Follow by Email

Friday, September 13, 2019

Where Are You Going?


Every journey begins with a destination in mind. Whether it’s going to the local grocery store, or a cross country drive, even before you take your first step, you know where you want to go, and have a pretty clear idea of how to get there.

Some people are more diligent about mapping out their journey than others, but unless you’re Forrest Gump and just decide to run one day for the sake of running, there is always an end goal, a terminus, a finish line, that remains constant. Not only is the destination a constant, something always at the forefront of your mind as you inch your way toward it, it is also fixed.

Depending on how important it is for you to get to where you’re going, if perchance there are detours, roadblocks, or impediments, you will find a way around them, and push ever forward.

If you give up on a journey because you’ve been met with difficulty at some point along the way, the destination was never that important to you to begin with.

Even if there is traffic, even if there is a backup, even if the road is closed, if where I’m going is important enough to me, I will find a way to get there.

If there’s too much traffic on the way to the greasy spoon where I was planning on having lunch, I will alter my plans, and go somewhere closer. If there’s too much traffic on the way to my daughter’s school where she is waiting for me to pick her up, altering my plan or my destination is not an option. I need to pick her up, and not doing so won’t even cross my mind. I’ll sit in the traffic, I’ll find a way around the roadblock, because where I’m going is so important to me, that I will let nothing stand in my way.

Tragically, this is not the prism through which many believers today view their journey toward eternity. They have not adopted the necessary mindset that they must reach their destination at any cost. Many are content to run in circles or jog in place, or just sit and watch the world go by justifying their inaction and absence of drive with tired tropes such as ‘if it’s meant to be, it will be,’ or ‘it will all work out in the end.’

Long forgotten is the admonition that we must run the race with perseverance, or run it in such a way as to obtain the prize. We have surrendered to terminal indifference, and have bought into the lie that everyone gets a prize in the end, whether they ran the race, or crossed the finish line.

If anything, the present state of disinterest betrays our true hearts. We are indifferent, disinterested, easily sidelined, distracted, and unfocused because the destination just isn’t that important to us.

Why put forth the effort to get somewhere when I can just Google Earth it? Why press in, agonize, pray, and ask for the power of God, when I could just read about other men’s experiences?

The answer to this question is a simple one. No matter how ultra-high-definition your screen, no matter how big or how modern, nothing can replace the feel of the hot sand between your toes, or the salty breeze on your face.

If you are diligent ad single-minded in reaching your journey’s end, you will. The destination is worth the effort you put into making the journey. It is worth the disappointments, frustrations, setbacks, sacrifices, and time it takes to get there, because only by making the journey will we hear ‘well done good and faithful servant.' 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wisdom


There is a difference between wisdom and knowledge. Although they can be likened to twin sisters, they are by no means, identical twins. The Word tells us that while God’s people perish for lack of knowledge, we are to diligently pursue wisdom. It is a nuanced, subtle difference, but a difference nevertheless.

It’s been raining steadily for the last couple of days. The sky is dark and overcast, and not at all conducive to cheerily greeting the day. This is the sort of weather that makes you want to stay in bed for an extra few minutes, and avoid going outdoors if at all possible.

Every time it rains, I make it a habit to go and check the dehumidifier in the basement. It gets humid mighty quick, and I like to make sure everything is working rather than have to deal with mold and mildew later on. Our basement dehumidifier is ancient, and so I’ve been expecting it to give up the ghost at some point. Yesterday was that point.

I’m not a mister fix-it sort of guy. I’m not handy with electronics, I don’t have a garage full of tools, and I possess enough self-awareness to know when something is beyond my purview.

Because I possess the knowledge of what will occur if I don’t get the dehumidifier fixed, I realized it is something that needed to be remedied. However, because I possess the wisdom to do a price comparison between having someone come out and try to revive the old dinosaur, or just buy a new one I came to the conclusion that I could have a new, modern, silent, energy-efficient dehumidifier for roughly the same price it would have cost to get the new one fixed.

Knowledge is possessing all the requisite information regarding any given topic. Wisdom is looking at the aggregate data and drawing conclusions based on the knowledge you’ve amassed.

Knowledge is the doorway by which we enter into wisdom. Without first having obtained knowledge, we will never reach the heights of wisdom.

God’s people perish for lack of knowledge. This means that they have not taken the time to inform themselves, to acquire the necessary information, to study, to dig deep, to search, and to contemplate.

There are also many within the household of faith who having attained knowledge, never pursue wisdom. They have volumes of information, stacks of books, and thousands of essays, they know their eschatology backward and forward, can recite prophecies verbatim, but they never pause to wonder what they should do with all the information they’ve amassed.

Wisdom allows you to take the appropriate action and make the right decisions based on the knowledge you’ve been able to acquire.

Although a wise man will always possess knowledge, a knowledgeable man won’t always possess wisdom.
When wisdom is lacking, all we are left with is impulsive reactions to the knowledge we’ve obtained, often realizing that we made the wrong choice only with the benefit of hindsight. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Irrational Fears


My youngest daughter is afraid of flies. Although she has an aversion to all creepy crawlies, from bugs to spiders, to ants and caterpillars, she is most afraid of flies. If she sees one in the house, peace is shattered, screams commence, and she runs to the shelter of my arms or her mother’s arms, depending on who is in closer proximity to her.

If you’ve never tried to explain why they shouldn’t be afraid to an almost two-year-old, then you’ve never really had your patience tested. It doesn’t matter how many times her mother and I insist that there is nothing to be afraid of, or how many times we show her how to shoo away the fly, all she knows is that they scare her, and the only place she feels safe when she sees one is in our arms.

Sooner or later this fear will pass. As she grows, she will realize that flies really are nothing to be afraid of, but until that time comes all we can do is consistently remind her, and show her the truth of it. Because we are the parents, we react differently than she does, and eventually she will begin to make the connection. She will begin to see that there is no reason to fear. If she has the same reaction when she is twenty years old as she does when she is twenty months old, then we will have a problem to be sure.

Even though our heavenly Father has repeatedly told us not to be afraid, some of us still are. We harbor irrational fears regarding things we have no control over, and if we fail to consistently return to the Word and be reminded that we have nothing to fear, we spiral, growing all the more agitated, until we are robbed of peace and joy in our lives.

From giant solar flares to the reversal of earth’s magnetic field, to global epidemics, to gamma-ray bursts, to rogue black holes, to the tried and true asteroid impact, these are just the natural disasters that can snuff out human existence as we know it. Once we get into all the man-made ways it the end can come such as nuclear war or random acts of violence, we quickly realize that just as the flies my daughter is afraid of, there’s just too many to count. If we gave in to fear every time, we’d all wind up in a dark corner, sucking our thumbs, never leaving our homes, waiting for the end of the world.

Yes, it can get overwhelming sometimes, and that’s when we just need a hug from Dad, but as we grow, as we mature past the stage of spiritual infancy, we do away with these irrational fears, and come to understand that the only power they have over us is the power we are willing to assign to them. They’re just flies!

So am I overly concerned about a rogue asteroid, or other such things? No, because I’m not Bruce Willis, this isn’t a motion picture, and there is nothing I can do to affect it even if it were a reality. Before we give in to fear regarding things we can’t control before we allow these things to consume our time and rob us of our peace, may we remember that there is shelter in our Father’s arms. Come what may, His will is the best possible place where you can find yourself, and it is in that fellowship, that intimacy, that knowledge that He can protect you from the flies, or the asteroids, that you will rediscover peace. 

With love in Christ, 
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Merchants of Fear


The easiest way to get someone to act against their own self-interest is to create an environment of fear, then convince them that the only way to do away with the fear you’ve created is for them to give up certain rights, privileges, or protections.

Self-preservation or at least the promise thereof will always trump self-interest, and more often than not when an argument is framed around the notion of self-preservation, reason, logic, or the need for scientific proof to back up one’s assertions fall by the wayside.

Because they know that when it comes to self-preservation, most people will usually react emotionally rather than logically, the merchants of fear are beating the drums of existential crisis with such ferocity as to give religious zealots and cult members a run for their money.

Unless we give up something, and that something varies from debate to debate depending on what the cataclysm du jour happens to be, we are doomed, facing total annihilation, just waiting to die in some horrific way.

It’s for the good of humanity, don’t you know? Why else would the merchants of fear be so single-minded in their desire to strip you of your freedoms and rights? I mean, come on, it couldn’t be for something as petty as control. It couldn’t be for something as sinister as enforcing globalism on a sovereign nation, could it?

You want to live as the indentured servant of Bernard Sanders or Elizabeth Warren; you just don’t know it yet. You want your pre-teen daughters seeing boys pretending to be girls changing in front of them, robbing them of their innocence, you just don’t know it yet. You want reading the Bible verbatim to be viewed as a hate crime; you just don’t know it yet. You want an open homosexual to shame you into silence because you believe the baby kicking in your belly and responding to your voice is alive, and not just a clump of cells good for nothing more than to be butchered, vacuumed out, and disposed of in the trash. You want all these things; you have to want them; otherwise we’re all doomed.

You want to chase rats down alleyways and see for yourself that cat tastes a lot like chicken; how can you not if you are a responsible citizen of the world? Granted, eating cats and rats as they do in Venezuela has become passé, so now there’s a push, I kid you not, to save the planet via cannibalism.

Not surprisingly, everything the merchants of fear are pushing and attempting to normalize ultimately gives them more power and strips you of the ability to control your own life. They know better than you, and they have no qualms about reiterating it. Go along, do as you are told, grovel well enough, long enough, with enough excitement and fervor, and when they take power, there may be something in it for you. You might be close enough to the ruling class where unlike the rest of the plebs you may just get to drive your car every other weekend for no more than ten miles, or have a piece of steak once in a blue moon.

What of freedom? You can’t possibly expect to live free anymore; we have a planet to save. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Before It's Too Late


There are certain things that if you planned on doing, you’d better do sooner rather than later. Don’t put it off, don’t terry, because you just might wake up and find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you do, and though illegal aliens get a pass when it comes to lawbreaking, you’d better believe they’ll throw the book at you without hesitation.

I realize we all have better things to do than to listen to the ravings of madmen and idiots talking about mandating everyone to go vegan, engineering population control through abortion, doing away with the combustible engine, and returning to the stone age in the hope of altering the planet’s temperature by less than half of one percent. We have families to feed, mortgages to pay, lawns to mow, and churches to attend.

In the back of our mind there’s that reassuring thought that there can’t possibly be enough crazy people in this country to make an Elizabeth Warren or a Bernard Sanders or a Joe Biden president in a year’s time, and I would agree save for a couple of things.

First, we can never underestimate the power of propaganda. Second, we can never underestimate the power of fear. And third, let’s face it, try as we might to think the best about our fellow man, have you walked onto a college campus recently?

The mass media is doing all it can to inject fear into as many people as possible and convince them that the only way to save ourselves, the only way to save the planet is to return to the days of yore. We must return to a time when most people never traveled past twenty miles from the place they were born, had no electricity, rode horses for transportation, and bowed and scraped before the lords and ladies of the aristocracy.

A time when men could not even envision freedom, lived at the mercy of the monarchy and were dictated to, taxed without representation, and manhandled by dullards who were exempt from the rules they demanded everyone else abide by.

If you listened, really listened to what these people are proposing, you would conclude that this is how people without hope, without God, and without a shred of humanity left in their rotting carcasses view the world and their fellow man. Everything is dark, grim, hopeless, apocalyptic, humanity itself is on the brink of extinction, but fear not, you have the power to save the earth by only using one square of toilet tissue.

In their madness these people think themselves gods, able to control the outcome of an entire planet, by subjugating you, the little people, and demanding that you kill your unborn babies, stop driving your car, eat tofu and lentils for the rest of your life, and work tirelessly to fund their utopian vision. Why would you not want to go along with this? Don’t you want to save the planet?

Without any scientific data, we are told we have eleven years to make it right. All this, while the selfsame people insisting we must return to living in caves and reading by candlelight are buying multi-million dollar beachfront properties.

Far be it from me to doubt the scientific bonafides of a former bartender, but if you’re asking me to upturn my entire life, I need a little more proof than just your sayso.

It’s the hypocrisy that’s galling, yet no one seems to be pointing it out.

So if I were you I’d enjoy a nice steak, listen to the roar of a V8 engine, take a flight even if it’s to the next state over, now, before it’s too late. And if you planned on digging any holes in your backyard whether a cellar, or one of those spider holes they fished Saddam Hussein out of, I’d get to digging, because who knows how long it will be before they say that using a shovel is wounding the earth, and we must do away with those as well. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

An Update


I’m tearing up again, but this time my wife is not here to see it. She had an early appointment, the kids are off to school, and I just now got a few moments to collect my thoughts, and give you an update on Dumi’s situation.

The surgery went better than anyone expected. This is not me saying it; it’s coming from my brother Daniel who isn’t known for his unbridled optimism. By what we’ve learned thus far, I would agree. By any metric, the surgery was a glowing success. They only had to remove part of Dumi’s lung, which we were told would have to be excised completely, and he is already taking a few steps at a time, staying active, and recovering quite nicely.

I couldn’t imagine the spectrum of emotion I would feel if a handful of months prior I would have been given a death sentence, written off by the medical establishment and told there was nothing that could be done, to now seeing a life and a future beyond a few months. For a young twenty-something, it must have been a rollercoaster, and that’s putting it mildly.

This entire episode was a learning lesson, and if ever we sit down to write just how we came to have Dumi operated on by the most renowned surgeon of his kind in the whole of Europe, you will understand that miracle upon miracle had to occur for this to take place.

I do believe in divine healing, but I also believe that God uses people whom he has endowed with abilities to bring about His perfect will.

The reason I’m tearing up isn’t so much because the surgery was a success, although that’s part of it, it’s because of the outpouring of support so many of you offered for a young man who many of you have never met, nor likely ever meet.

It warms my heart and humbles me that so many of you answered the call, and without hesitation gave to this cause. To all who prayed for Dumi, I thank you. To all who contributed to this need, I thank you. To all who plan on giving toward this need, I thank you. All I can do is say thank you. All I can do is express gratitude, but the God who sees all things can do far more. It is He who watches, it is He who sees, and it is He who rewards.

Please continue to pray for Dumi’s swift recovery, and if the knowledge that you helped save a young man’s life doesn’t make you cry, I hope that at least it makes you smile. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


GoFundMe/HelpDumi

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Signs


It was not an easy decision to come to, but I see no other way. It was not spur-of-the-moment, or something I decided on lightly, but once I combed through all the aggregate data, once I took all the nuances and subtleties into consideration, I realized it had to be done.

From now on, whenever I am giving a talk, whether in a church or at a conference, I will be wearing oven mitts on my hands. Yes, you read that right. I will be wearing oven mitts. The big, quilted kind, the kind that only has the thumb hole, and no fingers, because I realized it’s the only way that someone couldn’t freeze-frame a nanosecond of an hour-long sermon, and accuse me of being a Luciferian who was secretly sending out hidden hand signals.

Sometimes you have to counter absurdity with absurdity. It’s the only way to contextualize the utter inanity of it all.

My inbox has been flooded of late, and the theme seems to be consistent. Intrepid amateur sleuths are combing through the archives of other men’s sermons and discovering the hidden hand signals.

You have individuals who were doing nothing more untoward than rolling a booger between their thumb and index finger being accused of flashing 666 to the cameras and being labeled Luciferian plants.

No further inquiry needed, no query into whether or not their message is Biblical, or if they are preaching the gospel, they rubbed their eye with their middle finger forty minutes into their talk, and that’s all the evidence we need to declare them sullied, compromised, and forsaken.

We can’t allow for the possibility that they scratched behind their ear just because they had an itch. It had to be something more, it had to, and now we will expose them for all the world to see.

Our duty as believers, if we aspire to be as the Bereans, is to examine and study the Scriptures every day to see whether or not the teaching we are hearing is true. A very important distinction, and one that we seem to have glossed over wholesale.

As Paul preached to the Bereans, they weren’t watching his hands, and they weren’t looking at his fingers. They weren’t trying to find a “gotcha” moment they could then plaster on the internet and accuse him of being of the devil. They were studying the scriptures to see if what they heard coming out of Paul’s mouth was in harmony with the written Word.

When we allow our overactive imaginations to look for signs that aren’t there, rather than diligently study the Scriptures to see whether or not truth is being spoken, we run the risk of accusing and besmirching the righteous and ignoring the treacherous and deceptive.

The only thing you need to identify deception is to know the truth. Study the Scriptures, know them, let them take root and spring to life inside of you. Then, when you hear something not of Scripture you will know it for what it is instantly. You won’t have to go blind watching video footage of someone hoping that they rub their chin or pick their nose so you can expose them. You will nourish your spiritual man with truth, thereby growing, maturing, and realizing how comically irrelevant freeze-framing someone’s hand gesture to make it seem like they were doing something they likely weren’t is. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.