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Friday, September 13, 2019

Where Are You Going?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wisdom


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Irrational Fears


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love in Christ, 
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Merchants of Fear


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Before It's Too Late


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

An Update


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


GoFundMe/HelpDumi

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Signs


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, September 2, 2019

My Father's Son


I am my father’s son. Because I am my father’s son, I carry his name. Because I carry his name, all that I do, all the choices I make, how I interact with the world around me reflect on him, for better or worse. Through my conduct and the life I choose to live, I can bring honor to my father’s name, or bring dishonor to it.

We are inexorably linked and will be so forever. Men will always associate me with my father, and as I’ve overheard regarding others on various occasions, they’ll either say he raised a good one, or lament that for some reason one particular apple fell far from the tree. I love my father; therefore, I comport myself in such a manner as to brighten his heart and bring a smile to his face.

Because he is my father, not only do I carry his name, I have taken on certain features, mannerisms, quirks, and inclinations exclusive to him. It’s not because I tried to pattern myself after my father, or mimic what he does; it is because the nature of who he is has been transferred down to me through DNA.

I noticed this more clearly while my dad was visiting because I could see myself in him at the oddest moments. The way he would wave his hand when trying to make a point, the way he arches his eyebrows when he disapproves of something, little things, but noticeable once you start to look.

At one point, while we were sitting down to dinner, I noticed my wife looking at me, then at my dad, then back at me again, and when she noticed me noticing she shrugged her shoulders and said, “at least I know what you’ll look like when you get old.”

Not only do I call him my father, but he also acknowledges me as his son. If my father needs me, I will prioritize him over all else, and if I need him, I know he will show me the same deference. I know without a shadow of doubt that if ever I need anything if it is within his power or ability, my father will do it.

He is always welcome into my home, and I am always welcome in his. There need be no protocol, special invitation, or appointment. We know, reciprocally so, that the door is always open and if we need to talk, or spend some time together we do it.

As a son or daughter of God our relationship with Him is no different. Not only do we carry His name upon becoming heirs of the promise, but we also take on His nature. We are transformed from within, and without.

We become mindful that our conduct and interactions with those around us reflect on Him, and we are quick to flee the appearance of evil, never mind evil itself. Whenever we find ourselves at a crossroads or wonder if something is acceptable, the only question we need ask is whether or not He would approve. Would we be in that place, would we say those words, would we pursue those pleasures, if He were standing beside us.

There are innumerable benefits to being a son or daughter of God, but there are also responsibilities that come along with it. Most folks nowadays want to boast that their Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but fewer than ever before want to pursue holiness and righteousness to become more like their Father. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Family

My wife is watching me cry, and she has no idea why I’m crying. She found me where she finds me most mornings upon waking; in my chair, clicking away on my laptop, but this morning was the first time she found me crying.

Some of us had it easy growing up even though we had it hard. Some of you will know exactly what I mean, while others will scratch their heads, wondering if I am being purposefully vague. I am not. At least I am not trying to be, but it’s the best way I can encapsulate the thoughts rushing through my head, and the emotions welling up in my heart.

My brothers and I grew up poor, in a dangerous neighborhood, having been spirited away from the only home we ever knew and brought to the United States without knowing the language, or understanding the culture. It has become home. I am grateful that this country opened its arms to my family when we had nowhere else to go, and even though the first few years were difficult, to put it mildly, we still had each other. We still had family.

Seven of us lived in a two-bedroom apartment, both grandparents, both parents, myself and two little brothers, and we managed to survive, lean on each other in times of need, and make it through the hard times by sticking together. Yes, life was hard, but having family made it easier, more bearable, giving you a sense of permanence even when everything around you was in chaos.

I was blessed not because I had things, or lived somewhere fancy, or bought clothing from stores with actual labels inside them because I had none of those things growing up. We lived in a glorified ghetto, my grandma sewed my clothing, and I have no memory of ever having had toys save or a set of lawn darts the next-door neighbor gave us because they didn’t sell at his garage sale. Even during the worst of times, however, we still had family.

I have always thought of the Hand of Help orphanage as a family. I realize this sounds odd given that it is literally an oasis for children without parents, but there are different types of families, and I’ve always thought of the orphanage as just another kind of family.

This morning I was proven right, and it’s the reason my wife found me with tears rolling down my face.
Allow me to explain: one of our own, a member of the Hand of Help family is gravely ill and requires life-saving surgery. It is a complicated and costly procedure that could only be carried out in Austria. It’s not US costly, but costly nonetheless.

Yesterday, my brother Daniel started a GoFundMe to help with the cost, and this morning, when I clicked on the link, I saw names I recognized who had given to this cause.  Some of these are names I hadn’t seen the better part of a decade, children who had at one point stayed at the Hand of Help orphanage, but are now grown, with families of their own. They are scattered throughout Europe, North America and beyond, but they have not forgotten from whence they came.  

A member of their family needed them, and they are stepping out in force to prove that family will always be family, and when family needs you, you answer the call.

God will provide for this need. There is no doubt in my mind regarding this, but what had me chocked up was who He is doing it through.

I have often said that I will never ask of you what I myself am unwilling to do, or have not done already. It is a simple philosophy, yet one that has served me well throughout the years.

I will post the link to the GoFundMe in this article so you can better understand the need, and if the Lord leads you to give toward this cause, know that it is a worthwhile one. We too are family, the family of God, and when one is hurting we all hurt. When one is in need, if we can meet it, well, it’s just what family does. Pray about it, and do as He leads. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

GoFundMe/HelpDumi

Thursday, August 29, 2019

While We Bicker


I don’t like joining things. I am not a joiner. My wife convinced me to join a gym a while back, and as a form of silent protest, I’ve never gone. Not once. It’s not a recent thing. I’ve always been this way. Even while growing up in a less than genteel neighborhood in Southern California, when I refused to get jumped into one of the two local gangs, even though it meant getting harassed by both of them.

I was a teenager, so it wasn’t so much the moral objections that kept me from joining, it’s just that I didn’t like the idea of joining anything, be it a gang, or a book club.

When you start to think about it, however, pretty much everyone is segmented into groups, cliques, gangs, or tribes. Whether it’s fans of certain sports teams or vegans versus carnivores, folks who drive diesel and those who drive gas, being part of one group or another has become inevitable.

When we bring it around to the spiritual, there are those of the light, and then there are those of the dark; Two distinct groups, in stark contrast, and at odds with each other. This is natural, normal, and not something I have an issue with. Having mulled this over for some time this morning, I think my bone of contention is the splintered groups within what ought to be one solid, resolute, well-purposed, and energized army of light.

Yes, within any army you have regiments, battalions, brigades, and divisions, but they all have one well-defined common enemy. They all receive the same marching orders, show up on the same battlefield, and face the same way. They do not make war among themselves, while the true enemy marches ever onward. The 8th division doesn’t try to take out the 6th, and the 6th doesn’t try to take out the 12th.

Wouldn’t it be a sight if when you showed up for battle, the opposing army just started fighting among itself? All you’d have to do is watch as they exhaust themselves, get battered, bruised, wounded, and wearied, then ride in to finish off those who are still standing.

While we bicker amongst ourselves like over-indulged children, souls are still perishing. While we attempt to assert dominance over our fellow brothers in arms, the darkness is still advancing. While we attempt to throw down the gauntlet and insist that everyone pick a side, join a team, or form a clique, the devil’s minions are single-minded in their desire to annihilate Christianity altogether.

Before anyone else asks, I’ve already picked a side, and I picked it long ago when I surrendered my life and pledged my fealty to Him.

This isn’t Twilight, we are not pubescent teenage girls, and I don’t have to declare if I’m team Edward or team Jacob. I’m team Jesus. If you are anything other than team Jesus, I fear there’s a world of hurt on the horizon for you.

I’ve been in ministry for over thirty years. I’ve seen it all, and then some. I’ve seen people appropriate words of prophecy, I’ve seen people plagiarize my writings, I’ve seen others monetize what we offer for free, and through it all the word of Jesus echoes in my ears: “Whoever is not against us is for us!”

One day there will be a reckoning, and we will all stand before the God of all things, to answer for what we did, what we didn’t do, the spirit in which we did it, and the intent with which it was done. All men are accountable for their own actions, just as I am accountable for mine.

Clean hands, pure heart, clear purpose, and faithful execution; these are the things I can strive for daily, and the things for which God will call me to account if I fall short. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Common Enemy


It’s always fascinating to watch what strange bedfellows hate can bring about. Although hate is not as powerful as love is, it can be just as unifying. People who would have nothing in common in any other context are united in purpose because they are fueled by hate for one thing, one group of people, or one faith. These are individuals who would otherwise be at each other’s throat, but because they have found a common enemy, they have chosen to call an armistice and focus their attack on that which they hate.

I can’t say I’ve ever hated anything or anyone that much. Yes, there have been people in my life who bore false witness about me, who betrayed me, who sought to destroy everything in my life for no other reason than to hoard the ashes of what remained for themselves, but I’ve never once considered aligning myself with someone I despised in equal measure just to get at them.

Ever so slowly, the rabid enemies of all that is good and decent are beginning to lock in on a common enemy. They are beginning to see one particular group of people as the source of their discontent, and are cobbling together an alliance of the hateful, the fringe, the disenfranchised, and the outright insane.

It matters not that the individual they now call a brother in arms would likely cheer their being thrown off a roof in a different context, as long as they burn with hatred for the Christian and the Jew. That’s it! No further litmus test required. As long as you hate the right people, you are, for the time being, a useful tool, and you will be tolerated until you are no longer useful.

If one knows what to look for, if they can discern the telltale signs, they soon come to realize how sinister and diabolical what is currently taking place is, and also how prophetically accurate. The selfsame people screeching endlessly about hate having no home here, have revived the murderous hatred of old.

It’s a trick as old as time, and it’s lasted this long because it is effective. Accuse the other side of the things you are guilty of doing, do so vociferously and consistently, and they won’t have time to realize what you are doing in the shadows until it is too late.

There are far too many people looking for someone to blame for their hurt, even though most often their hurt is self-inflicted, and the puppet masters are doing their best to offer them a target upon which they can pour out their angst and frustrations.

For the most part, the church is as clueless as clueless can be, unaware of the forces aligning themselves to make war against it. We are like that nerdy kid in school who’s just excited to be befriended by the jocks, never wondering why, and ending up shoeless, in a locker, with snot running down his face.

The godless do not want to be your friend. The fact that you wave a rainbow flag at a parade to showcase your tolerance does not warm the cockles of their hearts. You are a useful idiot; someone they can point to when trying to shame those still standing on battlements into silence.

If history teaches us anything, it’s that hate will always find an outlet. This will not end well. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Urgency


Anyone halfway decent when it comes to sales or marketing will tell you that in order to make the potential customer pull the trigger, in order to get them to hand over their hard-earned money, you need to create a sense of urgency. Whether it’s limited quantity or a twenty-four-hour sale, there is a subconscious switch that gets flipped in many a brain, and acquiring the thing that is in limited supply, or getting it for the discounted price only available on that day becomes paramount.

 There’s a furniture store in our neck of the woods that has been having going out of business sales for the better part of a decade now, and every once in a while they’ll sprinkle in a twenty-four-hour blowout, just for fun.

We are hardwired to react to the sense of urgency. This is why televangelists insist that you pick up your phone now, right now. Don’t wait until tomorrow or the day after. They know that if you don’t react to their pitch within a certain window of time, chances are you’ll go on to other things, or come to your senses about putting a donation for a new private jet on your credit card.

Same goes for late-night infomercials which tell you that the first hundred callers get an extra special bonus prize, even though that same infomercial has been running for the better part of the new millennium. Either they’re just burning money running ads that no one responds to, and they haven’t hit that magic first hundred caller benchmark yet, or something is fishy in Copenhagen.

Why is it, I wonder, that we react so predictably to faux urgency, yet are altogether disinclined to show the same tendencies toward things that matter?

I understand that part of it, perhaps not a small part, has to do with coercion, but there are certain things in life that we ought to innately prioritize due to their importance.

Even though some folks can’t seem to live without the magic slicer, a junky piece of plastic that will likely spend many a year in the back of a drawer, untouched and unused, they’re perfectly comfortable with not giving serious thought to their spiritual man, eternity, and the hereafter.

The flippancy with which some people wave off such topics, rolling their eyes and muttering whatever will be will be, or it will all pan out in the end, is frightening and disconcerting to behold.

Perhaps we’ve downplayed the reality of hell for so long that people no longer feel a sense of urgency when it comes to eternity. Perhaps we’ve sugarcoated everything to such extremes, that people have come to believe all souls go to heaven, and everyone can pick one favorite pet to bring along.

The household of faith has failed at relaying the urgency of it all, even though this particular urgency is neither manufactured or imagined. We have failed at driving home the point that all flesh is like grass and all the glory of man as the flowers of the grass. We are vibrant and full of life but for a season, then wither, destined to return to the earth to whence we came.

There is no fountain of life, magic elixir, or immortality potion. Though many are searching for these things, it is a fool’s quest at best. There is but one way, one truth, and one life, and all must enter in while they still have breath. When we are dust, it is too late. If that doesn’t create a sense of urgency in those not yet regenerate, nothing will. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Life's Melancholy


I’m getting older; we all are. Each of us marches to the same drumbeat of time, and with each passing day, we are closer to the end than we are to the beginning. For those of us who know what awaits, who yearn for the day to see our Lord and King face to face, the end is not a frightening prospect, rather a joyous one.

There are, however, moments of melancholy that overtake us, when we begin to ponder certain aspects of this fleeting existence, simply because of context and the implications thereof.

I hadn’t seen my dad in close to three years. Getting up the courage to take on a transatlantic flight was far easier when it was just the wife and I. Now, with two toddlers in tow, it’s not only more challenging but also cost-prohibitive.

Anyone who has ever traveled with children can attest to the fact that it is taxing, and grueling, especially on what amounts to a good twenty-four hours of connections, flights, and layovers. By the time you get to where you’re going, the only thing you want to do is sleep, and when you’ve finally gotten caught up with your rest and acclimated to the time difference, it’s time to go back home.

After a bit of back and forth, trying to work out times and dates, my dad finally decided to come and visit. He wanted to meet his youngest granddaughter, get to know her older sister, and just relax for a spell. He’s been with us for a couple of weeks, and it’s been good to catch up, spend some time together, and just talk.

Both my dad and I come from the stoic sort of mindset. We don’t call or text every day, we don’t flood each other’s inboxes with sappy clichés, we are men, father, and son, and our reciprocal affection need not be spoken of endlessly. It exists, it is there, we shake hands, hug, shed a few tears, then get on with the tasks at hand.

Even so, I couldn’t help but be overcome with a sense of melancholy as I sat on a park bench with my dad, and reminisced about this journey called life. We discussed everything from how we’d left our homeland, to how hard the first few years had been, to how God had seen us through all the valleys and hardships.

One of my dad’s favorite sayings that whether in the valley or on the mountaintop, God remains unchanged. He is the same God whether you are going through a trial, or are glorying in your victory.

The reason for the melancholy I was feeling was because I realized this could very well be the last time I would sit and reminisce with my dad this side of eternity. In less than a week, he will be flying back to Romania, and only God knows what the future holds both for us as individuals, and this world as a whole.

What I know for certain is that we have the memories of the times we shared in the present regardless of what the future holds.

This present life is a fleeting thing; A breath, a sigh, a single drop in an ocean of eternity, and far too many get so busy, they put off making memories until it’s too late. Know what matters in life. If you have acquired this singular piece of knowledge, you’re ahead of the pack by a good margin.

Some people discover what matters only when it’s too late, some never at all, and this is why so many go through life godless, sick, empty, and fearful. 

With love in Christ, 
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Rewriting History


Recently the governor of Illinois signed a bill into law mandating that public schools now teach homosexual history. As one can expect from a jelly-spine church still suffering from the meat sweats due to the last successful potluck, there has been very little pushback or uproar.

It is a foregone conclusion that this faux history will be painted in the best possible light, and by the time they’re done putting together the curriculum, it was someone in the homosexual community who discovered everything from the cure to polio, to electricity, to the combustible engine.

It will not be a teaching of history, as much as a rewriting of history.

How far back will they go? Will the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah be included in the lesson plan? Somehow I highly doubt it.

Will the correlation between the homosexual lifestyle and the spread of aids be made clear? Again, highly doubtful.

What this law is intended to do is not to teach history, but to normalize an abomination. It is not to highlight accomplishments made by those with specific proclivities, but to conclude that save for the homosexual community we would still be drawing stick figures on the walls of caves, and cooking our meat on hot rocks in the midday sun.

Whenever a society normalizes the aberrant, there is always something more aberrant waiting in the wings to be normalized.

To say that this is an exaggeration is a nonstarter because we have seen it play out in real-time over the past few years.

We went from normalizing homosexuality to normalizing transgenderism, to lobbying for the age of consent to be lowered to 10, and branding parents who have a problem with their preteen daughters seeing fully grown men in wigs in the girls’ bathroom as bigoted.

Every news story that paints the sexually aberrant in a negative light gets squashed instantly, and so we never hear of little girls getting assaulted in public bathrooms, grown men exposing themselves to children not old enough to understand what is happening, or old men grooming teenage boys to be their playthings. Nothing to see here, move along, and keep your mouth shut!

If you talk about it, you guessed it; you’re a bigot.

Nobody wants to have an honest conversation, because the perverts and the pederasts have become a protected class, and we are sacrificing our children’s innocence on the altar of inclusivity and tolerance.

They’re already teaching children who should have no other concern than whether or not the fireflies they caught in the mason jar will survive the night, about anal intercourse and oral copulation. How much further into the depths of darkness must we descend, how much more of our children’s innocence must we surrender before the church pushes back?

We keep comforting and consoling ourselves with the mantra that light will always prevail over darkness, but for this to occur, the light must show itself, it must make itself known, it must shine bright; If the light is absent darkness reigns. Where is the light? Pray tell, where is the light?

With love in Christ, 
Michael Boldea Jr. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Blessed


As is the case with so many things in our modern era, we have redefined what it means to be blessed. Most have come to equate being blessed with having stuff, possessions, toys, trinkets, and baubles which devalue over time, if ever they held any value, to begin with.

If we can afford the newest car or the trendiest clothing, or to shop at Whole Foods, then we consider ourselves blessed, and make sure everyone within earshot knows it too.

I live in a small town. The kind of town where most of the longtime locals know each other, and people still have conversations in the checkout line at the grocery store. Yes, the younger generation is like everywhere else, glued to their screens, drowning in their hedonism and self-importance, but the old folks still like to chitchat.

As I was standing in line last night, waiting to pay for a few gallons of water, I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation between two of the local ladies who had just run into each other. Even though I’d caught the conversation halfway through, it seemed as though they were trying to outdo each other in how blessed they had been of late.

While the first had gotten an increase in her Social Security, the second one was really blessed because her husband’s 401K was headed to the moon. New vacation condo in Boca seems to have trumped new car for the other one’s birthday, and each time the word blessed got wedged into the wording for good measure.

As is the case with much of society’s ills, I blame the church in no small measure for our lack of understanding in regards to what being biblically blessed means. Granted, it’s hard to sell a generation of excess on the idea that being blessed is not being able to afford the payments on a new plasma television, but rather being reviled, persecuted, and spoken evil of falsely, for His name’s sake.

Between the ‘look at me’ disease, which shows no signs of stopping, and most people’s all-consuming need to be liked by everyone, the notion that suffering loss of possessions, reputation, position, or influence for Christ’s sake is where true blessing lies is anathema.

We equate being blessed with the material world, rather than with the spiritual, and every time we happen upon Christian television we are reminded by someone who’s trying to talk us into sending them some money, that this is the case.

How have we gotten it so wrong for so long? Because we forgot what blessed means. When words lose meaning, we can interpret them whichever way suits us best. To be blessed is not to be comfortable, or to have excess, or to be granted your birthday wish at fifty. To be blessed, by dictionary standards, is to be made holy, or consecrated.

Makes a lot more sense when we understand the true meaning of the word, doesn’t it?

When you are persecuted for His name’s sake, when you are reviled for His name’s sake, when men say all kinds of evil against you for His name’s sake, you are being consecrated. You are being made holy. Therefore, rejoice and be exceedingly glad, because not only are you being consecrated here on earth when these things occur, your reward in heaven will likewise be great. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.