Sunday, April 30, 2023


 Some people will look at the words Jude wrote via the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and react like they would the first time they tasted Vegemite. Maybe they just got a bad batch. Perhaps it’s like wine, and it got corked. Surely people all over Australia couldn’t be eating this for breakfast and enjoying it.

Maybe Jude just ran across a couple of bad apples. Surely ungodly men who would take advantage of the people of God couldn’t be that prevalent, could they?

If you read the New Testament with any frequency, you’ll come to realize that there was consensus among Jesus, Paul, John, and Jude regarding the real and present danger that false shepherds, false teachers, and false doctrine posed. It wasn’t a one-off, it was prevalent, and it continues to be to this day. If anything, the servants of darkness have perfected their delivery, they’ve perfected their approach, and everything they do is geared toward feeding the flesh and stifling the spirit.

It’s a good business model if you can live with yourself. Give people liberty where the Bible doesn’t, and you’ll always have an audience. Knowing that there will always be someone in the shadows waiting to destroy all the good work you’ve done is disheartening. In his farewell to the Ephesians, Paul stated it with such brevity that nothing need be added.

Acts 20:29-30, “For I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

We face a battle on two fronts, and we always have. First, the darkness without that struggles to be within, and second, compromised individuals within whose only desire is to build a kingdom and wield authority God never granted to them: same old devil, same old tricks, same old temptations, same old greed.

Generations come and go, technology advances and progresses, and the stakes get bigger, but human nature remains predictably consistent. Paul’s concerns regarding what would be after he departed are shared by true shepherds worldwide. This is why it’s not enough for you to sit in a pew for forty years and not learn to feed yourself. This is why it’s dangerous to be dependent on another for your spiritual succor. If you sit under a true shepherd who has led you to green pastures, then learn what the green pastures look like so that you might avoid the dried-out and sickly ones.

If something tastes funny, spit it out. Don’t take another bite to make sure. Even if everyone sitting around you is going on about how this is the best stuff they’ve ever eaten, remember what your momma taught you: just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you should.

Jesus also warned of those who would come among the sheep attempting to devour them. It begs the question if we are unshakeable, if we cannot be deceived, if none can wander off the path into the open maw of the wolves, why are there so many warnings throughout the Bible about being vigilant and about how to identify those with nefarious intent?

Matthew 7:15-17, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”

When you knowingly and willingly participate in the commission of a crime, even if you were not the principal neer do well, depending on the severity of the crime they committed, you can be charged as an accessory to the commission of a crime, sometimes, even an accessory after the fact.

When we fail to contend earnestly for the faith, knowing that there are men within the household of faith who would turn the grace of God into licentiousness and do nothing about it, we are accessories to spiritual crimes just as surely as those who just drive the getaway car are guilty of robbing a bank.  

1 Timothy 5:22, “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”

That seems a mite overly cautious if the notion that you can do as you will for as long as you will once you’ve “received Jesus”, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s just me, but why insist on keeping oneself pure when modern-day preachers tell the gullible that they can party like it’s 1999, even though it’s 2023, because Jesus is busy looking through the records to see if somehow heaven messed up on assigning the correct gender to be preoccupied with sin and righteousness anymore.

You assume that everyone who stands behind a pulpit wants what’s best for your spiritual well-being when Jesus said they don’t. You assume that when the new guy starts throwing shade at the shepherd who’s been a pastor for longer than the shade thrower has been alive, it’s from a good place and with good intentions. Jesus confirms that it’s not so, as does Paul and Jude. There are perverse people with perverse minds, speaking perverse things in the name of God, and it’s your duty to know God and His Word well enough to know when what someone is saying isn’t something God would have ever said! When that occurs, it is likewise your duty to contend for the faith, defend the truth, and stand on the Gospel.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Pressing Matters

We don’t always end up doing the things we want to do. We set out intent on one thing, and by the time the day is done, we’ve done something wholly different. It’s usually for the better because it’s always best to do the things that need doing than the things you want to do. There are a hundred things I’d rather do than mow my lawn, but it needs to get done, and putting it off will only make matters worse. That’s always the thing about things that need to get done; they never get done on their own, and the more time passes, the more problematic the situation becomes.

Kicking the can down the road is not an option; it’s a copout. It’s something only politicians get to do regularly, and even they run out of road at some point. When that happens, there’s always the press conference announcing that they are not running for reelection and have decided to spend more time with friends and family instead. That they have no friends and their family hates them is rarely mentioned because everyone knows to keep to the script.

By all accounts, Jude had set out to write a somewhat milquetoast letter to the brethren. You can’t get very edgy when discussing our common salvation, no matter how hard one might try, and his intended topic was just that. I know how he felt. Most mornings, I wake up intent on writing about puppies, kittens, rainbows, and toddlers eating ice cream. I don’t set out to offend or make enemies, but somehow I always do. Hating the messenger because you hate the message has become another one of those accepted practices of late that was rarely ever done in the past. If I don’t like the things you say, I hate you, and you must die. That is the new standard of tolerance, even among those who call themselves believers. The Bible is no longer the final arbiter in any spiritual argument; it’s how some individual or other interpreted what the Bible says and what biases they use.

That’s why the Book says we must rightly divide the Word of truth, not seek to be divided from one another by it. It’s not just one verse among the thirty-one thousand and change in Scripture that is profitable for doctrine, correction, and instruction, but all Scripture. Are some verses more profitable than others? Most assuredly. If you disagree, squeeze a sermon or five out of the who begat whom in Chronicles. Even those, dry as they are, are profitable to some extent. It can be an outright fount if you’re looking for inspiration for a boy’s name.

When it comes to our common salvation, God kept it simple so no one could complain that it was overly complicated and beyond their comprehension. Individuals who attempt to complicate it needlessly do so either out of pride and self-importance or a vested interest. Jude was not planning on exploring new horizons and going where no man had gone before. Doctrine surrounding salvation had already been established, and he’d decided to lend his voice to encourage the brethren.

That all changed when he sat down to write because while he’d had one topic in mind, the Holy Spirit guided him to something wholly different.

Jude 3-4, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Passivity is not a virtue. While fully aware that any form of aggression is now considered toxic, and if you defend the truth, you are deemed a mortal enemy of progress, the Bible is clear on what our position ought to be. When we see the faith maligned, distorted, misrepresented, and denatured, we’re not told to sit idly by and watch it happen. On the contrary, we are told we must contend earnestly for the faith, meaning we should put up a fight.

Contending earnestly presupposes a struggle. It presupposes action on your part and a willingness to defend the faith as though it were worth more to you than saying a few words and waving the Bible you borrowed from your mom for that one service so you wouldn’t feel out of place.

Not only does Jude insist we should contend earnestly for the faith, he goes on to tell us why. It’s not so we can beat our chests in vain, and it’s not so we can go demon hunting in the wild. It should be a sobering thought that the enemy is closer than you think. It can’t be clearer that the call is coming from inside the house and not from somewhere far away.

I had to do this, Jude says; it was necessary to write this letter because while you were all bickering and figuring out who got the bigger piece of the pie or what political influence you might be able to exert, ungodly men have crept in unnoticed whose singular desire is to pervert the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

While you were busy packing because 88 reasons why Christ is returning in 88 really spoke to your spirit, men who were long ago marked out for condemnation high-jacked the message, and no one did a thing to stop it.

That they were able to creep in in the first place is a witness against the church, for had they been earnestly contending for the faith, had they been awake, aware, on guard, and vigilant, the enemy would have been routed long before it was able to take root within.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Friday, April 28, 2023

Full Bore

 It’s been a minute since I revisited the book of Jude. Coming in at a succinct four hundred words and change, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything under five hundred words to pack such a forceful punch. It goes to show that you don’t need volumes and treatises to get your point across. 

As Thomas Jefferson once said, the most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. I think before He said it, Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, proved it. I say this knowing full well that I’m prone to writing lengthier essays, but hopefully, they are substantive.

Unlike Paul, Jude’s letter wasn’t to a particular church body but to all believers everywhere. Contextually speaking, this is relevant because there’s bound to be someone who would point out that Paul was writing to the Romans, the Corinthians, or the Hebrews, and because it was addressed to a particular body, they could see their way around ignoring the more uncomfortable bits.

Yes, I am aware that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, but when people are looking for an excuse, even a flimsy excuse will do. People who could barely speak English will insist that the original Greek meant something as an adjective rather than a verb because their intent isn’t the knowledge of God but the justification of sin.

Between last night and this morning, I’ve read and reread the book of Jude four times. Each time it was with a smile on my face and sadness in my heart because although he went full bore and spared no feelings, what he wrote two thousand years ago is more relevant today than ever in the Church’s history.

There are truths in these four hundred sixty-one words that the church doesn’t want to hear but that it needs to hear because the things he spoke of no longer occur once in a blue moon but every day, everywhere, all the time, and with increasing frequency.

It’s not as though the Bible doesn’t warn us about deceivers and deception; we ignored it because we liked what the deceivers had to say. The deception they peddled was soothing to the flesh, and when they gave us the option of having our cake and eating it too, of going to heaven but living like hell, we jumped at the chance.

It didn’t matter that what they said contradicted the Bible, all that mattered was that we could roll in the mud without the guilt of feeling dirty or the effort of cleaning ourselves up. Everyone was saved, but no one lived like it, and if anyone dared to point out the inconsistency of character, the absence of fruit, the worldliness the newly minted soldiers of the cross continued to exhibit long after they ought to have known the way of righteousness, the chorus of works salvation was so shrieking and loud that it drowned out every other voice.

If you’ve made it this far, we’ve exceeded the word count of the Book of Jude. Once we delve into it, you’ll realize just how much challenging, inspiring, and relevant wisdom is packed into it.

Some things just don’t age well, even though, at the time, they seem like they’ll be around forever. I’m sure the early adopters of the Betamax thought they were the bee’s knees until VHS came along. The same goes for the Laser Disk before the DVD came along and made it obsolete.

Other things, however, get better with time, and the book of Jude falls into this category. It is sublime, and I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t terry in it for a little while.

Jude 1-2, “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.”

What Jude doesn’t say in his introduction is as telling as what he does say. Rather than present his titles and accolades, rather than hammer home the point that he was the half-brother of Jesus, he calls himself a bondservant of Christ and a brother of James. Insecure people like riding coattails. They go on and on about that one time when they met someone of note for the briefest moment, and no matter where the conversation leads, they always return to that singular event that seems to have defined their entire existence.

If you’ve lived for any amount of time, you’ve met people like that. You ask them how the family is, and they come back with, “You know, that one time when I met a guy who knew the guy who does landscaping for Bob Barker’s agent, he said I should definitely look into acting.”

Jude was content with being known as a bondservant of Jesus Christ. He had no desire for the spotlight to be on him, nor did he want to be the center of attention. He was not a braggart or one who felt the need to puff himself up. He was a humble man who saw no need to regale those who were called and sanctified with his bona fides but rather with his servant’s heart and humble attitude.

Another worthwhile observation is what he desired for those he wrote to. It wasn’t wealth, and it wasn’t stature; it wasn’t fame, fortune, possessions, or positions, but those intangible, priceless virtues, such as mercy, peace, and love, that can only come from the hand of God.

What should the children of God have that the world cannot buy? The selfsame things that Jude desired to be multiplied to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Christ Jesus.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Thursday, April 27, 2023


 It’s become quite popular for supposed spiritual leaders to question the veracity of God’s word, up to and including whether Jesus really is the Son of God and if He literally rose from the dead. Such individuals get a lot of air time because anything that casts a shadow on the household of faith is like kibble for the godless, and they do their best to blast the information far and wide.

It doesn’t matter how many pastors rightly divide the word, and it doesn’t matter how many preach the truth of the gospel; they go out of their way to find that one non-binary universalist pastor who insists that being good to each other is the ultimate message, and the pinnacle of the Christian faith.

It’s not a new thing. Going back to the genesis of the church, we see that everyone was perfectly content with those of the way being charitable, with feeding the hungry and comforting the hurting. Once they started to preach the resurrection of the dead and declared that Jesus was the only way, the only truth, and the only life, they not only fell out of favor, they were actively persecuted, hunted, and killed.

One of the clearest signs that you are not on the narrow path is when the godless shower you with praise and adoration. If the world loves you while they hate Jesus, you are not of Jesus. It doesn’t matter how often you appear on television or how much Oprah loves your tolerant and inclusive message. If the world who hates your Master loves you, you might not be serving the master you claim to serve.

The message of the cross is a message of absolutes. Either you are saved, or you are not. There’s no such thing as partially saved or partially redeemed. Jesus bought you with the price of His blood; He didn’t put you on layaway. He didn’t advance a down payment, hoping to complete His purchase at a later date. If you are His, be His, and believe Him at His word. If you are not His, sooner or later, the mask will slip, and everyone will see who you really belong to.

The devil is always looking to sow doubt, and he has his minions working day and night toward that end. Most pastors might be coasting, but the enemy isn’t. He is actively working toward wedging doubt between your active pursuit of the promises of God and the fulfillment thereof.

The enemy starts small. The seeds of doubt he begins to plant are almost imperceptible. That preacher has a point, you know, maybe when the Bible says the sun stood still, it was metaphorical. You know how time slows down sometimes when you’re at work, and an hour feels like a week? Maybe it was that. I mean, we can’t take everything so literally; everything’s given to interpretation, isn’t it? Did Jonah really live in the belly of a fish for three days?

And so, they whittle away people’s convictions, they erode their confidence, they stunt their expectations of who God is and what God can do until all that remains is to be kind, tolerant, and inclusive and strive to be inoffensive rather than strive for righteousness.  If gender is subjective, why isn’t the definition of sin? If right and wrong no longer mean what they used to but are situational depending on the circumstance, why aren’t light and darkness?

Who’s to say what God likes or doesn’t like? Who’s to say whom God will receive and whom He won’t? God! God said what He likes and doesn’t; He said whom He will receive and whom He will cast into the outer darkness.

Playing word games is all cute and fun until you stand before the great white throne and Him from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; then it won’t be so cute or fun anymore.

Believe everything God tells you, no matter how improbable it may seem to human reason. God will not fail. He will do as He has promised. We read the promises of God in His word and often conclude they are for someone else. Wouldn’t it be nice, we think to ourselves, not realizing that every promise is not for another but for you. If you are a child of God, His promises are for you! When God says I will, there is no debate or second-guessing; it is yes and amen.

We wait patiently, with faith and living lives honoring God and serving Him, unmoved and unshaken, steadfast and faithful, no matter how often the agents of darkness attempt to sow doubt. We do not wait just for the sake of waiting; we wait with a purpose, redeeming the time and doing what we were called to do, which is to be a light in the darkness.

He is coming. Are you ready? The master is returning; what have you done with the talents you’ve been entrusted with? Are you working in his harvest field or endlessly judging those who are? Are you putting your hand to the plow, or do you think it is beneath you? These are the questions that matter. These are the questions that require answers. These are the questions most Christians avoid choosing instead to fill their time with tertiary topics that won’t matter once we stand before Him.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2023


 The other day my wife bought a bag of oranges intending to make fresh squeezed orange juice. All was well and good until she discovered that they weren’t the juiciest of oranges, and after going through the entire bag, she had a little less than a full glass. She was visibly disappointed because her intention was to have four glasses of freshly squeezed juice for us at breakfast, so being my empathetic self, I said, “Maybe we can pass the glass around like they do during communion in the old country. Everyone take a sip and give the glass to your neighbor until it runs out.” I got a scowl; she got a smile.

While my wife is quick to believe certain things to be as advertised, her one area of absolute doubt is when the bottle says freshly squeezed juice, not from concentrate. Every time I bring a bottle home, she rolls her eyes, and we end up having the same conversation again and again. She says it can’t possibly be freshly squeezed juice; I say they can’t be that blatant about lying, there are regulatory systems in place, and we each defend our position with the fanaticism of a zealot. We still haven’t figured out who’s right, although the fact that a company that branded itself as Simply Juice turned out not to be tends to give her opinion an edge. I can admit when I’m wrong, but squeezing an entire bag of oranges for one glass of juice does seem like a waste of time.

Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by living in America for so many years. I’ve come to expect things instantaneously, even though I remember a time when it took my mom the better part of an afternoon to make homemade ice cream. Granted, it was more of a milkshake consistency when she was all done, but there was a lot of churning and ice and hope that the eggs and the cream and the sugar would turn into ice cream.

One flavor, one drippy cone, and a big smile on my face. That’s what I remember. Now I’ve got a five-year-old telling me I bought the wrong kind of sherbet and that there’s a difference between vanilla ice cream and vanilla bean ice cream. In my attempt to teach them a valuable lesson, after repeated complaints about flavor and brand, I gave them each a bowl of ice cubes and told them to have at it. It was a tactical error on my part. They enjoyed the ice cubes more than they would have the ice cream, and I had to watch them in case either of them choked on the ice.

We’ve all been impatient at some point. We’ve all been dissatisfied with our remuneration upon completing a task. Usually, that first paycheck after you put in forty hours is a letdown because you’re young, and you have no clue what FICA is or why they’re getting such a nice chunk of your hard-earned money.

Some things you can be impatient about, some things you can’t. No matter how hungry you are, not waiting for that chicken to cook through probably isn’t the smartest thing you’ll ever do. Then again, there’s nothing like a good bout of food poisoning to teach you a life-altering lesson.

When it comes to being impatient with God, it is never a good idea. Neither you nor I are in a position to demand God do something sooner than He purposed. If He must teach you patience, He will, and oftentimes the lesson hurts and humbles.

I can’t say that I know many people, but even within the small circle of people I know, the number of those who grew impatient with God, struck out on their own, and promptly fell flat on their faces is surprisingly robust. The failure rate is also an eye-opener. If something can be close to guaranteed, it’s trying to do something on behalf of God without His release or consent.

Some even came to me for counsel before they struck out on their own, and although I knew my advice wouldn’t be heeded, I still gave it because they asked. No, waiting isn’t fun; it’s not edgy, it’s not popular, and there’s no instant gratification from it. Then again, you don’t get savaged by the wolves and find yourself bleeding by the roadside by being patient and waiting on God.

God’s protection over you extends only as far as where God told you to be. Think of it as an umbrella that someone walking beside you is holding for you. If you increase your pace or start running and the individual holding the umbrella does not, you will get wet.

Yes, I know, everyone’s Speedy McGee nowadays, and they feel as though God is too slow in fulfilling His promises for their liking. What they don’t consider is that God knows when they’re ready for greater accountability. God knows when they’ve been seasoned and matured and when more can be asked of them. God will not send you out before you are ready because that would defeat the purpose of being sent. That one would overestimate their preparedness is not a God problem; it’s a them problem. Rather than be bitter that they’re still waiting to be sent, perhaps they should be thankful that God loves them enough not to send them unprepared.

God doesn’t send you out to watch you fail or be defeated. When He does so, it’s that you might overcome and be victorious. What general worth his salt would send out his army knowing that they are not adequately trained or equipped? What leader would array his soldiers on the battlefield fully assured of their demise?

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, April 24, 2023


 Hard times and soft men don’t mix well. Usually, demonstrably so, every time they arose, the hard times were caused by the advent of weak men in positions of power and influence. For as long as they are allowed to bumble their way through and blame everything and everyone else for the shambles they’ve created, they will do it.

Weak men are cowards at heart. Soft men want power without accountability, and they want authority without responsibility. When they fail, it’s always someone else’s fault. If ever they succeed, even if the success is insignificant, they will boast of it until the day they breathe their last. There’s an elderly man showing signs of dementia, well into his eighties, still bragging about standing up to a bad dude named Corn Pop when he was yet a teenager. One fleeting, trivial success in an ocean of failure, but you’re going to hear about it until he is no more.

Soft men talk; hard men do. That’s how you know the difference offhand, without any need to delve deeper into their personality. Weak men will attempt to excuse the state of the world and of the church, while hard men will try to remedy it and shout warnings from the rooftops until their voices give out.

It takes a sheepdog to protect the sheep from the wolves. It takes a hard man to protect the innocent from hard men. It’s easy to malign, demean, brush off, ignore, or belittle hard men in good times, but when the good times end, they’ll be searching high and low for a few hard men. The problem they will have is that the hard men are no longer willing to protect the soft ones, so they’ve insulated themselves, made their circle small, and although they will defend those within their circle, they won’t raise a hand in defense of those who mocked them.

I’m not saying it’s right or wrong; I’m telling you how it is so that when order crumbles and chaos reigns, you won’t be looking out your window hoping to see a hard man come to your defense.

When I refer to hard men, it has nothing to do with appearance. The hardest man I’ve ever met was wearing a bright yellow polo shirt tucked into his khakis. No face tattoos, no knuckle tattoos, no neck tattoos, no crazy-eyed, thousand-yard stare, just something under the surface, unadvertised, that spoke without speaking.

Hard men do not need to bloviate or use flannel and facial hair as some sort of accessory; they’re men of character and conviction, men of principle and determination, that will defend what needs defending and do so without hesitation.

Hard men are not standoffish; they’re protective. They’re not uncaring; they’re rational. They’re not divisive; they have morals and ethics. They’re not holier than thou; they have values. They’re not brooding or daydreaming; they’re scanning for danger, situationally aware, and ready to protect those for whom they feel responsible. They don’t speak flowery words to convince someone of their affection; they show love through their actions.

In one generation, we’ve gone from men exhibiting chivalry, bravery, selflessness, and virtue to men using their wives as shields when a cockroach skitters across the kitchen floor. It’s not just the men that are to blame for what we’ve become, the fairer sex demanded more sensitivity, more emotional openness, and more fragility, and they got it in spades. It kind of powers down the desire jets when you hear your man talking about his mascara running from all the crying, doesn’t it, ladies?

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to you is to get everything you’ve ever wanted. This is especially true of a nation or a society that has turned its back on God. God doesn’t have to rain down fire and brimstone, He just has to leave men to the desires of their hearts, and they’ll destroy themselves all the same. Evil spirals and progresses until it burns itself out. It is a destructive force that has no end to its depravity. It just takes a bit longer. The reason judgment comes at the hand of God is for the sake of the righteous who are oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked.

Why hopscotch through this minefield? Why talk about it knowing that I’ll be getting brained with self-righteousness and accusations of misogyny from both sides? Because it is a conversation that must be had for the sake of my children and your children.

It takes hard men to bring about change. If you read your Bible consistently, you’ll have figured that out by now. From Abraham to Joshua, to Samuel, Elijah, Jeremiah, David, Daniel, to the Apostles of Christ, these were all men who didn’t back down from a fight and who weren’t fearful about defending the truth. They stood when others faltered, and they resisted when others acquiesced. Theirs wasn’t a situational commitment to truth, nor did they stand up for truth only when it benefited them. That’s what makes a hard man. Not aggression, not violence, not brutality, but immovability in the face of overwhelming odds. Here I am. Here I stand. Devil, do your worst, but I will not be moved.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, April 23, 2023


 I’m afraid to pick my nose in public because someone might snap a picture of me from the wrong angle and accuse me of being part of the Illuminati. The same goes for that yellow gunk at the corner of my eyes. On a bright note, I’ve had strangers hand me quarters and even dollar bills thinking I was homeless and challenged, with snot dripping down my upper lip and greenish-yellow discharge caked around my eyes.

It may seem extreme, but these are the lengths we must go to, I fear, unless someone eagerly looking for something to denounce you for gets the opportunity. In case you’re wondering, I jest, but only about the nose picking and gooey discharge, not the intrepid sleuths going frame by frame through your home movies trying to find something, anything, no matter how minuscule or insignificant. Someone did hand me a dollar once, but I was just looking my homeless self without the gooey bits. I gave them back a ten, and they started looking around for a camera.

Everyone’s looking for something to pin on somebody. One wonders if they would stand up to the same scrutiny. One wonders how they would react to someone digging through their trash, peeking through their windows, and bum-rushing them while trying to get their kids to school.

The Book says that your sin will find you out, not Debbie, the divorcee, who insists you now call her Deborah, even though before she found her calling was perfectly fine with you calling her Deb. Sin is like a degenerative disease of the soul. Eventually, the signs will become apparent.

Just because he won’t let you commandeer or outright hijack his pulpit so you can tell the congregation how you saw in a dream that you were supposed to lead them doesn’t make the pastor the son of the devil. Not every dream is revelatory or from God. Sometimes a dream is just the byproduct of bad burritos, arrogance, entitlement, and self-importance.

The way it works is if someone is supposed to make room for another in their ministry, God tells that person so the transition is seamless and without conflict or heartache. Yes, I know, God would have told them eventually, but sister Deborah has big plans for the little people, and the clock is ticking.

For the most part, the Debbies get what they want. It’s been a battle of attrition trying to castrate the men of God’s house and make them soft and malleable, but they’ve been making headway. Just look at who’s being promoted as the new generation of church leadership, and you’ll understand what the plan was all along.

Anyone that didn’t fall in line was toxic, misogynistic, and anchored in the patriarchy of the past, and the brave new world that the limp-wristed and testosterone deficient want to create has no place for such divisiveness and aggression. We were told that being nice and being godly were interchangeable so often that we started to believe it. Big smiles, big hair, manicured nails, and a slanted gospel became the surefire ingredients to a successful ministry. No one bothered to ask if it was biblical as long as it was successful.

That’s where it went from bad to worse because we measured success based on the world’s definition of it, not God’s. To be deemed successful wasn’t so much about building up men and women of virtue, fearless warriors, wholly committed to God, but about how much cash was stuffed into the coffers every Sunday.

The Pavlovian response of the unprincipled was predictable. If watering down the gospel and making allowances increased the offering at the end of the service and rightly dividing the word decreased it, under the guise of maintaining the work to draw people in, you continue to water down the gospel.

We’ll get to preaching the truth once we have a good foundation. We’ll preach the whole counsel of God once we’ve built ourselves a little nest egg just in case there’s an exodus of parishioners once we start doing it. The mental gymnastics are a wonder to behold, but because the leadership is largely emasculated, they keep putting off preaching the truth until pivoting from wealth, health, prosperity, self-actualization, feeling feelings, and loving yourself would be financial suicide.

That’s why you start with the truth. That’s why you start with the whole counsel of God. That’s why you straighten your back, put some steel in your spine, and ask Debbie to find the nearest exit before things get biblical. The primary concern of any leader worth their salt is never whether or not what they are about to preach will offend someone. Assume it will offend everyone. Their primary concern should be whether or not they are faithful to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

If you start out assuming that you’ll offend everyone, then you’ll have nothing to fear. If you assume that everyone will walk out of the sanctuary before your sermon is done, then if anyone is left, it will just be a pleasant surprise.

I understand that looking for Illuminati under every rock and behind every hedgerow is fun and all, but maybe take a second to see what’s being taught in most churches and who’s doing the teaching. Then, perhaps, you will understand which the greater danger is. Then again, there’s always someone picking their nose in public that you can snap a photo of.

Occasionally, I feel compelled to write one of these, if only for posterity. I seem to be writing a lot for posterity of late, but it is what it is and can’t be helped. I’m a stickler for clean hands, especially when dealing with the people of God.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, April 22, 2023


 My daughters are not what one might call consistent when it comes to measuring time. If, perchance, their mother or I allow them to watch television, then time seems to speed up, and fifteen minutes seems like fifteen seconds. When the alarm sounds, and they have to turn it off, their singular objection is that the clock is wrong, fifteen minutes haven’t passed, and it’s all a giant conspiracy to keep them from finishing their cartoon. At least they’re consistent. You know what’s coming, and oftentimes I’ll even blurt out the words I know they’ll speak before they get a chance to do it. It’s always followed by a drawn-out “daddy,” but you’ve got to take your fun where you can get it.

On the other hand, if we are planning a road trip, and I tell them the drive is two hours, and we go a minute over, then the sky falls, the earth shatters beneath their feet, all hope is lost, and every second seems like an eternity. That’s why I’ve learned to approximate our trips and leave a little cushion just in case.

The passage of time has a lot to do with how we perceive it. A minute can seem like an eternity, and an eternity can seem like a minute. When you’re sitting in the emergency room waiting for your blood panel to come back because you passed out while trying to grill some chicken, it seems like it’s taking forever. When you’re on your dream vacation soaking up the sun and feeling the sand between your toes, a week seems like a minute.

How you perceive the passage of time while you’re waiting for something has everything to do with whether or not you’ve purposed in your heart that whatever you’re waiting for is worth the wait. Some people will camp out for days just to get some concert tickets because they’ve determined that giving up that chunk of time in exchange for seeing their favorite band play was worth it. Having concluded that they wait patiently in an orderly line, pay their money, and get their tickets.

The point at which this analogy breaks down is that there are no ticket scalpers waiting on the corner trying to sell you tickets into heaven. No one can wait in line for you. You can’t purchase your ticket from someone else or sneak in pretending to be someone else. If you thought security at the Gaither concert was bad, just wait until you see Heaven’s security detail.

Not only are they checking ID, but they’re also checking blood, and if you don’t have the blood of the Lamb, it doesn’t matter who you were, whom you knew, what you owned, or what you did; you’re not getting in.

The promises of God are worth waiting for. Heaven is worth waiting for. What’s more, the Creator of all that is, the eternal God, the Alpha, and the Omega, has spoken the things you are patiently waiting for, and He is not one to fail in keeping His word.

Joshua 23:14, “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.”

These were Joshua’s final words after lifelong service to God. He knew he was about to go the way of all the earth; in fact, he knew it would be on that day as he spoke his final message to the people of Israel.

What would be the point of lying on your deathbed? What would be the point of saying something everyone knew not to be true? Joshua knew he’d come to the end of the road, and looking back on a well-lived life concluded that God keeps His word, all the time, every time, without fail.

He didn’t start out by saying, except for that one time when God promised He would deliver us, and He didn’t. He knew that they knew in their hearts and souls that not one thing had failed of all the good things the Lord had spoken.

Sometimes the Lord relents from the harm He said He would do to a people, but never from the good things. I’ve thought about that for a bit and can only be in awe of His goodness toward a stiff-necked and obstinate creation.

If God has promised you a good thing, be patient until you receive it. It is in your patience that you possess your soul, not in worry and consternation. If God said it, He will do it, but He will do it in His time, in His way, and for His glory.

The world cannot take away your joy, it cannot take away your peace, and it cannot take away your desire to see Christ return in all His glory. The world cannot take anything from you if you are buried with Him; you must choose to surrender it.

You forfeit your peace when you worry incessantly about tomorrow. You forfeit your joy when you compare what you have with what your neighbor has, and it’s always the more prosperous neighbor, not the poorer one. You forfeit your desire to see His return when you become distracted by the present things of this earth, and you forfeit your heavenly reward when your heart is consumed with earthly ones.

I heard a story once about a man slated for execution in the old country who was asked what he would like his last meal to be. He looked through the bars on his window and saw it was snowing.

“What month is it,” he asked.

“December,” the warden answered.

“Then I would like a ripe, red watermelon for my last meal,” the prisoner said.

“But we won’t have any of those for months,” the warden answered.

“That’s okay, I can wait; I’m in no hurry,” the prisoner retorted.

What Jesus is bringing is worth the wait. Whether tomorrow, next month, or next year, I can wait. What other choice is there?

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Friday, April 21, 2023


 I don’t like plowing the same patch of earth over and over again, but I will if I must, if only for posterity. It matters not how gently I go about it or what lengths I go to in presenting something as a parable that it might make the point without bludgeoning anyone; folks still get prickly. Whether one uses a scalpel or an axe depends upon the task they are set to perform, but as far as preferences are concerned, I far prefer the axe. I think I like the heft of it more than anything else. It’s not that I don’t know how to use an axe; I’ve chosen self-restraint and the scalpel instead because axes make a mess. The problem is that you can’t cut down a tree with a scalpel, so here we are about to get messy.

It raises my hackles instantly when someone discounts or brushes off the words of Jesus without a second thought. It’s not as though some trinket salesman said no man knows the day or the hour, Jesus said it. Jesus! The one person who would know better than anyone, all research and subjective opinion notwithstanding. If you’re asking me to look at a thesis that seeks to disprove the words of Jesus, you’re barking up the wrong tree, no matter who you are.

But let’s go down this rabbit trail for a bit. If Jesus lied about no man knowing the day or the hour, not even Himself or the angels in heaven, what else did He lie about? Maybe that whole thing about rewards was a sham, too; perhaps He never planned on coming back or taking anyone away. If Jesus lied about one thing, how many other things did He lie about?

I believe God over man always, every time, without exception or equivocation. Even if my flesh prickles at it, even if I’d like it to say something other than what it does, the Bible must be the final authority in all spiritual matters. The Word of God is the only sure foundation. The words of Christ are yes and amen, and no amount of forced correlation or unsubstantiated conclusions will convince me otherwise.

The devil used scripture to try to get Jesus to do a head dive from the highest point of the temple just so He could prove to the devil that He was the Son of God. Don’t you think the devil already knew? Of course, he did, but it wasn’t beyond him to twist scripture to try and get his way.

I am not in competition with anyone for anything. Some people are shadow boxing thinking they’re in a real fight, and just to dispel any such ideas, you win. I wasn’t competing. I’m not about to play Prophetic Idol or Prophecy Battles with anyone since I never claimed the title, to begin with.

You mistake me for someone who yearns for the limelight or is trying to prove himself to his contemporaries. If you lie about me, I’ll defend myself, but other than that, in the words of a song you used to hear in every grocery store some years back, I am whatever you say I am; if I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?

When it comes to defending the truth, that’s a different matter entirely. No, not my truth, the truth. There is a distinction there that we seem to have whitewashed, as we have so many things having an uncomfortable tinge to them. The modern-day church has even gone so far as to invent a third coming because they couldn’t cope with the reality of the second coming. I like that. I should put it on a T-shirt and wear it to church.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17, “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

We’ve reformulated our eschatology to suit the palate of the lukewarm and indifferent who are just looking for a bit of fire insurance but no lasting relationship. The modern-day Western church has become the Olive Garden of Italian food, where what you’re getting isn’t a tour of Italy but a tour of the deep fryer. Strangely, there are very few double-wide Italians in Italy, even though all they eat is Italian food. The same can’t be said for the regular Olive Garden crowd.

We were warned by none other than Jesus that there would be those who would say here is the Christ, and there but we should not go. We were warned that deception would be about, and many would be deceived. We were also told that it is within our capacity to be weary that we not be deceived.

Whether or not we heed His warnings is up to us as individuals. I will not suffer the consequences of your choices on your behalf, nor will you suffer the consequences of my choices. Whether or not you believe His words to be absolute is entirely up to you. The thing I can’t reconcile, though, is how would anyone be willing to lay down their life for someone whose words they doubted and whose promises they called into question.

This is not an intellectual exercise. This is life and death, eternity, and ever after. Weighty things, truth be told, the weightiest.

And since my third cup of coffee just kicked in, someone needs to qualify as God’s servant for another to be accused of speaking against God’s servant. A guy who was a Kool-Aid cup away from being the next Jim Jones, who destroyed lives and families by setting a specific date not once but twice, does not qualify. I’ve had to counsel people who sold everything and gave it away save for a white pair of sneakers because they believed the guy who said he heard the train a-comin’, coming round the bend. Do you have any idea how difficult a thing it is for someone to attempt to put the spiritual pieces back together in tandem with the physical? I’ve seen the pain of it and watched people struggle through it.

Deuteronomy 18:2-22, “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, “how shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?” when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023


 The problem with setting specific dates and times for anything is that people will usually extend their patience up to that point and no further. It’s why people get so outraged when their flights are delayed or when their package arrives a couple of days later than it was supposed to. They had a definitive date in their minds wherein whatever the matter was would be concluded, finalized, and nevermore referred to. When the date gets pushed out, it becomes bothersome, worrisome, then frustrating.

Imagine you were anticipating the release of a movie you really wanted to see. Granted, nowadays, there aren’t many movies anyone’s looking forward to, but indulge me. Every time you show up to get your ticket for the film on the night it’s supposed to premiere, you are told that it got pushed back to next week. This doesn’t happen just once or twice, but ten, fifteen, twenty times. How long before you stop showing up to get your ticket? How long before you get that sour taste in the back of your throat and begin to turn against what you were looking forward to?

There’s nothing so tenacious as a spurned fan. They’ll blog, they’ll boycott, send hate mail, make t-shirts, and try to get others to join their cause. Someone who was indifferent likely would not have heard that the movie had been delayed. However, someone who knew every actor, their roles, how long the run time was, and who scored the music will have an emotional reaction to not being able to see it when they were promised.

Why go there? Why poke the bear? Because with each passing day, more and more believers are clinging to the hope that if they can just hang on for a few more days, a couple of weeks at most, they’ll get caught up, and that’ll be that. They’re getting a bit antsy because a handful of signposts that were, in their theological bend, supposed to herald the return of Christ have come and gone, and there has been no sign of a rapture, secret or otherwise.

In their minds, the release date keeps getting pushed back, and they’re beside themselves. Some have tried to tell them that the preview of the movie they were looking forward to was fan-made, a movie concept rather than a real production, but the only replies they got back were that it seemed too real to be fan-made, plus it was an excellent premise.

What’s worse is that the pimply kid at the theater thinks it’s real too, and every time you show up, he reassures you that next week will be the week that the greatest theatrical production of all time will be unveiled, but they had to keep it hush-hush so only real fans get to see this masterpiece.

The best-known date-specific prophecy in the Bible didn’t come to pass because the Ninevites repented in sackcloth and ash, and God relented for a hundred years. Bummer for Jonah but great news for the Ninevites. That should be an eye-opener, but it isn’t, and the worse things get, the more on edge people will become because they were promised something that isn’t materializing.  

What does this have to do with waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promises? Everything, actually. There is no expiration date on the promises of God. It’s not as though if Christ does not return until a specific date, then the wedding’s off, He’s never coming back, and we labored and sacrificed for naught.

What if Simeon had set an artificial cutoff date for himself? What if he’d purposed in his heart that if he reached one hundred, he’d stop going to the temple and waiting on the fulfillment of what the Holy Spirit had spoken to him?

We can’t give up while the finish line is in sight just because others decided it should be closer than it is. We can’t lose heart because what we thought would be doesn’t align with what is when what is, is what He said would be.

Waiting on the Lord and His promises must be done patiently, not with anxiousness and unease. We rest in Him, knowing He is not slack concerning His promise and that He has not forgotten or reneged.

Psalm 37:7-9, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.”

Our destination is assured. As cliché as it may sound, we know how the story ends. The only unknown to us, the angels in heaven, and even the Son is the when of it.

Granted, Harold Camping tried playing God not once but twice, but that didn’t turn out so well for him. How hard is it to just believe Jesus at His word? Evidently, for some, nigh impossible.

Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

That should’ve settled it, but it didn’t, and with each new twist of the screw, with each new plunge of the knife, with every new horror visited upon the world by those who’ve rejected God, those who settled on a specific event or date in their minds and hearts are shaken and troubled.

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


 It’s one thing to hope. It’s another to know. If you’re waiting at the bus stop hoping that the 4:15 will show up eventually, even though it’s an hour late, how the time passes is not at all pleasant. Every minute drags on, anxiety growing because even though the bus should have been on time, it was late, and now questions of whether it will ever come begin to cloud your mind like so much ink in a bowl of water. You start playing the what-if game in earnest, layering scenarios upon scenarios in your mind until you talk yourself into believing that the bus was hijacked and you’ll have to find other means of transportation.

Hope is susceptible to external forces. Hope can be chiseled at, assailed, assaulted, and attacked to the point that it begins to weaken and wane. Knowledge cannot. If I know something to be true, no matter how much the enemy might attempt to sow doubt, it cannot work because I know what I know. I know what God said, I know what God promised, and I know that heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will by no means pass away.

I can tell by someone’s boldness and confidence whether they hope the Word of God is true or they know the Word of God is true. I can tell by their dedication, their commitment, and their willingness to labor on behalf of the Kingdom whether they have a full assurance that everything God promised will come to pass or they’re crossing their fingers, eyes screwed shut, trying their best not to hyperventilate.

I know that my Redeemer lives. I don’t hope it. I know that He will return one day; I don’t just think there is a possibility or a probability of it. The knowledge of it gives me confidence in every endeavor I undertake on behalf of the Kingdom, whether great or small.

If you know, then the waiting won’t affect you. If you hope, with each passing day, your confidence will wane, and you will allow doubt to settle over you like a heavy blanket. Because some people hope in the fulfillment of God’s promises and are not confident, they begin to doubt God Himself, and once doubt sets in, it is not exclusive to His promises but extends to everything else.

We were forewarned that in the last days, there would even be scoffers, walking in their own lusts, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Do you think they’d do that out of spite or mean-spiritedness or because it may actually work on some? Perhaps both. Likely both.

If you are not confident, if you are not rooted in the truth, if you do not know that you know God keeps His word, the constant bombardment will have an effect. We see the stories every so often about some singer, preacher, or some such talking about how they left the Christian faith because the doubt they allowed to creep into their hearts took over the whole thing and choked off the knowledge of the truth.

Perhaps it’s because we’ve replaced knowing with hoping that there is so much confusion within the household of faith. What’s worse, maybe it’s because we’re hoping people are right and God is wrong that we are so quick to shun Scripture and ignore the signposts to the last days that are all around us.

So, how long do we wait? I mean, we’re all busy people; we have to make plans. We have to know a timeline of sorts. We can’t just take it on faith and keep pressing on until He returns, can we? Actually, we can. We can take it on faith. We can be confident knowing that God does not lie and that His word is true.

Luke 2:25-26, “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”

What many fail to understand when reading about Simeon, as well as another of his contemporaries, a prophetess named Anna, is that they were no spring chickens. In his youth, the Holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ, and now, here he was all of one hundred thirteen years old, still waiting.

If you do a deep dive and study it for yourself, you’ll see that both Simeon and Anna had surpassed a century of life here on earth, something unheard of in those days. Yes, modern medicine being what it is, you can get some people close to the threshold of one hundred, but they’re still rare, and by the time they reach it, they’re likely half a robot. Between pacemakers, artificial hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, fused spines, and anything else one could think of, it’s not as though most folks see one hundred not knowing what Tylenol or Ampicillin was.

For most of his life, Simeon waited because the Holy Spirit revealed something to him. He did not forget what the Holy Spirit had said. He didn’t put it on the back burner or file it away; he was just and devout and waited for what he had been told to come to pass.

How long before you got antsy? How long before I did? Ten years, twenty, fifty, seventy? How long before you started questioning whether or not you’d really heard from the Holy Spirit or if what you heard wasn’t what He said?

The Bible doesn’t say God reassured Simeon of the truth of what he’d heard every year he got older. It doesn’t say he inquired of the Lord if he was still supposed to wait. He waited because it had been revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen Christ, and as long as he had breath, all he could do was wait.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


 I believe that whether or not they are punctual says a lot about someone’s character. It also says a lot about how much respect they have for the individual they’re supposed to meet with. If someone has respect, they’ll likely be a few minutes early because they’re looking forward to the interaction. If they have no respect but are simply going through the motions because they must, it will show in their tardiness.

I don’t like waiting. I think I was put off waiting when I had to wait in bread lines back in the old country, but by the same token, I know full well that some things are worth waiting for. You won’t see me pitching a tent in front of a Best Buy to get the latest video game console, but waiting on the fulfillment of God’s promises is altogether another topic.

Two paragraphs in, and I’ve managed to anger the gamer geeks as well. The list is growing; thankfully, I don’t have the time to shed any tears. If it’s worth the wait for you, that’s fine. Don’t bathe for four days just to be the first one through the door so you could go into debt getting that sweet, sweet console that will occupy your time and drain the energy you could have put towards more important things. Just don’t expect me to get weepy for you over your bad life choices.

I get that we’re all supposed to be super emotional about everything all the time. It’s the new fashion, the new drug, and the new addiction all wrapped into one. I’m supposed to walk around drowning in my tears because people choose instant gratification, make irresponsible choices, and end up in a bad place. There’s a difference between the lost and those who willfully reject the love of Christ. There’s a difference between those who are just ignorant and those who actively mock the Bible and the God of the Bible. It’s not just pearls you can cast before swine; sometimes, it’s your empathy too.

It’s my job to assess whether or not what I’m waiting for is worth the wait. It’s my job to figure out if the time I’m willing to allot to something is worth it, and since how time is valued is different for everyone, it must be an individual decision. If I hear that chicken thighs are three cents per pound cheaper halfway across town, I have to do the math and see if the three cents are worth the extra gas, time, and effort to get across town.

For some people, it is because they’re retired and have nothing better to do, plus they drive a Prius. For me, it’s not because I’d rather allot that time to something more productive, even though I could have saved a whopping twelve cents all told.

The Bible provides all the necessary variables to conclude whether waiting on God’s promises is worthwhile. You have the promises themselves, you have the timeline, you have God’s expectations of you to lay hold of said promises, and now you must choose, for yourself, whether or not you will commit to this endeavor or not.

There’s no point in starting the journey only to give up halfway. It’s like striking out for the store with the cheaper chicken, then turning around halfway there just because. At that point, you just wasted a bunch of time and some gas and had nothing to show for it. The follow-through matters. The follow-through is paramount because plenty of folks start out with the best intentions but get derailed along the way.

I understand that no one wants to hear it, but just in case someone snuck in late, he who endures to the end means he who endures to the end. There’s no decoder ring or special codex that will make those words mean something different than what they mean. You cross the finish line, get your prize, and the angels rejoice.

If it’s any consolation, you are not the first nor the last to have to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promises. God didn’t single you out and make you sit in a corner while everyone else got their prize. We’re all waiting, but some have learned to wait better than others.

In my youth, I traveled a lot. By a lot, I mean we were on the road for nine months out of the year, only coming back home long enough to get a fresh suitcase full of clothing. I learned that in between the exciting parts, like calling a pastor out for adultery with his secretary, there was a lot of waiting. I realized early on that I could either make use of the time I was forced to wait for flights, rides, or check-in times, or I could sit there twiddling my thumbs.

That’s how I got into reading, then into the habit of carrying a notebook and pen around with me to jot down ideas or insights that seemed relevant to me. I knew I’d have to wait for certain things to occur, and I made the best use of the time while doing it.

Time is a precious resource that only the fool squanders unbidden. While we wait, there are things we could be doing. Things that extend beyond navel-gazing and hoping for an early exit. I’m sure you can think of something, but if you can’t, that’s what the Bible’s for, and it has some mighty fine suggestions.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, April 17, 2023


Some people want to go to far-flung destinations just to say they’ve been there. It’s not as though they have a keen interest in experiencing the culture, the food, the history, or the architecture; they just want to say they set foot in a place with a goofy name that they feel the need to pronounce the way the locals do. If you’re going to correct someone on how to pronounce Ibiza or Sao Paulo, you’re just pretentious. It’s the truth. Perhaps your friends didn’t tell you because they were trying to be nice or avoid conflict. I have no such reservations. That whole fake nice Americans seem to have mastered, with the half-smile somewhere between constipation and stabbing pain, that’s not for me. Neither is lying to people to protect their feelings.

The same goes for people who want to go to heaven just because they want to avoid the alternative. Granted, it’s a powerful motivator, but fear will not get you across the finish line. Fear will not give you the strength to endure to the end. When you ask people why they want to heaven, usually the answer is to avoid hell. When you ask them what they think heaven will be like, harps and cherubs are readily mentioned, as well as puffy clouds for some reason. Rafael really did a number on people’s impressions of what heaven will be like.

Perhaps it’s the mindset of hell avoidance that has caused us to accept a generalized notion of heaven without ever pressing and desiring to know more about this wondrous place that Jesus went to prepare. We know that there are many mansions in the Father’s house because Jesus told us it is so. We also know that some will shine brighter than others, and part of the reward the faithful will receive are different types of crowns. You have the crown of rejoicing, the crown of righteousness, the imperishable crown, the crown of life, and the crown of glory. Apparently, it’s not just harps, cherubs, and endless feasting.

It’s funny how people’s description of what heaven looks like, after claiming that they’ve been there and spent time playing ping-pong with the Almighty, is different than what the Bible says it will be like. Maybe God redecorated. Perhaps He decided to make it more family-friendly. Or, and I know it’s a stretch, but hear me out, the people claiming to have ridden pet dinosaurs in heaven just made it all up.

The Bible never says you are limited to just one of these crowns. It is never implied that you can’t have two, three, or all five. Likewise, it never implied that you got one for simply entering heaven as a participation trophy. Yes, there will be those in heaven with no crowns and those with five crowns. Based upon what you may ask? You already know the answer because Jesus said it: “I will give each one according to their work.”

It is inevitable that you will suffer loss for His name’s sake on this journey. Whether the loss of houses, lands, wives, husbands, or children, I cannot say, but that you will suffer loss is guaranteed. I am well aware that this goes against the grain of modern-day pabulum, but one is biblical, and the other isn’t.

If Jesus tells me to live with the expectation of suffering loss for His name’s sake, and the sweaty guy on television is telling me to expect abundance, prosperity, the best of everything, and more than I can handle at that, I’m going to play it safe and believe Jesus. If He tells me I will receive a hundredfold for anything loss I’ve suffered, I’ll believe that too.

Heaven is not just the place you go to avoid hell; it’s the place you go to receive your reward from the hand of the One who called you into His service. It’s the place you go to be among those who, in generations past, likewise answered the call and labored, sacrificed, suffered loss, and persevered.

When we get to heaven, it will be a day of rejoicing, but it will also be a day of reward. It will also be a day of reunion. It will be a day when every tear will be wiped from our eyes, and there will be no more pain, or sorrow, or crying.

That is what I’m longing for. It’s not puffy clouds and chubby cherubs; it’s to be in His presence, to stand before Him, and to receive my reward, whatever that may be.

The reality of heaven is assured because Jesus confirmed it. The reality of separation between the sheep and the goats, wheat, and chaff is assured because the Bible speaks of it. The reality of His return is a certainty because He promised it. That His reward coming with Him, likewise, is an unshakeable reality because Jesus would not lie to His beloved, to those for whom He bled and died, that they might have life.

He wore a crown of thorns so we might have a crown of glory—a crown here or a crown there. The difference is that the crown here is made of useless dross that withers and fades. The crown there is eternal.

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, April 15, 2023


 The contemporary church has fallen for some doozies over the last few decades. It’s what you get when you replace discernment with inclusion and the Word of God with the fanciful tales of men. By far, the most destructive, sinister, and diabolical lie that the church bought into was that all that the devil really wants is to coexist. It’s been millennia, he’s gotten tired of roaming about seeking whom he may devour, and now he just wants to live in peace.

You sit over there, banging your tambourine, telling each other you’re all soldiers even though not a one has seen a sword, never mind held one, and he’ll be doing his own thing, not bothering anybody. One cozy global family, learning to go along, to get along, to put differences aside, and to allow for each other’s differences. Now, isn’t that better than constantly warning against the dangers of encroaching evil? Isn’t that better than going on about the corrosive nature of sin?

We invented new buzzwords to shame those who still had steel in their spine and understood the nature of evil into silence and elevated timid, limp-wristed, mealy-mouthed meat puppets to positions of influence within the church who would say what they were told to say for a bit of the spotlight and a hefty paycheck.

It was a moment of pure epiphany when we discovered that everything our predecessors taught us was utterly wrong. If we wanted it bad enough, zebras could change their stripes, lions could change their nature, and we could coexist with individuals whose purpose was antithetical to our own. All we needed to do was give a little, make a few compromises, and not be so set in our ways, and utopia was within reach. We could have our own little heaven on earth, walking hand in hand, accepting, celebrating, affirming, and validating each other for who we really were.

Mutual respect. That was the golden ticket to gaining admission to all our dreams. They would not infringe on our beliefs, and we would not attempt to limit their perversion and hedonism. They were harmless. They told us so, time and again. If anyone said anything or pointed out the inconsistencies between what they said and what they did, they were just being alarmist.

Wanting to protect your children became unloving, pointing out the abnormality of men in dresses bent on reading to toddlers and bouncing them on their knees became intolerant, and the wayward shepherds bludgeoned their sheep at every turn if they dared to raise an objection.

Those who saw the natural evolution of this disaster and warned that they were coming for the children were summarily shunned by polite society because that was just not something you say out loud. It may upset people, you know, and some people react unpredictably when they’re upset.

And that brings us to this week, where politicians in Washington state unanimously passed legislation that allows officials to take custody of children if their parents refuse to consent to their sex change surgeries. I’m sure it’s nothing, though; it’s not like they’re going to try to enforce it. Maybe once, just to make an example, just to establish the narrative. Okay, maybe twice. You know how those parents wanting the best for their children are; sometimes they need to be reeducated, shown the light, and made to understand the terms and conditions of coexisting. It’s the law; how dare you object to sending your child to some butcher to cut into their flesh and mutilate them?

Just to clarify for the slow kids in the back and the wolves pretending to be shepherds destroying the church: If you as a parent object to your child permanently and irreparably disfiguring themselves, the state is now within its rights, under the guise of protecting the child, to take custody of the child.

Who knows? Maybe a guy in a dress will show up to take custody of your confused teen. If, after all, you can groom an innocent child and get paid while doing it, it’s like having your cake and eating it too.

This isn’t a disaster in the making; it’s a present disaster. It’s not something that’s afar off; it’s here, it’s now, and the lawless will use the law to persecute parents who want to protect their children from the insidiousness of this blasphemy.

It’s perfectly legitimate, don’t you know, to let a child who can’t decide what they want for breakfast choose something that will permanently affect the rest of their lives. They need to be protected from the myopia of their birth parents insisting that they wait to make such life-altering decisions until they’re old enough to buy alcohol. That’s just hate on display right there. How dare you?

But what happened to coexisting, and going along to get along, and respecting everyone’s point of view? Silly rabbit that was only until they had the upper hand. Now all that’s out the window, and if you dare to call them on their hypocrisy, they’ll laugh in your face and just pass a new law that will insulate them from any accountability whatsoever.

Paraphrasing a line from a movie I heard in passing somewhere, Sodom and Gomorrah ain’t got nothing on us! To every pastor, evangelist, bishop, or spiritual leader that aided and abetted this travesty, may your judgment be just and swift. To every sheep that still give heed, money, or time to such as these, you are complicit; you have cast your lot with evil, helping bring this about. Repent now, before it’s too late.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.