of this expression is none other than everyone’s favorite theological powerhouse Joel Osteen.

Whenever any pastor who doesn’t want to get his hands dirty is asked about his opinion on homosexual marriage, polygamy, or any of a dozen other aberrant practices, they put on the plastic smile and deliver the line they must have practiced in the mirror a hundred times: ‘Well, I don’t believe it’s God’s best for them.’

Oh, really? Not God’s best? Is it that difficult to utter the word sin? Is it that difficult to grow a spine and say with the conviction requisite your station that it is in fact a sinful act, and if not repented of will lead men to damnation?

By this logic, whatever it is that men practice, whatever perversion or sinful act, simply isn’t God’s best. Are you a polygamist, a pedophile, or a zoophile? Well, you know, it’s not God’s best don’t you? Is this the most accurate Biblical answer we can give? We couldn’t come with something more substantial, or dare I say Scriptural?

We’re not even talking about lying, cheating, fornication, adultery, licentiousness, avarice, greed, or covetousness anymore. These things are so rampant within the church that to speak against them would be to empty out an entire congregation faster than if someone rolled a live grenade down the center aisle. We are talking about things that God Himself sees as abominations, and it is these things that our spiritual better see not as sin, but simply not God’s best!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Sad State of Affairs


For the most part the watchmen are no more. Some just grew weary and disillusioned and out of utter frustration abandoned the watchtower, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t blame them. I’ve been there, experienced the frustration, constantly feeling as though I was just screaming into the void, having my words misunderstood, being made to wonder why I put myself through it all, if perhaps I’m just an intellectual masochist who needs to feel pain to know he’s alive. But, since I’ve never been a quitter, and there are extenuating circumstances to consider such as standing before God one day, I press on, each day wearier than its predecessor, taking delight in the little things life offers when they are offered.

Others, more shrewd and self-serving absconded as well, but not before ransacking the castle treasury and taking as much as they could carry. Either way, the end result is no more watchmen on the wall, and that ought to be a thing of great concern for all.

Meanwhile the people of the city revel as though the enemy were not at the gate, and as though they were not in imminent and mortal danger. Even though something doesn’t feel right, most choose to ignore it, finding more distractions to fill their time rather than seriously consider what is happening all around them. Sometimes truth itself is overwhelming. The magnitude of it, the sheer force of it, will often paralyze an individual for an instant or for the rest of their lives depending on their constitution, but I would rather have the truth than the lie any day of the week.

I have epiphanies in the strangest places. One such place was an asylum for the mentally insane in Romania, during a visit to see how we could help, whether monetarily, with foodstuffs, clothes, or any other things we had available at the time.

The doctor in charge asked if I would like a tour, and since I’d never been to an insane asylum before I nodded in the affirmative, and we began the walkthrough. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I grew up in the early nineties, and snuck over to the neighbors often enough to watch television to have formed an opinion as to what I was going to see. It was nothing like that. Yes, some of the residents were obviously disturbed, but most were just sitting alone by themselves, either drawing or playing with some object or another.

There was one woman that drew my eye, not because of how she looked, but because of what she was doing. She looked normal enough, had on a bathrobe, and her hair was combed, but she was standing in the corner and bleating like a sheep. The whole time we talked, the whole time we walked through the recreational area, this woman did not move, she just stood in the corner, facing the wall, and bleated.

‘Does she ever stop I asked the doctor?’

‘Not unless she’s heavily medicated,’ he answered, ‘what else does she have to do anyway?’

That’s when I had my epiphany. What else do the instigators, flame throwers, baiters, the professionally offended, and the litigiously prone have to do?

Other than the clear departure from godliness, one of the things that has brought about the sad state of affairs we currently find ourselves in is that we’ve given ear to the crazies, and not only that but convinced them that they are not in fact crazy, but perfectly sane when calling for the wholesale slaughter of one ethnic group or another, the murder of unborn babies without apology, the destruction of the family, or a dozen other things that I would rather not go into because I’m about to put my daughter to bed, and I want to be able to smile at her.

We pander to the lowest common denominator, and elevate them to celebrity status.

Case and point, there are tens upon tens of thousands of men and women serving in the armed forces, and honorably so, and other than the thirty second blurb from time to time informing us that they are not being given the medical attention and treatment they rightly deserve for having served this country, they are rarely mentioned.

One of them decides to put on a skirt, some lipstick and some eyeliner, and he gets an hour long special on one of the premiere news outlets of this nation.

Are you married with children working hard just to get by? Eh, so what, you’re boring.

Are you barely twelve, unwed, and on your second pregnancy? Perfect! We’ll give you a television show.

And so, the state of affairs gets sadder still, until it did not surprise me one bit when an effeminate fellow called me a breeder under his breath as he attempted to sit my family and I in a restaurant recently.

Two cheers for progress. Hip! Hip!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.