The Christian Resource Group

Opinion. Observation. Application.

I HEARD GOD SAY “IT’S TIME”

Then I dug into Revelation 13 (the mark of the beast stuff) then God moved me into Revelation 14–saying “BEHOLD, THE MARK OF THE LAMB!”

Our whole lives we have heard teachers and preachers give their explanation for the things described in the New Testament book of Revelation. The term “Rapture” is one that brings a great awakening to each one’s personal spiritual condition–or at least it does to me. As far back as I can recall, every time I think of the Rapture, I breath the “sinner’s prayer” once again to make sure I am forgiven of all my sins and Jesus will take me up in the Rapture. (Of course, this all might JUST BE ME. If it is, sorry to put you through my own spiritual insecurity. The Rapture has always scared me). THEN–I REALIZED THAT CHRISTIANS HAD BASIC DISAGREEMENT ON JUST WHEN IN THE TIMING OF THE END OF TIME EVENTS THE RAPTURE WOULD OCCUR. No matter how much I studied, or listened, or just tried to understand, I still couldn’t get it. Then it hit me: “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…..” If all the discussion about the Rapture and the possible timing of it caused such confusion, how could it be God? If it were God, why wouldn’t He have just plain laid it out? Many of you will answer: “HE HAS MADE IT CLEAR!” (Next you will go off on your convoluted explanation that none of us can really understand). The whole theological explanation becomes much like the “smart people” who create Excel Spreadsheets so complex that only they can understand them. Now let’s put the Rapture stuff aside.

When I heard God say “It’s Time” I immediately assumed it was the time for the “Beast” of Revelation 13 to surface with the Mark that afforded you with the only opportunity to buy or sale anything. Can you imagine it? (I think we probably can imagine it TODAY more than ever before). People try to parallel governmental mandates with the Mark of the Beast, but governmental mandates are petty compared to the description in Revelation 13 about this time/age in which to live. It is easy to imagine: with all the “hacking” and “ransoms” eventually we will all wake up one day and all our monetary systems will be wiped out. All of our identification will be kidnapped. The genius who comes up with the way to reclaim our identity and our money will be the one everyone will worship. People will gladly do whatever is necessary to get back their “stuff.” The identifying “Mark” will seem like a “NO BRAINER.” Why wouldn’t we? (Will be the general attitude). The problem is, it will be the great and renowned Mark of the Beast that will bring the eternal curse upon your life.

As I thought and prayed about “It’s Time” I realized IT WAS TIME for us to start realizing, not only that we are at the End of Time, but the Book of Revelation is the REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, NOT THE REVELATION OF SATAN. It’s time for Jesus to be revealed, not for Satan to be revealed. The revelation of Satan is found in Revelation 13 with the mark of the beast, but the revelation of Jesus is the found in Revelation 14 with the revelation of the Lamb of God.

Revelation 14:1–“Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

Each word in this verse pounds and throbs the power of God. The most powerful word is the most powerless–“LAMB.” Interestingly the idea of the “Lamb of God” is clear throughout Scripture, but rarely have we defined and applied it to our lives, so here goes….The Lamb (Arion) means a diminishing presence and power source. The application for how it is used in our lives (transferred from Scripture) has NOT been because of confusion, but instead because we are uncooperative in its relevance. The “Lamb” is the summation of the idea of decreasing. “I must decrease so that HE (God) may increase.” It makes sense that there isn’t room enough for both God and (me) to increase. In relationship to God and all things God, I must decrease so that He can and will increase in presence, in power, in influence, and in every other way.

The “Lamb” standing on Mount Zion (Sion) gives us the notion that this principle of the Lamb is eternal in nature. It is a law of God, not just a notion of God.

The reference to 144,000 is based upon 12 (the Biblical meaning of perfect perfection) times 12–or in other words–“perfect perfection times (multiplied by) perfect perfection.”

The “name written on the forehead” shows the force and importance behind the whole concept.

Here is what God considers perfect perfection times perfect perfection: THAT I PERSONALLY DECREASE (I die, I surrender, I submit my self will to Him), so that God can in EVERY WAY INCREASE. Etching the name of the Lamb on your forehead is the essence of dying daily to that self will demise. Your pride, ego, sense of security, sense of self, all have to die so that God may increase fully and totally in and through your life. IT’S TIME. TODAY. RIGHT NOW.

Revelation 14: 3-4 goes on to specifically name two things to keep out of your life: impurity and dishonesty. You could say purity and honesty are the evidence (the fruit) of etching the “Name of the Lamb on Your Forehead.” IT’S TIME FOR US TO BE PURE OF HEART, MIND, BODY. IT’S TIME FOR US TO BE TRUTHFUL AND HONEST WITH GOD, WITH OURSELVES, AND WITH ONE ANOTHER.

IT’S TIME!

God Bless & Much Love,

Marc Royer

NOTES ON REVELATION 22: 1-5

REVELATION 22: 1-5 DESCRIPTION/DEPICTION

  1. We all have a responsibility to be HIS “Messengers” in this/the truth.
    22 Then the angel—ANGELOS–MESSENGER
  2. There is an energy force beyond our comprehension or understanding.
    showed me the river—Potamon—energy; force;
  3. The “presence of God” was/is/will be the essence of life (symbolized by water).
    of the water—Hydatos—presence of God
  4. God is both the “life force” and the “force of all life”—nothing stands (apart).
    of life—Zoes—life force
  5. In God is all clarity, clearness, and radiance.
    as clear—Lampron—radiant
  6. The foundational “rock” is always found in God.
    as crystal—Krystallon—ice rock
  7. Our focus should be always on “receiving” what God is “discharging.”
    flowing—Ekporeuonenon—discharge; projecting out
  8. The power in life is the place of God. God is the place of power in life.
    from the throne—Thronos—stately seat of power
    of God—Theou—supreme divinity
  9. The constant in the story of God is His hatching of plan for the LAMB.
    and of the Lamb—Kai Tou Arniou—a diminutive force that was once lost
  10. The idea of the TREE (Xylon) is truly is essence of God’s creative genius.
    2 down—En—shows definite positioning
    the middle—Meso—from a middle point
    of the great street—Platieias—as in the public square or most public place
    of the city. On each side—Enteuthen—showing the prominent area
    of the river stood the tree—Xylon—showing the true substance of something–TREE
    of life—Zoes—existence
  11. The powerful cycle of life: Create; Design; Manufacture; Construct; Exhaust.
    bearing—Poioun—think it up; then design it; then manufacture it; then construct it
  12. God created the system of measurement.
    twelve—Dodeka
  13. The basic component of God’s master design is the idea of MULTIPLICATION.
    crops of fruit—Karpon
    yielding—Apodidoun—a concept based in the idea of thought up and produce to give away
    its fruit every month—Kata Hekaston Mena—systematically and regularly and consistently
  14. Anything God touches or is involved in meets needs and brings healing.
    And the leaves of the tree—Kai Phylla—sprouts; seeds; the continuous life cycle
    are for the healing—Eis Therapeiau—needs
    of the nations—Etnou—anyone alienated or foreign or doesn’t fit in
  15. Deterioration is confined to planet earth and will not exist in eternity.
    3 No longer will there be any curse—Ouk Eti Estai Pan Katathema—dengeneration; detoriation
    The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city
  16. Serving Him, not Him serving us is an important thing to understand.
    and his servants—Autou Douloi—a very voluntary enslavement that is completely unforced
    will serve him.—Latreusousum—serve and minister
  17. We are God’s. God is enough.
    4 They will see—Opsontai—appearance
    his face—Prosopon—countenance; aspect; appearance; presence
    and his name—Autou Onoma—complete knowledge of someone so deep it is an acclamation to that person’s DNA
    will be on their foreheads—Metepon—forefront
  18. Eternity will NOT have confusion, chaos, insecurity, or obscurity in its existence.
    5 There will be no more night—Nyx—any kind of night time; darkness; obscurity
  19. Wait on God. Look to God. Listen for God. God is all the “light” we need.
    And they will have no need—Charein—a requirement
    For light—Photos—any kind of illumination or clarity
    For the Lord God will shine—Photisei—brighten up and make it clear
  20. JUST TO BE CLEAR: ETERNITY DOES EXIST! (It is our “next stop”)
    On them and they will reign forever—Basileusousue Aionas—rule perpetually

BREAKING DOWN JAMES 5:13-20

JAMES 5:13-20

  1.  “Is anyone among you suffering?” (kakopathei) UNDERGOING ANY KIND OF HARDSHIP
  2. “Let him pray” (proseuchestho) PETITION STRONGLY; SUPPLICATE; (Wear down and out)
  3. “Is anyone cheerful?”  (euthymei) ACTUALLY—IN NEED OF BEING CHEERED UP
  4. “Let him sing praise” (psalleto) AN ATTITUDE OF GRATEFULNESS, EVEN CELEBRATION
  5. “Is anyone among you sick?”  (asthenei) ANY WEAKENED CONDITION
  6. “Let him call for the elders of the Church”  (Presbyterous Ekklesia)  THE LEADERSHIP
  7. “And let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord”  (Aliepsantes) Oil in a symbolic sense, but with a festive spirit—BELIEVING YOU WILL RECEIVE
  8. “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.”  (euche pistis)—A WISH THAT IS ENTIRELY ENTRUSTED.  Raise Up (Kyrois Egerei) The Authority of God!
  9. “And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven”  (Harmartias Aphethersetai) CLEANSED—PREPARED—SENT
  10. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”  (Exomologeisthe euchesthi alleion) CREATE A SPACE FOR PEOPLE TO OPEN UP SO THEY CAN EXPECT HEALING TO COME.
  11. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”  (Desis Dikaiou) HONESTY BEFORE THE LORD IS THE GREATEST POWER.
  12. “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.  Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and earth bore its fruit.”
  13. “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,”  (Epistripse) REVERT BACK TO RIGHT COURSE
  14. “let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  ONE SIN LEADS TO MANY—(MULTIPLES UPON MULTIPLES.  REMEMBER:  SIN IS UNNECESSARY THROUGH THE BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT.  IF YOU LIVE IN SIN OR WITH SIN, YOU ARE SPITTING IN GOD’S FACE)!

IT’S TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT

Acts 2: 1-4

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

Four simple verses….BUT, with life changing value, AND eternally spiritual meaning!

The Holy Spirit (The Spirit of Christ; The Holy Ghost; God; the Presence of God; the Spirit of God) it doesn’t matter the name you place on it, what matters is you encounter it, live in it, live it, and it lives in you–ALL PROVIDED BY/THROUGH THESE 4 SIMPLE VERSES.

The Festival of Pentecost was a celebration of the 50th day after the Passover. The “Passing Over” of the homes of the first born that had been obedient and anointed the top of the door ways with the blood of the sacrifice lamb while they were enslaved in Egypt was something always on the minds of the Hebrews. The commemoration of the Passover on the 50th day after was also important capstone to the Last Supper Jesus spent with His disciples. “This is my Body which is broken for you” and “This is my blood which is shed for you” were shared in the last intimate moments with the Savior before his illegal trial, torture, and ultimately death by crucifixion. “50” (the number for jubilee) was always going to mean something–but the those at the Last Supper, at the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven, and the 120 who were obedient at the urging from Acts Chapter one–“Go and wait” and the “Holy Spirit shall come upon you.”

THE DAY OF PENTECOST ARRIVED. There is always an excitement in “arrival.” Whether you are arriving at your destination, or someone is “arriving” to you (as the destination). The ARRIVAL of the presence of the Lord is always spectacular, not from the noisy, obnoxious, or the glamourous and theatrical, but from the INTERNALLY POWERFUL POINT THAT GOD ARRIVES ON THE SCENE.

THEY WERE ALL TOGETHER. (Homou) They were listening and attentive, not talking and distracted. The arrival of God is in the listening, not in the talking–the arrival of God is in the attentive and focused, not in the distracted.

IN ONE PLACE. (Auto) “Sameness” They agreed on what they agreed on. “Agreement” gives God His “platform to land” versus “disagreement” which has no room for God’s presence because the essence of disagreement is selfishness: My way; My rights; My opinion; My freedom; My space.

AND SUDDENLY. (Aphno) Unexpectant. Why not? Why don’t we expect God to show up? Are we too dependent on ourselves? On others? What would happen if we had a greater expectation of God and a far less expectation on/of people? Answer: EVERYTHING WOULD CHANGE! If you expect more from God and less of others, the total essence of disappointment and even (self-loathing) would disappear out of your life, your home, your world, and then….OUR WORLD.

THERE CAME FROM HEAVEN. (Ouranou) What was happening was both eternally prophesied, internally dwelling, and spiritually based.

A SOUND LIKE A MIGHTY RUSHING WIND. (Pnoes) Wind is always the Biblical symbol for change. EVERYTHING IS ABOUT TO CHANGE FOREVER.

AND IT FILLED THE HOUSE. (Epleron Oikou) The experience “leveled up” hearts, “leveled up” homes, “leveled up” families.

WHERE THEY WERE SITTING. (Kathemeno) God came to them, they didn’t come to God. All that was necessary was to turn the heart (“right side up”) to be (“filled up”).

AND DIVIDED TONGUES OF FIRE APPEARED TO THEM. (Catharazo Puree) A purging, cleansing fire, that cauterized wounds, healed scars, mended brokeness.

AND RESTED ON EACH ONE OF THEM. (Ekathisen) Settled down into them into a deep and abiding (and exciting) prospect of a journey.

AND THEY WERE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT. (Eplesthesan Hagios Pneuma) Filled with God

AND BEGAN TO SPEAK IN OTHER TONGUES AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE. (Glossias, Lalien, Ediddou) Basically a “QUICKENING.” A life’s journey with moments of QUICKENING. QUICKENING IS LIFE EVENTS, IN LIFE UNDERSTANDING, AND IN THE COMMUNICATION OF LIFE.

“B” BE THE CHURCH, QUIT DOING CHURCH!

“B”—“BE”—BE THE CHURCH

1 in 3 people quit attending Church during the COVID pandemic.  Fifty percent (50%) 1 in 2; A full HALF of the folks called “millennials” who consider themselves Christians, don’t attend a church. 

I’m a Baby Boomer, born in 1959.  I was the Pastor of a church/parish all of my adult life.  I love God, follow God, have Jesus in my heart, my personal code in relationship to all relationships is “Do unto others the way you would have do unto you.”  The COVID Pandemic has brought something to light for me.  It is time for us to stop “DOING” and start “BEING.”  It has to start with Church.  I have decided to “BE” the Church. 

Modern day organized religion has a corruption in its spiritual essence.  The check list for church leaders today include:  branding the sermon series; state of the art technology; graphics to compete with day to day life; and any other bell or whistle they come across.  Many church leaders make their efforts more on delivery of the “number,” rather than simply following Jesus.  Whether it is their “bragging” rights as to how many people they “ran on Sunday” or the money they are trying to “raise” for whatever new project they can think up to separate you from your resources; their egos have run amuck and their motives are hideously removed from God’s design.  The graphic screens, light shows, smoke machines, “worship teams” that mimic the top Christian song chart, and professionally branded sermon series–should serve as a warning that something is terribly wrong.  The Good News of Christ has been exchanged for egos and entertainment; giveaways and bounce houses; snow cones and state of the art cafes.  Pull your car in, buy a $6 specialty drink, and head in to hear a group that really believes they are the best worship band in their state sing the latest hit worship song, and the hipster pastor come out in jeans, a t-shirt, tennis shoes, a “relevant Bible message”—even if there is a hint of sincerity in your heart, you will eventually ask yourself “WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO GOD’S DESIGN OF WHAT THE CHURCH IS TO BE?”  (The Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle?) Or, as my beloved Iowa Farmer Grandfather might have phrased it:  “What the HELL happened to God’s design for the Church?”  That.Is.It.  HELL HAPPENED.  The egos and entertainment have given into the flesh.  Modern church has become a reflection of the modern world. 

Missing is the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Christ.  The Baptism with the Holy Spirit in both the personal lives and ministry of the leadership tier of the Church AND in the teaching/preaching ministry of the worship event.  Jesus, when visiting with Peter about the essential component of Christian faith was the belief that He, Jesus, was the Son of the Living God, Jesus underscored the truth with:  “Upon this rock (the deity of Christ) I will build my Church and gates of Hell will not prevail against it.”  The difference between BEING the Church and/or DOING Church is the vital component that is only accomplished through the enfilling of the Holy Spirit.  Only through the Holy Spirit, that is, the Spirit of Christ is the Diety of Christ the center of the Church. 

There has become a huge gap in the theological and Biblical interest of those who prepare to feed God’s flock.  Those in charge fail to realize the Sheep of God are starving to death.  They are using the technique and methods of the world to appeal to the flesh, rather than, leaning into spiritual dependency upon the living God. 

The missing component in modern teaching is the admission that “I can’t do this in my own strength.”  Most modern teaching provide statistics, graphics, videos, pithy titles, catchy phrases, all to show you “YOU CAN DO IT.”  God is often mentioned, but our deep need for Him and our need to hunger, thirst, and follow after Him is left out. 

If you think about it, no wonder 1 in 3 haven’t returned to it and half the younger generations don’t see a need for it.  Now what? 

NOW WHAT?

If “NOW WHAT” is a sincere question, then I have formulated an answer.  But before I lay it out, I want to be clear:  I am asking you to join me.  I am asking you to clearly become one of the those who are going to stop “DOING” and start “BEING.”  If you accept my invitation to become “1 in 3” you will no longer “join a church” or “go to church” or “become a member of a church”—Instead—you have decided to BE THE CHURCH. 

BEING, NOT DOING means you love God more, not less.

BEING, NOT DOING means you have decided to invest in spiritual life (God’s, your own, and others), not the propagation of a particular “brand” of organized religion. 

BEING, NOT DOING means you are seeking to go deeper in God, not satisfied with the modern church’s need to rally you to its particular niche or “thing” it wants to be known for in the community or state. 

BEING, NOT DOING means you are committing yourself to become a SELF FEEDER and not another lazy church person who sips his/her latte and listens to the latest worship song and take in another 30 minutes of blah, blah, blah, from the guy in jeans and tennis shoes telling you to somehow become “more like Jesus.” 

“BEING THE CHURCH”  is going to be HARD WORK!

Modern church is designed to make you feel dependent on them, NOT DEPENDENT UPON GOD.  Modern church will take the world’s need to make you feel obligated to their case and create a carefully constructed “guilt trip” of neediness.  I was a pastor.  I did it myself.  It worked.  It always has worked.  But the stakes are too high spiritually and time is too short.  It needs to be “called out.”  Christians have to become self-feeders.  We are living at the End of Time.  We have to grow up, develop, go deeper, press in (not just lean in) to the presence of God.  The level of what each of us need spiritually in these days CANNOT be obtained through the light show or smoke machine! 

FELLOWSHIP

Scripture says:  “Forsake NOT the assembling of yourselves together….” Or “I was glad when they said let us go unto the House of the Lord” –and yet we miss completely that whenever “two or more of you is gathered in My Name there I am in midst of them.”  “BEING THE CHURCH”  involves finding fellowship with others who join together to equip, share, encourage, and challenge each other in the “BEING.” 

SO WHEN YOU “GATHER” WITH OTHERS, GATHER IN “JESUS NAME.”  Or in other words, keep Jesus at your center.  Freely share with others what God is doing.  Invite others to share in the love of Jesus in their own life.  Live your own life in such a way people want to share in it. 

Develop relationships with others by treating others the way you want to be treated.  It doesn’t matter if it is your neighbor literally next door, or your neighbor who lives in a foreign country.  Everyone is your (our) neighbor. 

If you are going to BE THE CHURCH you no longer allow the modern church to use their “let us be your COMMUNITY” schtick on you.  Don’t “join community”—quit “belonging to a community” SIMPLY “BE” COMMUNITY.  “Being” is not “Doing.”  Being is Being. 

You “belong” to a “small group” because that provides you with community?  That is just a schtick—it is propaganda—it is a trick.  Your small group that you are “comfortable with” is just a clique.  You are a group of people who enjoy hanging out.  Fine.  No problem.  But your clique is not a spiritual group.  It is a clique of people who don’t really want others joining.  Let’s call it out and expose it to the light of God.  “Small group ministry” = “organized cliques.”  Wait. Wait. Wait.  What about the early Church?  Really?  The early Church?  You mean the group of 120 on the Day of Pentecost that were infilled with the Holy Spirit and become over 3000 by the end of the day?  That Church?  Is your “small group” going to be comfortable adding 3000 to it by the end of the day?  DON’T BRING UP THE EARLY CHURCH.  Nothing organized religion is doing today looks anything like the EARLY CHURCH.  Read for yourself….ACTS in the New Testament. 

SELF-FEEDING

Read the Bible.  Start with reading the Bible.  There is a natural flow to the concepts in the Bible.  Even the Old King James version of the Bible has a flow to it—although I wouldn’t recommend that 17th century version unless you read other 17th century material on a daily basis, the original King James version of the Bible is for another time. 

Read the Bible A LOT.  I mean several times a day.  Keep a Bible at your bedside, at your favorite chair, in your car, at work or school, and ON YOUR PERSONAL DEVICE.  It is the Living Word.  Reading the Bible is the number one, most exceptional way for you the hear from God.  Hearing from God personally, is the gateway to everything spiritual.  PLUS—no matter what anyone tells you, you will never experience God until you are completely submersed in the Words of God (Bible).  Don’t allow your main spiritual food to be what someone else says the Bible says—READ IT YOURSELF.  A LOT.  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17

While reading the Bible, pause everyone two minutes and ask yourself:  WHAT IS GOD SPEAKING TO ME?  OR: WHAT IS GOD SAYING? 

When God speaks into you, write it down!  Journal it. 

Reflect back on it.

At some point every one, two, or three days….SHARE IT WITH SOMEONE.  Keep it short.  Keep it simple.  Keep it personal:  “Hey, I wanted to let you know, this is what God has been speaking to me through my Bible reading/study.” 

READ—REFLECT—WRITE IT DOWN—SHARE IT.  “SELF-FEEDING.” 

Now, with the laziness gone, and your own personal experience with God back on course, start to pray.  Start with the “The Lord’s Prayer”—slow and steady.  Absorb the concepts:

“Our Father,

In Heaven,

Holy/Hallowed is your name,

Your Kingdom Come,

Your Will Be Done,

On Earth As It Is In Heaven,

Give us Today,

Our Daily Bread,

And Forgive Us Our Sins,

As We Forgive Those Who Have Sinned Against Us,

And Lead Us Not Into Temptation,

But Deliver Us From Evil,

For Yours Is The Kingdom,

The Power,      The Glory      Forever.  Amen.”

Are you living the words to this prayer?  In conscious prayer thought, go over and over the Lord’s Prayer and apply it.  It is hard work.  Are you missing the smoke machine yet?  Isn’t it easier to sip your latte and check out the wardrobe of the worship team than doing this?  Sure.  You bet.  Giving up church is harder than you might think!  Ha!

Next, start making prayer lists.  All kinds of prayer lists.  When you hear something on the news that is troubling, write it down on your prayer list.  When you hear of a need in the life of someone, write it down on your prayer list.  Let your prayer list grow and grow and grow and grow some more.  Keep the item, the name, the situation, on your prayer list for six months and delete it.  If it is an on-going need after the six months put it back on PURPOSEFULLY then—pull it off–so that EVERY prayer list you develop does has your complete thought and heart process in it.  If you keep something on a prayer list too long, it becomes what Jesus called “vain repetition.” 

SHABBAT—A SABBATH—A DEDICATED DAY COMPLETELY OFF PER WEEK

At the very creation of the world, God created a day of rest.  Rest IN Him.  Time with Him.  A whole day dedicated to Him.  A day per week reserved for Him to be spent IN Him.  Thinking about Him, talking with Him, worshipping Him. 

The idea of one entire day per week may take many forms, but we have perverted God’s very intention and design for us (and it—the Sabbath—a day of rest IN Him). 

SUNDAY = FUNDAY has become the theme.  The hipster pastor in his jeans, t-shirt, and tennis shoes, is happy as a clam that you are sipping the $6 latte from his/her café, listening to his hired help, enjoying all the bells and whistles for an hour, and could care less what you do with the rest of your Shabbat, as long as you filled a seat and could count you and yours in his/her brag-(able) statistic, and hopefully pulled out your device and dropped some money into the church account.  So….off we go….to brunch or lunch, to then shop or “catch up” on work or lawn work, as long as we put the hour in first—every one is happy.  Except….I wonder what God thinks about it?  SUNDAY is FUNDAY.  Really? 

I love Israel and try to take people there whenever I can.  The Jewish people generally adhere to a strict Sabbath.  Some are very legalistic about their Sabbath (pronounced Shabbat).  Tour Groups are given the lesson about the Shabbat elevator that will stop at every floor on the way up and the way down so that people won’t violate Shabbat rules by pushing an elevator button.  (This is a current practice in Israel and other places who practice strict Levitical Laws.)  I am NOT advocating for legalism, but I am advocating for Shabbat.  A very Christian and very Biblical day per week that you and your family give to God.  This designated day is God’s Day, not my day, not your day, not your catch-up day, and certainly NOT your FUNDAY.  It would help to avoid the shopping, and even the lawn work.  Rest in God on the day you dedicate to Him.  Doing so will make you BE THE CHURCH.  In doing so you will no longer be just “Doing Church.” 

Finally, listen to some different speakers, teachers, preachers.  A wide variety of them.  However, you do need a “spiritual covering” in the day and age we live in.  Find one.  It is likely a local Pastor who has a spiritual anointing for the geographical area.  All through Scripture we see God raising up Leaders for a purpose.  Find one in the area you live.  Talk with this person and find out what they believe their spiritual purpose and direction is.  Listen to them teach.  Do they teach the Bible?  Does it equip you to be a better Christian—or in the context of my challenge:  “Does the teaching help you “BE THE CHURCH?”  Share the concept about “Being” rather than “Doing” and see how the spiritual Leader responds.  Be assured, there is a person within driving distance of you who is this person.  It may be a large church, it may be a small church, it may be a home church, but that person is placed near you by God.  God is raising up the Church, placing in our hearts that we need to “BE” not “DO.”  Find a spiritual Leader who believes we are to “BE THE CHURCH” not “DO CHURCH.” 

Just make sure your main spiritual food is coming from God’s Word into your life.  What you hear from a spiritual leader, Bible teacher, or preacher is dietary supplement, with the exception of that one special person God has anointed over the geographical area you live, that person is regularly receiving a “nugget” from the Holy Spirit. 

FUNCTIONALITY

The Early Church in the Book of Acts after the Day of Pentecost; the General Epistles where the Apostle Paul started a bunch of churches in modern day Turkey and Greece and wrote them instructions in how to “BE the CHURCH” and not “DO CHURCH”; The Pastoral Epistles in the New Testament where the Apostle Paul gave instruction on how to develop a leadership design to manage the ministry of Church—they were functioning as “Being.” 

Today, we are “Doing.”  People are worn out emotionally and spiritually.  The Sheep of “God’s Flock” are starving to death because the modern church wants us all to DO (and doesn’t allow us to “BE”). 

Functionally—BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF SPIRITUALLY.  Answer to the Lord of your Heart because the Kingdom of Heaven is within you!

If you attend a Church make sure you are able to gain at least one good spiritual nugget.  If you can’t or don’t—DON’T EVER GO BACK.  If you can’t get something spiritual out of a modern church–which is called by God to provide people with their spiritual direction, and cover; it has given itself over to the pattern of the world. 

Functionally—if you need a spiritual cover, reach out to me.  Email me at my personal email address:  marcroyer@comcast.net

We will figure this preparation process together.  I don’t know what the future holds or what this is all about exactly.  But I do know—God is calling us all to BE not DO.  The best days of our spiritual lives are ahead.

WHAT ABOUT MY CHILDREN AND THEIR SPIRITUAL LIFE?

First, the spiritual lives of your children is a huge responsibility.  Childhood is when most people find Jesus.  Two/thirds of Christian believers today gave their hearts to Christ before the age of 18.  The most important person in leading them to Christ, is the parents. 

Children follow the example of the parent.  Are you prioritizing time with the Lord?  Do you make “Sunday” special – by NOT running around to games, travel sports, etc.  Do you really spend time together slowing down, unplugging, and making the day different than all others? Do they see you reading the Bible?   Do you stop and pray with them over meals, when you pass an accident, or meet an ambulance or fire truck?  Do they see you concerned about others and living a life of God’s love? 

Going to church with your child and making sure that from the nursery on, that spiritual lessons are taught, is fine.  But it is only to reinforce what you are doing in your daily life.   Volunteering in the children’s department of a church to make sure the Good News of Christ is being taught – the teaching that transforms lives—is another way to ensure that the correct concepts are being taught to children.  If there is a vacation Bible school, go with your kids and help out – or teach the Bible lesson—to assure it is all not just fun and games, but that children are given the opportunity to give their lives to Christ.  Be sure that the content is not just “stories” but real-life young boys and girls who stepped up and obeyed God and served God (Samuel, David, Daniel – were all very young when they stepped up and obeyed – just as examples).

We know that Jesus loves children and knows their hearts:

Matthew 19:14 – Matthew records (also in Mark 10:14 and Luke18:16) “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” 

The responsibility is yours!  Deuteronomy 6:5-6 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  Take these words to heart…Repeat them to your children.  Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.  Write them down and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  YOU ARE THEIR TEACHER OF THE GOODNESS OF GOD AND HOW HE SUPPLIES YOUR NEEDS.   Deuteronomy 11:19 “Teach them to your children.  Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”

Yes, children need the Lord.  And if you can find them a place where YOUR TEACHINGS of Christ are backed up and they are learning and memorizing scriptures—fine.  But it is not the church’s responsibility to teach the children about God– it is yours.

ONE MORE THING—YOU AREN’T OFF THE HOOK WITH YOUR TITHE!

I personally believe that God designed bringing Him the “first fruits” while Adam was in the Garden of Eden.  When Adam walked with God in the “cool of the day” he brought along with him a portion of all he was working on to show and then present to God.  The idea of the offering was God’s design and idea at the very beginning of the world. 

The first fruits always have and always will belong to God.  The modern church has failed in the teaching on tithing (the first 10%).  Tithing is Biblical.  Tithing is God’s design for the world and all of our lives.  However, the tithe is not just to the local church.  The quotation from Malachi chapter 3—“Bring the tithe into the storehouse (qutsar)”  has been used to say the “storehouse” is your local church.    The “storehouse” actually means “eternal purpose” or “heavenly depository” OR—anything that helps God’s purpose.  You need to tithe, you MUST tithe.  Actually.  Literally.  Even people who don’t believe in the Bible or even believe in God should tithe.  It is how God designed the world.  Basically, the first ten percent of your increase belongs to God.  Love God.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  If you help God’s work or help your neighbor, you are tithing with your resources. 

But let’s get really practical.  The first ten percent of my increase belongs to God’s work.  What are the kinds of things are in this category?  I believe modern churches do some good in some lives.  I also believe if a Pastor says they are “called by God” that we should honor their calling.  “Don’t muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain….”  (The Bible says the “ox” has to eat, too.) Giving over and above – let alone tithe, is very important.  If your church requires you tithe only to them, then don’t join it.  If they require you only tithe to them to be on their Board of Directors, then you are “paying for your seat of leadership”—That’s entirely up to you, just don’t spiritualize it. 

We spread our tithe around.  There are so many worthy ministries, efforts, and needs worthy of your tithe.  In a simple way to make my point, I will list a few ideas.  THIS IS IN NO WAY A COMPLETE LIST!  This is simply an ideas list for your “first fruits” of ways to invest at least the first ten percent of your increase that will fulfill the Malachi chapter three instruction to “bring all the tithe into the storehouse” and bless others instead of stealing from God.  Some of my ideas on this list are very specific.  I apologize if I embarrass anyone in listing them, but please understand they will represent many, many others (people you will know) who could put to good use God’s first fruits portion of your increase. 

If you (and when) you find that person God has called and anointed over your area, make sure you bless them financially.  The Holy Spirit helps them keep things balanced and in check.  The original tribe of Levi in the Old Testament were the priests.  They weren’t allowed to own property like the other tribes of Israel, but they were allowed to receive the tithe from all the other tribes.  They did God’s work, and lived well because they had a constant source of income from the tithe of the other tribes.  Think of this in terms of that person who God has anointed as the spiritual Leader in your life. 

  1.  Look among your neighbors.  Is there a neighbor in need?  Need comes in many forms.  A neighbor in need might even be driving a Lexus, but may have lost their job, or been caught in an issue they didn’t have any control over and be struggling. 
  2. Do you know a single parent, a widow, a single parent with children?  These are all widows and orphans with plenty of need.  Buy some food and leave it on their porch.  Call the school and pay for some fees.  Try to remain anonymous as possible.  Refuse to use the talking track “let me know if you need anything”…..what is someone supposed to do with that?  What is “anything?”  Don’t wait for someone to ask.  BE the Church, don’t DO the church. 
  3. Do you know a custodian?  Give them $20.  Better yet, someone like my friend, R.T., a church custodian.  He makes a fraction (yes a fraction) ministers of the church make, yet he will need a little extra in retirement, too.  Send a person like R.T. some money to put back for his retirement years.  Think about people like R.T. who work physically hard for years for a fraction of the boss.  BE THE CHURCH!  Think about R.T. more than yourself.  J. K. is a great custodian in a school system in Indiana.  A great person, doing a great job in custodial work.  Hand someone like J.K. a note and some cash.  BE THE CHURCH BY BLESSING OTHERS WITH YOUR TITHE.  IT WILL CHANGE THE WORLD.  IT IS THE EARLY CHURCH.  IT IS CHRISTIAN LOVE. 
  4. Give your waiter/waitress a larger tip.  UP YOUR GAME.  They aren’t serving you food because they really want to; they serve you food because they have to.  Bless them.  Double and triple your tip.  Don’t leave them a spiritual tract.  Leave them a huge tip. 
  5. Pastor H.H. of Churches of the Heartland, Winamac, Indiana is the type of guy who manages God’s resources with wisdom and discipline.  They operate an orphanage in Africa that is entirely supported by their Churches.  Send him some of your tithe and you will be investing in God’s work is a much greater way then most any Church.
  6. P.H. of Wichita, Kansas, coordinates all kinds of efforts around the world including a Clean Water Initiative in Africa.  Every single penny is tracked.  They have the exact amount to dig and well and provide life for an entire village.  Send some of your tithe to P.H. 
  7. Give some of your tithe to a guy like my friend, M.W.  A long time Pastor that just got torn to pieces for being a great Pastor.  He got out of ministry.  Fortunately, God used a mutual friend to help M.W. start a business.  However, a couple years ago, M.W. was broke, through no fault at all of his own, but the circumstances.  But the people of God need to come around him and pitch in financially and restore the years financially the devil stole from him.  Find a “M.W. and bless them, again and again.  Help restore those in ministry and service we have torn apart. 
  8. Come along side a veteran.  Don’t ask.  BE THE CHURCH. 
  9. Send people on work/witness trips.
  10. A Lady Pastor in Ukraine provides meals for widow ladies who desperately need food.  (I’m leaving out names to be protective). 
  11. Try to avoid all the big organizations.  There are all kinds of corruption and “handling fees” involved in larger organizations.  Know where God’s money is going.  I will help it happen if you need help.  Contact me at marcroyer@comcast.net for many other ideas. 

The Least Used Words In Our Culture Today

“I am sorry.” (Missing words in our culture)–“I messed up.” “I apologize.” “I was wrong.” 1 Samuel 15:23 goes well beyond “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”–the next concept is: “STUBBORNNESS IS AS WICKED AS IDOLATRY.” “Stubbornness” encompasses our pride and insolence. The level of pride we hide behind when we are deeply insecure and afraid. God’s remedy for our stubbornness is repentance. “I am sorry for what I did.” “I am sorry for what I said.” We talk of God’s love but often forget the basis for our relationship with God starts with our repentance. In the same way, the basis for any relationship we have starts with our ability to break down our stubbornness (that we hold onto so tightly it becomes an idol) and APOLOGIZE TO ONE ANOTHER FROM TIME TO TIME. When Jesus said “settle matters quickly with your adversary,” He explained things can unravel quickly between people when everyone chooses their side. We need to get ahead of issues by quickly and easily apologize to one another. (BUT SINCERELY–NO BLUSTER OR PLEASER ISSUES–just to “fix it”). It has to start individually–and in our family relationships–in our neighborhoods–in our communities. How refreshing it would be to hear it from Leaders. No Leader is perfect. “Hey, I am sorry, I misspoke when I said…….” “I am sorry when I overstated.” OR EVEN: “I was wrong about that.” We need to all take a breath–bring it down a notch. Quit worrying about being sued or being liable. (I know. I know. I know: I AM BEING IDEALISTIC). I have a dream today: Where little boys and little girls would learn from the adults how to apologize, how to forgive one another, how to reset a relationship, and how to start over. PART II–As I was running this concept past Marceil a couple of minutes ago she added to the idea of hearing from our Leaders: “I am sorry, but I am learning and growing.” (Leave it to an Educator! Ha!) Much Love. Marc

THE WORDS YOU USE DO MATTER!

WORDS DO MATTER. The words of a Christ Follower (a true Christ Follower not a “christian talker”) is always rooted and based in LOVE. (Before we get too “gooey” let me define love): LOVE = KINDNESS. The most basic language of love is seen and heard and displayed in kindness toward one another. EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN BEING A “CHRIST FOLLOWER” at least study His teachings. Please. Please study the teachings of Christ found in the Bible. Start with the section of the Bible called “Matthew.” Go to Chapter 5, Chapter 6, and Chapter 7. The teachings of Christ give us the essence of understanding ourselves, understanding each other, and understanding our circumstances in a new (and richer) way. Sorry about another list, but it is the way to organize this thought in light of what we face in our cultural times. 1. FOCUS ON THE MAIN THING–and LOVE is the main thing! Kindness toward one another changes the world. Granted, being the first one to be kind when everyone else isn’t being kind is like that children’s game where you stand toe to toe, holding hands and leaning back–trusting the other guys isn’t going to let go with no warning thereby dumping you quickly and soundly ON YOUR REAR! 2. KNOW WHO/WHAT YOUR GOD IS YOU ARE SERVING. One thing about serving God: God wants your full and total attention. The first and greatest command: “Have no other gods before me”– “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.” YET, WE HAVE SOME HOW GET DECIEVED INTO IDOL WORSHIP (IDOLATRY) ALL THE TIME. If you are an American, you can see it in our “Americanism.” We pride ourselves in how our country was founded, we make the contention that we are the greatest country on the planet, we stake our claim with “my freedoms”–all the while not really keeping God at our center, but myself (at the center). “Americanism” is a great and grave sin of our day. Further, we somehow skew our our spiritual faith into this “Americanism” so that it all runs together in a flag waving/Bible thumping/Scripture spewing animosity and hostility. The enemy delights in our division, chaos, and distraction. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy and loves it when he can pull Christ Followers into a distracted and disjointed version of Christ’s teachings on loving God AND loving your neighbor as yourself (that is, as long as “my neighbor” is agreeing with me?). 3. EVERYONE NEEDS TO TAKE A BREATH. Next, clear the mechanism of the rhetoric/defensiveness/judgment. Quit defending your position and start listening to one another. If you stop talking and start listening then RESPECT FOR EACH OTHER WILL START TO RETURN. 4. IT IS OF NO IMPORTANCE THAT ANY LISTENS TO A WORD I HAVE TO SAY–what matters is that people listen to what GOD HAS TO SAY!5. When we get so caught up in what is fraudulent, what is corrupt, what is evil, it can become a huge distraction from actually following the teachings of Christ. “My rights” and “My freedoms” end up going in the direction of ME. ME. ME. MY THIS. MY THAT. “Jesus said to his disciple, If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)–ByTheWay: If you are reading this right now, you know that Facebook IS NOT censoring Christian faith. I love to see the Lord’s Prayer in print, but it would be better if you actually prayed it rather than just print it on Facebook trying to be some kind of “martyr for your faith.” Facebook is NOT the enemy. Our “struggle is NOT against flesh and blood….” 6. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO CHANGE YOUR APPROACH. Re-tool and tone it down. Lead your friends and family to tone it down. Jesus said His followers were “salt of the earth” and “light of the world”–NOT THE LOUDEST! Salt and Light come through the kindness we extend to each other. ByThe Way–not the kindness we talk about–but the kindness we ACTUALLY EXTEND. Churches rally congregations all the time in doing this and doing that. We do things to “see the smile come across their face”….Is that the right motive for being kind? Jesus instructed us to “do our acts of kindness NOT TO BE SEEN BY MEN.” What do we do? We have to get a video of people’s reaction of our kindness so we can feel good about ourselves. You know what I mean. We all get caught up in it. (God is watching. I wonder what He thinks when we are “high fiving” each other because of how we all pitched in and are “celebrating”–actually–just bragging on ourselves)? This kind of hypocrisy is so prevalent it is a “fever pitch.” No wonder we don’t realize how we sound when we are doing it. 7. “DO UNTO OTHERS THE WAY YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU.” Treat others the way I want to be treated. Think about others the way I want them to think about me. Speak about others behind their backs the way I want them to speak about me behind my back. Any one of these points could change the world as we know it. Thanks for reading all the way through. If there is anything you agree with, please hit the “SHARE” button. Blame me if you want to or have to. Ha! We are a “work in progress” that is certain. However, Jesus gave us plenty of “tools” in His teachings to assist us in having the best skills possible for that same work! YOUR BEST DAYS ON THIS PLANET ARE AHEAD OF YOU! Studying and apply the teachings of Christ–you will see it work! God Bless & Much Love, Marc Royer

“FOLLOW THE MONEY!?”

It all started up, (for me), when I heard about the second stimulus check Congress was proposing during the Pandemic. “Let’s get money in the hands of millions of Americans to spend so they can help the economy.” It “kind of” made sense economically the first time when the money came around in April-June at $1200 per person plus extra unemployment pay for folks desperate to pay their bills. I just didn’t do the math. Last time 128,300,000 Americans received $1200 a piece (all this is approximate). If you multiply two numbers together you get around 156 Billion Dollars. It didn’t compute in my head that this was 156 Billion of 2.2 Trillion Dollars given away. (Basically stimulus checks amounted to the POINT TWO of “2.2 Trillion” leaving 2 Trillion Dollars more given out). Speaking only for myself, I think I was too busy trying to find toilet paper than worrying about where the other 2 Trillion Dollars went! Even this time it didn’t compute until President Trump refused to sign the 990 Billion Dollar Bill brought before him because he said, “I’m not signing this unless Americans are given $2000 a piece instead of $600 a piece.” The different news organizations started mentioning different talking tracks on who was getting what. Marceil mentioned something about Pakistan and a special interest group of people getting so much money etc. etc.. I started doing the math. Then I started to follow the money. If the proposal is $600 a piece times the same 130,000,000 people the cost to the government is 78 Billion. Under President Trumps proposal at $2000 a piece brings the price tag in around 260 Billion. There is a bunch of jockeying between the political parties over it, but what is troubling to me is NOT 78 Billion verses 260 Billion–BUT THE REST OF THE MONEY TO EQUAL 990 BILLION!

So I read the thing. EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. They say it is 5563 pages. It is but not the way you and I write a page. It is 5563 pages using that legislative line numbered page–about 125 words a page. Normal writing is 250 to 300 words a page. This second stimulus bill is around 2200-2300 pages if read like a normal book. It is called: “THE HOUSE AMENDMENT TO THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 133 CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 2021.”

The “talking heads” from the news channels call it the bill “no one has read.” Anyone who says that from here on is not reporting accurately. I read the thing. I even kept some notes. It is difficult to follow because some parts of it has amounts of money. Other parts of it have ideology with no money attachment. Some parts have money and ideology, but no part has any reference to true accountability. The thing that stands out the most is millions and millions of taxpayer dollars are flying into bank accounts all around the world with no real accountability as to where or how the money is spent. For instance the bill allows for $286,000,000 to go to “Family Planning” with the note that it can’t be used to fund abortions, but no other directives.

The only thing we seem to care about is “how much am I going to get?” The bigger question is–“how much is flying out the door when I get what it is I am going to get?” It was/is YOUR MONEY in the first place. The Federal Tax Rate is one tax issue. You pay Federal Taxes, State Taxes, County Taxes, City Taxes, Excise Taxes, Property Taxes, Sales Taxes, and if you have internet you have three or four other fees and taxes. If you fly you pay five or six other taxes. Close to 30%–40% of every dollar that goes through your hands goes to some kind of tax–and that is if you make less than $60,000 per year. When the Congress of the United States pays out 990 billion dollars with you getting $600 AFTER paying them 30% to 40% of your income, YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED. You might even want to think it over, and even demand some accountability.

The notes I took while reading the 5563 pages looked scattered around after I re-read them. I felt bad about myself until I started looking back over the bill and realized it isn’t me that should feel bad about my notes–the ones who should feel bad ARE THE ONES WHO WROTE IT!

Some hightlights:

I don’t want to “cherry pick” the most outrageous stuff like: the Secretary of the Treasury gets $258,000 in expenses with another $350,000 at his/her disposal that doesn’t look like they even need a receipt to give account. Almost $600,000 the Secretary of the Treasury can spend with no accountability. Almost every department get millions, and tens of millions of dollars to market stuff that is free to people in the first place–like the IRS. It looks to me like the IRS gets $126,963,000 to market itself. Here are some amounts from the Department of Defense (these are amounts that go to the various armed services departments). I left the name off each one just to speed up your reading: 376 Million; 65 Million; 500 Million; 33 Million; 11 Million; 16 Million; 1.5 Billion; 285 Million; 300 Million; 5 Million; 195 Million; 18 Billion; 66 Billion; 17 Billion; 1 Billion; 30 Million; 796 Million.

500 Million to Israel–HOWEVER–we are giving 500 Million to Jordan to procure their borders. (Which they will use to threaten Israel–my opinion).

275 Million to Ukraine for their military to defend against Russia and 453 Million to aid Ukraine. 132.5 Million to aid the Republic of Georgia. 325 Million to Congo. 135 Million to Burma. 3 Billion to Afghanistan.

1.6 Billion to Nuclear Energy; 380 Million for the Mississippi River; 2.5 Billion to the IRS; 341 Million for the FCC; 42 Million for the FDIC; 351 Million for the FTC; 2 Billion to the SEC.

4.4 Million as a little allowance for former Presidents to draw from.

10 Million to study Hydrocarbons.

8 Billion to the Secretary of Transportation.

1.6 Billion for Cyber Security.

8 Million for Presidential transition.

13 Million to run the White House. 2.5 Million for maintenance on the White House.

14 Million for the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.

26 Million for security of the JFK Center of Arts.

There are many, many more items. (Dozens)

I don’t want to be that person who is poking and pointing and causing trouble. I want to be a problem solver, not a opinionated dramatic idiot. Here is what we need to do:

  1. WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN JUST ME. “It” needs to be more than just about “how much am I going to get.” “How much” is a distraction. The real issue is: what is it REALLY going to cost me?
  2. WE NEED TO ASK QUESTIONS OF OUR CONGRESS. Letters, emails, social media–whatever you can do, do it.
  3. WE NEED TO DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY ON HOW OUR MONEY IS BEING SPENT. Just because our Treasury Department can print more money, doesn’t mean they should. The Government of a nation exists to manage the population NOT TO CONTROL the population. We need systems in place to help us mange ourselves.
  4. WE NEED TO DEMAND THAT EVERY PERSON; STATE; NATION; we help has to spend the money we give them to purchase American made and American supported products. (Much of the money we give to other nations are being spent to purchase materials from non-allies of America). THIS PRACTICE HAS TO STOP. The Inspector General of the United States has a big job, but an important one. Whatever happens, the best way to help our economy is by using every tax dollar collected to be used for American products and American services. Doing this would help our American economy out in a much broader, grander way than a stimulus check going into my bank account.

Consider going an extra mile in this. Kindly lobby your friends. Don’t shoot off your mouth in partisanship, but relate to people. Join one another in this sojourn of life. We need to help one another. We need to depend on each other, not on a government. The government exists to serve us, not us serve it. Consider writing/emailing your Representative or/and Senator. Keep it simple–SOMETHING LIKE THIS:

Dear Friend, Thank you for serving the people of our District (State). I am writing in grave concern for the future of our nation. The Pandemic has brought to the forefront many things of concern. One of them is the way our tax dollars are spent. I am concerned about how line items in the Millions and Billions of dollars are approved to be spent under the disguise of helping Americans. I would appreciate your effort in holding Departments accountable for the money they are spending. I am an American taxpayer and it is my money. Please review the accountability systems that are in place so that every American Dollar that is spent can be spent to HELP AMERICA–(American jobs; American economy; our American way of life). Please insist on a deep audit of the use of the money spent. Thank you again for your service to America.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

GOD’S POST-PANDEMIC ORDERS FOR US TO FOLLOW!

Call it what you want, but coming out of this epic Pandemic and trying to rebuild a “Post-Pandemic” life is going to take some work. Nothing will ever return to normal. Because of of this thing called a “new normal” or “post-pandemic” the best Biblical model for us to follow is found in Jeremiah 31: 23-26. God’s phrase: “bring them back from captivity” sums up what it will be like trying to rebuild all the different areas of our lives, and the way each of our lives touch each other.

THE SET UP: (Jeremiah 31:23) “This is what the Lord almighty the God of Israel says: When I bring them back from captivity the people in the land of Judah and in its towns will once again use these (WORDS)”…..

The idea of “WORDS” is best defined as “BEHAVIORS.” God is saying–as you rebuild your life in the post-pandemic world apply these three concepts to everything you do; everything you say; and everything related to everything you do or say. (In other words, apply this to everything.)

Here is the exact wording then we will break it down.

THE NEW AND CONSISTENT ATTITUDE: “The Lord Bless You, O Righteous Dwelling, O Sacred Mountain.”

  1. Our new way of life is to adore (revere) God in everything–every word; every action; every attitude; every step; every breath. The main question after everything needs to be: “How did what I just did or what I just said, demonstrate that I adore and revere God in every area of my life?” (Yahweh Yabarekka)

It is time for us to quit talking about it (putting God first). IT IS TIME FOR US TO ACTUALLY START PUTTING GOD FIRST.

2. Our new way of life to totally inhabit doing the right thing; to totally inhabit doing the just thing; to totally inhabit doing the (normal) thing. Doing what is RIGHT, JUST, AND NORMAL. (Sedeq Neweh)

3. Our new way of life is to separate myself from the pattern of the world. “O sacred mountain” is haqquodes har–the holy mountain top.

Three new behaviors/attitudes: Adore God, do what is right–just–normal, and don’t do what the world does.

THE CONCLUSION: “People will live together in Judah and all its towns. Farmers who move their flocks. I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. At this I awoke and looked around my sleep had been pleasant to me.”

The conclusion sums it up for us. We will live TOGETHER WITH OTHERS. Life will go on. God will refresh us. God will quicken our spirits and give us peace in our hearts. THESE DAYS ARE COMING. LOOK OUT–THEY ARE AT HAND!

Much Love, Marc & Marceil

The Top of Carmel Withers

The Prophet & Shepherd, Amos, speaks in striking language when he says: The Lord ROARS FROM ZION; Shepherds mourn; the top of Carmel withers. “Roars from Zion” is attention getting, but the top of Carmel withering should cause anyone who attends or is concerned about their Church to stop and dig deeper into it. It did me. I have been digging into this for a week and am challenged deeply by what I found.

“Top of Carmel” was the place of training/learning and sometimes residence of the Prophets of the Old Testament. Many of the Prophets were contemporaries of Elijah himself–many others came after. The “Prophet” was more of a category of calling. The “Office of the Prophet” sums it up–requiring a life long commitment of training, learning, and growing. Interestingly, many of the Prophets of the Old Testament times don’t have any “Books” in the Old Testament. The Prophet was called by God into a special ministry to address and redress the culture of the times. The “Top of Carmel” was a revered place of valued spiritual vitality. The “withering” of the top of Carmel indicates that slow downward vortex of losing the luster of spiritual vitality–the condition Amos addresses by naming geographical neighbors to Israel (Judah in his text) with his main concentration on the “sins” of Israel itself.

When I got to examining Amos’ use of “the top of Carmel withering” I realized he was not talking about a event, but a process. He is addressing the slow degenerative loss of the “Office of the Prophet” in the culture of ministry. By the way, when I write, speak, or refer to the “Office of the Prophet” I am not talking about some cult-like “Fore-teller of the future,” rather, I am talking about the front line, spiritually up-to-date, “FORTH-TELLER.” The modern day Prophet lays it out for God’s people. He/She challenges us with spiritual concept and understanding. Is the modern day Prophet a “perfect person?” No. Used by God? Yes. Does their walk match their talk? Hopefully–but the character of the Prophet is not near as important as the challenge the Prophet brings.

The “top of the Carmel whithers” because the Prophets are not addressing the sins of the culture. “Addressing” the sins is an intentional term. “Address” is different from CONDEMNING. When you (condemn) you take away any space for redemptive change. “Address” is different from JUDGMENT. When you (judge) you are creating a condescending culture of pride. “Addressing” the sins of the culture, like Amos does in chapter one and two of his Old Testament book, gives those who are transgressing the opportunity to realize the sin, repent, and feel true redeeming qualities in their life once again.

“Addressing” the sins of the neighbors (we will look at the “neighbors” in a moment) is only part of the issue with the “withering” of the top of Carmel. The other issue is–what happened to the Prophet that the top of Carmel would wither? It is NOT the Prophet that is absent (today); It is NOT the Office of the Prophet that is absent either; It is the ATTENTIVENESS OF THE PROPHET that is missing. The Prophet is “missing in action” because the modern day Prophets are more concerned with things like:

COLLABERATING WITH THE “CREATIVE TEAM” THAN COLLABERATING WITH GOD.

or:

CREATING A PITHY NEW SERIES THAT WILL “GET THE ENERGY UP” WITH PEOPLE RATHER THAN SEEK THE FLOW AND DIRECTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

or:

FINDING THE RIGHT “BRAND” SO THAT “THE COMMUNITY WILL BE EXCITED BY WHAT IS HAPPENING” RATHER THAN SPENDING TIME ALONE WITH GOD.

The modern Prophet has “withered” the top of Carmel by being more concerned about keeping people happy (and attending) than confronting them with going deeper spiritually. The “pleaser” essentially “withers” the top of Carmel.

Amos addresses the sins of the neighbors and then bears down on the sins of Israel. The parallel is: When Amos addresses the main sins of Damacus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, and Moab, he is addressing the general spirit of sin that has emerged in the culture. When Amos addresses the seven or so sins of the seventh (his beloved people, Israel) he is bringing it into our inner lives.

The thing about the “Office of the Prophet” is how CURRENT the ancient (and even the ancient of the ancient) things seem. Here they are in Amos Chapter 1 and 2:

  1. DAMACUS 1:3–“SIN OF EXCESSIVENESS”: Interpreted by the way Amos uses the concept of “threshing.”
  2. GAZA 1:6–“SIN OF POLITICS”: Amos talks about the concept of “deportation.” Inside the idea emerges how corrupt politics is at its core. The modern day Prophets have allowed politics of the Church to control what they say and do. The politics of the world have corrupted everything we do and say.
  3. TYRE 1:9–“SIN OF FAVORITISM OR ‘BACK SCRATCHING'”: “Didn’t remember the covenant of brotherhood” comes from what Amos is describing.
  4. EDOM 1:11–“SIN OF ABUSIVENESS–PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL OR VERBAL”: Amos says, “pursued his brother with the sword” which prophetically describes abuse.
  5. AMMON 1:13–“SIN OF ABORTION”: “Ripped open pregnant women”
  6. MOAB 2:1–“SIN OF CRUCIFYING THE CHARACTER OF OTHERS”: Amos description is the “descretion of the corspe of the King” and burning his bones. Prophetically this addresses how we speak of our leaders–any leader (any where). We need to be very cautious in the use of our words.
  7. ISRAEL 2–“SIN OF IDOLATRY”: The breaking of the first (and greatest) command–“Have no other gods before me” has been broken and not challenged. The Prophet has allowed selfishness to rule the day, and is himself/herself self absorbed as well. The idolatry of selfishness is described 7 ways by Amos–

a. Not keeping the Word of God central in all areas of life. 2:4

b. Lying. Twisting the truth–spinning the truth. 2:4

c. Unteachableness. 2:4

d. Money. Selling out for money. 2:6

e. Sexual impropriety. 2:7

f. Disrespectful and Drunkards. 2:8

g. Pride. 2:9

Let’s knock it off and get with it! BRING BACK THE TOP OF CARMEL–LISTEN FOR THE ROAR OF THE LION OF JUDAH OUT OF ZION. If not now, when?

Much Love,

Marc Royer