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Horrible And Shocking!

Greetings,

“A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way.”  Jeremiah 5: 30-31

Wow!  I find it amazing how this Old Testament passage just pegs most of the modern Traditional/Institutional “church”.  Much of what is being taught and “prophesied” in the “church” at large these days falls way short of being the authentic Truth in Love.  Nowadays we see “The Purpose Driven Life” being lauded as the way to go;  instead of the Spirit led life.  We see the extremes of works righteousness and total, ultimate grace being presented as the truth with very little balance to be found.  As always the three fold mantra of “Go to church, pay your tithe, and read your bible” seems to reign supreme.  Along with “submit” to the Pastor’s authority.  Reading the bible can be an extremely productive thing except when they say it must be read always and solely through the lens of proper “church” leadership and doctrine.  To them the top down hierarchy of leadership must always be preserved and by doing so they cripple the Body of Christ.   They teach primarily the things that lead only to being in bondage to the modern “church” system of doing things.  Sure there may be some exceptions, but on the whole many lies are being shared and propagated in the “church” today.

Priests, Pastor’s and others who rule by their own authority are holding the Body Of Christ back in numerous ways.  Ruling is a major problem in the “church” today.  Because in the New Testament those who God calls to help lead the church are supposed to do so by serving and NOT by ruling.  And they should serve only by HIS authority and NOT their own.  The only chain of command found in the New Testament is that JESUS is the ONLY King, Ruler and Head of His Church and we all follow Him.  True servants serve in the Body of Christ and we should only follow them as they follow Christ.  I will not follow a human Leader, but I will follow the Christ I find in other sisters and brothers in the Lord as they go about following Him.

Does God ever get sad?  I know that Jesus wept and was a man of many sorrows.  I think it is very sad that God’s people love that prophets prophesy lies and that Leaders are doing so by their own authority.  How dysfunctional is that?  A church that fosters co-dependency on it’s human Leaders instead of full and total dependency on Christ and Christ alone; is a very unhealthy church indeed.  I often weep for the Church and pray that it shall one day return to Jesus who is it’s first and only true love.  Don’t settle for any human substitutes!  Claim only Jesus as your King, Shepherd, Lord and follow only Him first and foremost.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

 

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Everyone Has Gifts In The Body Of Christ

Greetings,

“Now you are the Body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Do all work miracles?  Do all have gifts of healing?  Do all speak in tongues?  Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts.  And now I will show you the most excellent way.”  1 Corinthians 12: 27-30

Today I am just full of questions.  Like why can’t the answer to the seven questions listed above be YES? Why does everyone automatically assume that the answer to these questions is no?  Especially when Paul usually asks a question with the answer being no, he normally spells it right out…..like “shall we continue sinning so that grace may abound?”   The answer is, “by no means.”  Paul never comes right out and says that the answer to these seven questions above is no and I find it very interesting that he doesn’t.  Plus, in the original Greek text there is no evidence that the answers must be no to these important questions.

Think about it?  Are all apostles?  Yes, anyone can be sent by God to do a certain task.  Are all prophets?  Yes, anyone can give a prophecy.  Are all teachers?  Yes, I believe that anyone can teach someone else about something they know in Christ. Do all work miracles?  Yes, the Spirit can move in anyone to perform a miracle of sorts.  Do all have gifts of healing?  Yes, any believer can lay hands on someone and they can be healed.  Do all speak in tongues?  Yes, I believe anyone can speak in tongues as the Spirit enables them.  Is this list of gifts totally exclusive or is it possible that it is really totally inclusive?  I have witnessed these gifts being used by a multitude of different people over the years and with excellent results.  The truth is that with God all things are possible and HE can use ANYONE of us at ANY time He desires for ANYTHING He desires.  Now, I agree that some folks tend to walk in these various gifts more often than some others, but that does not mean that the rest of the Body can’t flow that way at times also.  Again the question is are these gifts exclusive, just for a chosen few, or are they totally inclusive and available to the whole Body at any given moment as HE sees fit?  After all WE are the Body of Christ and “EACH ONE OF YOU is a part of it”

Anyway, it is the “greater gifts” that we should be desiring after all. According to the passage that follows this one…. those greater gifts are Faith, Hope and Love, with Love being the greatest.  Remember I am just asking questions here today, but I feel they are questions worth asking and investigating,   Thanks for allowing me to think out loud today, and remember none of what I suggest is set in stone. However, I do speak from over 42 years of experiencing the gifts in a relational, simple, organic, housechurch setting.  I have witnessed all of the gifts in operation at various times without title, special recognition, or pay.  When we gather together relationally in Christ these gifts just flow in simple ways without fanfare for the good of the entire Body.  I do not deny the gifts, but I give them room to operate in all the members of the Body as Christ sees fit.  It is not a big deal, but rather something I see as a normal part of everyday fellowship and life.  I know my thinking is outside of the box, but this is church the way I have lived and experienced it since 1976.

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

Another Trip To Babylon

This blog post is about five years old, but it felt right to post it here again today.  It represents my last visit behind Spiritual bars and walls.

Greetings,

“……to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.”  Isaiah 42:7

Sunday morning I visited Babylon (the traditional/institutional “church” system) again.  The woman I have been seeing for over a month wanted me to meet some of her friends.  She came to home fellowship here last week.  So it was only fair that I went with her this week.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.  It was a non-denominational “Bible” “Church” of about 200 members.  Turns out that one of their associate pastors was a professor at the “Christian” college I graduated from 28 years ago.  We attended the 9 am service and the adult Sunday School class at 10:30 am.  True to their name they handled the bible very well and I could not find any gross errors in the sermon or the class.

The Pastor shared about Jesus walking on the water and calming the storm.  His main point was that we all must face storms in our lives, but the storms serve the purpose of drawing us closer to the Lord if we choose to endure.  The Sunday school teacher shared about different kings in the book of Isaiah.  Sunday school was somewhat interactive, allowing for comments and questions; but still tightly scripted and controlled.  The sermon was a typical monologue, but was casually delivered with a touch of humor.

So overall I had a pleasant time there and the people were extremely friendly and welcoming.  However, it still did not sit right in my Spirit and I left there feeling sorry for all who attend there regularly.  Like I said it was pleasant and nice, but it still was not total freedom in Christ.  It just wasn’t real, it was a stage show.  Even with all the positive attributes it was still a prison and HIS people were being held in captivity.

Sure it was a low security prison with free designer coffee, fresh doughnuts, and comfortable cushioned seats: but it was still a prison none the less.  The people there were not free to use their priesthood and God-given gifts to bless Christ and the other members of the Body.  It was still a one man show, even though the man was gifted, friendly and entertaining.  The Lord showed me that this “church” was like a zoo.  All the animals there were well fed and cared for, but at what cost?  They were still being denied their best natural/supernatural habitat because they were not allowed to be totally free and open.  There were no locks on the doors, but this place was still a cage.

People have told me in the past to be happy for those who are happy in their current “church” situation.  However, I am not happy…in fact I wept greatly and was filled with much sorrow when I got back home.  Even though they had a nice and gifted Clergyman, the Clergy/Laity division was still solidly in place.  There was no true freedom in worship there.  The gifts of the many were held down while the gift of the one was elevated and given total preeminence.  Some will still say to me …look at how happy the animals are?  I say blindman it’s a cage!

Love and…….

Kirk Out !

P.s.  I really don’t believe that I am meant to be single the rest of my life, but it is very difficult to find a Godly woman without Babylonian baggage or ties.  I would deeply appreciate your prayers in this matter?  Better yet, just send me contact info for your single, Spirit led, female friends?  LOL!

P.s.s.   I thank Jesus that HE brought Talena to me last year and that we wed in April.  Talena was raised in a church that was very open and free, it still had its problems, but the benefits outweighed the problems in her case.  Talena left Babylon for good in 1995.

 

 

 

Time To Get Out Of The Box

Greetings,

“After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John the brother of James. and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  There He was transfigured before them.  His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light.  Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.  Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.  If you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.  Listen to Him !”  Matthew 17: 1-5

Poor Peter, he is just so chronically human.  He finds himself in God’s glorious presence and all he wants to do is build tabernacles or monuments to preserve the moment.  I find that so much like the traditional/institutional “church”.  Whenever there is a move of the Spirit they want to capture it so that they will be able to recreate it, and then market it.  Instead all we should do is accept the moment for what it is in Christ and totally take it in and enjoy it.  Just because The Lord moved in a certain way for us in one moment does not mean we should try to make that moment last beyond its given time.

Sadly however, this is the way most “churches” operate these days.  Something Spiritual worked for them at one time so they try to repeat what they did over and over and over again.  They all seem to have their own time tested order of worship or liturgy that they repeat Sunday after Sunday with very little Spiritual progress or reward.  Instead of allowing the Wind of the Spirit to “blow wherever it wants to” on any given day they stay stuck in the same rut never realizing that their current “worship” style has become just another dead tradition.  Their musical styles may vary greatly, but very seldom does their rut ever allow for anything much different than a prayer, three songs, an offering and a sermon.  And normally it is pretty much the same people, week after week, that supply the prayers, songs, offerings and sermons.  Dead rituals such as this produce very little life and being so set in their ways…when the Holy Spirit does want to move in a new and different manner they most always deny Him because His freedom does not fit into their pre-fabricated schedules.

Folks, we should not put God or His children in a box like that.  When the church gathers for fellowship the Spirit should be allowed to flow freely and equip every member with something to share that day.  Everyone should have the opportunity to share a song or a word from the Lord.  Instead of being stuck in structure or a certain order…..  the Holy Spirit and God’s children should be totally free to share exactly when and how the Lord desires them to.  Totally free and open, Spirit led fellowship is what the Body of Christ should be all about.  Being constricted and confined to any certain pattern of “worship” is not what Jesus desires of His Church.

Also, I find it very interesting that when Jesus, Moses and Elijah were all there; God The Father spoke and said very clearly that we should follow and listen to Jesus.  It is no longer all about The Law or The Prophets and they should no longer be our focus.  Sure they have their place, but we should always be listening to Jesus first and foremost.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

 

 

On Struggles And Trials

Greetings,

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”  1 Peter 1: 3-7

Wow, those are very encouraging words.  Just to know we are shielded by God’s power as we walk through this life is amazing.  We need to rejoice in that fact, but even though we are shielded we still will suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  There is no free pass in this life, even if we are serving Jesus we will be tested and tried.

Light afflictions, momentary troubles and worse, sometimes come to everyone in this world. However, these difficulties are used to work within us a great eternal glory.  The key is in how we choose to walk when confronted with adversity.  It is best when we choose to walk THROUGH problems, flood and fire, etc, instead of trying to avoid negative things by going around them.  If God is with us, shielding us, it does not matter what we are up against.  I am certain that the Lord wants us to keep moving forward and to never look back while in the midst of struggles and trials.

The Lord uses these trials to prove our faith and determine whether or not we are genuine and true in all things that we may face.  It is a privilege to be tried in such a manner and it proves once again that we are His sons and daughters.  This builds our faith and trust because we know He will never leave or forsake us.  No trial is too difficult….  No mountain too high….  No river too wide…. No conflict too great….  If we walk in the Spirit He will always be with us, every step of the way, and in Jesus we will always be more than conquerors.  I have learned this lesson well first hand over the last 19 years of struggling with PTSD and related flashbacks of childhood rapes and sexual, emotional, physical and verbal abuse.  I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and with the Lord’s help I have fought my way clear to freedom on the other side of my affliction, problems and difficulties.  Plus, I have been gifted with remarkable friends who I share intimate, relational, totally free & open, Spirit led fellowship with both in person and online.  Their prayers and support have been invaluable to me.

So the next time you find yourself up against a problem…remember it is not about the size of the obstacle… it is about Christ in you being able to overcome any trial or test.  When I am confronted with a problem in my life, I no longer try to avoid it.  Now I just lift up my head and pray “Let’s go for it Jesus!”  Sometimes I have disappointed myself, but I have NEVER been disappointed by the Lord.  When I surrender and allow Him to carry me through amazing things happen, but when I try to go for it on my own nothing good happens.  When I am weak, HE is strong.  Today I choose His strength over and above any of my own personal attributes.  Because of that today is going to be a very good day.

Love and…….

Kirk Out !

 

 

Being One In Spirit And Purpose

Greetings,

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in Spirit and purpose.”  Philippians 2: 1-2

Just how do these verses apply to you?  I, myself, find much encouragement from being united with Jesus, knowing that I am never alone in any situation.  There is also much great comfort to be found in His love.  Here once again we see that fellowship, deep, rich relationship, with the Spirit is extremely important.  Fellowship is much, much, more than just reading about Him in the bible.  It is experiencing Him in a abundance of ways in our everyday lives.  If we are truly in fellowship with the Spirit; He then grants us all the tenderness and compassion that we need to face every situation in our lives.  The Lord grants us all these attributes when we walk in deep, intimate, relationship with Him.  These are all blessings that come directly from His hand as we surrender to His will each moment of our lives.

The next part of this passage is usually more difficult to live up to.  Paul, as inspired by the Spirit, asks all of us to be like minded, have the same love, and to be one in Spirit and purpose.  If being like minded was easy there would not be such a plethora of denominations out there vying for our membership.  Having the same love implies that any favoritism in the Body of Christ is dead wrong.  Finally we need to be one in Spirit and purpose.  To me this says that we should be very careful about who we partner with in even the church.

In true fellowship there is mutual agreement in both Spirit and purpose.  There are some people and groups out there that by conviction of the Holy Spirit we should not partner with under most circumstances.  I cannot agree with any group that supports a Clergy/Laity division and that is most every group out there.  I can only come alongside those who really welcome and practice the priesthood of every believer.  Be careful!  Many groups and denominations give lip service to the Spiritual equality of all who believe, but in practice they fully support hierarchies of position, money, gender and power.  Again, be careful who you choose to partner with in the church.  I also cannot partner with any group that makes tithes and offerings in support of Clergy and buildings a priority.  Lastly and most importantly I find it difficult to partner with any church group or person that values doctrine over and above relationship.  If His love leads you into partnership with someone holding different beliefs than you do; it is always best to follow His love.  Of course always remembering that light has no fellowship with darkness.  If we can agree on who Jesus is, I can walk alongside you for as many seasons as He deems worthy.  There are times we are led to overlook many personal differences for the sake of Jesus and others.  For example, I have many friends that are Clergy.  I overlook their vocation and they overlook my radical insanity.  One on one this works great, but if they required that I attend one of their services I would never last more than a few minutes before I would need to either speak up or leave.  Believe me…I have done both, but that is a story for another day.

This is not my best blog post.  It is all over the place, but then again that is exactly where I am emotionally today.  I am only writing and sending it because HE told me to.  I hope someone gets something out of it.  I am once again reminded that it is NOT about me, but rather always about HIM.

Love and ……

Kirk Out !

 

Autumn Rains 2018 Update

Greetings,

Joel 2:23-26 (New International Version)

23 “Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm[a]—
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.”

On October 24th 2013,  Catherine S. left the following comment on my blog “Fear No More”

“How wonderful to hear of Christ’s miracle in your life! As I read your post, I thought of Joel 2:23-26, and especially where the Lord says His people will be repaid “for the years the locusts have eaten.” I not only believe that God will continue in His faithfulness to heal you, but that the passage in Joel is a word for you.”

As I sit here five years later updating this blog post there are literally tears of gratitude and joy streaming down my cheeks again onto my very damp shirt.  Christ’s presence in my life is utterly undeniable and I am so very, very grateful.  This is my sixth straight October without a single PTSD episode in 19 years.  In fact I have been PTSD episode free for over 61 months now.  This freedom from flashbacks of brutal rapes and childhood sexual abuse is truly a miracle in my life and I praise Jesus for the peace that now floods my soul and mind.  I still have the occasional mild flashback, but they no longer cause me great distress and that is saying a lot; because in the last 19 years I have had nearly 50 psychiatric hospitalizations and several serious suicide attempts.

The Lord sent His autumn rains to cleanse and purify all of my fall memories.  I was four years old the first time I was molested and raped in a pile of autumn leaves and until Fall 2013 the beautiful fall foliage brought to my mind only excessive fear and terror. Today I am not afraid and can actually enjoy all the colors that this season brings.  Historically my November’s have been as challenging and difficult as my Octobers, but with all of this positive Spiritual momentum I feel like, with the help of Jesus and His Body, I can face any obstacles that the next month may bring.

The locusts have indeed eaten a good portion of my last 18 years of life.  Although in the last 7.5 years I have made significant progress in dealing with my childhood issues.  I now feel that every area of my life is in the process of complete restoration.  However, by my ex-wife’s choosing..our marriage is one thing that will not be restored.  I understand her choice and I am glad to report that we are getting along better now and that our relationship as ex’s is about as good as it can be at this point. Every other area of my life is going amazingly well.   Relationships with my children and friends are completely healed for the most part.  I am also very close with my 4 grandchildren.  Kaden just turned 6, the twins Augustus and Annabelle are three and a half now and Owen is now five and a half, and they all are very bright spots in my life.  I am also extremely happy to report that God has placed a wonderful, Godly, beautiful, very supportive wife in my life.  My relationship with Talena is unfolding and progressing nicely and we both acknowledge that Jesus has definitely orchestrated our very, very deep connection.  We both absolutely feel we have a grand future together. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically I have never felt better in all my 56 years.

Jesus has always been with me from my earliest childhood memories, (HE was there holding and comforting me during the times of abuse) but now there is an intimacy and a closeness that has been lacking in recent years due to the flashbacks.  The relationship I now share with Jesus is more than worth having to go through 19 years of hell to obtain.  As I draw closer and closer to Him, He does not retreat, but presses even closer to me than I could ever imagine or explain with mere words. This relationship leads me to connect with others in the Body of Christ even deeper than ever before and also leads me to reach out to those yet to know Him in amazing ways.  Our times of fellowship together encourage us to press more and more into the fullness of His Truth in Love.  His mercy and grace carried me for 19 years and now all I want to do is carry His love, truth, mercy and grace to others who desperately need the touch of Christ in their lives  Thank you for that word Catherine.  It found roots in my heart and encouraged me greatly.  I know that the prayers of many have been sent out for me over the years and I appreciate every single one of them.  With the help of Jesus and His dear saints I can now stand upright and I am ready to be poured out for the sake of others now.  If Jesus could rescue and deliver me I know He can do it for anyone else too.  Don’t give up!  Sometimes it takes awhile (even 19 years), but you just might be His very next miracle deliverance.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

P.s.  Having said all that I need to admit that yesterday was a very difficult day for me.  I was having the worst flashbacks that I have had in several years, but today is much much better; thanks you Jesus!  Talena’s love, support and prayers make a HUGE difference for me.  However, I do need to communicate and share more openly with her.  We have been married 6 months now and I am opening up more to her, but because of the PTSD trusting others, including her, is still a big issue as is intimacy.  We would certainly appreciate your prayers for us.  Also living alone the last 7 years I developed coping mechanisms that need to adapt and change in order to include her in more areas of my life.  I still isolate too much and do so with the computer.  However, with the help of Christ I am slowly changing and adapting.  Thanks for listening today!