"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it." (Matthew 10:34-39
Are you familiar with Paul Saul often mistakenly referred to as "Saul before he converted to Paul"? Here is a man who suffered greatly (Greek words: imprisonment)—yet he is anything but defeated or depressed. His life is full of purpose and destiny—so he speaks of the great privilege of suffering for that purpose, and of God’s power which strengthens and energizes him to labor for that purpose.
What is this purpose that fills and drives Paul? He has been called by God to play a unique and significant role in his plan. We’ll take a closer look at Paul’s calling in a minute, but first I want to focus on the main point—Paul was filled with joy and a sense of privilege and motivation and power because he was gripped by God’s calling for his life.
Do you know if you have been called to do God's will? How rare this is in our culture! So rare that most people cannot conceive of suffering for a cause greater than their own comfort, let alone feeling privileged to do so. But with this life without calling comes emptiness, boredom, and cynicism. Yet because we are made in God’s image, we cannot help but resonate with the idea of living to fulfill a cause/calling greater than ourselves.
The first and foundational step in knowing God’s calling for your life is to receive God’s “mystery”. A biblical “mystery” is simply a part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity that hasn’t been revealed until now.
The Old Testament prophets knew that God’s plan centered around the Messiah (“Christ”)—that Messiah would come at the end of the age to re-establish God’s kingdom over the whole, and that he would pour out God’s Spirit on all of his people (Jews and Gentiles) so that they would all experience God’s glorious presence in amazing ways (Isa.11:9,10).
But they did not know that prior to the end of the age, the Messiah would come as a Suffering Servant to die for humanity’s sins—and that he would actually live inside all who put their trust in him (regardless of ethnic origin). When Jesus lives inside you, he enables you to personally experience God’s love and presence in your life—a taste of God’s future glorious kingdom now. When Jesus lives in you, he begins to reveal your unique part in God’s plan.
When I look back on my own life, I can see this much more clearly now than I did at the time. People open their hearts to Jesus for many different reasons (forgiveness, loneliness, career, etc...) I opened my heart to Jesus for purpose and direction. I realized that my own direction of my life was a failure. Though I would not have used this term at the time, I felt "lost." In the moment that I admitted this to myself, this wonderful invitation came into my mind (Revelation 3:20). I sensed that the time had come to do this, so I said: “Jesus, if you are real, come into my heart and lead my life.” That decision to ask Jesus to live inside me—to receive God’s “mystery”—was almost ten years ago—and I am awed by the significance of that decision. It was the “Y” in the road between stumbling in the dark and (gradually) discovering God’s calling for my life. Granted, these past years have been confusing and I've made mistakes along the way. But especially over the past year, I've come to understand why my path had taken the route it had. It was all being done to strengthen me, give me greater exposure to the diverse sometimes harsh world and to develop the character, humility and wisdom that is needed to be a leader. My purpose is and will be to expose the corruption and evil that exists in the world. This evil isn't of people alone, but from the lordship of Satan over the hearts, minds and souls of people. Central organizations that answer to Satan are the Bilderbergers, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission to name a few.
This same decision can have the same result for you. There are many other keys to knowing God’s calling for your life, but it always begins with this key—responding to Jesus’ offer to live in you. He is the Lord, he made you for himself and for his plans. You are fundamentally out of synch with the purpose of your life until he lives within you. How will you respond to his invitation?
If you know who you are and you know God's will for your life, then you will eventually come to know your calling too.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Today, it is Joan Fontaine's birthday and she is 92 years young!
I first saw Joan in Rebecca and Suspicion during a "31 Days of Oscar" event on American Movie Classics in 1995.
You know it is funny now, but I can't help but to notice how the censors missed on the subtle yet obvious theme of lesbianism in Rebecca particularly between Rebecca who never appears in the movie and Mrs. Danvers. Mrs. Danvers stole the show in that one. One scene that stands out to me is when Joan's character (her first name is never revealed) walks into Rebecca's room for the first time and then Mrs. Danvers suddenly appears from the dark. She then invites Joan's character to sit at Rebecca's desk and look at her lingerie. She towers over the film and the 2nd Mrs. de Winter in particular.
The brillance of the writers and directors in those days was that they could "sneak" in subject matter or themes in a subtle way that the executives who approved or disproved the movies would miss out on. They must have been taking everything literally. How about that scene from Gone With The Wind where Rhett carries Scarlett up to her bedroom? Now what could she have been happy about? Of course, Joan's sister, Olivia de Havilland co-stars as Melanie Hamilton.
Anyways, back to Joan. I've seen a number of other films too like Letter From An Unknown Woman, which is Joan's favorite movie that she has worked on, Ivanhoe, Until They Sail, and Sky Giant which is one of her earlier roles. She looks absolutely adorable in that pilot's suit around the start of the movie. Other movies that I would like to see, but seem hard to come by are This Above All, The Constant Nymph, and Born To Be Bad.
I first joined Joan Fontaine's Yahoo Group in 2006 and have also written to Joan a number of times. Hopefully, I will get to meet her in person someday. Only time will tell. If so, that would be a story all unto itself.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
There is word that Tennessee Senator Bob Corker has introduced a bill that claims to audit the Federal Reserve and is supposedly a companion bill to the Federal Reserve Sunshine Act of 2009.
However there are several problems with this bill beginning with the sponsor himself. Bob Corker voted for the Wall Street bailouts last year and as a general rule, anyone who voted for it can't be trusted. The simple fact of the matter is that this bill merely waters down the Sunshine Act. It is an attempt to protect the privately owned Federal Reserve from being independently audited. This would reveal the racketeering that the Fed has operated for almost 100 years.
Several of Corker's top contributors consist of PACs and employees from the following companies:UBS/AG, Merrill Lynch, Regions Financial, and First TN Bank.
Also worth pointing out that the financial/insurance sector was the largest of all the sectors giving to Corker's campaign at $3 million. For more information go to http://www.opensecrets.org.
We need to get back to basics very soon. There is not much more that can be said.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The Fall Semester is halfway over at Carson-Newman. It is true that time goes by faster as you get older. I've known that for the past 20 years. I am taking a religion class, physical education, Introduction to Liberal Arts, English and Biology. So far, my favorite class is religion. The class is covering the New Testament and has been specifically covering the Four Gospels for the past month.
I am also videotaping practices and games for the football team. The biggest thing I've learned is how the day-to-day life of a coach is like from scheduling practice sessions to recruiting to handling all the various administrative tasks. Being a coach and/or teacher is definitely up my alley. I would like to coach football, but I would be just fine with coaching a baseball/softball team or track and field.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Celebrating birthdays today happen to be two more actresses that I adore: Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth.
When I think of Jean, the first word that comes to mind is witty. She was also shy which would explain why she did few movies after 1940. She was quite good in screwball comedies. She was known to a favorite of Frank Capra. But she was also very good in dramas. "Mr Deeds Goes To Town" and "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" are two Capra movies that showcase her talents very nicely. Not to mention she looked great in hats.
The first word that comes to mind in describing Rita is sultry.
But she has also been described as "a tender, sensitive, beautiful human being. A lovely person. Very gentle." Her most famous roles are probably Sheila Winthrop in You'll Never Get Rich, as Doña Sol des Muire in Blood and Sand and Gilda Mundson Farrell in Gilda. She had a number of fine movies throughout the 1940's and early 1950's. Sadly, she passed away a bit too soon in 1987. Her marker includes the inscription "To yesterday's companionship and tomorrow's reunion."
Jean and Rita, I wish you both a Happy Birthday and may you both be resting very well. I look forward to meeting both of you someday.