Tuesday, September 27, 2011

180 Movie, holocaust and abortion

Wow, I just watched this short (33 minute) movie, "180," which parallels Hitler's holocaust with America's ongoing holocaust... abortion. It's raw, gritty, and really powerful. It exposes the same evil mindset that is happening now as the same one possessed by Hitler. Ray Comfort interviews real people on the street and asks them hard hitting questions. Instead of laughing it off, these people actually give honest answers.

What I also loved about this movie was the way Ray explains the reality of our lives as sinners. He does it in a way that is "real". Instead of passionately throwing out christian dogma at "sinners", he uses clear and sound arguments that no one can argue. Just the truth... we want God's justice, but do we really understand what that means?

I highly recommend this, I found it to be very interesting, and excellently executed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reverse Haunted House

Today my church did something very creative. They called it a series of hidden experiences. The actual title was, "Captivated: A Heart that Burns". A prophetic interactive experience using scripture, art, and decorations. I was intrigued by the concept and so my fiance and I scheduled a time slot to go check it out.

You've all heard of haunted houses. You enter into the dark house and are led around by a ghoulish stranger. Stick your fingers in this and feel the slimy eyeballs and brains... come see the dining table still splattered with blood where the family who once owned this mansion were all slaughtered where they sat... Well, if there is such a thing as a reverse haunted house, "Captivated" was it. There were things to touch, taste, smell, and hear.

We entered the church sanctuary which had been totally emptied of everything except for a giant lampstand in the center of the room, with the cross clothed in scarlet cloth behind it. The aim was to have all of the visitors senses captivated by the Holy Spirit. The sanctuary was my favourite part, although it was more or less a "waiting room" as they wanted to take only two people in at a time. The peace in there was tangible and the environment was ripe for worship.

We were led downstairs of the church, which contained seven tableau-like stations. Not the stations of the cross, but rather separate rooms decorated much like a set. Unlike a haunted house, the goal is not to give you a thrill, but rather the goal is that you would enter into a full-body experience of deeper understanding of scripture, and position yourself to be ministered to by the Holy Spirit.

These were the stations:
The Bride who makes herself ready;
The Waterfall where deep calls unto deep;
The Burning Bush;
The River of the Cross Flowing to the altar of God;
Gold Refined by the fire (Revelations);
The Throne with fiery wheels and the scrolls of the Ancient of Days (from Daniel);
and The 10 Virgins (5 Foolish, 5 Wise).

After the last "station" was the Tent of Meeting, a place for soaking and resting. This was my second favourite place to be. In this tent there was a pillow-y bed, an "ark of the covenant", a small table where my fiance and I took communion and signed a guestbook.

Another interesting station was The shining cross, with a river flowing from it to the stone altar of God, upon which burned a fire. In front of the altar we were shown that there was a heart made from stone. We took the stone into our hands, it was cold and hard. We then downloaded our own hearts into that stone heart, (this was done silently unto ourselves), releasing into it our disappointments, our shames, our hopes, our longings, our thankfulness and our praise. As we clasped the heart it warmed in our hands. When we were done we place it on the altar, offering our hearts to the Lord. Worship music played, heavenly aromas filled the air. This station moved me to tears.

Prophetic words were ministered to us in the Daniel station, which portrayed God's Holy throne atop flaming wheels, with a pillar of fire before it, where thousands of angels minister to Him always. It was surrounded by the ancient scrolls of the Ancient of Days, and the Scroll of the book of Life was also depicted here.

Just like a haunted house (at least the ones I used to go to put on by my elementary school...), we left with goodies: A gold-plated rock from the Revelation station ("Come, buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see." Rev. 318), and an oil lamp with two vials of extra oil from the 10 Virgins station.

I work at a very large supermarket, which currently has several aisles dedicated to Halloween crap. And I mean total garbage. Crappy polyester "costumes in a bag" for $30, dollar-store quality owls and crows whose black feathers barely cover the styrofoam underneath, skulls with glowing eyes, bloodied rubber arm stumps, plastic demon and monster masks, we even have fake chainsaws which whir, complete with blood splatters. Oh, and I can't forget my favourite of all, the shackled zombie prisoner, to hang on your door. He has a radar inside so whenever you walk by (which is often when you work there and have to clean the aisle every 2 hours) he is activated and cries out pleading with you to unchain him. "I won't hurt you, I promise! Pleeeeease, unchain me! They left me hear to die!!"

So why am I so stuck on this haunted house/Halloween thing? Because every time I walk down that aisle I get nauseous waves going through me as I see parents giddily taking their 2, 3, 4 year old children through the maze of total utter trash, all of it there for no other reason than to glorify darkness, death, and evil (and of course make money off it). Every time I walk this aisle a memory shoots to the forefront of my mind, one that still brings me conviction. It was several Halloweens ago, I was with my girlfriends for the annual Halloween parade on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

We milled through the crowd of revelers pointing out costumes and mindlessly becoming one with the throng of thousands, I pushed back and ignored the nagging in my spirit that was reminding me that this night was a night of unspeakable atrocities, that dark forces are real and occult practices are not fun and games. Most people here could probably plead ignorance or disbelief, but I could not say the same for myself and I knew it. "Shush you!" I said, "I'm not doing anything wrong!".

We were distracted by the neon green Borat speedo when it happened. We bumped into a group of Christians who came down to the parade, not to participate in the reverie, though they looked like they were enjoying themselves, but to pray for people in the name of Jesus Christ. I instantly knew that's what I should have been doing. Bringing light to the darkness as we are called to do. So yeah, maybe I wasn't doing anything wrong. But what was I doing that was right? I wasn't hurting anyone, so who was I helping? No one, not even myself. For in the end, I will have to take accountability and there will be no excuses. How did I demonstrate the light? And what, what really, was my excuse?

So this is the thing about that Halloween aisle at work, and the peeled grape and spaghetti brains haunted houses, and the mob of costumed celebrators who don't even know what they are really celebrating. Proverbs 24:11-12 pretty much says it all:

"Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?"

That Halloween aisle is the opposite of everything that I as a Christian propose to promote in this dark world. Philipians 4:8 leaves nothing to be misinterpreted about how we are to act in the face of unrelenting death culture. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." The previous verse reminds us of two benefits of obeying this command.

1) If we put this into practice we will feel God's peace which transcends understanding.
2) It guarantees the safety of our most precious possession... our hearts... will be guarded (Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it determines the course of your life.")

Philipians 4:9, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Without getting into the environmental psychology of it, supposedly people love haunted houses because it is a safe place they can experience fear. Unfortunately this is done by exploiting peoples fears of death, darkness, and evil. The fear comes because as they focus on these things, the peace leaves them and their hearts are exposed to the darkness. But there is a good fear that requires no exploitation of hearts, and that is the Fear of the Lord. Awe at His goodness and love, his might and his wisdom.

This was the reason I appreciated the experience of Captivated, it cultivated the Fear of the Lord by focusing on whatever is good. As my future husband and I held the stone heart representing our own hearts as one we felt the weight of it, the texture of it, the temperature of it. It brought home to me the importance of my heart and it's safekeeping. Through this experience I have been reminded that it is so much more spine-tingling to immerse yourself in something that is totally pure and true. It can't compare to allowing yourself to meddle in the tepid pool of "not wrong, but not right".

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good Fight Theater

Good Fight Ministries specializes in teaching and encouraging spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness. They provide information from a biblical and spiritual worldview to help you make informed life choices that often have eternal consequences.

 The Good Fight Theater is a pretty cool website which showcases Pastor Joe Schimmel of Good Fight Ministries state-of-the-art multimedia seminar entitled "They Sold Their Souls For Rock And Roll" (formerly titled "Rock & Roll Sorcerers of the New Age Revolution". You can use the search bar, or scroll through the "film reel" and choose any number of popular artists or movies, click, and be presented with his research and facts about the artist or movie, and their occult ties.

Check it out at http://theater.goodfight.org/

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are there books in Heaven?

When we get to heaven, will we be floating on clouds in white robes while stroking harps and blowing bubbles? We will continue on learning in heaven? Will we study? Will we read? Will the desire for "higher knowledge" still be within us?

This is an excerpt from Intra Muros (also published as 'Into the Light', 'My Dream of Heaven', 'Within the Gates', 'Within Heaven's Gates', and 'Within the Walls') by Rebecca Ruter Springer. The book was published in 1898, so it is well over 100 years old, and Rebecca herself lived from 1932 - 1904. As she suffered a long and agonizing sickness, she felt "the close blending of the two lives" she was given an in-depth vision of heaven. She does not know if it was a dream or a visitation, she simply considers her book to be "an imperfect sketch of a most perfect vision".

Led around Heaven by her beloved brother-in-law, he introduced her to her new heavenly life, including the home he had eagerly prepared for her there. The following excerpt is part of the conversation she recorded having taken place in the library of her heavenly home, which she describes as "a glorious apartment - the walls lined from ceiling to floor with rare and costly books."

"My first sensation upon entering the room was genuine surprise at the sight of the books, and my first words were:

"Why, have we books in heaven?"

"Why not?" asked my brother. "What strange ideas we mortals have of the pleasures and duties of this blessed life! We seem to think that death of the body means an entire change to the soul. But that is not the case, by any means. We bring to this life the same tastes, the same desires, the same knowledge, we had before death. If these were not sufficiently pure and good to form a part of this [heavenly] life, then we ourselves may not enter.

What would be the use of our ofttimes long lives, given to the pursuit of certain worthy and legitimate knowledge, if at death it all counts as nothing and we begin this [new, heavenly] life on a wholly different line of thought and study? No, no; would that all could understand... that we are building for eternity during our earthly life!

The purer the thoughts, the nobler the ambitions, the loftier the aspirations, the higher the rank we take among the hosts of heaven. The more earnestly we follow the studies and duties in our [earthly] life of probation, the better fitted we shall be to carry them forward, on and on to completion and perfection here [in heaven]."

"But the books - who writes them? Are any of them books we knew and loved below [on earth]?"

"Undoubtedly, many of them. All, indeed, that in any way helped to elevate the human mind or immortal soul. Then, many of the rarest minds in the earth-life, upon entering on this higher [heavenly] life, gain such elevated and extended views of the subjects that have been with them lifelong studies, that, pursuing them with zest, they write out for the benefit of those less gifted, the higher, stronger views they have themselves acquired. Thus, they remain leaders and teachers in this rarer [heavenly] life, as they were while yet in the world.

Is it to be expected that the great soul who has so recently joined our ranks, whose 'Changed Life' and 'Pax Vobiscum' [author Henry Drummond] uplifted so many lives while on earth, should lay his pen aside, when his clear brain and great heart have read the mystery of the higher knowledge? Not so. When he has conned his lessons well, he will write them out for the benefit of others, less gifted, who must follow. Leaders there must always be, in this divine life, as in the former [earth] life - leaders and teachers in many varied lines of thought. But all this knowledge will come to you simply and naturally as you grow into the new [heavenly] life."

PS- You can read the book online here.