Nov 232015

Calvin's Corner headerPhil and I update the Gospel For Asia story and discuss the Syrian refugee crisis. We do not discuss how I beat his fantasy football team… 😉

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Nov 232015

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251.Reports came forth this weekend that the “reality” show “Alaskan Bush People” was almost entirely fraudulent.

The show centers around a large family that has chosen to live “off the grid” in wilds of Alaska and focuses on how the family depends on each other in these primitive conditions and the deep faith the family has in each other and in God.

The “reality” that has been exposed is that the family doesn’t live out in the bush, they go out there only for filming the show.

The harsher “reality’ is that it is alleged that the family is actually a traveling band of con artists led by the patriarch of the clan.

The show is a fraudulent facade of Christian family values behind which seems to be all manner of sin and wickedness.

Trey loved this show, and I loved that he loved it, because of the values it promoted.

I spent a good portion of the weekend explaining to him that it was all a lie.

Unfortunately, the situation is a picture of so much we see in American corporate Christianity…a facade of virtue with much corruption behind the holy front.

I’m so very tired of explaining to believers the lies…

2. The lesson that Trey learned was never to trust what people appear to be…my hope is that he applies mistrust judiciously, but he won’t. I can’t blame him.

3. This is why the church should guard it’s reputation, not with covering up corruption, but by exposing it and dealing with it honestly. So many who now claim to be against the church were once devoted members of it and we drove them off by ignoring them when they were wounded among us.

4. When I write a story, my name is on it. Its cost me dearly. If you want to attack me or what I’ve written have the integrity to put your name on it. Attacking the messenger might be effective, but it’s hardly Christian.

5. One of the interesting developments in the scandal I spoke of in #1 is that the responses have fallen in line with the ones we get here. One group wants them tarred and feathered, one group refuses to believe a word of the charges despite the documentation, and that group attacks the reporters with virulence. The Christian response is a third option that is rarely used, even in the church. The charges are heard, they are fairly investigated, and the accused is offered the option of repentance with the promise of restoration. Victims are to be heard and protected, not attacked and discarded. The goal is family restoration, for the whole family. So far, in my experience, that is nothing but a holy theory, rarely practiced.

6. In a family, you can safely admit your failures. In a corporation, that will get you fired. Which does your church look like?

7. I left conservative politics because I felt it lacked compassion. I’m unable to embrace liberal politics because it lacks intelligence. If you can’t tell that there’s a difference between male and female and really believe that there aren’t groups that really want to kill you, you can’t be trusted with governing people and protecting them from evil.

8. I’ll say it again. Denying the existence of evil doesn’t change the reality that it exists.

9. Free Saeed

10. I’m wondering if the sign of the times we’re missing is that “the love of many will grow cold”. I’m having a hard time keeping the fire burning myself…

Nov 212015

thumbnail.aspxBehold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it.

I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.

I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent, that my love may go out to my neighbor.

I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you.

In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have.

I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor.

I am a sinner; you are upright.

With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness.

Therefore I will will remain with you, of whom I can receive, but to whom I may not give.


Martin Luther

Nov 212015

bible-word-of-god_thumbHebrews 8:1-7

The people wanted to leave what was invisible for what was visible. They were ready to go back to the types and shadows not realizing that they (the types and shadows) were the non real – and Jesus, his person, his priesthood and his covenants were the reality of what was foretold.

All of chapter 7 leads to v 1 & 2 here in chapter 8 – who is Jesus? This is the only question. When you answer “who” is Jesus, all other questions about him or his purpose or the nature of God and salvation are answered.

8 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,

  • The main point! Who was it who said “let’s keep the main point as the main point?
  • Our High Priest – you don’t have to look elsewhere
  • Sat Down = the work is done
  • The right hand = the place of authority and power.

and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

  • In the sanctuary = the heavenly tabernacle
  • The true Tabernacle = it means that it is real
  • The OT temple was physically present but it was not the true tabernacle.
  • Set up by the Lord – NOT by man
  • Jesus could not serve in the earthly temple / tabernacle because he was from the wrong tribe.
  • So where do we see this heavenly tabernacle? How were the people to know and understand heaven?
  • We see it in the temple description in Ezekiel 40-48.
  • People only understand God living in a temple – but alas God lives in heaven, not a temple, so he must give a description we can understand. People may be brilliant, but when it comes to God, well God must talk to us the way we talk to our pets.
  • We look and wag our tail but have very little understanding.
  • Somewhere along the line, some groups have misread this to be the description of a temple again on earth – which totally denies every point the writer makes in this book.

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.

  • The OT sacrificial system is like Macy’s bill – each month you must pay for your debt.
  • Where today is our bloody altar?
  • What is it that Jesus has to offer as a sacrifice? His Body – His Suffering – His Good Works – His Obedience.
  • Jesus offers not a lamb, a goat or pigeons as a representation of Himself – but He offers Himself.

If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.

  • On earth Jesus is not qualified to be a priest let alone the High Priest.
  • Earthly priest follow the law.

They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

  • Did Moses see this in a vision?
  • Why didn’t Moses get free reign? “Build me a temple you think would be worthy of me.”
  • What Moses saw was only a depiction of what was real.

But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

  • The new covenant is established! – out with the old.

For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

  • Is there something wrong with the old covenant?
  • Did God make a BAD covenant that took him generations to realize?
  • The covenant depends on the actions of the people.
  • Garrison Keilor said – “God is a great writer, but he has very bad actors.”
  • What are the different covenants? I think it is good to read through them to see who God made covenants with, for what purpose and how they would be carried out.
  • Noahic – Gen 9:8-17
  • Abrahamic – A = Gen 15:9-21
  • Abrahamic – B = Gen 17
  • Mosaic – Exodus chapters 19-24
  • Phinehas – Numbers 25:10-18 = son of Eliazer – son of Aaron Covenant of Peace.
  • Davidic – 2 Sam 7:5-16
  • New Covenant – Jeremiah 31:31-34
Nov 202015

wmns_gfaWarren Throckmorton has the story complete with a chart.

Can’t imagine any board member being unaware of this…and if they weren’t they were in neglect of their fiduciary duties.

Skip’s right…there should be an external investigation….

Nov 202015

MYOA Book1 Cover-4jThe door was open and the frigid air was overtaking my electric blanket quickly.

That wasn’t what troubled me, not what awoke me…that’s been a normal thing every winter since Miss Kitty adopted me.

What troubled me was that Miss Kitty was not asleep at my side but had opened the door and left.

She had not done so in weeks.

She had spent all day and all night sleeping on the bed as she recovered from a fractured pelvis, often with the help of pain killers.

She could only walk a few feet without laying down, couldn’t jump at all, and was helpless to defend herself.

For her sake we had been inseparable.

She took all her meals in my bed.

When she needed to use the “restroom” I carried her outside and patiently waited for her to overcome the pain enough to do her business, then carried her back in.

Sometimes I would carry her out and just sit in the sun with her…she is an outdoor cat and needed that comfort.

At night she would get as close as possible and sleep without moving

She had gone mute through the ordeal…no purrs, or meows, or chirps from what had been the most “verbal cat” I’ve ever had.

Now she was outside somewhere in the dark and cold and unable to tell me where.

If it’s cold for you, it’s cold for them, and I was freezing.

Just as I was pulling on my sweats to go find her, she walked in, jumped on the bed, and let forth a hearty “MEOW!”

That was her way of announcing “I’m ok now”.

Since then, she goes in and out as usual, jumps on my lap and jumps on the bed….just a tad more gingerly than before.

She roams the neighborhood speaking with the other cats or simply sitting in one of her “hideouts” with the sun on her face.

I’m beyond happy and grateful that she’s recovering and feeling like her old, ornery independent, self.

Except…I miss having  her always around.

Because she needed me to be, we have been together constantly.

We learned to trust each other in ways that we never had before.

Now, I’m just part of a much broader feline life.

I’ve been praying that God would deliver me from the need to spend every moment counting on Him.

I’ve learned to trust Him…because I had no other choice.

He has been my constant companion.

It’s never dawned on me that this may be the only way I’ll spend any time with Him.

It still hasn’t dawned on me that He may actually enjoy my company.

I’m a “cat person” in more ways than one…

Make your own application…


Nov 192015

wmns_gfaOne of our readers sent an email to former Gospel For Asia board member Skip Heitzig exhorting him to warn the church about the issues with the charity.

The email is pointed, yet intelligent and respectful.

Dear Pastor Heitzig,

I hope and pray that this message makes it to you and is not filtered out before it would even reach your attention.

I am writing to you in regards to Gospel for Asia.  I have attended Calvary Chapel of (edited) for almost ten years now and several years ago my wife and I began sponsoring two children through GFA after hearing K.P. Yohannan speak during a service.  Over the past year, I became very disappointed and discouraged to learn of the widespread corruption present in GFA, most especially from top leadership and K.P.  We stopped our support of GFA several months ago after learning of the depths of lies, deception, and wrongdoing within the organization.

I also know that until very recently, you were a board member of GFA.  Although I have not seen any information anywhere as to your reasons for resigning from the board, I believe I can make a safe assumption that your resignation was closely related to the current ongoings of GFA.   Ongoings such as the termination of ECFA membership and the discovery of and continued revealing of wrongdoing and corruption within the organization.  If my assumption is incorrect, you are free to correct me.

Now, the reason I am writing is to ask you and to implore you to speak out about the wrongs of GFA.  Wrongs, that up to this point, GFA has been publicly unwilling to admit to, or at best, minimize.  GFA has caused much harm in their financial improprieties, abuse of staff, deceptive behaviors, and bullying tactics, amongst other wrongdoing.  As Christians, we have a moral imperative to look out for the welfare of others, most especially when we have the power to do so.  As having been on the board, you must know more of the corruption of GFA than most other people.  You also have multiple large platforms within the church and the evangelical world from which you can speak.  I implore you to speak out about GFA and warn the Christian body about this organization.  You are a shepherd.  Please try to protect the sheep from the wolf within their midst.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  I hope and pray to hear news in the near future of your sounding the alarm about Gospel for Asia and K.P. Yohannan.

Sincerely in Christ,

Here is the response our reader received;

Thank you for contacting us here at Connection Communications and thanks for writing to Pastor Skip. We always love to hear from you.

One of the assistant pastors here at Calvary Albuquerque, has responded to your email.

Dear (edited),

My name is Nelson Walker and I am an assistant pastor on staff here at Calvary Albuquerque.  On behalf of Pastor Skip and Connection Communications, I’ll be answering your question.

As you are aware, Pastor Skip is no longer on the board of GFA.

Many allegations have been made against GFA and many defenses have been offered by GFA; the internet is abuzz with people with a variety of opinions.   But, to this point, everything seems to be in the “he said / she said” category.   Therefore, anything said pro or con would be premature.

The scenario necessary for resolution is for GFA to agree to some type of outside respected person or organization to do a fact finding investigation with results and action steps being developed based on findings.  Until such an outside entity has performed such a task, anything said would be answering something before the entirety of the matter has been examined.  This, as you know, would be unbiblical.

Your assumption, from your email, is that GFA is guilty of wrong.   

This assumption, to my knowledge, has not been investigated and substantiated by and independent entity.  Rather, this is an allegation assumed true.

 Therefore, before calling on other ministers to publically criticize another ministry, the onus is upon those who are launching the initial allegations to bring independent investigation for verification of all facts.  Such an independent report would in and of itself shed light to the entirety of the situation.

One way to stay in touch is through our website: Here you will find The Connection broadcast archives, Pastor Skip’s Teaching Library, our online Resource Store, plus a directory of the national and international broadcasts of The Connection.  You can also use this website to contact us with any questions, comments, or prayer requests that you may have.

It is our prayer that God will continue to reveal Himself to you through His Word as you seek to know Him.

In His Service,

Nelson Walker

Assistant Pastor

Calvary Albuquerque

Well, there you have it.

Skip Heitzig will not affirm that he left the board of GFA because he saw any wrongdoing.

All of the evidence presented by Warren Throckmorton and the GFA Diaspora is nothing more than “he said/she said”.

Evidently, the Evangelical Council For Financial Accountability is not “independent” enough to be considered legitimate by Heitzig.

The responsibility to expose any malfeasance rests solely on those bringing the charges, not on those who have already seen the operation from the inside.

Heitzig will remain silent except to diminish the concerns and intentions of those seeking answers.

Feel free, however, to visit Pastor Skips online store if you have further questions…

Make your own application…

Nov 192015

vancouver-protest.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterboxMy newsfeed is full of articles and memes debating the Syrian refugee crisis.

Most of these miss the real issues out of a fear of being tagged with some unholy descriptor of the authors character.

I’ve already been called everything in the book, so I will use that gift as a freedom to speak.

These people scare the hell out of us.

There, that wasn’t so tough.

If what we saw arriving on our shores were women, children, and the elderly, those fears would be somewhat abated.

However, what we are seeing arrive are lots of men in their twenties who look like they actually use their gym membership.

Where did the wife and kids go?

The fear is justified.

Some of these people think that they are serving God and storing up sexual favors in heaven by killing us.

That’s a tough benefit package to top.

Some have no intention of doing us harm…but we have no way to discern which are which.

All religious ideologies are not created equally.

It’s not Franciscan monks or radical Carmelite nuns that blew up and shot up hundreds of people in various locations last week.

Islamic ideology has been at war with the West for decades.

To ignore this fact isn’t compassionate, it’s hating all those who are affected by this evil.

There is no one among those who will cry “bigot” at me who would want to live for five minutes in an Islamic country.

Please do not think that mentioning Christian sanctioned violence is an intelligent retort.

Christians have historically done similar things…but the key here is the word “historically”.

No one anywhere is living in fear of being bombed by charismatics or having their throat cut by Lutherans.

We bear some responsibility as a nation to act because we helped create this mess.

That responsibility must be held in tension with the responsibility of the state to protect it’s citizens.

The priority is protection, but that does not negate of finding other avenues to be of assistance.

Some Christians will choose to act in sacrificial compassion.

That is a good and holy act…but none of us have the right to endanger our neighbors without their consent to welcome the stranger.

Jesus may have called you to martyrdom, but so far He hasn’t mentioned it to me.

We have our own mass migration to worry about.

The migration of the poor and those fleeing violence from Central America and Mexico to here over the last thirty years dwarfs what is happening in Europe now.

Our government and media have consistently lied about both the causes of this migration and it’s size.

The government always does what is politically expedient, not what will serve migrants, refugees, and the people of this country.

I’m simply not willing to risk the welfare of my family and my neighbors family for political expedience.

What would Jesus do?

First He would instruct them that they are worshipping a false god and their souls are in danger of hell.

Jesus wasn’t big on religious freedom… I know that’s a shock, but I’ve read the whole book.

He would move in mercy and compassion and offer Himself…just as His followers have done for two thousand years.

They will continue to do so…by their choice , without risking lives other than their own.

He calls us to compassion and mercy as well…but He does not call us to careless neglect of others freedom and safety.

Our government needs to give us ways to help the least of these without endangering ourselves or our neighbors.

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