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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.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Finality


Except for God, who has no beginning and no end, everything has finality. All things, whether planets, suns, solar systems, men, or dung beetles, have a beginning and an ending. Granted the timeframe between a planet and a dung beetle might differ a bit, but finality is finality.

It is a disheartening thing to realize that the devil is more aware and cerebral about this reality than much of the church. Whenever the topic of the end times or the end of days comes up, most believers either tune out or become visibly uncomfortable with the notion that the end is nigh. Many have worked so long and so hard to build their little fiefdoms here on earth, they’ve talked themselves into believing the end is a far off theory; something future generations might have to contend with at some point.

Because their hearts are tethered to the things of this earth, they see no correlation between the shrinking window of time, and the enemy’s intensified campaign against the church.

“The devil’s always been the devil, brother. I think we just want to believe he is ratcheting up his attacks.”

If I could bring myself to believe the preceding statement, something I heard spill out of an actual pastor’s mouth, perhaps it would give me some semblance of comfort. Sure, the enemy is as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but this has always been the case, nothing has changed. No need to prepare for all-out war, we’ve made it this far, haven’t we?

All plausible arguments if not for the fact that the enemy knows his time is short. The devil knows he is like a dog on a leash, and God is about to yank it, hard. Whiplash hard. Make your head wobble and neck creak kind of hard.

The devil knows this is his last attempt at breaching the wall, at storming the castle, and he’s got nothing to lose. Either way, his end is certain, and he knows it.

It is no coincidence that every fowl thing and abomination has crawled out from the shadows. It is no coincidence that the attacks against Christianity have become more fevered, more shrill, more unhinged, and rabid.

The walls are closing in, time is slipping away, and the enemy knows that it’s now or never.

An enemy with nothing to lose is far more dangerous than one who hopes to survive the battle and grow old. If we are not willing to match the enemy’s ferocity blow for blow, if we are not as willing to defend the truth as forcefully as he is to attack it, we will wither under the brunt of his attacks and give up territory.

Let’s face it; there isn’t that much territory left to give up. There’s nowhere to retreat to. This is the time; this is the moment when the church must make its last stand against an enemy who is preparing his final assault.

Finality is inevitable. We can’t wish it away, and we can’t will it away, we can’t even pray it away. It has been foretold, it has been determined, and the final pieces are moving into place. Once we accept this inevitability, the only questions that remain are whether we are ready for battle and whether we will stand and face the enemy or flee from before him. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Know Thy Enemy


I’ve gotten a couple of e-mails of late asking why I’ve started to focus on the culture of the day more than before, and haven’t stuck to exegesis. These were friendly queries, by no means confrontational or mean-spirited, and if someone has an honest question, I go out of my way to answer them.

Although the books I am currently working on are exegetical in nature, I will be the first to admit that some of the articles I post on the blog are focused on the current culture, and the implicit danger it poses to morality and decency.

The way I work is simple. I sit down in the morning, with no preconceived topic, I read my Bible, I say a prayer, spend some time with God if I’m up before the sun and the girls aren’t running around wanting my attention, then I start to write. It’s very organic, unforced, and cerebral, and this is how I’ve always done it.

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I now have children, whom, if the Lord tarries, will inherit the chaos we will leave behind, but having thought about it at length this morning, I don’t believe it’s the only reason.

Whether we want to admit it or not, culture does affect us as individuals. Practices, peccadillos, and perceptions we would have balked at two decades ago have now been normalized, and things that would have incensed an overwhelming majority not long ago, are no longer seen for the dangers that they are.

Some might say it’s just progress, but from a spiritual standpoint, progress has nothing to do with it. Embracing sin is not progress. Embracing sin is the very definition of having a seared conscience, wherein that which would have repelled the spirit of righteousness living within us no longer does so.

We have grown comfortable with depravity, we have grown comfortable with abomination even within the household of faith, and once we, as a society or even a body grow comfortable with those things seeking to destroy the pursuit of holiness and morality itself, we become complacent, disengaged, lethargic, and indifferent.

I’ve been focusing on the current culture of late because it is a conversation that believers must engage in. It is something many choose to ignore, but do so at their peril because to defend against one’s enemy, one must first know their enemy.

The more you know of your enemy’s schemes and means by which he carries out his attacks, the better you will be able to defend against them.

Ignoring the issues, pretending as though our children aren’t being indoctrinated and propagandized, or that Christianity isn’t being assailed, demonized, and vilified just makes it easier for the darkness to carry out its sinister plans.

Yes, we are in the world but not of it, but that does not mean we ought to do nothing about the constant attempts at tearing down the foundations, and transforming the church into nothing more than a better dressed, less rambunctious version of the world.

Know your enemy, understand his plans, identify his minions, determine what their objective is, and you will be in a position to not only stand against the darkness but actually beat it back. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Gall of Man


Men today don’t want God to be their pilot; they want Him to be their Uber driver. They want to tell God where to take them, what route He should take, the pit stops He should make, all within an acceptable timeframe that they’ve allotted Him.

We say we want Jesus to take the wheel, but we want to be the ones to determine the destination. When He says He cannot take us where we want to go, we throw a hissy fit, leave Him a bad review, and declare to the world that we have abandoned our faith, lost our religion, and disavowed Him as Lord and King.

Every few weeks I get a new article in my inbox about some pastor, preacher, musician, or self-titled artist who has renounced their faith, who has decided to go public about walking away from Christianity, because it was their determination that their god would be more tolerant regarding sin than the God of the Bible.

They are distressed and altogether apoplectic that the God of the Bible is not beholden to them, that He will not bend and bow and scrape to their every whim and desire, and that He will not change even at the threat of losing a treasure like a guitar fiddler who wrote a hymn for Hillsong.

The gall of some people is just stunning. To demand that the God who declared He changes not change to suit your peccadillos then throw a temper tantrum when He doesn’t, is arrogance and conceit that rises to the level of lunacy itself.

How delusional does someone have to be? How self-important and pompous, self-aggrandizing and venal to demand that the Creator of all that is, both seen and unseen, compromise His holiness because you are unwilling to break ties with your sin?

Sorry to break it to you, but God is not some sleep-deprived Nigerian trying to ingratiate Himself to you in the hopes of getting a tip at the end of your ride. He is not some pandering politician telling you everything you want to hear just to get your vote.

So yes, I’m sure your god is more tolerant, more open-minded, more inclusive, and more understanding. I’m sure your god will overlook the sin which the God of the Bible condemns and demands you repent of, but your god can’t save you. Your god is an illusion, a projection, a lifeless thing you created because you love your sin more than you ever loved Jesus.

Repent and be saved, or don’t. The choice is yours, and you will have to live with the consequences of the choices you make. The rules apply to everyone, equally, whether rich or poor, talented or not, two thousand years ago or today. Just know, that no matter how long you hold your breath, or how incensed you become, it will not alter God’s standard.

No one gets to serve God on their terms. No one ever has, and no one ever will. To think that you will be the exception, to think that God will amend His Word for you because you have charisma, or because you can reach the youth, is gall heretofore unseen. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Growing Pains


The local Walmart in our town has a kid’s corner of sorts, where parents can pump whatever change they get after paying for their purchases into mechanical toys, or machines that will spit out a penny’s worth of plastic toy for a half dollar or thereabouts.

I’d been shopping at that Walmart for the better part of a decade, and hadn’t noticed this money pit, but that all changed the first time I took my eldest daughter to the store with me. I may not have noticed the blinking lights, and the colorful signage, but she sure did.

Since she was still shy of one-year-old, and I feared one of those tiny toys might end up in her digestive tract at some point, I took the safe route and placed her on a mechanical horse that swayed gently forwards then backward, once you inserted the two quarters in the slot.

The look on her face the first time that plastic horse began to sway was priceless. A beaming, all-consuming smile that lasted the whole thirty or so seconds of the ride, and it was well worth another fifty cents, then another just to see that smile again and again.

The ride came to be known as the pony ride, and sure enough, every time we went to Walmart, it was mandatory. All told, I probably could have bought a nice watch with all the quarters I fed into that machine, not a Rolex or a Tag Heuer, but certainly a Timex.

As time passed and she grew, the excitement of it began to dwindle. That first initial enthusiasm was never reproduced, although she enjoyed the ride and still smiled occasionally. Eventually some two years later, as we were walking past the kid’s corner, she gave me a serious look and said, “I think I’m too old for the pony ride, daddy, I think I’ll skip it this time.”

My little girl was growing up, and the mix of emotion I felt at that moment is difficult to put into words. Half of me wanted to talk her into going on the pony ride because I wanted to hold on to that innocence of youth for as long as possible. The other half was exceedingly proud that she realized she was growing out of it. Inherently, instinctively, she determined that seasons of change must come in life, and if we refuse to embrace them, we’ll end up in our thirties, still riding the pony ride at Walmart.

There is a point to this little trip down memory lane, and it is this: we are seeing an entire generation of believers who have entered adulthood, whose level of spiritual maturity ought to have exceeded being seduced by blinking lights and pony rides, yet who show no signs of having done so. What’s worse, those deemed their spiritual fathers are doing everything they can to keep them in that mindset of spiritual infancy, because spiritual infancy creates dependence, which translates into control.

If your spiritual father, mentor, pastor, or whoever you look up to for spiritual succor does not insist on your spiritual growth, if they do not rejoice when you mature past the pony ride and go from milk to meat, not only should you ask why, but maybe reassess whether or not they have your best interest at heart.

The wolves are feral, ravenous, and heartless. The shepherds are not. It’s easy to distinguish between the two if you have the wherewithal to confront the truth and take steps to remedy the situation.

Anyone who does not encourage you to grow, and who insists that without them you will surely be set adrift upon an ocean of despair is doing so for their benefit and not yours.

When I started writing these lines this morning, it was with a different purpose, but this is where the Spirit led me, and I believe it is for someone who will end up reading these words.

Spiritual leaders are not called to be the babysitters of God’s daycare; they are called to be the generals of God’s army. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Troubled Waters


I’ll be the first to admit I have trust issues. Without going into detail, or regaling you with the past twenty years of my life, let’s just say my trust issues are well-founded and justified. This is doubly true when the trust I am asked to extend is not toward an individual but rather a government apparatus, notorious for overreach, and at this point in time about as trustworthy as a guy with a gold tooth and a pinky ring trying to sell you on a pyramid scheme having to do with recycled toilet tissue. Only two spots left, and all it costs is fifty grand. Best deal of your life, guaranteed!

It’s not a sin to be skeptical, and even the Word declares that a man who trusts in man or in the arm of the flesh, whose heart has departed from the Lord, is cursed.

Ronald Reagan famously said that the most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help. I cannot disagree with this sentiment, especially when the current crop of misfits in government are set on stripping the average citizen of their rights at every turn.
I know that this will not land well with some of you, but truth rarely does.

The big hubbub of late has been the notion of red flag laws and how they are now a necessity. Without having committed a crime, without having gone through due process, if a paper pusher on some rung of the governmental ladder concludes that you will, at some point, be a danger to yourself or others, then they deem it their right to do as they will, including detainment.

My only question, the only question that is of any import, is who determines the parameters by which one is judged as setting off one of these red flags? Is it the same group of folks who insist that there are 73 genders, or that transgenderism is perfectly normal and not at all a mental disorder?

Will the same people who are trying to normalize pedophilia be in charge of determining whether or not you are mentally competent to own a firearm?

Pardon my skepticism, but if you think this is in any way a good idea or something to strive for, you have not thought it through, and have no idea the can of worms this will very likely open.

Will having served in the military disqualify someone from owning a firearm because they might have PTSD? Will believing in God disqualify someone?

What? Too much? Farfetched? Impossible? There are current sitting senators who insisted that supremely qualified individuals were to be excluded from serving on the Supreme Court simply because they believed in God, or because they were practicing Christians.

It’s all about who sets the parameters and who determines what these red flags are. As of yet, they are ethereal, able to be whatever the people in power decide they are, from whether you still have your wisdom teeth, or were prescribed Ritalin when you were ten.

To say that the system will get abused is the understatement of the century. Imagine how many disgruntled, angry, or unhinged neighbors will be calling the hotline to report what they deem to be red flags? Imagine how many law-abiding citizens who did nothing wrong will get visits by the police in the middle of the night for no other reason than because pencil-pushing dolts think they can run your life better than you can. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.  

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Misspelling Murder


It’s getting harder and harder not to believe in conspiracy theories, especially when what so many flippantly dismiss as conspiracy theories turn out to be factually, indisputably true. Even those who mock and laugh at most every story about rich and powerful people doing diabolical things in secret aren’t so willing to dismiss them anymore, because there comes a point wherein the evidence is so overwhelming that only someone who intellectually dishonest can still toe the line.

Yesterday it was reported that Jeffrey Epstein, the man widely rumored to have facilitated underage girls for the carnal gratification of powerful individuals, hung himself in his cell. Never mind the inconvenient tidbit that he was on suicide watch, or that anything you might possibly use to harm yourself gets taken from you when you get booked, or that he was likely being surveilled via video and audio in perpetuity.

He’s dead, and now the whole thing can get swept under the rug. I’m waiting for the first reporter to roll their eyes in feigned disgust and say, “why are we still talking about this when there are so many other topics we can be covering?”

It’s coming. I’m certain of it just as I was certain that Mr. Epstein’s days were numbered once he ended up behind bars.

No, I do not believe he got plastic surgery and was secreted from prison to live out the rest of his days on some non-extradition island paradise. He is dead, the news media just keeps misspelling murder, and calling it a suicide. Maybe it’s that bothersome autocorrect feature. Maybe that’s it. But if you believe this man offed himself when he could have struck a deal for his freedom by turning on the rich and powerful movers and shakers of today, you have yet to understand that these people play for keeps, and will silence anyone that becomes a liability.

Mr. Epstein was a facilitator. He was a purveyor of services to powerful people who rewarded him handsomely for keeping their secrets. When that confidentiality was called into question, and the potentiality of said confidentiality became likely, it was just a matter of time before the bells towed for Mr. Epstein.

Just a day before his oh-so-timely death, court documents were released naming a former Democrat senator, a former Democrat governor, and Prince Andrew, as having availed themselves of Mr. Epstein’s services. How much farther up the ladder do you think this would have gone had he been allowed to live?

Facilitators don’t get cozy retirements, especially if they hold a bagful of secrets about the world’s elite and are motivated to spill said bag and be free again or spend the rest of their lives rotting in a cell.

The deckhand who digs the hole into which the pirate captain deposits his ill-gotten gains doesn’t get to ride off into the sunset. Facilitators to the rich and powerful who end up behind bars and are offered plea deals, don’t get to testify under oath. Dead men tell no tales, and whatever tales he would have told had he lived to tell them were incendiary enough and would have cast a shadow over enough powerful people, that it was deemed necessary to kill him now, knowing the blowback that would ensue.

Oh, and just so we’re clear, it’s the same clique of perverts, pedophiles, and pederasts trying to engineer your life and browbeat you into silence that likely had this pedophile pervert killed in the hopes that his secrets would die with him. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, August 9, 2019

No Easy Fix


I know the things I’m good at, and the ones I’m not. Most of the time, I’ll make the right choice and either delegate the things I’m not proficient in or hire someone to do them. I’d rather pay someone to do something in an hour than waste an entire weekend trying to do it myself, then have to end up paying someone to not only complete the initial task but also fix what I managed to break during that wasted weekend.

As I said, that’s most of the time. There are, however, instances wherein even though I know I should be calling someone, I talk myself into attempting certain things, things I have no business attempting, all the while thinking that it can’t be all that hard.

After the final thaw this spring, while turning on the water for the outside spigots, I discovered there was a pipe in the basement that was leaking. It wasn’t a bad leak; it wasn’t pouring or sputtering; it was a just a slow, steady drip. It’s not like there was a chance of the basement flooding or anything, so I decided this was one of those times where I would seize the moment and be the handyman my wife has always insisted I am not.

Three hours later, YouTube diploma in hand, I decided I knew enough about fixing a leaky pipe, I might as well open my own plumbing business on the side. There were various options to be sure. I could buy pipe clamps or go the epoxy putty route, I even learned about slip couplings, but that requires pipe cutting, and I didn’t own pipe cutters. Soldering would have been an option as well if I owned a soldering iron. Then, of course, there was the less technical option of using self-fusing silicone tape, or the everyman’s best friend, especially when he doesn’t have a clue as to what he is doing, duct tape.

I decided to keep it simple. I drove to the hardware store bought a roll of self-fusing silicone tape and a couple of rolls of duct tape, then went to work on the pipe. By the time I was done, it looked like a miniature football. Nothing was getting through that tape. At least that’s what I thought at the time. I turned the water back on, waited for a few minutes until I was satisfied that the leak had been fixed, then went on about my day.

A few hours later, when I went to confirm that I was now a world-class plumber, and would nevermore need the assistance of a licensed individual who had actually gone to a trade school to be a plumber, my miniature football consisting of silicone and duct tape looked like it was nine months pregnant, and about ready to pop. It’s not that the pipe had stopped leaking, I’d just covered it up, hoping it would go away on its own. Not only did I end up having to call the plumber, but I also had to pay extra because it was well into the evening, and there was an added for emergency services. It turned out there was no fixing the pipe. It needed to be replaced altogether, and thirty minutes later, it was.

There are no easy fixes to the problems this nation is facing. Trying to duct tape over them will only serve to mask the issue temporarily. What is needed if we hope to remedy the situation is for men to be renewed in the spirit of their mind, and for the nation to return to the God they abandoned long ago thinking it knew better. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Under Pressure


One of the first purchases my wife and I made as a married couple some twenty years ago was a whistling tea kettle. She’d seen one in some movie at some point, and she thought it was just the neatest thing. It didn’t take long for her to realize that the whistle gets annoying after a while, and slowly but surely the whistling kettle got phased out of our morning ritual.

It doesn’t take a genius to know that anything under pressure must either have a release valve or run the risk of exploding. In the case of the kettle, when the water begins to boil, the steam is released through a tiny hole in the spout, which makes it whistle incessantly until it is removed from the fire.

The same principle applies to most human beings. As pressure builds so does tension, and if there is no release valve, if there is no way to depressurize, it comes to a head, most times at the most inopportune of moments, over the most irrelevant of things.

I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point, wherein someone is constantly pecking, nitpicking, over-analyzing our every action, and we keep quiet, say nothing, but the pressure continues to build. Then, out of the blue, just because they said good morning, or waved, we let them have it, and everything comes spilling out at once.

When our reaction or response to something is not commensurate or proportionate, it wasn’t the action but the accumulated pressure that solicited the response.

It is an undeniable reality that this nation currently finds itself under pressure. By all accounts, the societal pressure gauge is redlining, and rather than attempt to walk back the rhetoric, or defuse the situation, gas is being thrown on the fire with an abandon and glee that isn’t just shameful but concerning and outright troubling.

When civil discourse is no longer possible, violence is inevitable.

If the pressure continues to build, and there is no reasonable way of releasing it, the prophetic warnings spoken over a quarter of a century ago will come to pass sooner than any of us had feared.

When you have news reporters calling for physical violence against those they disagree with politically, when you have representatives publicizing the names of donors to the opposing political party, basically painting a bullseye on the backs of average citizens, when you brand some sixty-odd million people as racists and Nazis, eventually the pressure will get to be too much. When that happens, something very ugly, violent, and catastrophic will occur, and once it boils over, there will be no controlling it or walking it back.

It would seem all the adults have gone out to lunch, and the pyromaniac children have been left in charge. There is no foresight; there is no consideration of what the flames they are stoking will lead to, they just want to see it burn, and do away with the orange menace that has been hampering their progress toward globalism. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.