Hand to Hand Combat

In the early 1900s, warriors trained with bayonets for warfare that was highly intense, personal and risky.  But presumed necessary.

Today, technicians sit at a computer screen several nations away from combat and attempt to cause enemy casualties without any risk to themselves.

War has progressively evolved from a primary mindset of doing damage, to a primary mindset of self-preservation.

Now, imagine flipping it.  You take the drone operator out of his air-conditioned office and put him on the ground, facing a White nationalist demonstration that has turned into a full blown race riot.

He might feel just a tad bit ill equipped.

This is most of the church today.  We have become drone operators praying valiantly, asking God to deploy His angels to do prodigious feats at our command.

A few people staff the hospital in the rear echelons, offering deliverance and inner healing to civilian and military casualties of war.  Good people.  We need more of them.

But most Christians are unarmed believers, living in a war zone, wishing for peace, while doing all kinds of work-arounds to avoid the people who are hurtful.

Unfriending or banning someone on Facebook is simple.  However, it gets awkward and expensive to keep firing your boss, your pastor, your spouse or your doctor.

That means, we need to become skilled at hand to hand combat.  We need to be able to silence the demons in other people without drama, against their will, effectively, so we can do Kingdom work.

Work-arounds is another word for running.  This is not our primary calling as Noble Subjects.

So do an assessment of your environment.

-Do you have a boss who is routinely unjust to you and others, or who violates your boundaries with time, or who uses shame as a tool?  It might be he simply has a rotten management style on top of a broken soul, but it might also be that he is packing a load of critters who need an education.

-What about your family?  Do you have a spouse or a child who is routinely verbally cruel or who has a hair trigger temper?  Might be their junk.  Might be their critters.

-What about your community?  Is there someone overtly making a play for your spouse?  Is there someone with a foul mouth who you just can’t avoid?  Is there someone who routinely steps into your space and violates your boundaries — knowingly?

Have you cried out to God relentlessly about these situations and nothing changes?  Have you tried to keep low profile but that just draws those people even more?  Have you broken every curse you can imagine and done deliverance on yourself and nothing has improved?

Then it might be time for a new style of warfare — hand to hand combat.  This is where you deliberately, overtly engage their demons and neutralize them.

I will be teaching on this and modeling it on the Live Stream on Saturday, May 5th, 2018.  This is going to be a new chapter in SLG’s history as we change our culture significantly to include frequent use of these tools.

Warfare doesn’t heal wounds.  But it sure is helpful at neutralizing demons in people who don’t think they have any.

I believe you owe it to your community to listen to this teaching.  Even if you are living at peace with all men, there are those you know who are not and they may need it.

I am well aware that some people will find this approach unacceptable for whatever reasons.  This is SLG, after all, and we are each on our own journey.

But the amount of devouring the enemy is doing these days is so immense, that I respectfully ask each person reading this to consider at least listening to the broadcast, live or from the archive, before discarding the tool.

Here is the link for the Live Stream on May 5th.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

Posted in Spiritual Warfare | 11 Comments

So You Want a Father?

Imagine this.

I am at a seminar.  Fred comes up having freshly kissed the Blarney Stone, and after all of the blather about how great I am, asks me to father him.

He is followed by Sally who gives me an equally detailed story line, this time of how fatherless her childhood was.  Based on her pain, she asks me to father her.

I decline both.

I do that even though I am very clear and very confident that by design, at my core, I am a father.  It is who I am, what I was made for, where the grace from God is and where I find deep fulfillment.

So why won’t I father people who so overtly ask me to father them, and so clearly need it?

The problem is in the social contract that is embedded in their understanding of fathering, vs. mine.

You see, there is an issue of rights and responsibilities.

In the Biblical model of fathering, the father has most of the rights, and the children have most of the responsibilities at the beginning of the relationship.

For example, can you find a picture in Scripture of the child choosing his father?  Doesn’t the spiritual father usually initiate reaching out to select the child?

Think of all the mentoring relationships in Scripture that were inherently fathering.

Masses of people followed Jesus, but He picked the men He was going to father.

Paul picked his sons.

Admittedly, God picked a son for Elijah, but for sure, Elisha did not pick his own mentor.

Then look at the terms of the relationship.

It is always a responsibility-based relationship at first.  Jesus laid it on thick.  “Come follow me.”  No discussion of boundaries.  No full disclosure statement.  No promise of deliverance and inner healing.  No discussion of the stress it would put on them to be on a different track than their family.

With Elisha, when he tried to negotiate with Elijah on the terms of engagement, he got his first smack down and Elijah left in a huff, going on without Elisha, refusing to negotiate the nature of the alignment.

Even at the end of their relationship, Elisha tried to turn it from his responsibility to some imaginary rights.  Elijah clapped right back and said it was all about whether Elisha could step up to the level of responsibility required.

In the Biblical model of sonship, it is compared overtly to slavery.  Galatians 4.

And since so many people have been in slave-based organizations and have been broken there, they believe what they need in order to heal is an extravagant flow of life from their newly appointed father.

But the reality is that both in a fathering relationship and with a predatory leader relationship it begins with massive rights for the father to command and demand, and massive responsibility on the sons to obey and follow.

Now the OUTCOME is different.  In a slave organization, the control continues relentlessly.  You watch those who have been in the organization for years, who by dint of hard work and submission have worked their way up, and even though they may have some fancy titles, they are still slaves.

By contrast, a father like Jesus or Paul progressively transitions a son from massive responsibility to huge rights – ultimately to an inheritance he never worked for but can receive because he has learned to walk in responsibility.

I am continually asked to do the impossible in my fathering.  People come in with a 40 unit problem and they want me to fix their lives by tinkering with just two percent of their discretionary world.

Do the math.  I am not that good.  No father is.

And THAT is why a father needs the position of being able to inflict productive pain on a son, when needed, even though the son is still in unproductive pain from his rotten choices.

This is a model we know well all through the culture.

You go to school as a slave.  Your teacher has broad license to inflict pain on you.  You protest that your brain is bleeding and you need a break.  The teacher/father assures you that millions before you have grown through this process and you will survive too.

Why is the teacher given so much authority to hurt you?  Because they know you won’t inflict enough productive pain on yourself to get where you want to be.

You join the military.  You are a slave, with someone inflicting productive pain on you.

You join a sports team.  You are a slave, with someone inflicting productive pain on you.

The pattern is well established in the culture.

There is no question that most people need a mentor to push them into productive pain to become what they want to be.  And most mentors who are willing to push people hard, push them into unproductive pain, to enlarge the mentor, not the mentee.  That is slave leadership.

But no matter how often the principles of fatherhood are violated by a predatory leader, that does not change the viability of the Biblical model, where the rights are with the father, the responsibilities are with the son, and over time, as the son grows, there  is a transition from responsibilities to rights.

But fatherhood is NOT an ATM machine with unlimited cash for the son to make withdrawals from as desired.

THAT model of being a father will bankrupt me with one son.  AND, ATM fathers don’t produce great sons.  They produce entitled, spoiled brats who are not good for the community they are in.

Sincerely, passionately embracing a wrong model of fathering does not make it work.  It is still a busted model and if a leader allows his mentees to inflict that model on him, he will be busted by them, eventually.

ATM fathering IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.

Rejecting the Biblical model of fathering because it looks almost identical to slave-based, exploitive leaders, doesn’t solve the problem either.

There IS a model.  And it DOES work.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

Posted in Perspectives, The Culture | 13 Comments

When You Have More Than One Redemptive Gift

Over the years, I have received endless emails – short and gracious, long and nasty, and every other combination – exploring or defending the concept of someone having more than one redemptive gift in their soul.

My standard answer is in this paper, but here are some additional considerations.

One of the services I offer is to coach people who are ministering to others.  I am in touch with someone who does a complex blend of deliverance, inner healing, life coaching, developing your spirit and what not.

She has a client named “Sally” who is sure she is a Giver.  “Jasmine” the life coach is not convinced.  Sally certainly manifests a number of characteristics of Giver, but is missing many others.  An alternative gift, Exhorter, is discussed, but again, there are markers for Exhorter, but some significant missing characteristics.

Here are some of the ideas I tossed in Jasmine’s direction.

1.     Check for family imprint.

Was she raised in a family where either a Giver or an Exhorter ruled with a heavy hand and imprinted his or her nature, values and thought processes on all the kids?

2.     Is there a vanishing twin AHS?

3.     Is the portion of the spirit that matches the redemptive gift of the soul, missing?

Jasmine pushed back on that one and said that she had already checked and all of the portions of the spirit are present and accounted for.

4.     Then I suggested she check the Exhorter and Giver portions of her spirit to see if possibly one of them was a synthetic and not the real deal.

5.     Is there a wound to her core gift?

Often, the expression of a gift is warped in childhood because someone in the environment does not like some facet of the gift.  I was an extremely passionate Prophet kid, but passion was frowned on in childhood and deemed utterly inappropriate.  A great number of people in different contexts worked hard to mellow me out.

They failed utterly to mellow ME out, but they did succeed to tamp down my public presentation a LOT.  I am a wild man in private but rarely in public.

So it is entirely possible that Sally IS a Giver, but a few key facets of her Giver gift were roundly repudiated in childhood so she learned to shut them off from the public, therefore Jasmine can’t see them at present.

There is a floating lack of legitimacy in Sally (not much different than anyone else).  It is not pervasive and crippling, but pops up like a prairie dog with regularity.

It could be a standalone wound, or it could be related to #2, #4 or #5.  Once the redemptive gift issue is sorted out, it will be interesting to see if the prairie dog fades away on its own, or whether it needs to be hunted down and resolved as its own issue.

Meanwhile, Jasmine is methodical and Sally is willing, so I am sure something will become clear in time.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

Posted in Exhorter, Giver, The Redemptive Gifts of Individuals | 2 Comments

Saying Goodbye #3: Solving the Riddle

It has taken me a week to figure out why revisiting the apartments at San Bruno Terrace rocked me so badly.

If you feel like you are coming into the middle of a conversation, then you need to go back to the blog Saying Goodbye #2 and read the first part of the story.

In a nutshell, it had to do with legitimacy.

One of my legitimacy crutches was that I was legitimate because I had bigger/better/wiser/righter perspective than others around me.

And certainly, at that point in time, I was quite sure I saw the big picture and saw it clearly.

In retrospect, I was horrified at how trivial and small my perspective was, not to mention how wrong.  That is what took me out so badly last week.

Once I knew where the issue was, I fast forwarded from the crash at 26 years old to the CRASH at 33 years old when God began to talk to me about legitimacy and the fact that it came from design, not performance.

There I began to come to terms with the fact that God designed me before the foundation of the world in a package that brought Him pleasure and that original design still brings Him pleasure.

And I suddenly saw what God had been doing in the last three months.  It seemed as though every couple of weeks, on some news site, I noticed a story of the discovery of an old car in a barn somewhere. The headline would read that the car was worth $30K or $130K or whatever.

The ACTUAL picture was of a rusted out wreck of a junker, but the car enthusiast could “see” what it was originally designed to be, and through all of the mess the car was still in, and knowing full well that it was going to take a stupendous amount of work to restore it, they still were stirred emotionally because of their clear grasp of how wonderful the original was.

Clearly God has been sending me the same message again and again.  He remembers my design and still thinks He did a pretty good job.  The things I have messed up in my life are not bigger than His ability to restore, nor are they big enough to block His view of who I was, and who I can become, in His hand.

And the fact that I genuinely WAS deceived about my magnificent perspective on life, didn’t change the fact that I WAS walking in design.  I am a lover.  I love deeply, passionately and express my love in sundry ways.  That has been crunched and punched, folded and stapled, mutilated and macerated over the years, but back then, the young love was beautiful and God enjoyed watching me enjoy my joy, being myself, the way He designed me to be.

And I AM an incorrigible visionary and dreamer.  Even though my dreams were built on some flimsy foundations, and eventually crashed and burned, I was being myself, and He was enjoying my joy as Ann and I built our sand castles and changed the world repeatedly over dinner.

He invited me to enjoy the fact that I was being me in those areas, and it was good, and the fact that the package was woefully incongruent, did not in any way mean that those areas were not me, were not my design and were not beautiful to Him.

That was something I could do.  Took some chewing!  And a couple of hard swallows.  I could eventually wrap my arms around the incongruity and be OK with the beauty.

Then He dropped the bombshell.

He pointed out that my perspective is just as deficient now as it was then, relatively speaking.

Back then, I had the vast wisdom of a second grader, looking down at the abysmal ignorance of a preschooler.  I explained with vast confidence that the epistles were the wives of the apostles, and other such things that second graders understand to perfection.

And now I am the tenth grader, confidently factoring polynomial equations, looking down on the second grader who didn’t know a factor from a factory.

I don’t have the perspective of a Nobel Prize winner, but I still have legitimacy in His eyes, (and mine if I want it) because I am still walking in my design.

Admittedly, my ability to love, laugh and dream has never fully recovered from the cruelty of life, (although I do from time to time make some of you laugh) but I am walking in other portions of my design in this season.

I can at times write, diagnose the root of some problem, or move someone to a place of awe.  Good things.  They bring Him pleasure.  Even though my life is still incongruent.

And He invites me to enjoy my legitimacy now, just because He enjoys my design.

This could work.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

 

 

Posted in Good-bye | 22 Comments

Saying Goodbye #2: Early Homes

I had targeted today as a time I could visit some of the homes I have lived in, to say goodbye, before moving from California to South Carolina.  I whipped through the early morning obligations, then hit the road to Lynwood.

In the early 1920s, Arthur Burk bought two plots of land in the barely incorporated wheat fields, named after a local dairyman’s wife.  His body had left the Missouri Ozarks to move to California, looking for a better chance in life.  His heart never made it, and his various clunkers traversed Route 66 many a summer, going back to visit his heart.

He was so po’ he couldn’t afford the last two letters of the word – and that was before the Great Depression hit.  He was a union carpenter and made enough to start building a house on one of the lots.  He could usually afford to buy two more boards every week, after the bills were paid.

He moved his wife and mother in as soon as the house was wrapped with tar paper, and the rough subfloor was laid.  They carefully saved the tops cut out of tin cans to nail over the knot holes in the subfloor, to minimize the number of rodents indoors.

This was the house my dad was brought home to, and where we lived during our occasional furloughs.  Counting my children, five generations of Burks lived there.  I lived there when I was 3, 9, 15, 19 and mid 30s.

Lynwood is a Prophet city and never does anything by halves.  In the 1950s and ’60s, it proudly claimed the title “All American City.”  That was social code for the fact that the Whites were deeply racist, and the realtors were exceptionally committed to keeping the town White.

It was the quintessential “Leave it to Beaver” middle class city, disconnected from many realities, smug in their self-absorption.  Attractive.  Safe.  Bustling.  At risk.  Clueless.

The State of California decided to build the most expensive (and one of the most poorly built) freeways in the world, Interstate 105, which cut through the southern part of the city.

This resulted in the loss of a lot of taxable property, and the creation of low value zones next to the freeway.  The Blacks from Compton began to move into the cheap housing, driving property values down some more.

The Whites divided.  The politically and economically unengaged, fled.  White flight drove property values down fast and hard.  The White government officials doubled down on every form of political shenanigan to remain in power.

Eventually the Black community took over, the tax base crumbled, crime spiked and when my family and I last lived there, after Grandma fell and broke her hip, it was a bloody, broken town.  Drugs and violence, ugliness and hate shouted relentlessly.

Just before we moved out the last time, the Hispanics began to move in and the race wars that were slightly covert between Blacks and Whites became old west shootouts between the Hispanics and the Blacks, typical of any wounded Prophet town.

The drug trade was highly profitable.  Both sides wanted to control it.  Corruption soared.  The seven term mayor went to prison for 188 months convicted of 35 counts of extortion, fraud, money laundering and making false statements to investigators

In time, the Hispanics won.  The Blacks fled en mass.  And the middle class Latinos took over government and drove the Hispanic gangs out.  Lynwood is once again a middle class community.  No graffiti.  Lots of nice cars.  Most houses remodeled and upgraded.  Hundreds of mom and pop businesses striving and thriving as they redefine the community.

Only the proliferation of fences and guard dogs keep us aware of the fact that the cruel days are still well within memory.

Cars were more abundant than curb space.  I parked and walked back to 11259 Pope Ave.  It was nothing like when I lived there.  The current Hispanic owners had changed out all of the old windows, enlarging them, stuccoed over the wood siding, and had planted a small forest of trees on the two lots.

A LOT of money and love went into that house after we left.

The lawn was deep green, manicured and obviously loved.  Grandpa would have smiled.  He despised watering devices and treasured standing in the yard in the evening, watering with a hose.

New Windows in Old House

All New Vegetation

Papaya and Cactus in CA

I pondered my roots there.

It is a city that has produced more than its demographic share of fiercely competitive people.

Venus Williams; Duke Snider; Pete Rozelle; Kevin Costner; sundry less well known athletes and entertainers.

Grandpa was stubborn in his convictions in his own fairly quiet way.  He just didn’t budge.

When he died, Grandma stayed in the ghetto, living alone, without a dog or security system — and tried to learn Spanish in her 80s so she could communicate more lovingly with her neighbors.

And their sons, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren are not exactly blowing in the wind types, either.

It was there, in the worst years of Lynwood’s history, that I spent my three years of the dark night of the soul.  It was there, in a stupendously delegitimized community, that God met me in that historic encounter and established the core message of my own legitimacy – even while I was so broken.

I walked the neighborhood for a while.  Few things survived unchanged.  The Will Rogers Elementary school that my sister attended for Kindergarten.  The Chevron station.  And the Jack in the Box.

I went in and bought a vanilla shake I didn’t really want.  Just to spend a buck there.

But really, nothing had changed.  It is still a Prophet city.  And they have a drive for excellence.  And they have dreams and will bust their knuckles to make them come true.

New faces.  77% identify Spanish as their first language at home.  New look.  Same town.

My town.

My roots.

I had seen enough.  No need to wander through all my old haunts, like I had planned to.  Lynwood is in good hands.

God’s hands.

And I can take with me my heritage.  It was there that heaven visited my hell.

And never left.

I drove from there to La Mirada where Ann and I first lived in a two bedroom apartment.  At the time, it was called San Bruno Terrace.  It was a friendly little community.  Generic.

Pretty.  Cold. And not what I remember.  Ugh.

It was a slap in the face to see the walls, fences, gates, security cameras and nasty signage all over.  La Mirada is still a very low crime neighborhood.  What’s up with all this hostility?

I was surprised that I could not walk to the corner unit we rented.  The memories of the layout of the place are too far to the back.  Or maybe pruned.

I went back to the car and pondered who I was then.

Ann and I were young, full of love and life and we had it all together.

I worked graveyard, got off at 7:00 a.m..  I raced home to give her a kiss and the car keys, then jumped on my bike to make it to my 7:30 journalism class at Biola University, while she took the car to her job.

We had life whipped at 20.  We were devout Commie-hating Americans.  Both our dads had served in the war.  We were Christian members of the best denomination in the world.

We had drunk deeply of the mantra from both our Depression-era families:  go to college, get a job, work hard.

We had the formula.  We were going to arrive.

I remember my shock when my uncle ripped us for the unmitigated gall of having a two bedroom apartment, as newlyweds.  THEY had lived in a studio apartment and paid their dues in life, moving up slowly.  Who did we think we were?

Well, certainly not graced with any humility or poverty spirit, that was for sure.

I pondered the 20 year old I was.

Dumber than a rock.  Building castles in the air with foundations of fantasy.  Naively believing the cultural drivel.  Running headlong toward some pretty rough stuff because of cluelessness.

How repulsive.

But we were happy.  Life was good.  We drew great comfort over our deep investment in the mutually held dream that would never work.  There was an abundance of shallow joy as we crossed paths occasionally on weekends, and celebrated our dreams.

Young love.  So beautiful in its simplicity, in the years before bruises and scar tissue and fear and failure twisted it like a pretzel.

So how do I see the 20 year old me?  What frame do I use?

I don’t know.

I drove away from there deeply conflicted.

I battle sincere stupidity in others, year in and year out.  Sincere stupidity is simply not a currency that spends well with the devil or the bank or your boss.

But the (hopefully) wiser me, scarred in spirit, soul and body, lacks a lot of the ability to enjoy and love life the way Ann and I did in those early years.

How to frame it?

I drove to the neighborhood called “The Rocks” in La Mirada.  It was next to the auto salvage yard and the oil refinery.  When the wind blew from the west, we suffered through the sulfur smell that is the quintessential brand of refineries.

Back in the day, we could “assume” a VA loan without a credit check.  A vet was moving out under duress, so we hocked everything but our shoe laces and moved into our first mortgage – I mean home.

The Starter Home — 13838 Adoree Street

I began my love affair with fixing broken homes there.  “Fixing” is a very loose term.  Still there was a satisfaction over being homeowners.

The American dream was working.  We were on our way up.  Hard work was the secret and we were up for it.

During that time, I was working for a Christian organization and was struggling with the poverty spirit, dishonest handling of money and the blatant, ruthless politics going on.

At the time, I really second guessed my decision to leave there and go work for a secular company.  In retrospect today, there is nothing to second guess.  It was a good move.

Emboldened by my minor successes at patching a wall here and there, we rented that house to a bunch of Biola students and bought a mega-fixer in Buena Park.

The stucco was painted black.  The trim orange.  The yard was a jungle.  And the interior of the house needed sooooo much help.

I was full of myself.  The bank was foolish.  We bought and invested vastly more time and money than the market could bear.

Roland was born there.

And the dream began to die there.

I went through my first church split during that time and still loathe the memories of people using the Bible as a machete to slaughter others in the name of God.

I am a fighter.

But that was beyond repulsive.

Today, the property is significantly upgraded from what we invested there.  I arrived in time to watch the housewife piddling around the yard with the body language of someone who has a home, not just a house.

It was a hug.

10001 Holder Street

In the midst of the pain, there are a lot of great funny/dumb memories of all I learned about remodeling in that place.

Last stop for today was a funny little house we bought after selling the other two.

911 Lemon Street

It was a tiny old house, tucked in between two sets of apartments.  We set to work turning it into a thing of beauty.

And we did.

Such mixed emotions there.

My life was coming undone.  My emotional and physical health were quite ragged.

Through it all, I was playing as hard as I could to make the house better than it could be.

And I succeeded.  It was a lovely little bungalow when we sold it and ‘most everything else, as our family of three fled the area in dismal defeat, seeking to restart in Oxnard.

So much pain during that time, but when I look back, it is one of the most true-to-me seasons of my life.

I played to the very last down in the ball game.  Never took a knee.  I left an offering of my nature, my passion for excellence, for the next person who would never know what it cost me to finish well.

No ambiguity there.

I lost my place in the society.  A rather dramatic failure at 26 years old.

I left true to myself in one area that mattered a lot.

Much to ponder.

The seeds of the 26 year old’s failure were there in that happy, loving, visionary 20 year old.

How do I frame him?

I still don’t know.

Copyright April 2018 by Arthur Burk

Posted in Good-bye | 24 Comments

Time and Space #21: Pushing It

Broadly we have been speaking about the beauty of time and space coming into alignment in the hand of God.

And occasionally we see and feel the consequences of time and space NOT being in alignment.

The third frame is when we try to force time to come into alignment on our terms when God is not in it.

Moses did that and it ended up in murder, exile and 40 years of fairly non-princely activities before it was really God’s time.

Just sayin’

Copyright March 2018 by Arthur Burk 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 3 Comments

3. Innsbruck Strategy – The One and the Many

“The One and the Many” is a philosophical term.  There are several well written books on that theme by Rousas John Rushdoony.

It is essentially about the tension between community and the individual.  Golf is an individual game.  The one.  You win or lose based on your competence.  Football is a team sport.  The many.  You win or lose based on how others on the team perform or underperform.

There is huge frustration when one person plays extremely hard, another coasts and the lazy person costs everyone the game.

When you are a solitary individual, you are, in theory, not held back by anyone else’s inadequacies.  Golf.  You rise to the highest level of your actual ability.

On the other hand, your pool of resources is quite small.  You!

When you are in community, your options are vastly larger and you can consider more significant projects, but you are always at risk of being hampered by someone in community who pulls you down.

Now, let’s take that concept over to the spiritual realm where they play mean and dirty.

There is an institution that we have dealt with in the past.  The leadership is (so far as we can see) rather militantly, intentionally, sold out to darkness.  We went and hacked and whacked at that.

What happened was that they used their minions to take the spiritual heat for them.  The low level members of this community have been savagely spanked in a public, humiliating way.  And, so far as we can see, the leadership who committed the organization to darkness have escaped without judgment.

This is one of the ugliest sides of community – when the peons pay the price for the leadership’s malfeasance.  HAPPENSALLTHETIME.

We are sending our largest team back to that spot –  Target #2 – to hammer on the covenants that protect the guilty from the divine punishment due them and that cause the minions to pay a debt they don’t even know about.

So how do we select a team for that assignment?

Very simply, we need people who have wrestled with the dynamics of The One and the Many.

In other words, if you have been raised in a lovely family and you take for granted all their support, you would be in a privileged position, but would not have authority here.

And if you spurned all community long ago and have been a superbly effective lone ranger, you also don’t have authority here.

The team I have selected has bled deeply on this issue.

Many have been in dysfunctional families.  Some were smothering, controlling families and they had to decide to what degree to submit for the sake of peace, whether to leave completely and when to stand and try to redefine the family culture.

Others have been in a codependent relationship where the other party changed and they had to figure out how to – or whether to – reconnect with a different social contract.

Many have been through tough situations with a community of faith.

Most have had a range of difficult job situations.

There is not a RIGHT answer to the question of community.  Jesus overtly formed community.  On the one hand, community let him down badly at the most critical moment.  Talk about setting the bar low:  “Can’t you just stay awake, guys?”

His community ended up killing him.

But community also took Christianity from a handful of people to a billion.

On the other hand, there were plenty of times when Jesus simply ditched community because they were a liability, and He and Father needed to take care of business in a crisp fashion, without the slow pokes gumming up the works.

There is a time for the solitary walk and a time for community.  And those who have wrestled with the issue are the ones on this team.  Not all have come to a good resolution to the problem.  There are still some wide open discussions going on.

We don’t have the perfect labor pool of spiritual giants who have won all the important battles.  But for this team, we at least have to have people who have bled a little over The One and the Many, and have thought through how to position themselves.

Our objective is to bring justice to bear on the dark community, setting things right so that the covenant of protection over the leadership is stripped away, and they get justice served to them.

But before we can go there, people HAVE to have wrestled with the gnarly issue of The One and the Many.

The amount of anguish the individuals on this team have experienced with this sharp-edged issue will now be translated into spiritual authority against some cruel spiritual bullies.

Copyright March 2018 by Arthur Burk

 

Posted in Spiritual Warfare | 6 Comments

Time and Space #20: The Third Strand

The bird sits on the lawn, waiting for the earthworm to make a wrong move.

The hawk sits on the tree branch, waiting for the mouse in the field to expose itself.

These two time/space alignments are all about physical space and physical force.  If the hunter is skilled and the hunted is careless, violence ensues.

Far more sophisticated is the alignment of emotions.

Consider Moses in the basket on the Nile, when the princess came to bathe.  Clearly timing played a role, as Jochebed knew the princess’ rhythm.  Equally, space played a role since Jochebed knew where to float the boat.

But central to the whole proposition was the princess’ heart.  And synchronizing to someone’s emotions is an extraordinary art form.

From the salesman trying to figure out when to transition from the pitch to the close, all the way to the lover trying to figure out if he has won the lady’s heart, synchronizing to someone else’s emotions is challenging.

But when you take it out of the natural, and put it in the frame of partnership with God, it becomes doable.

Jochebed did her best with time and space.  Miriam was most likely trained rigorously and played her part with precision as well.

But it was God who arranged the alignment of the princess’ heart so that the time and space dynamics rendered the right result.

Most of us can think of situations where we planned with precision, executed with care and failed miserably because the other person’s heart was not responsive.

When all three components are in place, it is a beautiful thing.

Copyright March 2018 by Arthur Burk 

Posted in Sanctifying Time | 6 Comments