“Our Father’s House” #4

Do we forget how fragile is this house of clay? As our dead doubled in a single day?

But our soul, our spirit, is not fragile at all when empowered by God. Thus Jesus taught the lesson of a house built upon sand compared to one built upon ROCK.

The prodigal wanted his stuff “NOW”. I am amazed how many people want their stuff “NOW”. They want God to give them a mansion NOW. Gold in the bank NOW. Impervious to sickness NOW. The best parking space NOW. My best life NOW, but we fail to closely examine a person’s definition of “best life”. Rarely does it bare any resemblance to Jesus or the early church fathers. Or the early church for that matter.

But here we are. One virus has invaded the world and we are all suffering together. We truly have become a global community. If you did not feel it before, you should now. And we are all in this together. The whole world has got to face the after affects of this disease, and what will the new poverty rate be?

How long can you go without a paycheck? How long will the government support us? Do you have a house you desperately need to sell, and now it’s like a cement block tied to your feet, pulling you down? Has your vacation or cruise gone up in flames? Did your plans to retire just get postponed? But all those things aside, how many of us will actually slide into the poverty zone? Millions live only a little above that line on a daily basis, and now, when this is over, where will we be? And I’m not just talking Americans, I’m thinking global.

We’ve all been touched by seeing our global neighbors suffer. We see Italy on the news, and France, Spain, and even New York City. Yes, NYC is almost a foreign country to me. I’ve visited it three times. I saw the twin towers the first visit. I smelled the burning stench that burnt my nostrils 10 days after, on the second visit. And I went up the One World Trade Center and enjoyed the amazing view the third visit. The elevator is like a trip through time. Very cool.

But will we be able to disconnect from this global feeling of neighborhood after this pandemic is over? We’ve truly entered a Mr. Roger’s Global Neighborhood, and it’s not a beautiful day in the neighborhood today. But you can bet man is already planning a scheme for it, whether it be godly or not.

Will it be something like this someday that causes the world to become a one world government? We’re not there yet, I don’t think, but look how easily it could happen.

However, my Father’s House is not of this world and will never be a part of this government. The House Rules of my Father says to wait on your stuff, build up treasures in heaven, but the prodigals want their stuff NOW. And I see a prodigal time coming. Somehow, in spite of all this set-back, a time of prosperity cometh. Prodigals will love it! It will be hard to resist! And they will enjoy their years of loving the money and loving the stuff, until the pig pen cometh. And it comes quickly, not so much in material terms, but a pig pen of the soul!

How shall we rise up out of this growing global mess like a Phoenix? That is the question. Trump wants to be a leader of it. He wants his country to be the one who leads the way, and he just might find a way to do it. He does have his moments. And perhaps many will say this is GOOD! But will it be godly? And how many even have the wisdom to know the difference anymore?

It says the prodigal wasted his money in wild living. In the Avengers movie: “End Game”, I believe Tony Stark gives a quote: “Money never bought a second of time.” A lot of people die from COVID-19 alone, separated from loved ones, because of the contagious nature of this thing. Very sad. Very sad indeed. But I wonder how many of them lay there, making the journey back to the Father’s House before it is too late. Such a sad way to come home, but perhaps the wisest act of their whole life coming right at the end.

Yes, today’s Willow Tree is indeed a weeping willow. I’m already hearing people say they don’t want to hear anymore about this corona virus. Perhaps you’ve already had it, it wasn’t that bad and you’re ready to move on. But for many, ignoring the doubling of our total dead in one day, is not something they can ignore, nor should they. Especially when they say this has not even peaked yet.

This is not a message of doom and gloom. This is a message of caring about others, even globally, and a message to be wise, use wisdom, and realize that not all that glitters is gold. This world needs more than ever for the church to be that city that sits upon a hill shining the eternal light of our Father’s House. What is my assignment from God in that? And what is yours? If you’re in the Father’s House, you will know. Go, and do.

“Our Father’s House” #3

In times like these, we need more than a fake Jesus.

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge…” (Psalms 91:2a)

Jesus IS our Father’s House. Jesus IS the secret place. Jesus IS the Word made flesh and the promises we dwell in. “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy (habit) habitation.” (VRS 9)

Psalms 91 is a powerful teaching about not dwelling in a man-made house, but God’s House. There is great power in the House. And just like the Children of Israel in the wilderness, it is a House that moves, like a shepherd leading his flock to safe places. If you have a mansion mentality rather than a tent mentality, you have put yourself at great disadvantage. I’m not saying you can’t do it, but you got to live with the consequences of that habit, habitation. The true spiritual warrior knows the foolishness of such a choice.

In times like these a fake Jesus simply will not do. We need the real thing! I am reminded of a story I heard once, that says it so well. The story goes like this… a dad had to baby sit his young son while his wife ran errands. The only problem was that poor dad had a speech he had to give that evening. A very important speech to his company, and it was not finished. He was still working on it. But his son kept interrupting him because he was bored. The constant interruptions were beginning to threaten the completion of the speech!

So dad, who loved his son, came up with an idea he was sure would occupy him for a while. He saw a picture in a magazine of a map of the USA. He tore the page out and into several pieces creating a jigsaw puzzle of America! He knew his son did not know what a map of America should look like, so he challenged him to put the puzzle together, and when he got it right he would earn twenty dollars! The boy was elated with the opportunity to make twenty dollars and the dad would get some time to work on his speech.

However, the dad was amazed and bewildered when his son showed up back at his door only ten or fifteen minutes later, with the map completed! Totally astonished, he asked his son how in the world did you figure that out so quickly? The boy proudly explained, that even though he did not know what the map should look like, he noticed there was the picture of a man’s face on the backside, and since he knew what a man should look like, he assembled the man, and when the man was right, he turned the puzzle over, and so was the world!

The dad gladly paid his son the money and told him, “Son, I think you’ve just given me my speech for tonight.” What a wonderful story, and how true, how true. But in our world today, the man we desperately need to get right is the God/man, Jesus! And when we get a true picture of Him, then we can begin to be right, and the world can begin to be right; but a fake Jesus simply will not have power to accomplish such an effect!

Who is this Jesus we teach today? Does he look like his most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount? Did he like expensive buildings with large overheads? Or did he live more like a tent? Did he live in a mansion? Did he eat a lot of fancy meals? Did he wear name-brand clothing? Did he stock pile money? Did he preach to live your best life now, or lay down your life for others? Did he tell us to buy a Lexus or take up our cross? Did he offer comfort zones to his people, or drink my blood and eat my flesh? Who is this watered down version of Jesus? Just about anyone can claim to be a Christian today. Even Donald Trump! (I’m just say’n.)

We are serving God in a time of great seduction. And it should not be so! Because this fake Jesus is as easy to see as a king wearing no clothes! They cannot defend their position because Jesus preached it so straight and lived it so true that even an idiot can read the Gospels and see there is something not right about our modern Jesus! So how has this happened? It is very hard for a naked man to defend his position, even if he is a king! And yet, we have done so. It makes no sense. Unless…

You know, in that old story of the naked king, again it was a “child” who blurted out the obvious truth and asked the honest question. The adults were all too afraid, or simply seeking favor and position. The adults were willing to live in a lie, maintain their comfort zone, don’t rock the boat, it’s not a serious thing, is it? The adults remained silent except to applaud the king in his obvious error, and I’m not referring to our President here, (like you may think), I’m talking about our modern church! This fake Jesus is failing America. Statistics show it’s failing more and more every day.

Well, the real Jesus had some very strong words to say to the Church of Laodicea and their nakedness. If you don’t believe me, you can read it yourself in Revelation chapter 3. And the description of the real Jesus in Revelation is anything but a limp wristed and weak God. The real Jesus should also strike fear into the hearts of unbelievers and prodigals.

So… is your House right? A true House of God is more interested in creating a godly person than a good person. Ponder that for a bit. Is there a difference? Yes there is. And I don’t mean the godly person is some holier than thou. A godly person, a person after God’s own heart, truly loves, and truly serves. They are faithful to God’s House, like a tent that moves, a shepherd and his sheep. And they love the House Rules of the House of God, for they know them to be WISDOM. And WISE people still seek HIM> the REAL Jesus.

Thank you for visiting the Willow Tree. Let’s pray for you. I pray the Spirit of God fill you from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head, driving out any virus that may attack you. I pray you find the rest and peace of your Father’s House. I pray God’s special blessings be upon you, not to be rich in this world’s stuff, but rich in God’s power, a mighty spiritual warrior for truth upon the battlefield, and a city of light sitting upon a hill. I pray this for you and your loved ones. I pray for more power of the Holy Spirit filling us every day, as we live in our Father’s House. In JESUS mighty name I ask our Father for these things. Amen.

“Our Father’s House” #2

“What is the “Fight of No Fight?”

Again, what is a paradox? A seemingly absurd statement that may actually be true. You don’t really expect God to operate within natural law do you? Wouldn’t that be kind of disappointing? I mean, God should be the only one who is able to supersede natural law and exercise supernatural as natural. The problem for us is that our brains have a hard time comprehending it, and as much as we may want it, our minds still boggle! Therefore, we actually fail to “believe” like a little child.

Childlike faith is powerful in the Kingdom of God. The “Fight of No Fight” is a state of peace and rest that still has forward motion, i.e. progress and action, through supernatural means, i.e. GOD! Consider these scriptures from Hebrews 3 >

“Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, (God speaking), and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So, I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed, brethern, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

This promise of a rest is not just future, as in heaven, but it is also NOW! So how can we begin to explain this in a way more simple to understand. First of all realize that fear, anxiety, unforgiveness, anger, hate, all of these are not of faith and not of the REST God offers us. They are counterproductive to the “Fight of No Fight”. The “No Fight” style has complete trust in their heavenly Father, and also complete surrender. We must fight such thoughts, actions, and habits.

Remember the old song, “I surrender all?” Well did you? If so, then how are you still fighting? I thought we surrendered? A surrender means the fighting stops! But this is the paradox! Our surrender to God actually puts into effect an even more powerful force that works to our good! Only God can do this. It makes absolutely no sense in any other venue other than the ways of God.

We call this the “good fight” of FAITH. It is a real fighting method, supernatural in its way, but it works through surrender, because the upside down Kingdom of God, (which is only upside down to our mortal ways of thinking), but the upside down Kingdom of God works in this way! God said: “they have not known my ways.”

He also said, “they do always err in their heart.”

But how do you explain this to people? How do you teach a way so alien to our mortal abilities and ways of thinking? My way is…My Father’s House. We can all picture the safety, power, and peace of a great house. It’s a starting place for training our brain to understand the power of Habitation. God says our habits create our habitation. God’s House will teach us the powerful “House Rules” of a great life if we live in and love our Father’s House.

Begin to practice seeing it in your mind’s eye. It is a place of REST, because of FAITH in the power and love of the one who maintains the House. You must always see yourself there no matter what. But remember, if you’re not true in this, if you do not really want to know the power of the House Rules and live in them, then you become the prodigal.

Telling yourself you live in the Father’s House will do you no good if it’s not actually true. Faith is a fight. The paradox continues and it will strain your brain if you’re not willing to become God’s child. It’s really so simple, and yet God has chosen it to be the most powerful! It becomes the most powerful because God chose it so, not because any natural law says yea or nay!

As we live in our Father’s House as His children, we become more and more like Him. We are His offspring. We grow in His likeness, even in our actions. A quality sword cuts through the cares of this life in a totally different way than a cheap sword from China. Are we real or fake? The world will quickly reveal if we’re paying attention, and if we’re honest with ourself.

So we begin to renew our mind. We begin to be transformed by the forming of new habits after God’s powerful House Rules, such as prayer, faith, His Word, overcoming evil with good. Our Father’s ways are not of the ways of this world. We become this warrior of faith, peace, grace, love, light, healing, and the list goes on. No weapon formed against us will prosper when we live in God’s House.

So…examine the walls of the place that is your spiritual house, and this includes what you call church, because the Father’s House includes the full body of Christ, the church, but does your church really look like what Jesus did? This may be the first step of you opening your eyes to what it really means to be like Jesus. We got to get back to a true picture of Jesus, and thereby also our Father’s House.

Once again I must emphasis we have barely scratched the surface of this powerful vision every child of God should have. Yes we are warriors, but we have our own fighting style after Christ, and it works in ways to boggle the minds of the world, it even lives in the paradox, where children imagine great things and shine that magic light only they have. More coming soon, here under the Willow Tree.

"Our Father's House" #1

“Calling all prodigals back to our Father’s House.”

There is power in the House. How exactly does this “Spirit thing”, “faith thing”, “Jesus thing” work? It works as a paradox. It defies logic and natural law. It is based in supernatural laws connected to the House of God. If you cannot suspend your human logic to live in a paradox like a child, you will struggle. You might even fall away.

For example, it is not logical that giving your money away actually increases your true value, but that value is measured by God’s standard, not ours. It comes in many forms. It might not be earthly money and material goods, but eternal worth. Can you live with that? If not, you may be a prodigal.

This is the upside down Kingdom of God. This is the House we are adopted into. There is great power in the House, but it is a House of paradox. The child rejoices in paradox, but the adult mind struggles, rebels, and rejects.

We continue our child warrior teaching but it’s time for a new title and a new series, even though it is a continuation of the old. I like teaching this warrior child from the perspective of our Father’s House. Every true warrior understands the value of strategic positioning. There is power in the Father’s House.

Obviously this puts the prodigal child in a very vulnerable position. When the Bible speaks of a prodigal, it refers to a person who left home, and usually under bad terms. In other words, he has left the House, our Father’s House, and he is out there where Satan roams seeking whom he may devour. How do you know if you’ve left home? The prodigal ignores House Rules. He wants his freedom.

The prodigal has cast off his childlike ways and left the House to live life as he sees fit. He’s no longer the child. He’s no longer hindered by House Rules. He’s building his own house. Out of the habits he chooses, his habitat, habitation will grow.

He will waken one day to find himself living in the house he built, and the storm comes with no way to avoid. His rafters begin rattling and fear builds. Soon he realizes there is power in his Father’s House, but there is none in his! Is it too late? Sometimes it is, and sometimes not, but if we are to be strong in the Lord and the power of his might, we must live in our Father’s House.

“Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” (Psalms 91: 9-10) Jesus becomes our habitation.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalms 91: 1)

As I write this first article on spiritual warfare, the state of Indiana is going into lock down against the threat of COVID 19. We are being told to stay in our homes! If at all possible do not go out! For your own safety and well-being, stay in your homes! You have power in your house, but so much more in the House of God!

We must realize in spiritual warfare strategic position is of utmost importance! If you have no fortress, you seek the high ground over your enemy, but in our case we have a mighty fortress, our Father’s House! God welcomes all his children into his House, but are you too proud? Jesus said unless we humble ourself as a child, we will in no way enter the Kingdom of God. Many will see my teaching as too simplistic. They do not believe the power in it, nor do they embrace the humility of a child.

I’m 64 and recently went in for a Heart Scan because I have such a history of heart disease in my family. My dad at 67. (Double by-pass.) My sister at 62.(Double by-pass.) Both granddads around age 67. (Both died.) Yikes! But I went to that test in the peace of my Father’s House. You got to understand the value of this faith perspective. I told my wife, no matter what the test shows, we still REST in the confidence of our Father’s House. Amazingly enough, it was God’s will that my wife and I have no indication of heart disease, but even if I had, my Father’s House would not have been shaken! And I would mount my “Fight of No Fight”, (a surrender), from inside the strong walls of my Father’s House! I only begin to teach this powerful perspective.

We are in a teachable season. Once again man is being reminded just how fragile he is in the grand scheme of things. Some will take note. Most probably will not. But God calls to his children, even to the prodigals, to get back to the eternal safety of His great House! Learn to love His ways, and be your Father’s child.

Here is a word I believe I have seen. This corona virus is merely setting the stage for what comes next. Doors are about to be flung open. A flood is about to issue forth. Even a flood of prosperity, but who will raise a righteous standard against this flood? The love of money is evil, and many will not resist, nor admit to this love. A time of great seduction comes. The prodigals will ask for their money, their wealth, their material goods and earthly pleasures, and leave the Father’s House, rejoicing all the way, not believing the pig pen that is their destiny.

Do not be deceived. Our Father’s House is simple, because it is childlike. Many are running the rat race of big churches and repetitive man-made programs. They are thrilled with the hype of their modern churches, but they have forgotten God’s House Rules. They stray farther and farther away. They are working hard within the great walls of man-made buildings, while they do not realize this is not the Father’s House. What did Jesus do? What did he really do? Was he impressed with large buildings, earthly goods, and man-made programs? Or was he in love with the simple ways of a little child.

I have found, that in my simplicity, even when facing what was likely to be a very bad report, the love of my Father’s House brought me not only great peace, but also great power against the enemy, and all from a position of simple childlike trust and contentment. I teach spiritual warfare by teaching about our Father’s House, and we have only begun to scratch the surface of this great spiritual paradox known as our Father which art in heaven!

“A Warrior sat under the Willow Tree” #24

“Doing the next right thing.”

Sometimes you pay a price for doing the next right thing. Have we been attacked? Maybe. Have we been hurt? Yes. But the fight is not over and we’re still on our feet. And what shall be our fighting style? What are you personally trained in? Each of us are in for some kind of a fight to survive and thrive over this attack, and the path back may be a long one. For those lacking spiritual stamina, this will be unbearable. The spirits of some will break and never be the same. But which are we? What are we made of? Who’s your daddy?

Have we been attacked? Why? If there is a bully on the playground, and nobody stands up to them, we all know where that story goes. Certain countries believe they don’t have to play by the rules. Maybe we put up with it way too long. Maybe we finally stood up to them. Maybe we made them mad. Maybe they only know how to react to things by being a bully. And yes, you stand up to the bully and you might get attacked, but someone has to do it. Even if a price is paid.

So now we’re in a fight, and if you don’t know how to fight, this is a good time to learn. You can choose to live as the victim in this life, or decide to have a fighting spirit, otherwise known as the Warrior. But what type of Warrior? There are many ways to fight, and some so much better than others. Some ways will make your heart feel so good, while other ways can leave you simply hollow and dead inside.

Who will be your father in the fighting style you choose? Lesson #22 is critical to understanding what I’m speaking of here. So if you have not read it, please do. But as far as this site is concerned, our fight is spirit first, and flesh last. I would even go as far as to list it this way: Spirit, mental. emotional, flesh. Your list might be different, depending on who your daddy is.

So having read and applied lesson #22, we continue. I teach what I have chosen, or otherwise, why would I choose it? Did you know it is possible to get a very powerful punch by relaxing your strike to the very end? This punch actually works on the same principal of a whip! And why would I start with such a point as this in teaching a spiritual fighting style? Understanding that, my friend, brings great wisdom.

First of all, the greatest warriors remain calm under pressure. We do not panic. We do not react without thought and purpose. We stay in something the Bible calls faith. Faith is a state of peace and rest that also has action. Powerful action. Even supernatural action, because of our Father’s House!

The spiritual warrior is always asking, “What is the next right thing?” What we consider to be the next right thing and how we go about seeking it, has a lot to do with who our daddy is, and what fighting style our daddy has taught us. My daddy has taught me overcoming evil with good is VERY powerful!

We’re still early in this Corona virus and financial fight. It’s a one/two punch and we definitely have not seen the worse of this yet. Our leaders are doing the best they can to lesson the blows currently raining down upon us, so that once this attacker begins fading, we come back stronger than ever. But we’re not there yet. The blows are still building. The attacker still strong. The Corona wave still rolling our way, and the financial black hole still growing bigger. Will you panic? Get depressed? Become part of the problem, rather than the solution? Or rise up as a hero of faith? Everything is a test, you know.

So…this site has already been a place we talk about fighting spirit and what it means to be a spiritual warrior. We we’re ahead of the curve on this one, and we shall continue to be so. This subject will be our topic for as long as it takes. When you come here we will speak of being the hunter, and not the prey, because our disciples know how to truly pray, and wage what I call the “Fight of No Fight”. In other words, how can you unleash real power and force, and yet at the same time be in a state of REST, which flows in FAITH.

FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD! This REST is not inaction. It’s a peace of mind and soul that brings a flow in all you do. No panic. No fear. No anger. But we set our face like a flint to do the next right thing. And as we do that, in a God-fearing and God-loving way, this attack will come full circle, even to work to our good and the remorse of our attacker. How long will that take? The person of faith does not worry about that for they know they have all eternity, if need be.

Thanks for visiting my Willow Tree and we are determined to be a place people can come and get what they need spiritually in the midst of this very difficult time. We will speak more of the “Fight of No Fight”. We have only begun to fight, and we want to fight in the right way. The next right thing. Amen. (More coming soon.)

Faith or Feelings?

Faith or feelings, which is true? The answer is both!

This is a sad time in our nation and all over our precious planet Earth. Human suffering has invaded the homes of everyone, whether rich or poor, like a knife we cannot block. If it’s not the Covid 19 itself, then it is the financial hardship many have been suddenly plummeted into. The pain and suffering takes many forms. Isolation, loss of income, sickness, medical expenses, death, fear, explaining to and taking care of our children, and the list goes on.

But the sadness of this disease goes even deeper. Imagine a couple who’s been married 40, 50, 60 years, and now their loved one lies dying in a room. Is the spouse allowed in the room? And if so, do they risk dying also, in order to be with their significant other? And if that happens, do sons and daughters end up losing both parents before it is over? Should the one be left to die alone? Or does love cause the other to risk it all for the sake of love?

I cannot stand the thought of my wife dying in a room all alone, and yet at the same time, I hate the thought of her risking her life to be with me if I were the one. And also the pain inflicted upon the whole family if they lost both parents, and the one died needlessly? But would it be needlessly? Personally, I see it as another testimony of the power of love. Either choice might be right. Each individual would need to make their own decision.

I’ve spent my whole life in church and helping people understand faith. I have often heard it said that faith is not a feeling. That you cannot go by your feelings when it comes to faith, but I’m not so sure about that. Maybe someone has done terrible things and they have prayed to be saved and forgiven, but they say they just don’t “feel” like God is hearing them. Many times we advise, but faith is not a feeling, simply “believe” God’s word. Of course there is truth in believing God’s word, but maybe we should press through until we get the “feeling” too.

God created us in his image, and he is a God of feelings, therefore, so are we! If we think God does not feel, then how did he know how to make us this way? Our pain is very real! And he made us this way for a purpose, not for feelings to be ignored, but brought into alignment with Him, so our feelings may be true! That our feelings make us even stronger! There is no greater strength than God’s love!

John 3:16 tells us: “For God so loved…” . And Jesus certainly showed us a man having great compassion and feelings for all. Is not being led of the Spirit also a “feeling” we get, when our spiritual senses have been trained to hear God? Of course we check our feelings to be sure they do not contradict the written word of God, and if they do not, then how do we spiritually discern? We pray, we seek, we search our hearts, and we make a decision, but has not what we believe we are feeling from God been involved in that leading?

Is someone praying at an altar and they say they don’t feel anything? Should we tell them to simply believe, or press through till you do? Might there be something still lacking in their soul, and the feelings is telling them so? Surely, if God’s word be true, and we seek relationship restored, that should be accompanied with great feelings. Feelings of peace! Joy. Satisfaction. Forgiveness. Adoption. Great love. Our Father’s love. Perhaps even celebration!

God’s word says the greatest of all things is a feeling called love. It’s even greater than faith and hope. Is it possible to know love without feelings? I don’t think so. And God so loved humanity that He entered into all of our pain, fears, mortality, sufferings, and was touched by all of it in order to save us. So he knows our suffering and yet will not end it until the appointed time. He did not end it even for himself! But endured to the complete end! Mission accomplished!

This next statement may not sound accurate at first hearing, but I think if you take time to ponder it, you may see it is. We blame God, but God blames us. (And who’s right?) God, of course. Stop blaming God and begin being grateful for his great love!

So…with that in mind…consider this: Human suffering is a result of our “separation” from God. And the answer to human suffering would not be more separation, but less! Us moving towards God in every way! And the only way that is possible is because God stands at the door of our heart knocking, in the form of Jesus Christ. God came to us because there was no other path to him. We blew all possible paths into oblivion! If God had not come to us in the form of Jesus, who has become “The Way”, then separation and suffering would be eternal, not temporary. But God is love. And His feelings, as well as his righteousness moved him to make a way of salvation, even at such great personal cost. He entered our room to die with us, and for us! In our place!

There was only one way into darkness in that garden. One tree. Out of that whole garden, one tree. So many other trees to choose from, but don’t eat of that one tree. And now, there is only one tree back into God’s garden. One tree we are told to eat of if we want relationship restored, and that being the tree of Jesus Christ. It’s an ugly tree indeed, that he hung on, full of suffering, pain, and the greatest of love.

I’ve seen a lot of people doing good things in this time of suffering and danger. These people have feelings, they care. So they rise up to be heroes and helpers of every kind. And there is such an opportunity for Christians to not only give people temporary help and hope, but also eternal help and hope through Jesus Christ. Remember, it’s not about your denomination or a church building. It’s about a Father seeking his lost children. It’s about God’s family. It’s about “feelings” and a “relationship” restored. It’s about having church everywhere we go and all the time. If we see a move like that, then surely we are moving closer to God.

Our answer is not greater separation from God. It is less separation and more restoration. Those who want a society of less God and more separation, you’re part of the problem, not the solution. When God speaks to you, you deny him every time. But the day will come when He will not be denied. God’s love is giving you time.

May God grant us all the peace of sitting under the Willow Tree, hearing His voice, and knowing “all is well with my soul”. That’s a very good feeling.

“A Warrior sat under the Willow Tree” #23

Lies always have an expiration date.

As I watched the Emergency Presidential speech today, I thought wouldn’t it be nice if I could know the truth here. There is a reason for the old saying: hindsight is 20/20. The reason is, eventually the truth is known. When we can look back and see what really happened, then we can usually tell who was telling the truth, and who was pushing their personal agenda because they saw an opportunity, an opportunity for their gain at the expense of others. But how many get hurt by these lies? Maybe you. Maybe me. Maybe someone we love. Maybe all of us.

It seems one side is telling us COVID-19 is no worse than the flu unless you’re very old. The other side is screaming we’re all about to die, stock pile food and toilet paper, and our government is failing us! (Or more precisely, the “Republicans” are failing us, we need the Democrats! Really? No agenda here.) Now I know I’m a pretty simple guy, but seems to me these both can’t be true. Somebody is lying. Two or three months from now, as elections are upon us, the truth is likely to be known.

Let’s consider the bad affects on us, by whoever is lying. Let’s say our President is downplaying things, and we didn’t move as fast as we should have, or as intensely as we should have. This lie means more people are going to die than should have. We get caught flat-footed. Someone needs a respirator but there are not enough, and they die. There are not enough because the virus was very serious and affected more than just the old, and we didn’t move intensely enough and therefore people died. Healthcare workers were overwhelmed.

Someone’s mother couldn’t get the meds she needed. Someone’s friend couldn’t get a hospital bed. Someone’s husband, or wife, needed that respirator. People died and hearts broke; lives were cut short and did not get to chase their dreams. Talents died young and did not get to invent that next great thing that would have blessed us all. Yes, it will all be very tragic if that happens, if that proves to be “the TRUTH”.

Now for the other side. Let’s say the virus is no worse than the flu. If we are over reacting to what is actually a very mild threat, then what about the tremendous damage being done financially to our country? The tremendous cost! I mean, it’s not like we’re not already way over our heads in debt. If you have not thought about how seriously this emergency (or is it?) is affecting and hurting our country financially, then you need to pull your head out of the ground. What kind of denial do you live in?

Not only has the stock market suffered, and airlines, and the cruise ships, and gas companies, but this hurts all of us! It’s not the big guys who will suffer the most in such a panic. The big guys have big cushions to absorb such shocks. It’s all us lower on the food chain who get eaten. And if we try to bail out everybody, that may make a few feel better for a time, but all that money has to come from somewhere! There is no free ride in life. This is the truth. This snowball is rolling downhill and getting bigger and bigger as it goes! Guess where it has to eventually stop? You and I.

I work in a very popular nation wide restaurant. I only work part time. I went in to fry my chicken today, and my 4 hours got cut to 2 because we were so dead! I wasn’t the only one sent home early, and the poor waitresses. They make most of their money off tips! They only make like $2.00 to 2.50/hr! And we were dead! We’re trying to save lives, right? That’s what we’ve been told.

This does not even begin to consider parents suddenly having to find care for children, or shortages of food at the stores. I tried to buy a few things today and it was like fighting black Friday! (almost.) And when the better priced foods were already gone, I had to dig deeper and pay more even though I lost pay today! Now I’m dipping into money I saved to put a new roof on my house, because it really needs it. I know God will meet my needs, he always has, but I’m mentioning these things because of the “domino effect” already put in motion by fear that has been created because of a LIE? Or is it truth? Soon we will know, and then comes election day.

Lies always have a domino effect. By the time all the dominoes fall, do we remember the lie that started it all? Lies have an expiration date. Truth is eternal.

You may think you know who is lying and who is not, but the real challenge is to wait and find out for sure, and then not forget, but hold them accountable. As I watched the media attacking the President with agenda loaded questions, I did not forget how many times they have already lied to us in the past, like almost every day?

So…has the leopard changed its spots? Are they sincerely concerned about our best interest? If this proves to be another time of the little boy crying wolf, when will it finally become too many times? When will they have hurt us one to many times to be forgotten or go unpunished? If this all proves to be unnecessary panic, think how much pain and financial loss has been incurred by someone crying wolf when there is none.

It’s against the law to yell fire in a crowded building when there is none. There is good reason for that. Only an idiot would even do it. People get hurt. So either the media and the Democrats are yelling fire in a crowded building, or the Republicans did not warn us about the fire in time for us to leave in an orderly and safe fashion. I wonder who speaks TRUTH here? Who are the champions of TRUTH? Maybe it is time we the people become the champions of TRUTH again. But for that to happen we would need to stop lying too.

I haven’t had the virus, at least not yet, but I did suffer financial loss today in more ways than one. And I saw others suffering the same. “Domino Effect” is a strong and deadly force that should never be ignored when ever we consider an action. When a gambler decides to gamble, many of them fail to consider the domino effect and people suffer, loved ones suffer. When the alcoholic drinks, his mind and judgement become too numb to consider the domino effect. When a liar lies, for whatever reasons, they should be held accountable for shoving that first domino that sent all the others falling. And what did the lie achieve for you? Would those you hurt say it was worth it? The end justified the means? We shall see.

Perhaps God is the only one who can hold such things accountable. Some things are simply beyond our power. But we can learn to love TRUTH again, and become the champions of it, if we will but put away our personal agendas for the sake of TRUTH.

“A Warrior sat under a Willow Tree” #22

“Living in my Father’s House”

“Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation:” (Psalms 91:9)

This is a powerhouse scripture. This is a powerhouse concept. This one verse contains the greatest key to how all of the created universe works. I don’t know what few people, (based on my normal numbers), will allow this teacher to teach this powerhouse, but I pray those who do will not only live in it’s superpower, but also teach it to as many others as you can.

Just a few articles ago we did a three part teaching about God’s warrior child, and the power of the warrior child in the Kingdom of God. As God’s child we live in our Father’s House. From there our teaching flowed into the “Sword of Wisdom”. This warrior child bears a Sword. But this Sword of Wisdom knows we are only as powerful as the picture in our head!

How did our personal mental picture get there? Who or what has been our greatest teachers? Did we choose them, or were they forced on us? And of the ones we actually chose, what did we choose? The teachers we choose become as a father to us, and we live in their house!

Think about it. Who inspires you to be like them? Who have you sat at their feet wanting to learn what they know so you can have what they have, or do what they do? Have you not chosen them to be as a father to you? And has not it been proven if we learn the ways of a thing, the laws of a thing, the skills of a thing, we can begin reaping the same things as others who have gone before us? And if we father a new thing, will there not be those who come to us seeking the way of what you have done, asking you to take them under your wing, into your house, and be their mentor? Become a father to them?

Perhaps we want to become a stock market guru making millions of dollars, or create newer and better video games, or learn to live in the woods completely self-sufficient, or be the mechanic who builds a faster car? All of these things are possible, and more, but you must find the right teacher. Whether you can learn it from books and videos teachers have made, or you seek one-on-one mentoring, they become a type of father to you. You want to be like them, and then even surpass them if you can, but you will never forget the ones who taught you how.

This is step one of understanding this scripture. Consider those who have been a father to you, a teacher, because the picture in your head was painted by them, and maybe we’re happy with the picture we’re working with, but what if we’re not? Or what if we want a bigger picture? How do we go about changing that picture? If you don’t like how your fathers ended up, then how do you get away from their pictures, their house?

The verse we are currently looking at offers a beautiful picture, and God is the Father of it. To put it simple, these fathers who were forced on us, and those we chose, taught us “habits”, and those habits become our “habitat”…habitation. Our habits become the house we live in.

We live in our father’s house whether we love it, or hate it. We are not designed to live homeless, so if we don’t like our house then we need to break away from those fathers, and find new ones, better ones, learn their habits, and create that habitation for ourself. It’s how this universe is designed to work. Our Father which art in heaven designed it this way. Who will be our teacher, or father, to master the design?

The more correct the picture is in our head, the better we will live. If you’re trying to build a super hot rod, and you find a really good teacher, you have a really good chance of being one of the fastest cars on the street. However, if your knowledge of how to make a fast car is inferior, or incorrect, then expect to lose a lot of races to those whose father is a more gifted mechanic. In other words, whatever house you desire to live in, that house will have what’s known as “The House Rules”. And the better those rules (habits), and the better we learn them (habits), then the better we live in our father’s house, whatever the house you’ve chosen is.

Here’s the beauty and superpower of this concept, it’s so simple! 1.) Find the right teacher. 2.) Make him a father to you. 3.) Learn his habits (House Rules), how he does what he does. 4.) Live in those same House Rules (habits). 5.) Your habits will grow into your habitation, i.e. your life, i.e. your house. YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR LIFE BY CHOOSING A DIFFERENT FATHER TEACHING DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE HABITS. HABIT BECOMES HABITATION. WE BECOME LIKE OUR CHOSEN FATHER.

WHO DO YOU CHOOSE?

Look around at all life has to offer, which includes those things Jesus described to us and the Bible declares to be true. But only you can choose the house you enter. There are teachers to open any door you choose. They love to teach. It’s what they do. They will welcome you with open arms, but some also love money. You need money to get certain teachers. Is this what you choose? Maybe it is. But I highly recommend you seek a “calling”, that which calls to your soul, rather than your flesh. This is the Sword of Wisdom, and would be of God’s House Rules.

Your house (life) will look like the teachers you follow. If you had messed up parents who taught you horrible habits, then it is likely your life is messed up too, unless you chose some better teachers to father you. Choose your own parents! Choose better ones! Choose a beautiful house to live in! Turn ashes into beauty! Turn Baca ( a very dry place) into a living stream!

How should we choose the habits we adopt? Examine the house we seek to enter. Is that what you want? Will it satisfy your soul? Does it call to you in a godly way, or the ways of lust, greed, power, and pride? It’s your choice. All the teachers are there, displaying the houses they live in, and what will you choose? Who will be your daddy?

We all adopt fathers. Their perception becomes our perception. Their big picture becomes our big picture. Their habits, their house becomes our house. Choose your father well.

The Bible teaches us the House Rules of our heavenly Father. The prodigal son left his father’s house and squandered his life with pleasure and eventually pigs. He was one of the lucky ones. He eventually found his way back to his true father and entered back in. He finally appreciated the rules that had created such a great house. He wanted to learn those ways, and he did.

How well do our daily “habits” reflect the teachings and disciplines of Christ, the one we follow, the one we have made a Father to us? On a scale of 1-10, and if you’re honest, (one of God’s House Rules), what number would you rate? And if 5 or less, why? Are you living prodigal? Your Sword of Wisdom left at home lying in dust? Do you see the danger of claiming a house, but neglecting the wisdom of its rules? Is this making any sense? May the prodigal learn to love his Father’s House.

This same chapter of Psalms 91 begins with “He who ‘dwells’ in the secret place of the most High shall ‘abide’…” Psalms 91 is all about the power of the warrior child who learns to live in the power of his Father’s House. There is great wisdom in this concept, but it has to become the “big picture” in your head overriding everything else, even fear that may try to attack when bad things happen. You have to literally see yourself constantly in your Father’s House just like a child so perfectly lives in the world he constantly creates.

This is simplicity. Love God with all your heart. Love others as yourself. Live in your Father’s House. He that dwells in the secret place…

This is enough under the Willow Tree today. I hope to write more about the picture in our head soon. If we always see ourself living in God’s House, and our “habits” are in harmony with His House, then we will see “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth (in me), as it is in heaven. Heaven becomes our house, and we bring a taste of heaven to earth for others to see. That great House is the city upon a hill that this lost world always needs to see.

“A Warrior sat under the Willow Tree” #21

Spiritual Coronavirus defense.

So you know what the doctors are saying, and all the medical experts. We’re probably all washing our hands even more now, and thinking twice about how we travel, where we go, and how often we enter large groups of people, whether a mall, church, work, ball game, or whatever.

There are plenty of experts telling us how to physically prepare to war against this virus, but what about spiritual? Here under the Willow Tree our focus is spiritual, and this is a very good teachable moment. What I am about to tell you I began about five years ago. I have told people of this ever since, but as far as I know, I’m still the only one who does it in my little circle of influence.

We speak of the weapons of our warfare, but so few of today’s Christians seem to take this seriously. Those weapons are for us to fight with, not ignore because were too busy with physical things. But what might this fight look like? How do we do this? I’d like to speak of two things. First, how well do you hear His voice?

Jesus said my “sheep” hear my voice. Not the lambs, but the mature sheep. How can we do what God is telling us to do if we don’t even hear him? If a Christian remains immature due to lack of due diligence, then they cannot hear the voice of God on the level they need to to overcome the devil’s devices. Will they survive and thrive? Not usually.

I start with this point because only someone with an appreciation for maturity and due diligence will make good use out of the next point, which is the thing I’ve been doing for at least five years now, maybe longer.

There are seasons of time in which the careless will pay big for their carelessness, and we may be entering one. If a thousand years is as a year with God, then how long is one hour? God challenged me to figure that out back in October of 2018, because I believe he told me we were approaching the last hour of the last days, which began with the birth of the church, the last two thousand years. (Two days with God.)

The Old Testament gives us an account of the first 4000 years aprox. ( 4 days aprox.), the 4 God-days before the birth of the church. So when the Apostles thought they were in the last days, in God-days they were, and we are, but what of the last hour? I calculated an hour would be aprox. 41.6666667 years! (Sounds crazy, I know. And I was definitely out of my expertise as I worked on this. But if I got it right.)

Now there was another key to this I can’t take time for now, but it had to do with our last Orion’s meteor shower, which I mentioned October 2018. Anyway, with that key…in October 2018…I became concerned with June-July of 2020! I felt I heard the voice of God alerting me to June/July of 2020, which was like one year and seven months away, but now here we are, almost. What I believe I saw was a period of intense chaos that would lead into the last hour before the return of Christ. (Realize the last hour is still a 41 year period.) And this is partially why I’m speaking of getting serious about the weapons of our warfare, this thing God showed me back on October 2018.

As we see this coronavirus just beginning to impact our country, none of us really know if this might become more serious, or not. Presently, they say only people already physically weakened in some way are at threat. But this could be just the beginning of what God was alerting me to, and warning me to be physically and spiritually prepared.

I’m going to give you the short version of something I learned. Many years ago God challenged me to memorize the whole chapter of Psalms 91. I tried many times but always fell short. I got distracted, didn’t try hard enough, lost interest, whatever. But about five years ago I tried again and did not stop! I got it! And then came a surprise! I was praying one day and the whole chapter of Psalms 91 started rolling out of me! I mean I was “praying it”! I was praying it in a way I could never pray it if I was dependent upon reading it as I prayed! It was coming up out of some deep place in my spirit man!

I’ve been praying Psalms 91, in this way, ever since. Not every day, but on a very regular basis. Are you familiar with how powerful that chapter is? I have five years of sowing the seeds of that chapter in my garden with God. The garden Him and I walk in together. This is an example of hearing the voice of God and taking up the weapon of our warfare, the Word of God, my Sword, and using it against the enemy.

Do I still wash my hands? Of course! But I also do not neglect to hear my Father’s voice and make use of supernatural benefits in my spiritual storehouse. And obviously, PRAYER has been an essential part of PRAYING Psalms 91.

We will now end this article with a King James version of Psalms 91. (I love the KJV on this particular chapter.)

“1.) He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2.) I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God; in him will I trust. 3.) Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4.) He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5.) Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6.) Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7.) A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8.) Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9.) Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10.) There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11.) For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12.) They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13.) Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14.) Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high because he hath known my name. 15.) He shall call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. 16.) With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”

I make the Psalm personal when I pray it. I change thee to me, thine to my, and etc. I also memorized and pray Psalms 103, the first five verses. You see, true warriors don’t mind training themself to face their enemy on the battlefield. To them it is not asking too much. It is an honor to be called.

I know this has been strong medicine under the Willow Tree today, but this is a teachable moment. Let us not waste it. Amen.

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