Thursday, November 20, 2008

What a Web We Weave

I never thought you could build a large group of nudists into any groups, much less weave them into a Christian world. But as most of you can see, we have many people who have found their way into the internet and discovered there are other Christian nudists lurking in the corners of the world. I think this is an example of God taking something that can be both good and bad and using it for good.

I began my Christian travels as an adult some twenty years ago. For most of you, I am a newbie. but what I found out is that I had a lot to learn and I wanted to know it all as fast as I could learn. Now, as most have figured out, I achieved this. I am a know-it-all of the first class. Just ask me.

The first struggle I came across was Genesis, where Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the trees. We all know how that worked and Adam and Eve found themselves wandering around in a world with briers and weeds. The question I had was if God had not given them the knowledge of right and wrong, how did He expect the two of them to know better than to eat from the tree.

I think the flaw in my thinking was there was considering right and wrong to be the same as good and evil. Although they sound close, they are really light-years apart. One is a decision based on black and white, perfect scenario decisions and the other is about the whole situation surrounding the decision.

To better illustrate this, let's look at an example.

Suppose you tell your child to not touch the stove. Your child is seven-years-old and is obviously capable of understanding the order and obeying it. The child touches the stove and is burned. She was disobedient and caused herself pain.

Now, suppose your daughter is twenty-five years old and she is a chef at the local restaurant. You tell her not to touch the stove and go into the living room to find your glasses. While you are away, the kitchen towel you left on the stove catches afire. The your daughter leans over the stove, grabs the towel and throws the burning rag in the sink, extinguishing the flames.

Was the daughter disobedient?

The knowledge imparted to Adam and Eve was the knowledge of things that could be both good and evil. It was a knowledge that needed experience and training to work properly.

Many aspects of our lives also include those decisions based on situations that can be both good and evil. In the quiet moments of our lives, we all must admit that nudism can be both good and evil. The internet is both a good resource of information and communication, but it can be a nightmare if we let ourselves wander into places we should avoid.

Everyday, we forage through this world avoiding the traps and pitfalls that can befall any of us. Avoiding them can be a difficult decision. Not all the cases are as black and white as the example above.

Suppose, instead of a daughter, we substitute a husband. Instead of not touching the stove, we substitute a prohibition on talking to a female neighbor. If the neighbor's stove was broken, would it still be forbidden for the husband to help out a neighbor in distress? Or what if the female neighbor needed a ride? Or how about substituting wife for husband and Cuban pool boy for stove?

There are other sides to this coin. Some things can be both good and bad at the same time. Sex is one primary glue in holding a marriage together. Sex is good! But sex has led to more marriages being destroyed than any other cause.

The best we can do is to remember that once we were imparted with this knowledge, we became responsible for our actions. Our world got larger, just as Adam and Eve's world got larger, and our responsibilities got bigger.

till next time...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

catching up

It has been a while since I updated you on the church. Things are going well for a small congregation. It is a pleasure to work in an area where the people attending are willing to jump out and be active in the work. Most churches have 20% of the people doing 80% of the work. At the Chapel, everyone has a function and all are doing well.

I am thrilled with the support and commitment of the people. I only wish I had attended a textile church that worked like this.

Among the other things that have been coming around, my original book, Nudist Among Us has been combined with my second book and been re-released as one book, with a new cover and some better editing and layout. If you have a heart for humor and a wish to spend some money in this economy, you might take a look to the column on the left and give the picture a click.

My family is doing well. My son was with us at the park this weekend to make a video get well card for a friend and church member going off to have an operation.

Till next time when I have worth while to say... God bless.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Second Reformation

In the last group of comments, someone asked about the second reformation. So here goes.

The Reformation was a revamping of Christian ideals, and a changing of how our lives meld into the world around us. Before this change, ordinary people were not trusted to read the scriptures. They were not supposed to interpret the scriptures or to speculate on Christian daily activities. These things were left to the church fathers. The Reformation opened the scriptures to the ordinary person, birthing an explosion of the different denominations and beliefs in the Church. (big C, not little c). It was an awakening of ideas and beliefs that has transformed the way we worship God and has opened up the world to a closer one on one relationship with our Savior.

This was great. But with separation came descent. The separation in beliefs began the distancing of each other. We became fragmented.

In the same light of fixing a wrong, but not for the same wrongs, there is a new awakening falling down on us. Our knowledge of Christ is expanding. Our worship is growing. And some of the ideas we once held as absolute truth are now being exposed for what they are. Some to the good. Others, not so much.

The second reformation is preparing us for the coming of our Lord by trying to unite us all under one God. The reformation is reforming the Church by expanding our knowledge of what God wants from us and by bringing people together. It is trying to accomplish what Jesus longed or years ago, the Church being as one.

Jesus can't return until all the world has been exposed to Him. We are now working our way into those corners of the world we never thought we would find. In urban areas where children grow up and spend more time searching for food than for a god. In deep forests where civilization hasn't found them. In small bible study groups that gather in homes all across the country.

In these places, we are finding the Word being proclaimed at an alarming rate.

The word is even filtering into the places the mainstream church is not going, to nudist parks, to gambling joints, to pipe smokers conventions, to biker bars, and to jails. With this, we are experiencing a renewing of our mind. We are claiming, as our brothers, those people we once considered lepers and scoundrels.

Jesus said he would gather up his remnant scattered by the four winds, and He is doing it now. Bringing in the new people is bringing in a new wave of people to love and be loved by.

There is some great reading on this scattered across the internet. They say it much better than me. I urge you to begin to read and join this new celebration.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Second Reformation, again.

Yes, I know, you are sick and tired of the binge I'm on with the reformation. Well, I just can't seem to find an end to this. Each time I pray about this blog, I get bits of information about the Reformation coming.

There is nothing in the bible to suggest there wouldn't be times of reform. In fact the bible often speaks of returning to Christ and churches finding the true spirit. The bible is full of times when Isreal reformed and was returned to their glory.

Let's look at 2. Chron 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Here, God makes a promise, one that endures to us today. If His people come back to Him, He will heal their land. Speaking from a country where we need healing, I find this most comforting. The best part is that He gives us the exact formula for our healing, sort of a prescription for good health. There are several parts to this promise.

First, God calls on His people, those called by His name. He doesn't ask the aliens in the land or those who are not associated with God to do anything. He simply wants those people who He counts as His own to come to Him.

Second, He gives us the manner is which we are to come back to Him. We are to:

1. Humble ourselves. Pride goes before the fall. Pride causes the fall. If we are to come to Him, we must acknowledge God is First and we are below Him before we can enter His courts.

2. We are to pray. There is nothing better than to get a phone call from a long lost friend. God loves those returning home prayers.

3. Seek His face. We need to come face to face with our God to become fully in His love.

4. Turn from our wicked ways.

Once we have done this, God's promise kicks in. He will hear us from Heaven, forgive us our sins, and will heal our land.

In our country today, the US, we are in dire need of healing. The election was about healing, picking someone who could help put America back on the right track. For many of us, me included, we put our trust in McCain to heal our nation. Other of you picked Obama. At this point, and through much prayer, I have come to this conclusion. It really doesn't matter who is president. Presidents can't heal our country.

Let me say that again. Presidents do not heal our land. God does. He made a promise to us that if we seek His face humbly, and confess our sins to Him, He will heal our land.

Now, He didn't say we had to get everyone in the nation to do this. He is only calling out the men and women who are called by his name. This is a call most specifically for Christians, those called by His name. The key to healing our land lies with the Christians in this country.

Our nation is a nation of sometimes love. We sometimes love our neighbor. The mere fact that we are celebrating a black man's election to the president's job is an indication that we have a long way to go to recognize our lingering prejudice against people of other colors and backgrounds. We should celebrate the man and not his color.

We sometimes love our neighbor, but not the neighbor who doesn't hold countenance with our beliefs. I do not say this as a way to excuse sin, but I say this because we need to fill our lives with love for everyone so that we are not held responsible for keeping a man from the face of God. We need to remember that seeking God's face is one step to healing the nation. We need to be the one that ushers people to His face, not hold out to see if our neighbor will come around to our thinking.

The beginning of this reformation will be the healing of our nations. Those churches where God's people stand tall and seek God's face will be renewed... Reformed. With each reform, those nations will be transformed by the renewing of their spirit.

True to all God's plans are a way to Salvation. God set before us the perfect method for reforming our Christian world and healing our nation. All we need is for men and women of faith to seek God's face and repent of our sins and the others will benefit, as well.

It is from this point that I ask men of faith to pick a moment in time to humbly seek God's face in prayer, to acknowledge our sins before His throne, and for God to lead us from from our wicked ways.

If you will follow me in this, please send this to those people who you know call themselves by His name. We can start the healing now, regardless of who is president.

See you soon.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cows in the Corner

A few posts ago, I mentioned the remnants. the groups of Christians scattered to the four wind and likened them to the leaves caught in the fence. I want to revisit this analogy once more, this time using cows.

I think it is important to visualize the scenario from another point.

In God's backyard, He has placed a fence around us, the Christian cows, to keep us safe. The links in the fence are close together and guard against the cos wandering off into the world. In the center of the yard are the bulk of the cows, just hanging out and eating grass, and waiting to carry them off to the great pasture in the sky. (better John?) Now, occasionally, cows will wander around the yard and congregate near the fence in a corner. These are the cows the "cool cows" have shoved away. Scattered to each corner, there are these uncool cows hanging out together and enjoying themselves.

Now, over the time, a few cool cows decide to wander aimlessly around, not finding a group to hang out with. These guys tend to get into trouble with nothing to do and no one to keep them straight. Hopelessly, they are stranded in the wide open spaces alone.

What happens when God comes back. Remember God is going to gather the cows from the far corners. (Gathering his own scattered to by the wind to the four corners.) But who is going to gather up the lost cows?

Well, folks, it is the uncool cows. Yes, we are the ones responsible for finding and returning the lost to the fold.

As nudists and Christians, we are responsible to help the lost find their way back to the fold. We are the ones that know the area outside of the herd.

Taking this out of the analogy, let's think about the people who have lost sight of the Master. They have wandered away from the true God to other means. Science has become God to some. (more on that later.) Clothes have become their God. The Bible has become their God. There are lots of places where we have lost the people we thought were firmly attached to the herd.

It is unreasonable to think a person who has not experienced a crisis of faith will understand a person who has, or the depth of hurt that goes with this. But to those who have experienced the life ravaging situation, relating to another's problems is a stronger witness.

To this end, we all need to educate ourselves to the needs and beliefs of those Christians wandering in the back yard searching for the truth. We need to know how evolution can go from a scientific theory to a God. We need to know just how a Christian can find comfort away from our beliefs. But first, we need to know what caused that person to wander away from the herd. Finding that answer will make the rest of the problem easier to deal with.

In the nudist community, it is often nudism that causes a Christian to wander away from the herd. The herd generally does not agree with a cow being naked. Other situations include divorce, smoking, drinking, or tattoos. The endless decisions by human minds to exclude people from the herd is a daunting task to overcome, but as Christians in the corners, we need to take up the task and start shoving lost cows back home.

Lastly, we must educate the herd to the love of God, one which does not exclude anyone. "For whosoever believes in Me" is not a suggestion, but a promise.

The last image I want you to see is the vision of all those nudist cows from the corners of the yard ushering those smoking, drinking, divorced cows back to the herd as we ourselves rejoin the ranks of the "cool cows." Visualize a herd welcoming the remnant cows home with a fine robe, a royal seal ring, and a fine feast of -- well whatever cows feast on for special occasions.
Now replace cows with people and you can see a bit of the future when Christs returns.

Till next time...

p.s. If you like this blog, pass it on. If you disagree with me, say so in the comments. This is meant to be a discussion.