Journeys to the heart of God; that’s exactly what these retreats are.
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Hierarchy In God
“If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”
~ 2 Timothy 2:21
A wise leader would normally avoid ‘Oh Yes’ men—people who unquestioningly follow his instructions without any form of resistance or challenge. The reason for this is simple: no human is perfect; no human knows it all; no human has the infinite breath of experience and capabilities to execute flawlessly in every circumstance.
A wise leader, therefore, would hierarchise his followers on the basis of multiple qualities such as, loyalty, character, and competence.
What if the Leader were All-Knowing, All-Powerful, and Ever-Present? What if the Leader were flawless in knowledge and judgement, and infinitely talented and competent enough to do all things? What would be His ultimate requirement in a follower?
Then, the character and competence of the follower would become completely irrelevant to the Leader’s agenda. After all, the Leader knows everything, is beyond mistakes, and can do all things.
In this case, the only thing that would matter to the Leader would be the ability of the follower to pose zero resistance or challenge to His will; in other words, the follower’s absolute and unquestioning loyalty—a blank slate on which the Leader could write or erase anything at will.
Now, dear consecrated one, please ponder this carefully…
As far as God goes, your morality, reputation, and competence are worthless filthy rags. What matters to Him—and thus determines your position in His supreme hierarchy— is this:
A purified heart—that is, an undivided allegiance to Jesus Christ; a wholehearted devotion and submission to God.
And that, my beloved, is the most esteemed virtue among the consecrated ones: it is the ultimate value in our culture.
Conserving The Consecrated Ones
The consecrated ones are the most critically endangered species on the earth today.
Introducing The Wildfire Retreat
It is about the courage to love and seek God as THE ONLY TREASURE of your heart.
The Ways of God
To observe, understand and imitate the ways of God, you will need the help of the Holy Spirit; and for this you really need to pray.
Obey the Gospel
So, it is one thing to hear the gospel; it is another thing to obey it.
The Single Eyed Way of Life
Be warned: The single eyed way of life is a very dangerous way to live. It attracts a lot of enmity from the world.
Bliss is the ultimate human experience.
The Bespectacled Eagle
On the stage, in a large lecture hall filled with horses, lions, deer, raccoons, alligators and anacondas, stood a bespectacled eagle.
Break New Grounds and Experience More Bliss!
Challenge yourself in new ways, to reach heights and experiences you’ve never had before.
Why Can’t We Just Be Ourselves?
Breaking out of the prison of my religious background, and staying free, has been the toughest battle of my life; but it’s been worth it.
Why I Write
I’m constantly exploring my heart to discover and understand myself. There’s really no particular reason why I do this; I just think it’s the way I’m wired.
Recently I’ve been probing my heart to discover and understand why I write. So far, I’ve discovered quite a few of them. See if you find them interesting..
I write to entertain.
Ever since my childhood, I’ve always enjoyed reading: novels, biographies, news, documentaries and so on. Information —books, magazines, the Internet, movies — is my primary and preferred source of entertainment. Could this be the reason I do not primarily write to inform?
No doubts people learn a lot from my writings; but it seems to me that I write primarily not to inspire knowledge, but to inspire bliss.
I write to explore myself.
My writings help me sort through the craziness, contradictions, and non-conformist streams of my multi-dimensional perspectives. I can see several angles to any single issue, and so think in contradictions. This is why I will never be the go-to-guy for fixed and rigid doctrines on any aspect of life. That will never happen; simply because I’m constantly seeing new and different views on any subject.
So, I write to explore these multiple perspectives. In other words, it could well be that, contrary to what I’ve always thought, I write primarily to explore, rather than to express myself. Though it could also be for both reasons.
But I also write to protect my own personal freedom.
I think my own thoughts, and I reach my own conclusions. I don’t care who you are, but your doctrines and teachings are simply your own perspectives and I will never let you impose them on me. As far as I’m concerned —especially with regards to scriptural themes—whatever views, beliefs, or teachings you and I hold and propose, are merely our own individual spins. Period. They are and will never be equal to the scriptures themselves; to absolute truth.
So, for me, writing is a tool of personal liberation, a means of spiritual transportation, and a medium of entertainment.
Have a blissful week.
Illusions of Change
I don’t think that anybody can change another person. I don’t even think that anybody can change themselves.
The Help Of The Lord
Reflect on this visual: A man that was crippled from birth. I’m sure you will be able to see the following five facts of his situation:
1. His condition is not his fault. He was born that way. It is his natural state. It may not be normal, but it is his own natural—and it is definitely not his fault.
2. He sees others walk. He lives in a world where most people are different from him. He observes what they are doing.
3. He knows how to walk. Those that can walk take it for granted, and are too busy walking to even think of how to walk. The crippled man, on the other hand, spends a great deal of time not walking; a great deal of time wishing he could walk; wondering what it would be like—so, he observes the act of walking much more than those that walk. I’m pretty certain he could give a profound lecture on the subject of ‘How To Walk’.
4. He may have tried to walk. Maybe not publicly; but at sometime he may have tried to see if he could alter his reality.
5. He can’t walk.
The visual above captures the facts of most negative realities:
Innocence is not enough to stay out of trouble. The man that was born crippled became that way before he ever made any decisions.
Desire is not enough. It’s just not enough to want to.
Powers of observation will not do. Being able to observe how others are doing it is neither here nor there.
Know-how does not help either. In situations like this, it’s not enough to know how to.
Hardwork falls short too. A lot of times, its simply not enough to make the effort to.
In the life of the crippled man, innocence, desire, power of observation, know-how, and hardwork are all trumped by one fundamental reality: he is crippled. So he is unable to apply all he knows regarding how to walk.
Sometimes, we fail to realize that it’s possible to know, yet be unable to apply what you know. This is the limitation of information: he knows what to do; he knows exactly how to do it; but, because he is crippled, he is unable to implement his know-how.
To walk normally, this man would need a miracle. He would need supernatural help. He would need the help of God. Isn’t it interesting how sometimes you need a miracle to do what other people can do naturally?
Now, enough of the analogy. This is about you.
Do you find yourself in a situation somewhat like that of a crippled man? You know what to do, you know exactly how to do it, you have tried time and time again to do it; but you just can’t; your knowledge fails you. So, in spite of all that you know, your life is still such a mess.
Have you been suffering as a result of some things that went wrong in your life? From things you were born with? From satanic attacks and wrong choices?
Have you been fighting secret battles, and losing in them?
Right now, your life may be full of so much regrets and pains. You may have made so much poor choices in the past that now torment you. You feel so helpless and have given up.
I hear this clearly from The Lord in my heart: help is here!
Your Maker and your God will help you. He will remake you. And you will rise to the heights He planned for your life.
This prayer is for you:
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
~ Psalm 20
The good news as you read is this: The Lord has sent you help from the sanctuary, and granted you support from Zion.
Yes. Help is here!
38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother- in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
~ Luke 4:38,39
Weep no more. Jesus Christ is bending over you right now. He rebukes that condition right now. Behold, it leaves you! You will arise today—and in this season of your life— to wait on the Lord, and to fulfill His assignment for your life.
Grace, wisdom and strength has been released on you now. Receive it. The Lord has seen your helplessness and has stepped in to help you. He extends His mercies to you right now.
Lift up your hands and worship Him.
Watch Your Back!
Regardless of how well-intentioned you are, and how nicely you you play, your so-called helpful and ‘harmless’ actions will always pose a threat to someone else.
Regarding Women Preachers
Should women preside over Christian congregations? Should they be set as pastors over churches? Should they even preach at all? As you can imagine, I get these questions all the time. But I usually ignore them; because, frankly, I think it’s a silly question—a no brainer.
Recently, however, the frequency of this question in my mailbox and conversations has increased, such that I’m starting to wonder if some bug has invaded the church!
So, here are my personal views on the matter. Remember, I don’t teach doctrines, and I do not equate my understanding of scriptures with the scriptures themselves. What is contained in this post is simply Rev. Wildfire’s personal opinion regarding women preachers.
For starts, I personally think that this issue is really a no brainer. I mean, religious folks have made a mountain out of a molehill. However, I’m also of the opinion that when it comes to ancient landmarks —and, quite clearly, this issue falls squarely into that category—one must tread cautiously. I’m not one to move ancient landmarks. I might be radical in my views, but I’m definitely not careless in my thinking. I respect constraints and boundaries as they help protect us from falling off the deep end.
Now to the matter in question:
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”
~ 1 Timothy 2:12
The verse above contains 3 distinct constraints for women.
1. Don’t teach.
2. Don’t have authority over a man.
3. Don’t talk!
Quite a list.
So far I haven’t encountered much hang ups with regards to no 1 and 3. I mean only an idiot would imagine that Paul meant that women should remain practically dumb in the gathering of the saints. You never can tell, though; there are some crazy nuts out there among religious folks. However, my experience so far is that even among extremely conservative positions, there isn’t much hiccups with nos 1 and 3.
But when it comes to no 2, the gloves come off, the swords and arrows are unsheathed, and the guns start blazing! You know, It’s sort of ok for a woman to teach; it’s ok for her to talk—but as far as wielding authority over a man is concerned, that’s a no no for many. While power gimmicks and insecurities are at play here, there’s also lots of ignorance. So, let me share my personal thoughts here and hopefully clear up some things for the sincere but ignorant seeker.
Take another look at the verse in question, and carefully note my emphasis:
“I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”
~ 1 Timothy 2:12
Now, here’s the same verse in the King James Version:
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”
~ 1 Timothy 2:12 KJV
Now, zero in on the phrase “to usurp authority over the man”. What does that mean?
Here’s what the dictionary has to say concerning the word ‘usurp’:
1. to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right: The pretender tried to usurp the throne.
2. to use without authority or right; employ wrongfully: The magazine usurped copyrighted material.
To usurp authority means to operate in a role you are neither qualified, nor authorized to function in.
For instance, an accomplished military general who has neither a medical school training, nor a medical license, has no business in the operating theatre!
A father has no business sticking the mouth of a new baby over his flat muscular nipples! He has neither the anatomical design nor content of breast, to carry out that function. So, to attempt to breast feed the baby from his own natural breast would amount to usurping the breast-feeding role of the child’s mother.
In the later instance, however, his wife could —due to a wide range of reasons —equip and ‘license’ him for that role. She could say something like, “Honey, I really need to get some rest. Could you please ‘breast feed’ the baby for me? Here’s the feeding bottle; I’ve pressed sufficient breast milk into it to last till I wake up.”
In this case, that man would not be considered to be usurping the authority of his wife in the life of that baby. This is due to the fact that one with sufficient authority —the child’s mother in this case— has not only given him the authority to feed the child (“Could you please ‘breast feed’ the baby for me?”) but has also given him the equipment to do so (“Here’s the feeding bottle; I’ve pressed sufficient breast milk into it to last till I wake up.”)
Essentially, to usurp authority means to operate in a role you are neither qualified, nor authorized to function in.
In the original text of the verse in question, the phrase ‘to usurp authority’ literally means ‘to act of oneself’. That is, to act without proper equipment and authorization. When Paul wrote that he did not permit a woman to usurp authority over a man, he meant that (in spiritual matters) a woman should not function in a role divinely designed for a man, without the necessary equipment and authorization.
Thus, as long as she has the proper spiritual equipment and authorization from God Almighty —in strict accordance with the divine order, the Word, and the Spirit —a woman can and should teach, exercise authority over men, and speak in the congregation of saints; and yes, even preside over the church of the living God.
You already have a story.
Essentially, it’s neither big, small, insignificant, nor phenomenal; just unique—it’s simply yours.
Eventually, it becomes whatever you make of it.
Your story is a gift from God.
It’s more than a tale of His acts in your life; it’s a gift.
And it’s the seed of your glory.
Yes, your glory is the offspring of your story.
Satan cannot defeat you till he can disconnect you from your story; till he can get you to forget.
So you must never forget your story.
Your story is the seed of your glory.
And to unleash that glory, it must be planted and nurtured —that is, told and retold; continuously celebrated.
Therefore, long after the world has tired of hearing your story, keep telling it.
Your real story is embarrassing; it is uncomely.
Because it lays bare your flaws, fears, insecurities, failures, aspirations; those things you’d rather keep to yourself.
It is the tale of your shame, scorn, and humiliations from others.
But, see: Your disadvantages in life are His opportunities; His doorways into your life; His relevance to you.
For as the Master said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
And if Moses could speak well, his brother Aaron would have had no ministry.
So, tell your story anyway.
Tell it in all of it’s uncomeliness.
Learn to glory in the shame, the scorn, and the embarrassment of your story.
Jacob remembered his past crookedness and wretchedness.
“O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.”
~ Genesis 32:9,10
David remembered the despicable societal status of his past.
So David said to Michal, “ It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD. And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight.”
~ 2 Samuel 6:21,22
What do you remember?
Good for Simon; the respectable leper.
However, let the former prostitute, celebrate her shame and humiliation.
For she is the Master’s trophy of love.
Good for the impeccable Pharisee, with a flawless legal record.
The despised Publican, however, must gloat in his scorn.
For He is the evidence of the Master’s mercies.
Good for the spotless virgin with a sheltered and privileged childhood.
Let the formerly abused drug addict, however, glory in her own shame.
For your are the undeniable proof of the Master’s victory.
Pure gratitude is inexpressible with words.
For whenever you really remember, and whenever you wholeheartedly tell your story, the fountains burst.
Therefore let the tears flow; that, is the language of pure gratitude.
When you remember, humility flourishes within you.
And all judgement of others vanish from your heart.
For humility resides in the hearts of the grateful.
When you remember, your love for Him is reinvigorated.
You love more, because you have been forgiven more.
Because you have been greatly helped.
And when you remember, the yoke of men over you is broken.
For the awareness dawns on you that He only has brought you this far.
That to Him only belongs the glory.
Some people can do without you, Lord Jesus.
How they manage to pull off such phenomenal feat is beyond me.
Good for them; but, my LORD, I can’t ever make it without you.
So, thank you LORD!!!
Now He smiles at me and whispers: “Because you remembered, the best is yet to come”!
Business and Missions
Think seriously about this: How do you intend to fund your mission?
You Would Need To Finance Your Bliss
Happiness costs; you would need to finance your bliss. There’s no getting around that.