Skip to content

It’s About New Wineskins, Not Old Foreskins

Greetings,

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Mark my words!  I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.  You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.  But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  Galatians 5: 1-6

Jesus said:  “Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins.  If they do, the skins will burst, and the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined.  No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”  Matthew 9: 17

It seems that there will always be people living under the law and trying to place others under it too.  To do so denies the message of grace and the entire New Covenant.  In Jesus we are set free from the law of sin and death and reborn into His wonderful Kingdom of love, grace and light.  To choose law instead of grace places one under a yoke of slavery and bondage to the written code that brings death in this life.

Furthermore, if we follow any portion of the law we are obligated to obey the whole law and Christ becomes worthless to us. Those who seek to be justified by observing the law are separated from Christ’s grace.  Jesus still loves them, but the law places a wall between them and Christ that cannot be scaled by mere human endeavor or obedience to the law.  The only way to grace, truth, and life is through a relationship with Jesus, and one cannot serve both Christ and the law simultaneously.  Once again the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

However, a simple turning away from the law and towards Christ again will restore our relationship with Him and place us firmly within His hands of Grace and mercy once more.  It is all about faith and never observance of the law.  Jesus waits patiently for us to turn His way and never gives up on us.  No matter what we do, His face is continually turned towards us and He is quick to forgive.  

In the end the only thing that really matters is faith expressing itself through love.  The Lord has faith in us and He expressed His love by going to the cross.  The big question is….will we deny ourselves, take up our very own cross and follow Him daily?  You say you have faith?  Prove it by extending love and grace to others along the way.  Purposely walk away from the law and the judgment it places on everyone, and instead open your heart to Him and allow His great love and grace to flow forth through you to both the washed and unwashed masses.  Jesus has filled our lives, our new wineskins, with the priceless new wine of His Spirit.  Drink deeply from His fountain of life and allow Him to pour you out for the sake of others each and every day.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

Two Thousand And Seventy

Greetings,

“What then shall we say, brothers?  When you come together, everyone has something to share.”  1 Cor. 14:26 paraphrase

Wow!  This blog is now averaging over 1200 views a day and yesterday it shattered the old record of 1999 with 2070 views.  Thanks everyone for reading and following this blog.  I enjoy blogging, but I long for more dialogue and interaction with those who read my musings.  I have always hoped that my blog posts would provoke and stimulate more conversation and questions than they have so far.  Normally we average eight comments per blog post.  However, I am glad to report that my most recent offering generated 15 comments so far.  If you know me you know that I am all about mutual participation and I crave the give and take of a lively, dynamic, healthy conversation.  I NEVER want this site to become just another monologue online.  There are already plenty of those out there.  Perhaps silence is agreement on most things, but I would much rather have healthy dialogue with some disagreement than blog posts that prompt little or no response from their readers.

I don’t mean to complain, but as a proponent and advocate for totally free and open, Spirit led fellowship; I just expected more dialogue in this particular online environment.  Perhaps I set my hopes too high?  Then again when I factor in facebook messages, facebook chats, comments, calls and private emails concerning my blog …I guess I am getting plenty of participation after all.  I just love it when everybody shares and had hoped that online fellowship would mirror more closely face to face fellowship than what it apparently does.  In our times of simple, home, organic fellowship we expect everyone to share and are blessed when they do.  Of course we never force participation, but we purposely create and nurture an open environment that welcomes everyone’s portion to the table.  We take very seriously the Priesthood of EVERY believer.

In closing I would just like to encourage everyone out there to actively participate in this blog, their fellowship, and life in general.  Sure there are times for silence, but I also believe that we are created to be more proactive than passive in this life.  We have all been given a voice by God and He expects us to use it to encourage, rebuke, and bless others.  God Himself said, “Come let us reason together”.  He wants us to interact with Him and all of His creation.  Without your voice His song and story are incomplete.  I look forward to hearing from you, and so does He.

Love and …….

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serious Prayer Request

Greetings,

“The ransomed of the Lord will return.  They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.  Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”  Isaiah 51: 11

It seems I have a serious problem about being too serious all the time.  Several people close to me have noticed that my post PTSD personality lacks the fun, spontaneity and humor of my former self.  In fact I am now so somber, steady, measured and centered in my actions and speech that it is having a negative impact on my relationships. My online and texting personality is appropriately full and varied, but face to face I am still very guarded and downright stoic and at times cold in demeanor.  I need more Kirk and less Spock in this area.  I want to be totally real and authentic in every area of my life.  

I discussed this problem in depth with my counselor today and also sought counsel and prayer from close friends.  When we looked at what is occurring and why…..  several things came to mind in no particular order.  1.  I am older and more mature now than pre-PTSD.  2.  My medications work to keep me centered emotionally so that I have few highs and lows.  The good news is that I now take literally half the amount of medications than I did one year ago.  3.  Like Paul, I am bold in my letters, but meek in person.  4.  I have just emerged after 15 years in a very dark, deep, cold, hellish and dangerous pit full of brutal, traumatic PTSD flashbacks.  Because of this I am having to learn all over again how to interact and relate to others without being too vigilant and self protective.  My father destroyed my childhood, but I will not allow him to steal my relationships and future from beyond the grave.

It is likely a mixture of those things, but regardless of the cause I know that I need to press through the problem and become fully me again.  I don’t want to be the serious boring guy with extensive baggage.  I want to be joyful, fun and jovial like I used to be.  My mind seems fully intact, but my emotions are something I still fear a bit.  My rapier wit and humor used to be Robin Williamsesque, but today in person they are rarely on display.

I know that the joy of the Lord is my strength and I want to fully live in that joy, moment by moment, each and every day.  I am still not sure how to get there other than to continue pressing forward in my relationships and in Christ.  Everyone I have talked with tells me that in a short time I will recover all that the enemy and illness took from me including aspects of my personality and emotions that are now somewhat blunted due to the trauma I experienced and the medications that I take.  I know beyond all doubt that I can overcome this with the help of The Lord and those who love me.  It will just take a little time to get back up to speed with my feelings.  Thanks for taking time to read this today.  I deeply appreciate everyone that reads this blog.  I thank you for your prayers.  I guess rising from the ashes and being resurrected is rarely an easy path without any complications.

Love and ……

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Children

Greetings,

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said:”I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18: 1-4

While I was away last weekend I thought a lot about my children and children in general.  I am glad to report that all four of my children love Jesus and serve Him.  Many of the questions I am asked about relational churching have to do with what we do FOR the children.  My answer is we do everything WITH the children.  Because in relational HC children are full fledged members and participants from the very beginning.  Relational churchers serve one another and are expected to interact WITH one another.  In relational church we do not wait for Clergy to DO something FOR us.  No, we step right out and do things together in His Name.

Like I said all my children, ages 30, 26, 20 and 14, love and serve Him today.  They were raised in relational fellowship and were never Sunday schooled or youth grouped at all.  They grew up in totally open and free, Spirit led fellowship without a Pastor or any traditional/institutional trappings or programs.  And I sincerely believe that they are better off because of it.  We never segregated our gatherings by age, gender or anything.  When they were very young they played at our feet and as they grew older they participated as they were able in music, singing, praying and sharing.  

I fondly recall when Caleb (Now 20) was like 8 years old and he shared at some length about Cain and Abel, and his sharing inspired the rest of us to reexamine what we viewed as acceptable sacrifice unto God.  Over the years I have witnessed many children share wonderful insights and major prayer requests.  When younger folks are encouraged to share in fellowship it is amazing how much truth and love flows forth from their lips and hearts.

Jesus said that we need to change and become like little children or we would miss the Kingdom.  To me this speaks of our need for childlike innocence and enthusiasm.  We need to encourage everyone to come to Jesus as a child would.  I say honor children and they will grow up to honor you.  If given freedom in The Spirit children can even lead adults with awesome results.

Love and …..

Kirk Out ! 

 

 

The Absolute Need For Unlearning

Greetings,

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principals of this world rather than on Christ.”  Colossians 2: 6-8

The passage above makes all sorts of sense, assuming that you were taught the truth in love to begin with.  But what happens when you are taught wrong  instead of right?  What if from your infancy in Christ you were taught hollow and deceptive philosophy, human tradition, and the basic principals of the world instead of the real truth?  I will tell you what happens….you end up with much of what the modern church is today.  You end up with a church full of ineffectual Christians who tend to do more damage to the image of Christ than they do good in His name.

Harsh and controversial words I know, but I speak them in love and out of a sincere desire to see The Body of Christ flourish instead of flounder.  The simple truth is that the modern traditional church does not act or look much like it should after 2000 years of following Jesus.  Because the church Jesus founded was based on relationships and not human hierarchies, organizational flow charts and programs.

The early church used its resources to reach out to unbelievers and take care of widows, orphans and the poor.  While the modern church spends most of its assets on Clergy salaries, buildings and building funds.  When the church began there was no such things as a separate class of believer called the Clergy.  In fact they practiced and taught that every follower of Jesus was a gifted and talented priest and they did not place Pastors on a platform over and above other saints.  The modern church model of Pastor as CEO and sole Leader comes directly from the basic principals of the world and not Jesus.  The whole concept of leadership being totally male comes from human tradition and not Christ.  Jesus was totally inclusive of all who would believe, yet much of the modern church practices exclusivity where it comes to gender, race, sexual identity, and social class.  Sure on paper many claim to be open and accepting, but in practice there are tons of closed hearts and minds.  We have been taught to be judgmental instead of loving.  In todays church homosexuality is the unforgivable sin, but greed and gluttony are just fine.  In todays church “God hates Fags”, but the accurate truth is that God loves EVERYONE!

Somewhere the church lost her way and she embraced lies and error instead of the truth in love.  Friends examine yourselves and rid yourselves of error.  Many times we were taught and learned falsehoods.  We utterly need to unlearn many things that we have been taught.  I have talked to numerous educators and they all agree that UNLEARNING is tremendously more difficult than learning was in the first place.  We need to shine the Light of Truth into the shadowy corners of our theologies and then get down on our knees to weed out everything that does not measure up to HIS truth in love.   The Spirit of Truth is calling out to the church, but when will we listen and learn as we should?

Love and ……

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

The Warrior Is A Child

Greetings,

“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”  Psalm 40: 1-2

I am happy to report that I have had zero flashbacks since yesterday morning and my sleep has been void of any difficult dreams.  Special thanks to all who provided me with an immense prayer support base.  The messages and calls have been overwhelming in a most excellent manner.  Janet and those I fellowship with stepped up big time.  It sure looks like I have been spared from having a full blown PTSD episode.  Looks like I slipped a bit while emerging out of the pit that held me captive nearly 15 years.  So today I am very grateful that Jesus has placed me back on solid and firm ground.

Today I am reminded of how far I have really come this past year.  However, I also realize how fragile and vulnerable my recovery has been.  I am now keenly aware that I am like a small child learning to walk for the very first time.  I am a new Christopher forged and reshaped by HIS fire and hands.  For 15 years Jesus has been cleansing my heart and mind from the brutal memories of my childhood and repurposing my very being to be well fit in the Body of Christ.  It will take time for me to get emotionally 100% up to speed, but now I am well on my way to be whole, complete and mature again.  

Yesterday a dear friend sent me a link to the song “The Warrior Is A Child” by Twila Paris and many times over the last 30 years I have been told that this song is for me.  I think it fits me well even more so today than in years past.  Sure I may be big, strong, bold and tough, but on the inside I am just my Father’s innocent fragile child.  Today I post these lyrics and following them I will post a link so you can hear the song.

The Warrior Is A Child By Twila Paris:

Lately I’ve been winning battles left and right

But even winners can get wounded in the fight

People say that I’m amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don’t see inside of me
I’m hiding all the tears
And they don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I’m amazing
Never face retreat
But they don’t see the enemies
That lay me at His feet
And they don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
‘Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
And they don’t know that I go running home when I fall down
They don’t know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look up for a smile
‘Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

To hear the song go here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRNFf3ykQvM

If the link did not work you can look it up and play it on youtube.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

p.s.  On Monday we set a new record here with 1986 views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suicidal Follower Of Christ?

Greetings,

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia.  We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life.  Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death.  But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.  He has delivered us from such a deadly peril and He will deliver us.  On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”  2 Corinthians 1: 8-11

Well friends I am sorry to have to report that I had some more PTSD flashbacks this past week.  After nearly a year episode free the hell has returned with a fury.  So far I am coping fairly well. I am hoping that this is just a speed bump in my recovery and not a full blown PTSD event, but only He knows.  The flashbacks coupled with some major depression due to other factors have me feeling quite suicidal. However, I do not have a plan for ending my life so please don’t over worry on my behalf. 

The memories of being brutally repeatedly raped and molested as a young child make me feel far beyond my ability to endure. Sometimes the flashbacks are relentless and flood my mind with awful thoughts to the point I can hardly breathe.  So much so that I despair even of life and have attempted suicide three times since 2001.  I find myself in good company in this despair though, as it seems that even apostles like Paul have felt this way in their lives.  I am now reminded, once again, that I cannot rely on myself in these matters.  No, I must rely solely on Jesus and those He places in my life.  I trust He will deliver me again, as always, but for now I patiently wait on Him.

I cannot say enough how much the prayers and counsel of my friends comfort me in times like these.  I have been in contact with many dear saints this past week.  The calls, chats and texts mean so very, very much to me.  I know that I am not alone in my struggles.  Because Jesus is with me and so is His Body.  The organic, simple, home church folks have really stepped up to the plate to help me in my current state of need.  The positive confession camp will hate this, but I am not ashamed to say that at times I am a suicidal follower of Christ.  When I am absolutely truthful and call it what it really is, then I can accept the needed healing and redemption.  I know I am not the lone follower of Christ who struggles with life and death in this manner. It is my hope, that by talking so freely about my affliction, that others will find the courage to step forward and get the help they so desperately need in their lives.  

It is too late for Robin Williams, but not for me and you.  I sincerely hope that this post will silence some of the ignorant comments that have been made in the wake of William’s death.  He was NOT a coward and neither am I.  Plus I do not believe that suicide is a direct ticket to hell, only God knows what was on Williams heart and mind when he took his own life.  Anyone, including those who follow Christ, can suffer from depression, suicidal ideation and other mental health issues.  In this life we will have many troubles….. Jesus said that.  And the way out of our troubles and afflictions is rarely easy.  Jesus helps as do medication and counseling at times, but there is no easy answer to the problems we face in this life.  All I know is that last week I helped a man find Jesus and that very same day, within hours, I was having flashbacks again.  We can go from the amazing mountaintop to the depths of the valley of the shadow of death in mere moments….Yet Jesus will never leave or forsake us.  Until we have first walked in the shoes of the suicidal we should avoid foolish judgments and uninformed comments. Perhaps you know someone who struggles with mental health issues and could really use an encouraging phone call or visit?  Pray about it and call them today, for tomorrow just might be too late.  God only knows.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers