The Backyard Preacher Podcast # 187 “Interfere With Fear”

The greatest enemy of success is fear.  It is time that you start interfering with your fear.  We get stuck in a trap that can only be evaded, and or broken out of through your decision to live life with courage without fear!  I know it is not easy I struggle with it daily but I am not going to stop and neither should you!

Interfere With Fear
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The Backyard Preacher # 173 (Make it Happen: The Motivational Series)

Making it happen.  You have found out why you were stuck in the place you were.  You have rediscovered who you are.  You created a vision.  Next, it is time to build.  It is time to make it happen.  Everything has built up to this point.  


Making it happen.  You have found out why you were stuck in the place you were.  You have rediscovered who you are.  You created a vision.  Next, it is time to build.  It is time to make it happen.  Everything has built up to this point.  

Finding the Source

Getting ahead in life involves hard work. Nothing is just given to you; although it may seem that way when scanning the spectrum of the haves verses the have nots. The ability to interpret opportunity is essential. Everyone experiences opportunity the difference is those who take advantage of the opportunity or not. I have known many people who are happy in their life situation and do not care about finding greater material success because they already have what they want. Being happy is not about material possessions or someone to share life with; being happy is being at peace with yourself. This could be living in a million-dollar mansion or working for just above minimum wage. This is where the axiom of “money does not buy happiness” comes from.

Who is Happier?

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Who then is happier Is the secret found within? The differences in the definition of what is success, prosperity, and happiness in my opinion does have a singularity of sorts. This is the same for those who we consider wealthy and those who we consider poor. Then there are what others consider of us, and how we consider ourselves. When we have come to a place in our lives in which we understand ourselves we may say like Jesus, “I and the Father are one.” While it is beneficial to look for opportunity its interpretation is subjective. I personally have met people who seem to have the greatest freedoms living in homeless shelters. They have no bills, no job, they are unplugged from the matrix. They are not being held down by the “man” Babylon has no grip and their soul, freedom shines through their exterior.

Rich or poor each has taken or declined opportunity and those decisions have shaped their lives. Through a serious of initiations, each one of us has made choices which will affect our lives. Being honest, fearlessly walking through the rite of passage in order to grow. We must examine ourselves in the mirror, we will see things we do not like. People often stay blinded because they fear to look. If you do not know who you are, then you certainly cannot know what opportunities you should take.

Looking into the mirror. 

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Starring at ourselves in the mirror we see a duality. Separation of self which grinds like tectonics plates during an earthquake. We cannot interpret opportunity when we live a life divided and do not even know it. We must be the hero, we must not be afraid. Those who have everything material along with happiness have became the hero in their lives. Just as those who are living with next to nothing yet have internal peace are brave warriors not afraid to examine themselves and accept who they are.
This does not mean that the person with nothing must remain with nothing. This person has chosen this of their free will. Just as someone who is seeking wealth must accept that there is responsibility in having much. In my opinion it is more difficult to be wealthy and happy.

Whatever your position my hope is that you are always raising the bar, that you are always seeking opportunity. When you find the opportunity make decisions to achieve your goals. Opportunity will be found, it is what you do with it. Believe it, achieve it, and do not forget it!

 

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Jesus Freaks, Control Freaks!

Why are Christians such control freaks? I think that it has been embedded into Christianity itself. Many believe that one must stay away from the “world” whatever that means?  That the Christian must watch every move they make so carefully that they do everything in order to please God or be a good “witness.”  The way I look at it, this causes nothing but, anxiety, depression, panic and fear.  Supposedly we were saved by grace and not of ourselves; but that is not good enough.  We always seem to need to add something to the program.  We just cannot leave well enough alone.  Maybe it seems too easy to really believe we are loved.  That a kind God loves us so much he sent his son to die for us.  While the Bible is filled with what I like to interpret as Christian suggestions; Jesus said to love.  That includes loving ourselves enough to not become anxious over the faith that saved us.

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We poison our youth with teaching of abstinence and staying away from the opposite sex as if they were the evil from man’s rib; and vice versa. Even as adults sexuality is such a huge issue within the church.  Please, maybe if we talked about sex more openly we would not have these scandals.  Yet this is just one way that many in church leadership control the people.   I remember growing up not being able to watch TV on Sunday or doing any extra work.  Yet we went out to eat after church with no one ever complaining about the restaurant workers; looking back it is confusing.  I guess it is just human nature.

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Examining our American society we all have been trained, you just do not get something for nothing. You have to work hard to live; that kind of sucks.  God; I did not ask to be born here, couldn’t you have made me an angel?  We must go to school, just to get a job, go into debt, now I must keep that job or loose the house and car; forced labor at its finest, what a scheme!  Who invented this crap?  What if I want to sit around all day and smoke bong hits, read my Bible and go about getting into adventures, helping people as I wonder the earth?  Would they call me a Christian or a homeless man?

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Time to rid ourselves of the shame! When Jesus was walking the earth he would complain about the heavy moral weight that the Pharisees would place on their converts.  Often we come to Jesus and then decide now it is time to be a moral crusader.  Is that what Jesus taught us to do?  Go around teaching people how they should or should not live?  I do not think so.  He taught us to love one another and even that is an impossible feat.  All we can do is try our best and not worry about it.  Jesus said not to worry, so do not worry.  Simple enough, but our human nature insists that there is more to it.  I Wish I could tell you that there was a way out of this mindset.  I do believe that some people are living lives of more freedom than others.  As the apostle sad we need to crucify this flesh daily.

 

 

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The Backyard Preacher #109 (Part 4 “Control”)

We have seen the church twist scripture to control the population for thousands of years.  Today we have much more information at our fingertips.  Yet control, especially abusive control still remains a problem within the church.  The new Aeon of Christianity follows simple guidelines no rules, no dogma just Spirit led Christianity.

The Backyard Preacher Podcast #108 (The New Aeon of Christianity Part 3)

Today the good Rev.  Talks about sexuality a topic that is left out of most churches but must be approached; especially within this New Aeon.  We must not live in shame of sexuality but instead embrace it.

The Backyard Preacher #98 (Breaking Free from Religious Bondage Part 2)

His yoke is easy and his burden is light.  Do not allow yourself to get caught up and become a greater child of hell than the ones putting you in bondage.  Society and especially the church has a market on programming.  Hell is big money and pleasing God based on what your leader says can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.  Nate takes on this issue in part 2 of the discussion.

The Backyard Preacher #96 (Breaking Free From Religious Programming)

All of us who have been raised in the conservative Christian church then woken up from the heavy burden of theocracy and mandatory all knowing theology; rules which the teachers do not even follow, understand this journey towards freedom.  It is not always an easy way out!  We have been programmed and now it is time to be free.  Jesus said “My yoke is easy and burden is light.”

How we as Christians Should act Under a Trump Administration

My fellow brothers and sisters of the Christian faith, as a minister of the gospel of Christ I feel it is important to examine through scripture how we should look towards the upcoming Trump administration. Why I am I investing so much time in this election you may ask? When I see people being spiritually defeated, families being ripped apart, and hate being spread on both sides of the political spectrum then as Christians we must look at how we should conduct our lives during these times of turmoil.

As usual when it comes to matters of scripture interpretation is everything. We must remember even during the Civil War both North and South believed they were being guided by the hand of God. So is it now amongst Christians, those who support an ultraconservative/theocracy in which Christian values are forced upon the people, and Christians who believe that people should choose to live moral lives without government intervention. While that being said no amount of morality will give any of us favor with God as it is only by faith in Christ we our saved.

Let us look towards Romans chapter 13 as a guide. Paul in his letter to the Romans is giving his Christian brothers and sisters guidelines on how to live under an oppressive government. Let me remind you that Paul is primarily speaking to the Jewish population during this time as it was very hard for them to find a way to live under the leadership of Rome. Just as the Jews under Rome, today we face the leadership of a Trump administration. As we look at the text Paul starts out talking about love and ends talking about love as the greatest of laws. This is highly important as the law of love is the greatest in the universe.

Let us look at the end of Romans 12 as Paul leads into talking about believers under secular government.

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;     if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Vs.17-21, NIV)

This incoming administration has shown a great intolerance for diversity. This coming more so from those who voted Trump into office. The country is divided one side who wishes to live in unity and peace, while the other wishes to take away the freedoms of many. We see evil being shown to minorities, refugees, those of other religions, the LGBT community, women, and the list continues. We also see signs of fascism in which the Administration wishes to impose their agenda upon the people limiting the freedoms of speech. We see this with those who are not happy with the American government and display acts in which some interpret as unpatriotic, could we one day be sent to prison for not standing for the National Anthem? As a Christian my Kingdom is God’s not the United States. A large segment of the country are onboard with Trump and take his words many steps forward and radicalize them, they are now emboldened to say things in which they would never say in public before. They believe they have their great leader, and the sad thing is many are my fellow brothers and sisters who think this way. Yet the law of love tells us how we must act.

So what can we do under a government who wishes to take away the will of the people? The Jews under the Romans had to deal with their Roman authority figures as we do today. Paul is very blunt and to the point. Let us look at his words.

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.  For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. (13:1-5, NIV)  

            The scripture is clear, as long as the government is not imposing anything against the law of love then we must act in obedience. Yet in many ways in our country the threat may not come from the government itself but from those in which support the incoming administration, in that case we must defer to the law of love. We must do what we can to spread the message of love, all people not just Americans but refuges in foreign lands, our fellow Americans of different ethnicity and skin color, our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, the continuing support for women’s rights, and those of other faiths. We must do this without breaking the law, unless the law is against the law of love. We may respond with peaceful protest and demonstrations without violence or in any way hurting another human being. We can stand united as a Church against the evils of our fellow man and maybe, just maybe win some. Remember our fight is not against flesh and blood. Even those whom we may look upon as the enemy God loves. If God loves them then so should we. Jesus forgave on the cross, we can turn the other cheek and move forward in love just as our Lord.

So let us not be confused that Romans 13 is stating that Christians must follow any government that happens to come into power. Paul is stating we must respect the powers that be, but let not the powers that be move us from our mission of love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul finishes up by returning to the law of love as the fulfillment of the law.

 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Vs.8-10, NIV)

“Love does no harm to a neighbor” these beautiful words in which we now must live out as so much hate has filled the hearts of man. With so much division we must unite as a church to live in the unity found in love. Let us pray more, fellowship more, and preach the gospel more even as we see the day drawing near.