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Friday, November 30, 2007

Me On The Radio

Sometime ago, one of you asked me to post whenever I would be on the radio again. Since my next radio interview is broadcast in Paltalk, as well as internet radio, it should pretty much be accessible to everyone, everywhere.
I will be on brother David Eels's program, entitled 'The Unleavened Bread Bible Study' This Sunday, December 2, at 7:30 CST
If you are so inclined, please go to WWW.AmericasLastDays.com, and follow the handy links they have provided, to hear the show live.
It's going to be a long one. He said I have three hours, but I think I'll be content with two. They televise the third hour, and since I'll be in the hand of help office in Wisconsin, and they're in Florida, I don't see how the third hour will work out.
Consider it a blessing. I'm not that much to look at.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Of Victory and Defeat Part 1

The blank screen mocks me, again. Some days are easier than others. Some days the words just flow, other days you have to wrestle them to the earth, and beat them into submission. I dip the ladle into the gray matter, to see what will come to the surface, what will catch my attention this day. A long ago memory of a boy, a piggy bank, and the first present he bought his mother with his own money surfaces, her acid burned hands holding the purple scarf, a bone deep weariness etched on her face from the long hours of scrubbing the bathrooms and kitchens of the rich. She did it to put food on the table, to feed me and my brothers, somehow I knew that even at the fragile age of 10. The chemicals had burned her hands, it was not the first time. Even so I would give anything to feel those calloused hands again, stroking my cheek, to see that weary smile. I wipe a rogue tear from my face. I don't know how it got there. Too personal, still too raw, perhaps another time, I look back into the ladle and I see a word floating upon the ripples.
Before I can see it clearly the voices commence, yes the flesh is hung upon a tree, but it can still speak sometimes. "Why are you wasting your life this way? Why are you trying to bring light to those who have grown accustomed to the darkness, a trouble maker is what you are. Write something less controversial, your wife deserves better than working until three in the morning. Don't you want to be a success?"
As was the case with Christ's temptation, there is an ounce of truth in the enemy's lie, but a fragment does not a whole make. I rebuke the voice, and it grows silent. Finally, that place of stillness, between the torments of the things I have seen and as yet cannot share, and the things I have shared that too few heed, I find myself in the eye of the storm that is life. Stillness reigns, and I see the word clearly for the first time: Jericho.
Jericho stood before the people of Israel, as the one obstacle that terrified them. This city with its fortified walls was the one thing standing in the way of their conquest of Canaan. If not for the Man that Joshua had seen, the selfsame Man that had His sword drawn in His hand, He who had come as Commander of the army of the Lord, perhaps Israel would have retreated in silence, and defeat, perhaps they would have realized their impotence when it came to breaching the walls of Jericho.
Alas, the Man had appeared, standing beside Joshua, and after introducing Himself as the Commander of the Lord's army, proceeded to tell Joshua to take off his sandals, for the place where he stood was holy.
A solemn promise had been made, not by the lips of men, but by the mouth of the Lord, wherein Jericho, its king, and its mighty men of valor would be given into Joshua's hands. the man who had been commissioned to take the place of Moses, in the estimation of most, impossible shoes to fill, now stood on the promise of God, emboldened and encouraged by the fact that he was merely taking orders from the One who was in word and deed commander of the armies of the Lord.
If we perceive this account of Jericho in a spiritual sense, we soon come to realize that every believer must stand before the walls of their own personal Jericho, just as every believer must conquer it, that he may enter into possession of the promise, and walk in the fulfillment of his calling.
There is always that one obstacle that overshadows all others in our walk, that seemingly impenetrable fortress that the enemy has erected.
Physical Jericho was imposing to say the least. The people of Jericho had made preparations because of the children of Israel, they saw the danger approaching and so the city had been securely shut up, with none going out and none coming in.
Just as to the physical eye the conquest of Jericho seemed like an impossible endeavor, often the strongholds that stand in the way of our walking int he will of God, seem just as imposing. Men often find reason to fear, to doubt, to turn back, or to stop moving forward, and by doing so they fall into the snare of the enemy.
None of us can avoid confronting the walls of Jericho, at least once in our lives. You know what your Jericho is, and for every believer it is something different, but in the end, it can all be summed up in the word, obstacle. It is that moment of being weighed in the balance, even before we are confronted with battle, even before the first blow is struck, even before the first enemy is engaged.
Your Jericho is mean tot keep you from moving forward, from seeing the victory that God can give you, your Jericho is meant to cause you to retreat, to attempt and justify desertion by pointing out all the earthly things you might have lost if you would have stood in the gap, if you would have drawn your sword and advanced on the enemy before you. Perhaps you would have endangered a relationship with a loved one, perhaps you might have lost your job, perhaps you might have had to leave a body of believers with which you had grown comfortably lethargic, whatever it might have been, if you chose retreat, Jericho won, you were defeated, and every time you approach the walls thereafter, they will seem thicker, taller, bigger, and even more impenetrable.
One who sees that he does not stand in his own strength however, but rather int he strength of almighty God, does not retreat when faced with difficulty. A true servant of God sees the walls of Jericho as a challenge to be sure, but a challenge that could be overcome, for he knows there is a means by which the walls can be brought down, and he uses it.
There is one means by which the walls of both physical and spiritual Jericho can be brought down, unique and unequaled, and that means is the exercise and implementation of faith. We know that it was not by the hands of men that the walls of Jericho came crashing down, but due to their faith int he promises of God.
Tomorrow we discuss faith, and how we must exercise our faith in order to overcome our Jericho.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A God Sanctioned Murder

Warning: The following post is symbolic; please don't rush to your telephone to call the police informing them that you would like to report a murder!

Galatians 5:22, "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."
1 Corinthians 15:31, "I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

I have a confession, I killed a man today. It was not the first time, and it will not be the last. In fact yesterday, and the day before, and they day before that I killed the same man. The man was me, I hung him on a cross, and I nailed him to a tree.
With the dawning of each new day, I stand, hammer and nails in hand confronting the flesh that somehow manages to survive every time, and as per God's order, I crucify it. Each day is the same, yet different, every time I stand over the mirror image of myself, ready to strike, it pleads and attempts to beguile, the syrupy voice asking me to let him go, 'no one will know' he whispers, 'there is so much I can do for you, you don't know your potential, but I know it. It doesn't have to be this way, we can coexist.'
Before he can utter another word, I strike. My aim is true, I've had lots of practice, and practice makes perfect. He does not scream, in fact he doesn't make a sound, if not for the flash of anger in his eyes, like lighting across a clear blue sky, I would wonder if he even knew what was happening, or if he felt the sting of the nail in his palm.
The first strike is always the most difficult. The rest of the task has become habitual, and I go to work without delay. 'It's still not too late', he says, 'you can still let me go, I won't be mad.'
I turn and leave the flesh hanging there, nailed to the cross, knowing that tomorrow we will meet again, and once more he will attempt to beguile me, and I must be strong enough to resist.
Life is a daily struggle, and the mortification of the flesh is a constant in the life of every believer. Merciless as it may sound, knowing that the smallest of compromises will cause the flesh to overtake the spirit, we must not give in, make no concessions, and allow no negotiation.
The flesh is a liar, no matter what it promises, no matter how it attempts to deter you from your spiritual walk, always remember it is the flesh's job to attempt and deceive you, to drag you back to the mire from which you were plucked and cleansed by the blood of Christ.
Some days are easier than others, some days rather than spend an hour in prayer, it is necessary to spend three hours in supplication before the heavenly Father, until the fact that the flesh has been crucified for the day is a certainty, beyond doubt.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Your Canaan In The Desert

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, recently I have been consumed with the book of Joshua. I realize to some it is not as fascinating as dissecting Ezekiel, or Daniel. I can't include the book of Revelation, because I've been posting studies on it regularly on the Hand of Help website, and by the way, the newest teaching on the church of Thyatira is up. I checked.
As the tentacles of darkness reach out beyond the church walls, past the watchmen and the sentinels, I believe it is more important for us to discuss our relationship with God, our sanctification, and the spiritual aspects of our walk, rather than what tomorrow holds for the world.
Let's be honest, the writing is on the wall, and a confluence of events is shaping up and coming together, in such a way that even the world must grudgingly acknowledge that a higher power, an invisible hand is at work.
Evil begets evil, and one cannot live with the expectation of a better tomorrow, if his heart is not bettered today. A great majority have given themselves over to this present darkness, to the world and all its evils and its lusts, and I am talking about the great majority of so called Christian men and women.
We no longer desire true spirituality, because many deem the cost of experiencing such glory too steep. We make due with counterfeit movements, with an imitation of true spirituality, because it's much less painful on the flesh, and though in the depths of our hearts we realize it's not the authentic move of God, these fakes allow us to cling to those vices, and sins that the flesh so loves.
I've come to believe that deception is so successful in today's Christian world, because the average Christian loves to have it so. We no longer desire the cross or the yoke of Christ, we just want the benefits, the blessings the prosperity, the easy life, we want to be lied to over, and over again, because believing the lie keeps us from hearing our conscience screaming and crying out.
If you've done any extensive study of God's work, you will already know that the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, is typological of the book of Ephesians in the New Testament. It is a fascinating study, one from which much wisdom can be gleaned, and much knowledge had.
Their journey through the desert had ended. Now it was time for the people of Israel to cross the Jordan under the guidance of a new leader, and lay claim to the Promised Land. God's command in fact, was to go and possess the land, to chase out the current inhabitants therein, and obtain what was rightfully theirs.
As believers, we make the same journey from the desert to God's Canaan, which represents the heavenly places, and the heavenly things of God, wherein we enter by the power of the Spirit of God, which unites us with the Christ, who died and rose again. We are made to sit with Christ in the heavenly places, rejoicing first and foremost in the glory that He obtained through His victory over the enemy, over sin, and over death.
It is Christ's desire to bring us into that level of maturity, and one day, when our journey here on earth comes to its end, to welcome us into the Kingdom that He has prepared for His faithful.
While awaiting this blessed day however, we must be faithful in fighting the good fight of faith, against the spirits of darkness which are in the heavenly places, that we may possess every last piece of spiritual land that God has granted us by right of inheritance.
The difference between the symbolic journey from the desert into Canaan, and the literal journey, is that while Israel had finished their journey through the desert before entering Canaan, the desert and Canaan for us remain a constant. We can be in the desert, but not of the desert, merely traveling through it, we can enter into the Canaan of God's promises while still living here on this earth. You and I can have our Canaan in the desert, where we will never go hungry for lack of truth, where we will never go thirsty for lack of living water. He will give us manna from heaven, and water from the rock, He will guide us into the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
It is in the desert that God proves Himself to those who obey; it is to them that He reveals the mysteries of Christ, the beauty of godliness, and the riches of the glory of His inheritance.
With our gazes ever onward toward our destination, we journey through this earthly plain, seeing glimpses of Canaan every day of our lives, realizing the goodness and mercy of our eternal Father.
When one is renewed in the spirit of their mind, and has put on the new man, which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness, he sees beyond the veil of this present existence, he sees beyond the current circumstances, struggles, and trials, knowing that in order to reach the Promised Land, he must traverse the desert places. One cannot reach Canaan without crossing the desert. Our duty is to keep walking, difficult as it may be at times, put one foot in front of the other, marching ever onward, knowing that home awaits.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Infamy

Another day, another scandal involving a self-proclaimed man of God. This time, financial impropriety, using God's money as his own personal piggy bank, another black eye to what is an already hurting church.
Is it possible for a ministry to have success, and still remain above reproach? I believe that it is, as long as those in leadership remember one important fact. It is not their money, it is God's money!
I was twelve years old when I translated my grandfather's book Through the Fire, and after the first year the book had already sold over 100,000 copies. Since we self published, there was no percentage going to publishing houses, agents or publicists, all the proceeds went into the ministry account.
By any standard, my grandfather was within his rights to keep the money for himself, it was his life story, he had authored the book, but instead of keeping the money for himself, he decided to build an orphanage in Romania.
For as long as I knew him, my grandfather even refused to take a salary from the ministry, or a percentage of the proceeds from his books. We lived in a two bedroom apartment in Southern California, in a less than desirable neighborhood, for thirteen years, and whenever people would visit, and ask why we hadn't moved to a house, there were seven of us living there at the time, the answer was always, 'because we can make do with where we are.'
Other than the seven people living in that apartment, it also served as the headquarters of the hand of help ministry. Yes, it was tight, especially when we took in an elderly couple that had just emigrated from Romania, who lived with us for over a year, but each time we sat down as a family and discussed moving to a bigger place, we would always consider the good that could be accomplished with the extra money.
People were hungry, naked, homeless, in need of church buildings, and we realized that our self sacrifice, would go a long way to helping countless others.
Whether large or small, a ministry does not belong to an individual, it belongs to God. If it is blessed, it is our responsibility as faithful stewards to pass on the blessing, to be the hands, and feet, and heart of Christ.
When men forget the simple fact that it is God's money, and that they are simply stewards, they take liberties they should not take. It is a downward spiral, at first a little, and then a little more. Thus the reason for zero tolerance when it comes to compromising core principles that helped a ministry succeed in the first place.
It has been twenty years since hand of help was started, the orphanage is complete, and has been housing children for over ten years, over sixty churches have been built throughout Romania and Moldova, and countless souls were able to see the goodness of God, through the obedience of this ministry.
Our principles remain the same as when it first started, it is God's money, and thus it's supposed to go to God's work.
Because they have chosen compromise, and reward in this present life, many men will go down in infamy as those who stole from God. I know it sounds extreme, but it is the truth.
People are still starving, homeless, naked, cold, and in need of help, and if we have chosen a life of ministry, we have chosen to live not for ourselves but for others. Selflessness is a necessary virtue for pastors, preachers, and evangelists alike, and anyone that gives in to the flesh, anyone who resorts to selfishness, and profit by way of the Word, is culpable, and guilty before God.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Jesus I Know Part 1

This morning I woke up with the intention of beginning a three or four part series on a few selected scriptures from the book of Joshua. As of late, God has had me study this book of the Old Testament, and there is much wisdom that can be gleaned from the victories and defeats of Israel during Joshua's reign, as well as important lessons to be had that can be applied to our daily lives.
As I sat in front of my aging laptop however, I remembered I had made a promise to start a series entitled 'the Jesus I know' and in an attempt to keep my word, I will leave the post concerning Joshua and Israel for another time.
Many gospels are being preached from pulpits today, gospels of self-empowerment, self-realization, prosperity, self-esteem, inclusion ism, ecumenism, but one gospel which is missing from the hearts and minds of many a believer, is the gospel of Christ, that which has the power to restore, to make new, to strengthen and to redeem.
Suspiciously so, Christ is missing from our songs, from our sermons, from our books and teaching series, as though the modern church is ashamed or embarrassed of He who is the Son of the living God.
Even in the Church, Jesus is a controversial topic, one that polarises so called believers, and rather than obey Christ, we have attempted to remake Him in our own image, wherein He asks for nothing in return for giving us everything.
As promised, although somewhat belated, today is the first in what will be many posts entitled 'the Jesus I know' and the best way to begin such a journey is to reacquaint ourselves with Jesus, to rediscover the beauty and majesty that is Christ, to reaffirm His teaching, and bring to light not only the life He lived, but the price He paid that we too might have life.
Once Paul discovered Christ, once He had revealed himself to Paul, there remained in his heart a singular desire, to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.
It would be wise for all who desire a deeper and more personal walk with God, to echo Paul's sentiment, to desire nothing more than the fullness of the knowledge of Christ, the fullness of His presence and power in our lives.
There is no more noble a pursuit, no nobler a desire than the knowledge of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. All else pales in comparison, be it end time prophecy, or Hebraic studies.
To those of the world, to those who reject Him even now, he was known by many names, the Galilean, the carpenter, the Nazarene, but to us who've had the scales removed form our eyes, to those whom He has made Himself known, He is the Messiah, the Son of God, who was with Him in the beginning. He is the Savior, the Redeemer, the Lamb of God.
In Him we discover the way, by Him we perceive truth, and through Him we obtain life.
We have the Word, and within its pages the Christ is revealed to all who diligently seek to know Him. He is hope in a hopeless world, to those who have received Him, He is light in the darkest of night, He is truth in an ocean of deception, and His heart of compassion has known no equal.
We can grow in knowledge, we can grow in grace, we can grow in intimacy with Christ the Messiah, and the more we know Him, the more He will reveal Himself to us, and through us.
2 Peter 1:2-4, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Why is it important to know the depth of Christ today? Because all of God's promises, those exceedingly great and precious promises, can be encapsulated in the person of Jesus Christ. Whomsoever receives Him, by faith, as Savior, enters into the promises of God, and becomes a partaker of the divine nature.
Without the knowledge of Christ, we are but mere hollow vessels, as yet unfilled and unrefined, it is only when we know Him and the beauty of His majesty, that that we become partakers, having escaped the corruption that is in the world. The more we die to self, the greater Christ becomes in us, and as Christ becomes evident in our lives, in our conduct, and in our actions, we are forged into His image and made more like Him.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Prayer Beyond the Camera Lens Part 3

My grandfather was fond of telling one particular story when attempting to accentuate the importance of a prayer life, one of perpetual fellowship with God, rather than sporadic supplication.
It is said that two men who were neighbors, went to the same church, were of the same relative age, and had been Christians the same length of time. One Sunday morning they were on their way to church, walking together, talking about the week they'd had, the animals that had gotten sick, or the cow that had given birth, just passing the time as they journeyed toward their destination. To get to church, they had to cross a hanging cross way, the only access point that connected their community to the house of worship. The walkway was old and in disrepair, and when the wind blew it shook violently. Both men stopped in front of the miniature bridge, narrow enough that only one man could traverse at a time, they looked at the rushing river below, and while one simply walked across, the other knelt to pray for safe passage.
For those who do not know God, Sunday is laundry day in Romania, so many people had brought their clothes to the river that morning. The village was small, everyone knew everyone else, and seeing the two men, knowing what church they went to, and that they were Christians the people on the banks of the river stopped to watch what was transpiring.
The man who did not pray made it across safely, without difficulty, and rising from his knees the man who prayed, also began his trek over the walkway. Halfway across, a particularly violent gust of wind caused the bridge to shake, and losing his balance the man who prayed fell into the river.
He swam to shore, wiped the water from his eyes, and saw that those who had been standing on the banks of the river, had already clustered together talking amongst themselves as to what had just occurred. One man had not prayed, and he had made it safely across, while another had prayed, and had fallen into the river.
The man who had fallen in, began walking toward church, head hung low, when suddenly he stopped in mid stride, paused for a second then turned to the crowd that was still chattering away.
'May I please have your attention', he said raising his voice so he could be heard over the humdrum of the crowd, 'I have something to say. The man whom you saw walk across the bridge without praying, in fact prays all the time. I on the other hand only pray when trouble arises, or when I am in a difficult situation. Now you know why I prayed and fell into the river, and why he was able to cross without incident even though he did not pray.' With that, the man walked away leaving the crowd to ponder his words.
When it comes to their prayer life, every Christian can be categorized as one of these two individuals. Either they have a continuous prayer life, a continuous fellowship with God, and He is there without being called, or they have a superficial prayer life, only calling on God when they have no other means of escape, and often, God does not answer.
It is easy to know which of the two we more closely resemble, by answering a few questions, if only to ourselves, honestly.
1. When there are no pressing needs, worries, trials, or concerns do we invest time in prayer and fellowship with God, or do we gravitate toward other things, that we perceive as a greater priority than prayer?
2. Do we desire to be alone with God, simply because we enjoy talking to Him as to a Father, because we desire to be in His presence?
3. When we pray, is it to ask God, or to thank God, to request and demand, or to fellowship and worship?
Contrary to popular belief, the time of fellowship with God, the time we spend in prayer, when there are no pressing needs, when we don't need God to help us out with the mortgage, or get rid of a chest cold, is not a waste of time, but it is a redeeming of time. It is during these times that relationships are forged, and when a need arises, the omniscient Father will meet the need even before we ask it of Him.
Our life of prayer, to use an overused cliche, should be like an iceberg. The majority of it's mass, is invisible, beneath the surface, away from prying eyes or camera lenses. The little that people do see, must be exponentially smaller than what they don't see in our prayer lives, otherwise we are praying for the wrong reasons, and in the wrong places.
Not long ago, I preached at a conference where there were other preachers present as well. After the service, we were invited to go to lunch, when one of the preachers, oh so piously said, 'I must decline the invitation, I am fasting.' The host looked at me, and asked, 'are you fasting as well?' to which I answered, 'no, I prepare for battle before going into battle. I fast and I pray long before I get on a plane, or get behind a pulpit, let's eat.'
When a man's heart is sincere toward God, his intent is not to project an air of piety, or a holier than thou attitude, his only concern is that he is ready for the battle ahead, that he prepares long before he is faced with conflict that he may stand, and having done all to stand.
When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, he did not have time to pray, he no longer had time to fast, but because he did these things long before the need arose, the angels of the Lord were already there, shutting up the mouths of the lions.
A man or woman whose life is dedicated to prayer, true and undefiled, springing forth from a sincere and humble heart, will always reap the rewards of said prayers, will always know the fellowship and intimacy that only a true relationship with God can bring.
Matthew 6:5-6, "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Prayer Beyond the Camera Lens Part 2

Whether He was afar off, or in their midst, we do not know, but what we know as fact is that after Jesus ceased praying, one of His disciples came to Him and said, 'Lord teach us to pray.'
I imagine it must have done Christ's heart good to realize that His disciples had grown in their maturity enough to realize the the importance of prayer. The disciple did not ask Him to teach them how to take up an offering, how to draw a crowd, or even how to perform miracles. They wanted to be taught how to pray, because they realized, prayer opens the storehouse of all of God's gifts and blessings.
Effective, fervent prayer, practiced by a righteous man avails much. They realized that if they learned to pray effectively, they possessed the key with which they could access healing, prophecy, visions, tongues, and all the other gifts.
With what hope remains in our burdened hearts, let us return our focus toward the One who changed the world by His works and words, while He walked among us. What we know, by way of the Word, is that Jesus spent much time in prayer. The hours he spent alone, in fellowship with the Father, are incalculable, and beyond what any of us might imagine. Yes, Jesus prayed, that Jesus, the Son of God, the selfsame one that went about performing miracles, from lame men walking to the dead rising. If Jesus prayed, ought we not also pray? Or is our self image so inflated that we believe ourselves to be above the need for prayer?
Even though He spent countless hours in prayer, there are surprisingly few of his prayers redacted by His disciples within the pages of Scripture. Often times, being sought by His followers, Jesus was found alone, away from the crowds, in less traveled places, praying by Himself.
Jesus did not enter the house of Matthew the tax collector, or Simon the leper, and dripping of the pomposity so often attributed to modern day pastors say, 'now, before another word is uttered, let us pray!' He did not parade his religiosity in front of others, attempting to prove He was a man of prayer, even though they all knew He was a man of prayer.
It is documented within the four gospels that Christ spent much time in prayer. This cannot be disputed, but it was mostly alone, with the Father, not before the crowds trying to impress them with His spirituality. It is only on rare occasions, that we find Him praying in public, and even then His prayers were short and to the point, unlike the endless and winding prayers of the pharisees.
Jesus does speak of public prayer, of coming together in fellowship, but He stresses the attitude, and the motives of those who pray, rather than the public prayer itself. It is the attitude and the intent with which we pray, that either gives weight and value to our prayers, or causes them to go unheard and unrewarded.
When transparency, honesty and humility are combined with the knowledge and respect of God's will, they open up the very heavens, and cause God to hear our supplications.
Although it is not absolutely necessary for other men to hear our prayers, they will inevitably see and be influenced by lives which are fueled and inspired by sincere and intense prayer.
You will not see those who spend any real time on their faces before God in prayer, walking about with their heads held high, hoping to draw the attention of the crowd by their loftiness, but all who come in contact with such men, will plainly read the goodness, godliness, and dignity in their eyes nonetheless.
The power and the efficiency of a prayer does not lie in its beauty, how well crafted and eloquent it is, how well it flows and crescendos, but in how beautiful the life of the one praying is, in the sight of God.
For many Christians today, prayer has become a ritualistic reflex, rather than a natural impulse, or an expression of the liberty which grows and matures naturally in an authentic relationship between God and man. Relationships must be cultivated, and prayer is the means by which we cultivate our relationship with God. When we pray, we ought to be more concerned with the ethic of our prayer, than the aesthetic of our supplication, to be more interested in the content rather than the form.
A man of prayer learns, upon establishing relationship with Christ that he ought to be more captivated by the One in whose presence he has come, and appreciate the privilege he has been offered, than concerned with the wants and needs on his mind, summarily categorized by urgency and relevance.
We have become too interested in how others perceive our prayers, or what impression we are making on them, than how God perceives them and receives them. I do believe there is such a thing as a worthless prayer, and this occurs when men pray simply to impress other men, when sin, such as pride or bitterness, keeps the prayer from ascending beyond the ceiling fan.
For many Christians today, prayer is no longer viewed as an investment in their relationship with God, but as a means of escaping impossible situations. Prayer for many is the last resort, the escape hatch, bending the knee when everything else has failed.
If in times of crisis their prayers receive no answers, in a timely fashion and within the terms they have outlined for God, then they view prayer as a useless exercise.
Tomorrow, we discuss the power of true prayer from a sincere heart, why it is necessary to have a prayer life even when you don't have problems, and the spiritual rewards of a life of prayer.
For now I leave you with the peace of Christ, and am off to make myself some hot tea, since it seems I have caught my wife's cold.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

It was only after posting yesterday's article that I realized today was Thanksgiving. Growing up in a communist country, rather than hear about pilgrims and Indians, turkey and pumpkin pie, in my younger years I heard about capitalism being a bane on society, and how communism would be the remedy. Even as a Christian family, in a communist country, where persecution was open and obvious, we had much to be thankful for.
After being deported from Romania, and having arrived on American soil, my mother took to American holidays, like a duck to water. It wasn't so much celebrating a holiday for her, as having an excuse to cook big meals, and have the whole family sit down and enjoy a dinner together. So, Valentine's day, April fool's day, even the day when you spring forward or fall back an hour, were enough of a celebration for my mother to inform the family, that she was making a special dinner.
Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving was her favorite, and she went all out. In the first few years, when money was beyond tight, I remember going to the store with her, and her having to put items back because she didn't have enough money to pay for all of it, but somehow she always made due, and managed to make world class meals on a shoestring budgets.
I miss those times, since the closest to a thanksgiving dinner me and the wife will be having today, is smoked turkey breast sandwiches. Neither of us inherited the cooking gene from our mothers, and so the overflowing tables, with a wide range of aromas, are a fond memory of times past.
In the end, today is not about the turkey, or about the pumpkin pie, it is about taking some time out and enjoying one's family, it is about taking a break from the hectic race that this life has become and realize, we have much to be thankful for. Those things for which we should give God thanks, as His children, have very little if anything at all to do with the material, but have everything to do with the hope, peace, joy and love He birthed in our hearts when we came to know His Son.
And so, I bid you all a happy thanksgiving, and may you truly give thanks for all the visible, and invisible blessings He has bestowed upon you and yours. Tomorrow we continue our journey toward our eternal home, for now I will let you return to the turkey, and the stuffing, and the cranberry sauce. I have to go and toast some bread to make my sandwiches as well. Don't feel too bad for me, I gave in and bought the snooty mustard. It is a special day after all.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Prayer Beyond the Camera Lens Part 1

It is one of the cornerstones and foundational pillars of our faith, practiced by the prophets of old, the apostles of Christ, and even Jesus Himself. There has not been a man, nor will there ever be, who has ascended so high in his spiritual walk, who has reached such a level of maturity, that he no longer needs to pray.
On the contrary, the more mature a soul, the more in tune with God, the more time he will spend in prayer and supplication before the heavenly Father. It is a sanctified fellowship, an intimate communion, prayer is our means of communicating with God. Prayer is an intrinsic, natural and divine practice of all true believers, and every one sees the benefits and virtues of prayer in their daily lives.
Nowadays, it seems men no longer prepare themselves spiritually before they enter into the presence of He who is thrice holy, because they are more concerned with how the viewing public, and the adoring fans perceive them, or whether their neck ware clashes with the blue screen in the background.
The appreciation and applause of mortals, due to a well crafted and laborious prayer seems to be more important to some, than sincerely pouring out their hearts before an omniscient God. There are countless thoughts going through one's mind, such as be careful not to cry you'll smudge the makeup; don't raise your hands, because some may misinterpret it as aggression; don't raise your voice, you saw what happened to Howard Dean; use platitudes, generalize, be articulate, pray for blessing. Project an image, one that is marketable; don't squint, seem sincere even though your words might not be; don't offend the other faiths present, and the list goes on. Thoughts race through the minds of those blinded by the cameras, but seldom do these thoughts center on God. It's okay though, you're getting face time on national television, so after you've read the fine print, and prepared a prayer that reads more like a speech, close your eyes adopt a pious stance, and pray.
A mystification of truth has been brought about by fear of solitude and fear of mysticism in today's modern age. The truth has been emptied of its personal and transcendental content, and replaced with material and visible things.
Spirituality is no longer a pursuit, or the desire of the regenerate soul, but a topic of debate on oddly predictable talk shows, where tempers are heated, but not by the sacred fire, by the flames of self, and ardent support of our particular denomination.
It seems no one is rightly able to diagnose the disease from which this generation suffers, even though we are overwhelmed and overrun by counselors, support groups, psychologists, life coaches and mentors, who prove themselves incapable of leading anyone to the much sought after liberty.
Our souls are weighed and measured, taken apart piece by piece, prodded, investigated, so much so that all our aspirations and the remaining shallow gasps of hope are suffocated in the dark chaos of confusion this world has become.
The feeling of hopelessness that follows us into our sleeping hours, is so overwhelming that we start to believe nothing short of the flesh and blood presence of the One who once walked among us, can soothe our fears and revive our withering hopes.
Here we are, men and women of the twenty first century, watching with amazement as religious edifices are being overrun, a great mass chanting in unanimity, 'there's got to be something more, this hollowness is unnatural, and nothing has filled it thus far.' The statistics prove that men are searching, the question is, are they finding what they have been searching for?
Christian denominations of every size and philosophy, as well as various religions and dubious sects are angling for fish, using the reassurance that they possess the answer to the question, 'where is God, and how can we find Him', as irresistible bait to so many consumed by emptiness.
The evidence however, does not support their claims, and though many have been force fed a passive, passionless, empty religion until they were ready to heave, the hollowness remains. The money, the liberty tho choose our own level of morality, the fame and the compromise haven't satiated the hunger, they merely masked it for a short time, then it returned, more intense than ever.
So long have the promises gone unfulfilled that some are beginning to wonder if those almost angelic faces, who in times past spent countless hours in solitude, communicating with the Almighty One, are just a figment of our imagination, a naive portrayal of men and women who in the end turned out to be made from the same clump of earth as ourselves.
Others still, have adopted a grimmer theory, in that God has long forgotten us, and the once promises gifts and intimacy have been raised up so high, that stretch as we might, they are continually out of our reach. I've heard it one too many times, from people who profess Christ, accompanied with the shrug of the shoulders and the arching of the eyebrows, 'God just doesn't do that anymore. Those times are past.'
The truth is equally simple as it is painful for some to acknowledge. Prayer still works, God still answers, power is still to be had, and the gifts are still being poured out in abundance, but men are no longer willing to do what is necessary to obtain them.
Is it too much to ask of the modern Christian, living in the euphoric stupor of excess to bend his knee in humility before the Creator of the universe, to cry out and hunger to know Him, to desire Him more than the things of this earth?
I submit to you this day, that a return to prayer, true prayer, free of the cameras and the lights, free of the need to project a certain image to the person sharing a church pew with us, would change the face of contemporary Christianity in a radical, meaningful, and positive way.
Why is it that we no longer pray with fire? Why is it that we no longer pray with greater expectation of an outpouring of the things of God? Are we lacking the motivation? Or is it that we no longer perceive the simplicity of what prayer should be? Have we no examples as to what a pleasing prayer is in the sight of God, has history suddenly been wiped clean? Have we no role models for prayer left?
The Word teaches us how to pray, and better than any flesh and blood role model, we have Christ, the Son of the living God, who has shown us the way.
Until tomorrow, I leave you with this thought:
If Christ promised that we would do greater things in His name, than walking on water, multiplying fishes, and raising the dead, is it His fault that we are not seeing the fulfillment of this promise today?

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A King Pens A Psalm

It was a window of relative peace in the kingdom of Israel. Saul had met his end due to his unfaithfulness, the Philistines had been vanquished, driven back from Gibeon as far as Gezer, the fame of David had gone into all the lands, and the Lord had brought the fear of him upon all the nations.
The people had prepared spiritually to move the ark and finally the ark of the covenant had been returned to its rightful place. It was a season of rejoicing in the land of Israel, and a once unknown shepherd boy who was good with a slingshot, and played the harp in his spare time, now felt the weight of the crown upon his head. David was king of Israel, and remembering all that God had done on Israel's behalf, he pens a psalm as a reminder to all who would read it that it is God who is deserving of thanks of glory and of praise.
In this psalm David also reminds Israel that God has kept His promises to them, that even when they were but few in number, and strangers in the land of Canaan God had made a way, and given them the allotment of their inheritance.
The world's greatest psalmist, continues this psalm of praise, and revisits the times when they as a people, went from one nation to another, and from one kingdom to another, yet God had permitted no man to do them wrong.
David refreshes Israel's memory as to how God had gone as far as reproving kings for their sakes, saying, 'do not touch my anointed ones, and do my Prophets no harm.'
Today, men have taken this psalm of David, a psalm of remembrance, a psalm of praise and reminiscence of what God had done on behalf of Israel, and applied it to themselves, whenever anyone has the courage to point out their heretical and deceptive teachings. They have made themselves truth proof, by misappropriating a verse that was never meant to keep their teaching from being compared to the words of the Bible, or from their heresy being brought to light.
What they tend to overlook is the fact that when this psalm was written, sometime around 1000 B.C., there was the God of Israel, and then there were the other gods. The difference was evident, there were the idols, the gods of the people, those made by human hands, then there was the Lord who made the heavens.
When men came, they did not come with a new teaching in the name of the God of Israel, but with an entirely new deity, an idol, a god made of wood or stone.
Furthermore, when false prophets arose within Israel, claiming to be sent of the one true God, the nation was still small enough, wherein God would commission and send a true prophet to rebuke the false, once even using a donkey to open the eyes of one who had lost his way, making him accountable if he chose to pursue the deception.
When the words, 'do not touch my anointed ones and do my prophets no harm', were uttered it was in the context of God warning kings and kingdoms not to come against Israel, not warning believers against confronting false doctrine.
With the advent of Christ, the door was opened to all the nations, Jew and Gentile alike having access to the grace of God by faith in Christ. Salvation was no longer reserved for a specific nation, or people, but for all of mankind, any who would hear, repent, and be born again. All who believe in Christ, become His, and all who pursue holiness will see the Lord.
Why is this important in the context of this discussion?
Because once a soul has found Christ, once they have received Him as Lord and Savior, they know as David knew that all other Gods are merely idols, and there is but one true God.
Today Christians are no longer tempted away by strange gods made of stone and marble such as Baal, as Israel was in the days of old, but they are deceived off the narrow path of faith spiritually. Today we no longer wrestle against flesh and blood, you will not see another Elijah executing four hundred and fifty of Baal's prophets by a brook anymore, because our warfare is now of a spiritual nature, as are the attacks, and snares we endure and overcome.
The devil's greatest weapon today is deception, and he has his minions doing his bidding, attempting to draw our focus from Christ and Him crucified. Distract a man long enough to let something other than Christ take root in his heart, and eventually that man will veer off the path of righteousness. Whatever it is that has taken the place of Christ, as preeminent in a man's heart, be it prosperity, fame, a vice, or one's reputation, that thing is now his spiritual Baal, his idol, and by definition he has become an idol worshiper.
The battle that rages between light and darkness is for the heart of man, and because we are beholden to that which we allow to rule our hearts, the Bible is filled with warning upon warning, to test the spirits, and see if they are of God, if Christ is the message, or if it's some other thing meant to replace Christ.
When we see such men, who have merely a form of godliness but deny the power thereof, when we see the telltale signs of pride, love of pleasure rather than love of God, when the love of money, or of self is evident, we are not instructed to pray for them, to understand them, to find the good amid the filth and deception, we are told to turn away. We are instructed by a merciful God, to turn in the opposite direction, to have no communion or fellowship with them. Only in this way can we remain in Christ, spotless and without blemish.
2 Peter 2:1-3, "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber."
1 John 4:1, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world."
It is no doubt men walk about today claiming to be anointed, but lest we fall under the merciless cloud of deception that is swirling about the church, we must determine by the word of God, who has anointed them, and who has sent them.
If their message is not confirmed in the Word, if their focus is not Christ, the Son of God, then flee, for the sake of your eternal soul, turn away and do not look back.
Cherry picking a verse taken out of context, is not enough of an explanation, excuse or justification as to why heresy is being taught from the pulpit, and knowing that God does not anoint deception, be bold in standing for the truth of the gospel.
In His omniscience God knew what an epidemic false teachers and false prophets would be in the end times, that even Jesus warned against them, admonishing us to stand on the foundation of the gospel, and not give in to the beguiling voices of deceit. He who endures to the end shall be saved, and knowing that we have been warned, there remains no excuse for not enduring, persevering, and overcoming.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Loose Ends

I just went to the Hand of Help website, and discovered that the final teaching on Thyatira was not up yet. After further investigation, I discovered that feeling impotent, the enemy is getting petty. Apparently of the files that were forwarded to our webmaster for uploading to the site, only the dream I posted in October made it.
While we're on the subject, just a nugget of wisdom: If you purpose in your heart to submit to God in all things, from smallest to greatest, know that you will face opposition from the enemy. The enemy does not engage static Christians, he does not engage lukewarm souls, he wars with those who stand, whom God is growing, equipping and maturing. The good news, is all the enemy can do is get petty, he is limited to what God allows, and nothing more. Knowing that we have a good and loving Father in heaven, we are strengthened and emboldened to do battle against the enemy, realizing his limitations. Be strong, be bold, be alive for the cause of Christ, for He fights alongside you.
The web site will be remedied first thing in the morning, and the teaching should be up on the Hand of Help site by tomorrow afternoon.
To the sister who asked, my wife's name is Monica. Thank you for your prayers on her behalf.
Tomorrow, with God's help, we will be discussing a king, an anointing, and how unscrupulous souls today use an isolated event that took place some thirty six hundred years ago to insulate themselves against the truth, and those who stand for the truth. The whole teaching came to me as I was driving back from the pharmacy, Vick's vapour rub in tow.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Loose Ends

I just arrived home to a coughing wife, who needs a little attention after my being gone over the weekend, so this will not be a long post. The Ohio meetings were, to use an overused adjective powerful, and I got to meet some of you who read this web log regularly. Fellowship strengthens me as does seeing hunger for the truth.
I have a problem. In fact I've had this problem since I was a small child. Whenever I would fall and scrape my knees or my elbows, I always picked at the scabs soon after. If my mother knitted me a sweater that happened to have a loose thread anywhere, I would find it, and proceed to disassemble the entire sweater before I was done.
To this day I don't like loose ends, and so I've decided to post a few thoughts before I go and attempt to make chicken soup, for a coughing wife.
The first subject has to do with public prayer, and having read through some of your comments, I would like to clarify something. I believe public prayer is Biblical, however my issue was with the fact that we give credence to, and endorse the idea of ecumenism by our very presence as children of God, in the Deity stew that was the public prayer in Georgia. With the rains having come, which god do we give credit to for answering the prayers of the multitudes? Each represented faith, will now point to their god, and say, 'it was due to us, and our supplications that the heavens opened, if only for a little while.' There is wisdom in God's command to be separate from the world.
I will be writing an article on prayer sometime this week, the basic idea of said article being the fact that very rarely are we told what Jesus prayed, the Bible simply stating that He went off on His own to pray. More on that later.
The second issue, is the fact that I mentioned the school of the prophets in one of my posts, and I was asked by a reader of this site how I reconciled talking about the school of the prophets, and then saying prophecy cannot be taught.
My answer to that is a simple one. The men who made up the school of the prophets during Elijah's and Elisha's time, were not men who just came off the street wanting to be prophets, paying their membership fees, receiving their workbooks, and giving each other words of knowledge that weren't so knowledgeable. These were men who had already been called, chosen and sanctified for this sacred duty. The school of the prophets was simply fellowship between those whom God had already chosen, and established as vessels for Himself.
The truth, is that a gift of God cannot be taught from one man to another. The only thing that we as human beings can do, is be viable candidates for the gifts, by having cleansed our wineskin, made it new, and desiring the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When they come, and which gift comes, what sacred duty we are entrusted with, is wholly dependent upon God. The only thing we can do, is live in righteousness, and holiness, to sanctify ourselves, preparing our vessels for that which God will pour into them. Yes, we can desire the gift prophecy, but it doesn't mean that's what we will receive, all the nine gifts work within a body, to keep it strong, fruitful, obedient, and aware.
So, save the $495 that it will cost you to learn how to be a prophet, and bend the knees, lift your countenance, and ask God, if it be His will, when He finds you ready and acceptable in His eyes, to use you in the manner He sees fit.
Too often the pride, arrogance and vanity of our hearts hinder us from approaching God in humility, in letting Him choose the duty, and the office which we should occupy, and instead make foolish demands of Him, telling Him what we will accept, and what we won't accept. I have seen too many bodies of believers torn asunder by the absence of humility, wherein a finger thought it was a nose, and a nose thought it was an eye. Again, another article for another time. The point, is that God knows best, where we will be our best, where we will be useful in furthering His kingdom, and bringing glory to His name. He will call, He will equip, He will send, and He will anoint. All you must do is obey.
When we realize that it's not about us, our vainglory, or our pride, but it's all about Him, and His work here on earth, we will be content wherever He sends us, and whatever office He calls us to.
The water is boiling, I'm off to make soup. Thank you for your patience, since there has been no substantial post in over four days, and in your prayers tonight, please remember my wife.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Passing Thought

I am currently in between meetings, in fact, waiting to get picked up and taken to the second meeting of the day. I had a thought last night, that has stayed with me through the day, and just wanted to share it before I had to leave. I will post something more substantial Monday afternoon, since the drive to tomorrow morning's meeting, and not knowing if I will find a computer where I'm going, keep me from promising any posts of note for tomorrow.
The thought that has been with me all day, is that the vine can survive without the branches, but the branches cannot survive without the vine!
If we are in fellowship with God, it should be a reason to rejoice, not to act as though we are doing God a favor. We are an extention of Christ, and it is through Christ and by Christ that we are able to produce fruit, and that we are able to feel fellowship with God. Make your moments of fellowship, your moments of intimacy with Christ precious, for they are.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Who Is It?

I have a whole two hours before I have to go do a radio show, and what better way to spend the time than to post one more article. I know I said the last one would be the last for the day, but I just had to share my thoughts on the prayer vigil that just took place in Georgia, you know where the Christians, and the Buddhists, and Muslims, with a few Wicca sprinkled in for seasoning all prayed to their respective gods for rain.
As the Creator of all that is looks down upon the earth, which is His footstool, his attention is drawn to the North American continent by a great noise emanating from the state of Georgia. Most seem to be praying to Him, although some in the communal prayer seem to be praying to other gods as well. He takes a closer look, since they are calling on His name, but as He searches the hearts of those who are present, He does not recognize any as being His own.
They call Him Father in one accord, but He does not recognize them as His children. For many, it's their first time gazing heavenward, it's their first prayer, and the God who knows all things, also knows why they decided now, was a good time to pray.
After all these years, after all the rejected attempts to reach their hearts, they come to Him now, because they want, they need something from Him. They need rain, that's why they pray, not because they want to know Him, or form a relationship with Him. 'Keep the fellowship, keep the relationship, spare us the requests for holiness and repentance, just send us the rain', is what God hears. Shrugging His eternal shoulders, God looks down and says, 'I do not know you, why do you call me Father, when you refused to be My sons and daughters, when you rejected the gift of My Son, and trampled upon the blood of His sacrifice?'
Those who are truly His, are not among the crowd, for they pray away from prying eyes, away from the bulbs and the camera flashes. Those who are His, know not to defile themselves. They come before Him in spirit and in truth, with all humility, because they desire Him, and not something from Him.
If God shows favor, and the rains come, it won't be because an ecumenical crowd gathered on the steps of City Hall, it will be because of those few in their prayer closets, who cry out to Him, have an established relationship, and fellowship with Him.
When there are no options left, every man eventually gazes toward the heavens and says 'God?', and God looks down and answers, 'Who is it? I do not recognize you.'
There are however, those blessed few who knew Him long before they needed something from Him, and when they call upon His name, He answers most assuredly, for He recognizes His Son in them.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Ignorance Is No Bliss

Since early tomorrow morning I will be on a flight to Ohio, returning sometime Monday afternoon, I've decided to post one more article before I leave. A new teaching on the church of Thyatira should also be up on the Hand of Help website, before the weekend.

As far as I know, I have two allergies. I am highly allergic to bee stings, and aspirin. I found out I was allergic to aspirin after being stung by a bee, and my mother gave me two little white pills to help with the swelling and the pain.
I was in Romania at the time, the beginning of summer, looking forward to a few days of soccer and apple picking, when out of nowhere, a bee got inside my sunglasses, and after growing annoyed at my flailing about, the bee stung me center mass, right on the bridge of my nose. Thirty or so minutes later, my face looked like an over inflated balloon and the pain made my eyes water. As mothers the world over are often overprotective of their offspring, my mother quickly talked me into swallowing the pills she had handed me, saying they were anti inflammatory, and I would be right as rain as soon as they got into my system. The pills she had given me were aspirins, and the swelling got worse. I could barely breathe and now my tongue had swollen, keeping pace with the rest of my face.
It's not that the practice of medicine has evolved much since the revolution in Romania, but the early 1990's was something few can imagine unless they've lived through it, medically speaking. The prevailing thought of the time, was that it was better to just die, than get sick, than to be left at the mercy of doctors, because in the end you would die anyway, it would just take longer and be more painful.
So here I was, a kid who had spent the last six years in the bosom of America, in a third world country, with a constricted esophagus, a swelled head, and not much else.
My mother got scared when she saw I was getting worse, called a doctor, and after paying him his fee upfront, she brought him into my bedroom, where I was laying on the bed taking shallow gasps of air into my lungs.
The man looked at me for a full ten seconds, and said, 'try not to breathe so deep.'
I had a plethora of great comeback lines floating around in my head, like 'did you learn that in medical school or in a gulag?' or, 'great bedside manner, maybe you should just sit on my chest and get it over with', but my tongue was too swollen and I couldn't talk. I tried giving him a dirty look, but I couldn't arch my eyebrows, so I just lay there, while he explained to my mother that he didn't have the medicine I needed, but if she would give him more money he could probably have it within a week.
That day I learned an important, if somewhat painful lesson. Just because we are ignorant of something, it does not mean we will be spared the after effects. Just because I wasn't aware of my allergy to aspirin, it doesn't mean I didn't suffer because I took them. I lay in bed for three days, gasping the hours away, until the swelling started to subside, and I could speak again.
Ignorance is no bliss, in fact ignorance often kills, and if this is true of the physical realm, it is also true of the spiritual realm.
This is the reason I encourage those with whom I come in contact with, and those to whom I minister to feed themselves, to get into the Word, to read, to pray, to meditate, and to know the will of God. Ignorance is no excuse for believing a lie, and some who find comfort in ignorance will have to endure the eternal consequences thereof. The Bible warns us, it admonishes us, it exhorts and instructs us, within its pages we find the answer to every burning question, as well as sure and uncompromising direction. If some are still ignorant, it is because they have chosen it, not because God didn't explain it well enough, or because He omitted something necessary to our spiritual growth. If we hope to be the men and women God expects us to be, than we must do everything that God tells us to do. It's that simple.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Two Offerings and A Murder

To have been in the beginning. To have witnessed God breathe life into a lump of clay, and watch as it became animated, aware, possessing a sharp intellect and the knowledge that it had been created.
To have beheld as a garden grew out of nothingness, the tenderness with which God placed Adam in said garden, and the care that He took in making a comparable mate for him. It would have been a sight to see Adam's reaction upon his first encounter with Eve, to watch as they walked through Eden hand in hand.
The age of innocence had passed now they had known shame and covered themselves with fig leaves, realizing that feeling shame was not nearly enough incentive to break God's heart, and disobey His command. But alas, it was too late to go back to the way it was.
Even the first man knew how to pass blame as did the first woman, and the serpent, much like the last child to find a seat in a game of musical chairs, had no one to pass the blame to.
In silence the serpent heard his sentence, then the woman, then the man.
As a parting gesture, God made both Adam and Eve tunics of skin, and clothed them, then sent them both out of the garden of Eden lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever.
Oh, how they wanted to return to paradise, how they wanted to go back to Eden, but alas, paradise lost can never be recaptured, and a cherubim with a flaming sword made certain it would stay that way. God does not take kindly to disobedience, His nature will not permit Him to overlook it.
Time passed, and the cry of a newborn pierced the night, and now the first woman and man, became the first family. They learned parenting as they went, since there were no child rearing books to be had, but even with the crying and the late nights, Eve was certain she had received a man from the Lord.
Soon after, Abel greeted the world with his piercing cries, and as he learned to crawl, then walk, then run, he realized he was very different from his brother Cain. They had their moments, as siblings do, trying to peek over the fence into the garden, asking each other questions like 'what do you think mom and dad did to make God so angry?' in hushed tones, but no one could deny that they were very different.
Their paths diverged from early youth, as Abel chose to be a keeper of sheep, predisposed to dreaming, and enjoying the quietness of solitude.
Cain, chose to work the cursed earth, he was a tiller, sun beating down as he plowed, and planted, plucked weeds and often watered his harvest with the sweat of his brow.
Cain was not an atheist, he was religious, for it was Cain who first brought offering to God. He made an altar of stone, offering the fruit of the ground, to the Lord.
Abel on the other hand, took and brought before the Lord of the first lings of his flock, and of their fat. Perhaps Cain looked upon the butchering of the lamb with disgust. Both knew that there could be no forgiveness or atonement without the shedding of blood, but while Abel believed this, Cain did not.
The reason that God accepted one offering and rejected the other, had nothing to do with what the two brothers offered up to Him, but had everything to do with the heart and mindset with which these offerings were made. When Cain saw that his offering had not been accepted, rather than ask why this was, he became angry. The Lord, then spoke to Cain, and explained that the reason his offering had been rejected, was due to the fact that his heart, did not mirror his actions.
Genesis 4:6-7, "So the Lord said to Cain, 'Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door, and its desire is for you but you should rule over it."
Cain's offering was not a sacrifice, or a means of worship to a false God, but a false and insincere sacrifice and means of worship to the one true God.
Cain's religiosity, too refined and elevated to kill a lamb, did not hesitate in murdering Abel, because religiosity has no scruples, it has no mercy. Religiosity is rooted in tradition, in custom, in ritual and ceremony. It is a formality, there is no true emotion, but merely going through the motions.
Cain's offering came from a place where if he performed these specific tasks, if he fasted so much, and said so many prayers, and dressed a certain way he would be saved.
Abel's offering on the other hand, came from a place wherein because he believed in the Lamb of God, as a natural progression and continuation of his faith in Christ, he would fast, and pray, and dress decently, and wait upon the Lord in righteousness.
The religious man will always be more concerned with his outwardly appearance, than his inward condition. As long as others perceive him as being religious, he is unconcerned with the fact that his heart is not what it should be, that sin is festering below the surface, and that his actions are absent of convictions.
On the other hand, one who is sincere in his desire to know God, to have an intimate relationship with Him, is unconcerned about the image he projects to the world, he does not perform rituals or customs because others are watching, but love compels him to follow after Christ, and surrender his heart in its totality to Him.
May we do well in the sight of God, that our offerings may be accepted. Whether they be offerings of praise, worship, prayer or supplication, God sees the heart with which these acts were performed, and it is based on the condition of the heart that He either accepts or rejects the offerings we bring before Him.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Further Into The Deep

I am not one to chase after controversial topics, but evidently controversial topics somehow seem to find me. I've been told, in love, by friends, that I am a controversy magnet, and to a certain extent, all who are willing to stand for truth are just that.
For the past few hours I've been taking out my aggression on a squishy ball my wife bought me for my birthday, the source of which was an article a friend e-mailed to me this morning. Just when I think I've heard it all, just when I start to believe there isn't much more that could be done to twist scripture in this present age, that hope is dashed to pieces by the crushing weight of yet another masterpiece of pseudo-intellectual flatulence stinking up the spiritual aether. (If not for my blood boiling, and my heart thudding in my ears, I probably could have worded the previous sentence better.)
A new book has just hit the stores, a book that will shake the very foundation of all you believe, because it summarizes that Jesus did not come to die for our sins, He did not shed his blood that we might be redeemed, no, Christ died for mankind's negative self image. It's not the sin, it's the self-esteem friends, so you can take all those books on theology, all those writings on holiness, all the doctrine on the saving and redeeming blood of Jesus, and throw them out the window.
I usually go out of my way not to name names, but in this case I will make an exception. The book is called Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, by none other than Robert Schuller.
At first I didn't know how to react, anger and sadness were dueling for control of my heart, until they finally agreed on a truce and all I was left with was a nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach. Just when you think it can't get any worse, the innocents are dragged further into the deep, further away from the truth and the light, further away from repentance, further away from Jesus.
Evidently for the past two thousand years, every follower of Christ has missed the boat, at least in Mr. Schuller's estimation, and both John the Baptist, and Paul, were uninspired fools since one said he was not worthy of loosing Christ's sandal strap, and the other considered himself chief among sinners. Both had such low self-esteem, such a negative self-image, that they never learned to love themselves, and always leaned on the grace and mercy they obtained through Christ, rather than on their own strengths.
So, who needs repentance, who needs the blood of Jesus to wash away their sins anymore? Just look in the mirror, crooked grin and all, and say, 'it's all me, I am overflowing with self-esteem and positivity, and I can do all things through me, since I strengthen myself.'
This is a travesty, my heart aches, and my soul is burdened, as I realize there is no limit to deception. Why bother calling ourselves Christians anymore, when all we do is spew line upon line from the New Age manual? What is a Christian absent of Christ? Exactly my point.
When men start to use the Bible only as a prop, never actually opening it reading it or believing it, the outcome is tragically predictable, a form of godliness, a purely human morality, absent the power, the presence or the glory of God.
John 15:5-6, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them up and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8, "For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit."
In light of this, and other new wrinkles in the Christian world, upon my return from Ohio this weekend, I will begin posting a series of teaching entitled "The Jesus I Know", at regular intervals. I take the time, and share my heart not because I believe a lone voice such as mine will cause this nation to repent, my self-image is not that inflated, but rather that it be a witness and a testimony against the prevalent deception in the church one day, as we all stand before the throne of judgment, to receive our just recompense. May you continually walk in the light, and keep yourselves from the shadows, for hungry and merciless doctrines lurk there, awaiting their next victim.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

A Story About A Blanket

I think the man who invented the George Foreman grill should be given the Nobel peace prize. It allows those of us who have no talent in the kitchen, to pretend that we know what we're doing, throw a couple chicken breasts on the grill and watch the magic happen.
Last night my wife had the evening off, and so I decided I would pretend cook, enlisting the services of my trusty grill. I had decided on making a grilled chicken salad, I know it makes your mouth water just thinking about it, but as I was preparing to put the chicken breasts on the grill, I realized I'd forgotten to buy salad. Since you can't have salad without salad, I ran to the store to pick up a head of lettuce, and some tomatoes, and as I was climbing up the stairs, key in hand ready to enter my apartment, I heard raised voices coming form the other side of the door. In truth, I just heard my wife's voice, which was one octave below a healthy yell.
Before I go on with the story, there's one thing you need to know about my wife. When she gets angry, or frustrated she reverts to speaking something I've dubbed 'Romanglish'. It's basically English, interspersed with Romanian, that's quite funny to hear. She was speaking 'Romanglish', so I knew something had made her angry.
I opened the door, and walked in concerned, only to see my wife almost yelling at the television. She was watching something called Antiques Roadshow, wherein people from all over the country bring in stuff they've had laying around the house, stuff that looks old, or they consider to be valuable, and have it appraised by professionals.
Apparently a man had just told a woman her blanket was worth a cool half million dollars, and my wife couldn't believe it. "I think this man just lost his mind", my wife said throwing me a glance. "How can a blanket be worth five hundred thousand dollars? I have nicer blankets from my grandmother, do you think he'll give me half a million dollars for them?"
I tried to suppress a laugh, and failed horribly, and when my wife asked why I was laughing, I explained to her that if the man, who was an expert in his field believed the blanket was worth that much, there had to be a good reason.
As I sat on the couch next to my wife, we discovered there was a good reason after all, at least from the man's standpoint. The blanket was worth so much because it had been made by Chief Sitting Bull's wife, and given to him as a present. It was one of a kind, unique, in excellent condition, and that's why he had estimated it's value at half a million dollars.
Smiling I turned to my wife and said, "see, if your grandmother had been Chief Sitting Bull's wife, your blankets would be worth that much too."
There is a point to this story, and the point is this:
We are not valuable because of what or who we are in and of ourselves. We are valuable because of who made us. The reason every soul is priceless, is because every soul is a unique masterpiece, envisioned and created by the Master Artist, God himself. These earthen vessels of clay, carry within themselves the breath of God, His signature, and this is why they are valuable. God made the soul, He breathed life into every being, and this is the reason we are more valuable than any blanket, or work of art in His eyes.
The more rare a thing is, the more valuable it becomes. Of some six billion souls, there is none like yours. You are unique, I am unique. This knowledge should fill us with joy, and thankfulness toward our Creator, He took the time and put in the effort to make you, and me, unique masterpieces. Your experiences are unique, your joys, your sadness, your fears, your worries, your ecstasy and your agony, no one lives them in the same manner, or reacts to circumstances in exactly the same way you do.
There will come a day when the world will be no more, time will no longer exist, but your soul will surpass all these barriers, it will go on, for it is eternal.
There is one other thing that gives unimaginable worth to our souls, and that is the price that was paid for them. Something is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Lest we forget, we were bought with a great price. Jesus shed His blood, a blood more precious and valuable than all the riches of the universe. A heavy price was paid for the treasure you carry within you, and to this day a great battle rages between the light and the darkness, for that very treasure. When all is said and done, it is you who decide to whom you will entrust this treasure, each man and woman exclusively accountable for the decisions they make concerning their souls. Since you only get to choose once, I pray you choose wisely, and if you have already chosen, and entrusted your eternal soul to the heavenly Father, may you continue your journey in all righteousness, in all humility, and in all purity.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Family of God

I consider those who visit this web log regularly, and who fellowship here, to be a microcosm of the family of God in the truest sense. Although in times such as these it is easy to grow callous, I appreciate the fact that so many of you took the time to say a prayer for Helen's granddaughter, to stand with her in this time of need, and write her notes and letters of encouragement.
It's easy to focus on the self exclusively when every teacher an evangelist is preaching a self-centered message, but we must remember that we are all members of one body, and as such should feel as a whole the pain and heartache of the one.
Throughout my life I have lived by the simple motto, that through everything, and in everything a lesson lies. There are no accidental circumstances in God, no variations of chance, to God there is purpose in all things, and He uses all things to fulfill His plan and bring glory to His name.
We must remember to have the heart of Christ, to hurt with those who hurt, to weep without hose who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. We rest peacefully in the warmth of His embrace, knowing that for every beginning he has already established an end, for every trial a victory, and for every heartache a comfort.
In this world which God has created and man has utterly befouled, it is easy to lose sight of what is truly important, relevant and worthy of pursuit. It is easy to grow cold and cynical, to become islands unto ourselves, to watch the world pass us by and shake our heads, sometimes in awe, often in disgust, but we must remember that no matter how dark polluted and depraved this world becomes God still has a remnant. There will always be a family of God, a people set apart, pursuing righteousness and once you find such a group, once your search is rewarded with their discovery, you realize you're home, you are part of His family, a member within the body of Christ, and it feels good and right.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

To Trust and Obey

Impotence fueled the high priest's indignation, and he shook with anger and frustration. How dare they, a bunch of uneducated fishermen, how dare they attempt to overturn centuries of tradition, how dare they perform miracles, how dare they heal the sick and cast out demons, without his permission, without including him, without asking him of all people to come and lay hands on the sick, the lame and the infirm as well? He didn't have the power they possessed, but at least for show, at least to confirm to the crowds that he was still relevant.
They'd been warned, they'd been told not to preach Christ crucified, the most brilliant minds of the time had tried to convince them not to upturn the apple cart, but they just wouldn't listen.
The miracles they performed made the high priest look all the more irrelevant, a relic of a bygone era, and the people were responding unlike they ever had to one of his dry, ceremonious diatribes, and that's what frustrated him most. Three thousand, then five thousand, how could men who still smell like fish be so successful in winning over the hearts and minds of the common people?
The high priest was well aware of the proven motto, when all else fails resort to violence, and so filled with indignation they laid hands on the apostles and threw them in common prison.
With that nuisance having been taken care of, the high priest returned to his priestly duties, gathering the council, and the leaders of the children of Israel because everyone knows there is strength in numbers, and why should he be the only one to feel the guilt and shame of reacting with violence just because he felt inferior?
After everyone was brought up to speed on the troublemakers, the high priest sent for them, the apostles of Christ, only to discover they were no longer in the common prison. Nothing as trivial as prison walls, or prison bars, shackles or chains, can stand in the way of the truth, and since they were needed for duty, an angel had seen to their expedited release the night before.
After their release from prison, the angel gave the apostles instructions, and it was not to run from the wrath of the high priest, or hide from his minions, they were instructed to go stand in the temple and preach. Indifferent of their own safety, that's exactly what they did, they went, stood in the temple and with the booming voices of conviction preached Christ, and Him crucified. They realized it would only be a matter of time before they were discovered and apprehended again, but they also knew they had no choice but to obey, and trust that the God who had seen to their release once before, would be faithful in seeing to their release again.
When we learn to trust and obey the voice of God, everything else fades into obscurity. All that surrounds us becomes blurred, like a camera that is out of focus, and the only thing we see with clarity and in vivid detail, is Jesus standing before us, showing us the way. We are no longer concerned with the how, the who, the when, or even the why of any particular situation, we simply obey.
Sure enough, the captain and his officers went into the temple where the apostles were teaching, and due to the fact the soldiers feared the crowds, they were taken and bought before the high priest without violence. Oh, how they would have enjoyed tuning them up a little bit, perhaps the whip, perhaps the rod, even a closed fist would have sufficed, but the crowds would have reacted, and so the apostles were spared a beating.
Unconcerned with how they managed to escape from prison, I suspect he already knew the answer and really didn't want any confirmation of the facts, the high priest got right to it, down to the heart of the matter, and said, 'did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name?' (The name of Jesus Christ)
Then Peter and the other apostles said, 'we ought to obey God rather than men.'
There is a simplicity in truth that can be grasped even by the slowest of minds. No, Peter wasn't highly educated, but he still knew enough to know that we ought to obey God rather than men. His answer left no wiggle room, no room for debate, it was simple and matter of fact. If only today's generation could think so clearly and succinctly.
Obviously the high priest wasn't getting his point across, and so in anger and frustration he began plotting to have the apostles killed. That however, is a story for another post.
As simplistic as it might sound, it's easy to obey, when it's easy to obey. There are moments in this life, when we realize that obeying God will bring about repercussions to our flesh, that we might have to endure at the hands of unbelievers for our unwavering stance. Even when the decision is not easy, even when we know that the consequences of our obedience will bring about persecution, we have no choice but to obey. Whatever the reason for deliberating obedience of God, whether it be that you walk might be easier if you compromised, or the world would love you more if you remained silent, always remember that God prizes obedience, He values it above sacrifice itself. When you choose obedience, trusting God becomes an after effect of your obedience. Because you obeyed, you trust that God will see you through, that He will make a way even when there seems to be no way.
If we can learn one thing from the forerunners of the faith, those who we consider the pillars and the foundation of church, it's that obedience is never in vain. God sees, God knows, God rewards His faithful.
1 Samuel 15:22, "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams."
If we are obedient servants, if we obey the voice of God, then when we are called to sacrifice we will do so with gladness.
However when men attempt to sacrifice as a substitute for obedience, trying to garner God's favor by offerings rather than obedience, it is as a stench in His nostrils.
Trust and obey, in spirit and in truth, knowing in whom you've placed your trust. We trust not in the things of this earth, or in the strength of this mortal flesh, but in the power of the risen Son of God, the one who overcame death itself.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Spiritual Mercenaries

Winter was fast approaching, as Paul sat in a damp prison cell. It was not like the last time. This was no house arrest, he was not allowed visitors, and the Roman prison was anything but accommodating.
At least they had shown him a modicum of grace by allowing him some parchment, a quill and an inkwell. Paul was by no means feeling sorry for himself, he gladly bore the stripes and the chains for the cause of Christ.
He busied himself by writing, first one letter, then a second to the young man he called his beloved son Timothy, and though imprisoned he found the strength of character to be an encouragement to his student, to continue teaching and discipling him.
The memories took him back to his time in Asia, how he had persevered, preached the word, and established a church even with a death sentence hanging over his head. He remembered fondly how he had labored, and taught and discipled, he remembered all the hours and days spent exhorting those of the church of Asia, but after his departure, the mercenaries had struck.
Hot tears dampened the parchment upon which he wrote, as he relayed to Timothy something he already knew, that all those in Asia had turned away from him. Not a one was left, all his hard work scattered to the wind.
In spite of this, the tears Paul was shedding, were not tears of bitterness, nor tears of anger, they were tears of compassion and heartache. Paul wept because those of Asia had rejected truth. The spiritual mercenaries had struck, and with enticing words beguiled those whom he had built up and edified.
If spiritual mercenaries were few in number during Paul's day, in our day they have become a cottage industry. A spiritual mercenary, much like the modern day mercenaries, who sell their services to the highest bidder, are men of no particular allegiance, who will fight on the side that offers the best compensatory package.
Their only allegiance is to themselves, and the motto of the spiritual mercenary echoes the motto of the real life ones, in that they both hold to the principle, "I got to get paid."
Right or wrong, sin and righteousness, are subjective to the spiritual mercenary. They will say whatever it takes to reach their desired end. The spiritual mercenary does not care what he teaches, if at the end of the day he can cash a check, and buy a bigger house.
Another commonality of spiritual mercenaries, is that they wreak havoc wherever they go. They attempt to divide and conquer a congregation, promoting themselves rather than Christ, preaching a different gospel than that which is found in the Bible.
The tragedy, is that spiritual mercenaries are often successful, and after they've achieved their objective, they leave destruction in their wake. At heart, spiritual mercenaries are poachers, who realize that it's hard work fishing in a stream, or a river, and decide to go fishing in their neighbor's fish tank. Their message will always tickle the ears, it will always be sugar coated, and palatable because their goal is not repentance, or sanctification, their goal is a following, and more importantly that followings' tithe at the first of every month.
True shepherds weep as Paul did at the thought of their labors, time spent in prayer, in mentoring and discipling, only to have the mercenaries come in ravaging and destroying the flock they helped build.
Some often ask me why I concentrate on wolves, spiritual mercenaries, hirelings, and pharisees so much, and the answer, is because it adversely affects the sheep. People are hurting, people are looking for answers, people want to know Jesus, they are sincere in their desires, and their sincerity is exploited, they are being taken advantage of, and bled until all they are left with is an overwhelming feeling of resentment and bitterness. The resentment and bitterness extend beyond the person who deceived them, and made them empty promises, and eventualy come to include God Himself. I have met men, who want nothing to do with God, who don't want to hear of church or fellowship because they have been so wounded by mercenaries in the past.
If the mercenaries kept to themselves, if they were somehow kept isolated from the sheep, I would pay them no mind, they could go on deceiving each other and being deceived until judgment day, because many of them are beyond help, they have already been given over, their conscience seared, and the only thing driving them is the ever growing greed that is never satisfied.
The obvious truth however, is that they are not isolated, they roam among the weak, immature, and innocent, preying and feeding, preying and feeding.
I have often said that I consider myself a level headed, balanced sort of person, and few things get to me. There is perhaps a handful of things that stir my ire, and this ongoing systematic shameless manipulation and exploitation of God's children is one of those things.
I already know what some of you are thinking, that the sheep are just as guilty and as complicit for giving heed, for being beguiled by the empty words and insincere smiles, and to a certain extent I agree.
The times however are upon us, wherein the deception is so concentrated, so well focused and refined, that it is attempting to overtake and deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Flesh is still flesh, and it likes what it hears, justifying the accepting of certain teaching because it comes from men who call themselves servants of God. Couple the strength of the flesh, with the spiritual immaturity so many Christians find themselves in today, and you will begin to understand just how successful the spiritual mercenaries are.
If there is a silver lining in this dark cloud that has settled over the church, it's that the spiritual mercenaries are predictable, and easy to spot. If they talk about their homes, their cars, and their airplanes more than they talk about Jesus, if they focus more on positive affirmation and being happy with yourself rather than repenting of your sins, if within any given week they preach on 1 Kings 17 more than once, chances are very good that you are in the presence of a spiritual mercenary.
I know the words make you feel warm inside, I know you can close your eyes and almost see yourself running through your mansion, exiting through the imported teak doors, onto your own personal Olympic size pool, where a personal butler is waiting with a freshly chilled mixture of orange and strawberry juices, but my advice is to snap out of the daydream, and run. Run as fast as your legs will carry you, stick your fingers in your ears as you're trying to find an exit if you have to, do whatever it takes not to fall into the trap, not to be beguiled and deceived by the empty promises, so that a few months, or a year from now, your only companions won't be bitterness and resentment.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

In Constant Awe

I don't understand thrill seekers. Maybe its just my nature, but jumping out of a perfectly good airplane hoping the parachute opens, or tying a rope to your legs and jumping off a bridge praying the rope doesn't snap just doesn't do it for me.
Although I find the stories of people who risk life and limb in order to make history, live their dream, or achieve the impossible oddly inspiring, I can't say I understand it. A hobby is supposed to relieve stress, not multiply it I've always thought, but that's just me.
In 1953, Edmund Hillary, and Tenzing Norgay made history when they were the first men ever recorded to have climbed to the summit of Mount Everest.
Since then many have tried, and some have failed in repeating the performance, some seven hundred people having successfully scaled the mountain, while over three thousand having failed somewhere along their journey toward the summit. Although frostbite, oxygen deprivation and death are a constant possibility, every year a new batch of adventurers set out to scale the mountain, and reach the summit.
It takes both commitment, and physical preparation to even attempt such a journey, never mind a hefty bankroll. When all is said and done, after acquiring crampons, carabiners, ice axes, and the such, and hiring a legitimate company to guide your ascent, you're out some $80,000 and still no closer to the famed summit. After all that, your journey hasn't even started. Acclimating to the thinner air, takes up almost two months of your life, then risking life and limb you begin your journey, a slow and laborious climb toward that place you wish to reach.
It's been said by those who have made it all the way to the top, that the experience is awe inspiring. One feels like they're on top of the world, but that feeling of awe wears off as the cold sets in, and soon even the bravest of souls must shrug their shoulders, and begin their descent. Even the most enthralled must come down eventually, a flag, a family crest, or a personal trinket the only reminder to anyone who braves the elements, and makes it to the summit that they were once there.
Those fortunate enough to survive the descent, go home with the experience of a lifetime, and a good story to tell the grandchildren around the fireplace someday.
No, I'm not sharing this story because someone talked me into climbing Mount Everest. I have better things to do with my time. I share this story, to draw a few parallels between the commitment of those who choose to go on this adventure, and the commitment of God's children when it comes to knowing Him.
Just as I don't understand people who would risk their lives in order to climb a mountain, there are some who don't understand how I can stay so excited about God, and about the things of God.
As awe inspiring as the view from the summit of Mount Everest might be, eventually, like all things of this earth it passes. When you begin to know God however, to grow, to climb, to ascend the mountain of knowledge and wisdom found only in Him, you realize the awe never wears off. God is not merely awe inspiring, God is awe maintaining, and the best part, is that you never have to leave. There's no chance of frostbite in God, you never have to climb back down, you can remain on the summit, in fellowship with Him perpetually. Imagine that singular moment of perfect bliss when one sees the view from the summit for the first time, then stretch that moment out for an entire lifetime. That's what it's like growing in God, knowing God, and being in fellowship with Him, a lifelong moment of perfect bliss.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.