Simply Love

It’s cool to tell another man that you love him with trying to get a beer from him.

This blog is moving to www.mrdavenport.info

I just returned yesterday morning from “Man-Camp.” Haha, actually it’s called Men’s Advance (as opposed to “retreat”). Something happened there that I have never experienced. NEVER!

I have been going to church since I was in my mother’s tummy, over 52 years. In that time I have never seen God do what He did this past weekend. Which could turn into the biggest rabbit trail ever!

As Christians we try to stay united. Have the same mindset. After all, we all serve the same Kingdom and God. But we all have our own mind. We think alike, but different. Of course, that is how God made us. So we have different backgrounds, different ideas, different lives, different everything. But as Christians, we need to come together in some things.

As our weekend progressed (there was 9 of us from our church who attended) God began to push us together. In our hearts, we shared many things. He brought us together as I had never seen before. NEVER!

Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” I propose to you that it means more than church time. It means more than Christ attending our Bible Studies and Life Groups. It’s more than just Him being a part of our evening/morning prayers. I believe it means more. That when we gather in His name, we are inviting Christ to come reach into us and change the way we think in many, many fashions. Everything we do (Bible studies, prayer meetings, writings, church attendance, etc) is for the express purpose of KNOWING GOD! That entire Bible was written for that purpose more than any other. All we do in our interactions with God, all the material made, all the sermons preached, all the lessons taught and learned. It is all for the reason to know Christ!

I realize this is not exactly being clear on everything, but for the moment, it’s the best I can do to try and explain. Sometimes God works in ways we cannot explain. What are you gonna do? He’s God!

We arrived home yesterday just as our own Sunday morning service was getting under way and had the privilege of sitting under a guest speaker, Professor David Wesley. Essentially, what I got from God this weekend is a message He has put forth for centuries. But one we often entangle with our own versions and conditions. Love. Wesley under-girded just that.

Simply love. Take each step and start each sentence with love. Every thought, every idea, every movement. Each, bathed in love. Think love first. When someone cuts you off in traffic, think love first. When you see someone or something that is opposite of how you think, respond first in love. When you are corrected, venture with love. When you read or hear something that is anti-Christian, anti-anything, push back with love. When you are offended, respond with love. “And now abide faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

The whole of this weekend could not be pressed into a simple blog. In fact, it would be difficult to put it all into a book. There was that much. Likely I will blog more on it another time, but for now, take this: You have two choices in which to respond in everything, positive or negative. Choose positive. Display love to all. Sometimes, that may be by simply remaining quiet. God displays His goodness in the world enough for us all to see our sins. We do not need to point them all out to people. We need only love them.

Oh, and one more thing. It’s cool to tell another man that you love him with trying to get a beer from him.

Meandering…

What Worship Does To The Mind

This blog is moving to mrdavenport.info

There’s something amazing that happens when we are in worship to God. First we realize that God is a Spirit. Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) So there is a process as we “truly” worship.

So we must worship in truth. Meaning, our worship must be real. Legit. From our actual desire to worship Him. That’s what it means to worship in truth, the second part of what Jesus said. When we are putting on a show, the true worshiper is not present. We must become true worshipers. (vs 23) We can discuss that another time.

We worship in “spirit.” Why do we worship in spirit? What does that mean?

Well, we worship in spirit because God is a Spirit. THE Spirit. To truly worship Him we have to get beyond the flesh part and worship Him from within. Many struggle with this and the mind constantly fights it because in the flesh it “just don’t make no sense.” But within the Realm of the Kingdom of God, it makes perfect sense.

As we seek to do this, worship in spirit, the guy/gal inside us begins to communicate with God. In ways the brain/flesh cannot totally understand. But as it happens, there are a number of things that “shift” within us. One of those things is that the spirit (small case “s” = our spirit) becomes engaged with God’s Spirit (AKA, His Presence, AKA, the Holy Spirit). As this happens, the mortal part of us (AKA our flesh, AKA our brain), takes a back seat. It literally becomes subject to the spirit. Our spirit. The thinking part gets out of the way and the spirit begins to commune with God and this affects every part of the body. Not just the spirit.

When you are in a classroom or training, you sit and learn. You make yourself submissive to the one teaching you or you simply do not learn. One of the struggles we all have in our lives as Christians is becoming fully submissive to God. Even when we want to learn from Him. By worshipping in the spirit, the part of us that tends to get in the way acquiesces, and the part that desperately wants God takes control, allowing the Spirit to begin to teach.

The greatest part is that while this is happening, the brain, the part most often in the way, becomes trained and refreshed. It learns things as the spirit makes it sit down by handing everything over to God during worship.

Have you ever seen a person kind of “losing it” while they worship God? Maybe they shake? Maybe they are jerking a little bit? Maybe they can’t even remain standing. During worship many time, the Holy Spirit “invades” the natural. Meaning He works from the Spiritual Realm to effect the natural realm. His presence becomes so strong that it seems to physically touch the human body. We must grasp the fact that God is the most powerful “Thing” in the Universe. Understanding that to be true, it’s much easier to understand why a person’s body can be affected by His Presence. He is a power that the physical must reckon with. Put your finger in a light socket and the whole body, toe to head, is affected. Keep in mind, God’s Presence is much more powerful than electricity. Naturally, as He touches us, we will react.

Now, back to the brain. Much of what we learn about our encounter with God happens to the spirit but the mind retains that understanding. That is what I mean when I say that the brain learns or is taught. But it’s not just understanding what God is doing that the brain begins to see. Much of what can happen in worship is intended for the brain.

As the spirit opens the door of communication with God, He begins talking to us. Sometimes, it’s subtle. Sometimes it’s with a mega horn. These messages can be about anything. It might be directed at our giftings. Maybe it’s an answer to prayer. Maybe it’s a new direction He wants you to go. It could be a sudden inspiration for a new invention. A new work of art. Or, in my own case, the outline to a new book (twice).

So it stands to reason that we want to hear from God all the time, right? The Word of God says, “Pray without ceasing.” In fact, it says:

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice? Pray? Give thanks? Be in God’s will? Kind of sounds like worship to me. How do we hear from God all the time? Be in worship all the time. I know, easier said than done. But maybe if we could just get started in that direction???

Matt

Suckers

We all have suckers in our lives!

Note: This blog is moving to mrdavenport.info

If you have ever grown tomatoes, you know you have to deal with suckers. Essentially, a sucker is an extra stem that grows up from the crook a limb and the main trunk. It has a tendency to grow fast. To maintain your plant properly, you have to watch for them and keep them cut back.

If you watch for them on a regular basis, you can “pinch” them off when they are just a small sprout. If you miss them a few days, they grow thick enough to require a cutter of some kind.

The main reason you want to remove these is implied by their name: suckers. They will take the nutrients from the other branches around them and the fruit will suffer. It will require more from the soil and produce smaller and less healthy tomatoes. As well as a fewer crops. In time, the sucker will grow to mimic its surroundings and even produce fruit of its own. This may seem good except that it does so by sacrificing all those around it.

Our tomato plants have grown quite large. They are beautiful and full of fruit. As I was looking them over this morning, I noticed several new shoots coming up from the interior of the plants. They were young and beautiful. But out of place. Too young to fit into the visual of what was already there. I couldn’t see their source; where they had come up from. The growth is just too thick. So I traced the shoots by hand. Sure enough, my suspicions were right. I found them to be suckers. But they had grown to nearly two feet in length. I worked my cutters into their origins and snipped them.

My first impression is a kind of sadness. They had grown so big and beautiful. Of the three or four I cut out, two of them had fruit growing on them. But the reason I removed them was for the better of the whole plant.

Does this sound familiar? We all have suckers in our lives! And just like a tomato plant, they are there for themselves and couldn’t truly care less if they damage their surroundings. Yes, we do.

Maybe it’s someone obvious and we have enough sense to remove them before they get too deep into us. Or maybe it’s someone who has been a part of us for a while and they are so integrated we don’t even see it.

There are several references in scripture about this kind of problem. Jesus once said “Do not cast your pearls before swine.” (Matthew 7:6) Literally, do not allow people to use you. Don’t give of yourself to someone who will just take from you, move on to the next person to do the same thing, and never caring about the value of what has been given to them.

Sometimes we need to look at the people in our lives and take stock of not just who they are, but what they are. Often as not, there is at least a few who need to be weaned from us. Does that mean we walk up to a person who has been a friend for 20 years and tell them to get lost? No. Clearly we must use common sense.

Don’t allow yourself to be used. God’s love must extend from us in all directions. That must never be compromised. But the love of God in us to others does not mean we are the trunk for some sucker to get everything they can. Truth be told, allowing them to feel that their treatment of us and others in this manner is okay, is not showing love anyway.

Matt

(photo – epicgardening.com)

A Safe Place

Your Struggles Are Real!

Note: This blog is moving to www.mrdavenport.info

I was next to the kitchen door this morning as I was cooking breakfast. Just out the door a few feet is our garden. Jutting up from the tomato box is a fir 2×2 with a large bird feeder on its top. There sitting upon it, dividing out his breakfast, was a blue bird/scrub jay. He looked at me several times, trying to nibble in between his ganders at me and thoughts racing through his head about personal safety. He finally flew off. But not before I said a quick hello and an assurance that he was in a safe place.

Then I thought about that statement. “A safe place.”

What does that mean? To quantify such a request one must know the circumstances. The scrub jay was in a safe place for his life was not in danger around here. We love the birds and enjoy their company. The barn cats might not feel the same towards them. But they are always safe with us.

But a safe place does not always involve a life threatening situation. Maybe it’s a therapy group or psychologist. A place where you can talk freely and openly about your difficulties.

A safe place could be your home. In the presence of your parents. Your spouse. Your pastor. Your best friend. How about God?

Life throws a varied amount of hardballs our way. And they are seldom pointed at a place where we are swinging a bat. Most often, those hardballs are pointed at our heads. “Stuff” that will hurt us.

We combat much of this by “sucking it up.” Taking it in stride. Moving on. So those things build up.

Maybe we are smart and have learned to let those blisters empty before they consume us. Because, after all, that is exactly what happens. They build up and then “pop”. And all the world is the victim as we vent beyond the amount our loved ones can withstand.

The safest place I know is in the Presence of God. There I can be honest. Because He knows my deepest secrets anyway. I can express my heart’s cry. I can tell Him my ambitions. I can explain how I’m so lost in some areas. I can tell Him my frustrations with other people. I can talk about any subject I want to. What I watched on TV the night before. The things that I want in my life. I can even tell Him how much I want something that has little long term reasoning. Just “things.” There is nothing not safe to discuss with God.

Your struggles are real. What you are dealing with may never be public. Whether you are trying to move on from something as terrible as rape or molestation. Or as tough as being over looked in a promotion. Or as simple as a scrape or splinter. And, believe it or not, a bad grade on a test you thought you were going to ace can be a life “slamming” incident. He loves to take us to a safe place and listen to our deepest, most intimate, hardest, craziest thoughts.

His Presence is always a safe place!

Matt

The Spirit of Herod & The Truth About Abortion

Until I fully switch to the new site and this WP site is shut off, I will continue to duplicate the blogs here and there. Again the new site is mrdavenport.info.

Spiritual truths are sometimes hard to understand. And just because it is spiritual doesn’t make it “good” spiritual. The devil is very spiritual. Paul reminded us of this simple truth in Ephesians 6:12.
 
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
 
We fight principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness, and spiritual hosts of wickedness. In a word, satan. He and all those angels that chose to follow him over God.
 
I say that to remind the reader that as I unload all this that I am not trying to condemn anyone who has committed an abortion or works in an abortion clinic. I write this to explain what God has shown me; through various ways, the truth about abortion. And what/who the spirit of Herod is. It’s just important at this point to remind people not to think of the “spiritual” as something that is always about God or goodness.
 
The night Jesus was born, a star began shining in the sky. There are many theories of this star and how it worked, but that is not the issue here. The Wise Men saw the star and realized it was low enough in the sky to be in a specific place. Whether it was because of their intelligence or a revelation of God, it is not clear. Nonetheless, they took off and began following it.
 
It took them two years to get to where they were going. When they arrived in the region where they knew they were close, word got out that they had come to worship the New King. Herod, the local king (not a real king, more of a governor) had them come visit and asked where the Child was. It’s interesting that the priests and scribes knew that Jesus would be born in that time and that it would happen in Bethlehem. That information was not enough. So when he called the Wise Men to him, this is what he said to them:
“Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” Matthew 2:8
 
They left to find the King and were warned by God in a dream not to go back. That Herod lied and wished to come kill the Baby. Herod, realizing the Wise Men were in fact wise enough to not come tell him the location of Jesus, sent his men out to kill all the male children two years old and under, born in Bethlehem. According to the time that the star had appeared. This was done because of the fear that the Baby would somehow become Herod’s replacement. For, ultimately, selfish reasons. It would disrupt his way of life.
 
Keep in mind, folks, the devil was aware of Who Jesus was from early on. Whether it was he who induced Herod to murder the young boys or whether Herod came up with it on his own is not known. But it has little relevance here. That same idea remains. And it has spiritual hindsight.
 
Jump forward 2,000 years to America. Now, abortion has a long history. It happened all down through mankind’s plight for various and often, horrifying reasons. It was actually a common practice in ancient times for various types of sacrifices. But now-a-days, it cannot be done (legally) for sacrifices. However, it is allowed for personal reasons. Just as Herod did, the life of a child can be exchanged for a need to remain where a person is. Surprisingly enough, the history of abortion is a main argument for abortion. “It’s been going on for hundreds, thousands of years.” So has murder, rape, theft and many other things people consider terrible. It’s history does not make it right.
A childless relationship. The “Ah, I just don’t have time for this in my life yet,” reason. “I’m too young.” “I was raped.” “The mother’s life is in danger.” “The father will not take responsibility.” Truth is, most reasons have to do with the personal situation of the mother. But this is not an argument against abortion. This is the spiritual facts behind it.
 
The “spirit of Herod” came upon the scene some years ago. An actual demon. He resumed this push for a “safer” way to abort children. And millions have paid the cost by never having a chance to even breath one breath of air. Some have argued, abortion is a good thing because the poor child will never have to fight to survive in a terrible world. And, after all, they go straight to Heaven. They have never sinned and are considered an “innocent” by the Word of God.
 
I read a short booklet by Shawn Bolz, a prophet of God. It helped to enlighten me on abortion and the spirit of Herod. Just as king Herod had a specific purpose when he killed all the male children two and under, the spirit of Herod has a specific purpose behind abortion. He cannot kill them himself, he entices women and men to become selfish and self serving in the matter. And it works. They choose to abort rather than the responsibility of child rearing.
 
We are in a time that is “CLEARLY” the last days. Yes, those days may last another 50 years. I doubt it, but it could be even longer. But we are near a time that Jesus will return for His people. Now, the devil wants as few people to go as possible. In the last days, God will raise up a multitude of people to lead the world towards revival. They shall work in the supernatural (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17) and God will, Himself, pour out upon all flesh. This is a world wide revival. ALL FLESH! So, knowing that the time is coming, how do we stop them? The devil asked his minions. The spirit of Herod raised his hand. “We kill them in the womb. Taking what has been done for thousands of years and making it sophisticated. And “safer.” We call it safer.” Satan promoted the demon and abortion became a thing.
 
He is the demon/spirit of abortion/Herod. He has tried to destroy the generation that would help to usher in the last great revival. Millions have died. But, even in this mega effort, like Herod did with Jesus, he has failed. God is still bringing His Presence down and changing the world. The prophecy of Joel is happening now. And will continue until the end. Praise God!
Matt

“Hutch” Release Announcement

Hey,

So I’m not too good at promoting myself. But, let’s face it, no one else is going to! So here it goes!

I have just completed my 3rd book. It is called “Hutch.” No it is not about the adventures of an old China Cabinet and the places it goes. Which might be a rather odd, but possibly, great concept. Either way, here is the synopsis from the back of the book:

“Malcolm “Hutch” Hutchford is a tough LA Police Detective. He’s fought every kind of criminal imagined. From thieves and murderers to gangs and drug pushers. Creeps of every kind and background. But nothing fully prepared him for his vacation.

“By a series of both false and jumped conclusions, he finds himself dropped on a mountain, deep into the wilderness of Springtime Alaska. Left to die. With the most ferocious that the wild country has to throw at him, he is determined to live. But the cost will be more than just wanting to live. He will need some help from an unexpected Source.

“Death waits at every turn, but Hutch refuses to give up. He learns the way of survival. He learns about wolves and bears. He learns how to endure the greatest of pain. But the hardest lesson he has to learn will be about his past.

This book is dedicated to the American Soldier for all they do. Our main character has endured war and it has left a scar on him. He goes through life not fully realizing just how big that scar is. In the wasteland of the frozen mountains, he discovers that he needs God. He needs saving inside more than he does on the outside.

Hutch comes to grips with his need, but still has a long way to go. Maybe that sounds familiar?

This is the first announcement of this book’s publishing. It will be available to purchase from Amazon (or directly from me) on or before July 25th. If you have more questions, please contact me. Anything purchased directly from me will be signed as the customer wishes.

Thank you!
Matt

Gracious Grace

Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself.

Grace has been highlighted in my life of late. Maybe you’ve noticed it too. Maybe you have not and need to. Either way, I wanted to touch on it because it seems so many times it is misunderstood. I know I have took it wrong a great deal in my life.

Grace, by it’s very nature, is free. It cannot be bought or earned. If there is payment in any way, it is no longer Grace.

Do not mistake the fact that Grace being free was free. It was paid for in some fashion. It always is. But never by the one receiving it.

Grace can be stubbed. For it to truly do it’s greatest work (whether from a fellow human or from God) it must flow through us unto others. “Paying It Forward” is not a new concept.

Grace will cost the giver. God paid for it with His Son. What will your cost be to give it to others?

You cannot give Salvation to others. That comes from God alone. But you can give Grace.

You should always buckle up with a seat belt and Grace when driving.

Once you have children, you will experience the joy of giving Grace.

Many will tell you that Grace has been cheapened by those who purport “hyper-grace.” Putting Grace to every part of their life. God’s Grace was given at the beginning. Before you sinned. Before I sinned. It existed already. A level offered to all who needed it. There is no such thing as hyper-grace. Man cannot attain the level of Grace God gives. But he will complain because the “workers” who came late in the day received that which he’d spent the day trying to earn. (Matthew 20:1-6)

Grace says “I love you anyway,” to the murderer. The rapist. The thief. The liar. The bully. The homosexual. The average Joe. The Muslim. The devil worshiper. The taxi driver. The dock worker. The actor. The superstar. The lazy son-in-law. The brilliant CEO. The greatest of sinners and the righteous preacher.

Grace does not judge. It does not lie or feign a happy outlook, but it does not judge. First, and above all, it loves. It extends the good which was given it. It does not pay evil for evil. Grace is a decision of leniency despite the guilt.

Grace does not cause shame, but will hide the one shamed. Grace will take the blame to keep another from suffering. Grace sees the guilty through eyes of understanding and tenderness.

Grace is a man experiencing the results of his own decisions, yet being able to smile. A long time captive, hugging and praying with their captor. Grace is a mother forgiving the one who took her own away from her.

Grace is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave to mankind. And it was given thousands of years ago in a garden where disobedience and sin first came to be. Since that time, it has grown through man, but the level that God gave then is still the same. Far beyond what we can imagine.

Romans 3: 21-24 via The Message:
“But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”

The Word of God. This is Grace!

Matt

John 3:16 – The Great Scriptures I

It’s not enough to believe in God. Remember, the devil believes in God and there is absolutely no chance he will ever be saved.

The Bible is full of magnificent and beautiful words. What makes them so amazing is not them alone, but how they are pieced together. Written by the Greatest Writer of all time: God Himself.

As we wander through the Words of God, certain parts tend to jump out. These are verses and passages that bring love, promise, hope, mercy, and more gifts to light. There are stories, poetry, prophecies, and so much we cannot count it all. Bits and pieces of scripture that show God to us in ways we might not otherwise ever see. Yes, our relationship with God is personal. He is able to love on me specifically. To love on you specifically. And because of that, we have an intimate and genuinely spiritual connection to God Almighty. But knowing all that He has done for the world in scripture encourages and strengthens that hope that we have come to live in.

So I want to explore some of those “special” passages and verses that are foundational to our relationship with Him. As before, I plan to cover this in several blogs. Hopefully, I will. As you may have noticed, I have several times began a series and never completed it. With the full intentions of returning to those. I may yet. Who knows? But we will try to move forward regularly with this one. In fact, if you’d like to have me explore a specific verse or passage, click here and let me know. Or just add a comment below.

The first verse that I wish to discuss is, quite possibly, the most well known scripture in the entire Bible. John 3:16. We find Jesus has been visited at night by a Pharisee. A teacher of the Old Testament. He seems to believe in Jesus, but doesn’t want to be seen by others. A fear of reprisal. His name is Nicodemus. During their conversation, which covers a myriad of important topics, Jesus utters the words that not only give millions hope, but prophesy’s His own demise upon the cross.

As I usually do, I will post it here in the New King James Version. The “essence of the message” transcends a version. Please do not get hung up on the version.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

There is a very important reason that this is so well known. It is foundational to the entire Gospel. In fact, it IS the Gospel. The Good News. That God loves us that much. If you have children, it might be easier to relate. Giving your beloved child up for the sake of someone else. It would be much easier to give ourselves. But He, God, gave His own Son. His only Son!

To call this scripture the Cornerstone verse of the Bible might, in some opinions, be a stretch, but of all the Bible, the story of mankind and his desperate need for, yet fight against, true love, none quotes the way God is better than this.

Mankind was not long on the planet before he spurned the love of God and found his “own way.” A way that led us to death, destruction, disease, hatred, pain, and sufferings of all kinds. This scripture pushes all the horrors of our existence aside and says, “There is a better way. God made a better way. True Love made a better way.”

God doesn’t demand that we be perfect. He loves us. He is not expecting us to be anything super powerful and amazing. He loves us.

Another way we might say this verse in our more “modern lingo” would be this:

“God, our Creator, loved us humans so much that He was willing to trade our eternal separation from Himself for the life of His son. All we need to do is to believe in Him.”

It’s really that last part that throws people off. God loves us so much that He went to great lengths to save us. All we need to do is believe in Him. Translations might vary a little bit, but the reality is that we have to believe in Him.

I have had many people who say, “I believe in God. I believe in Jesus.” Then live a life that doesn’t coincide with the life that the Bible teaches us to do. You might point out at this moment that I just said He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. This is not a contradiction.

While it is very true that God is not expecting us to be perfect, He is expecting us to follow His word. And His Word not only says that He sent His Son to save us, but it also tells us to “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

It’s not enough to believe in God. Remember, the devil believes in God and there is absolutely no chance he will ever be saved. Believe here, in this passage, means to “follow” Jesus. To try to be like Him.

There is an old saying that goes something like this: “God loves you right where you are at. It’s just that He loves you too much to leave you there.” If you are out hiking and you are being led by a guide, a smart person will follow that guide, step by step, to avoid becoming lost or hurt. That is what it means to follow Christ. To believe in Christ. To be a Christian.

So, God loves you far above any other person in existence. So much so that He was willing to let His only Child, His Son Jesus, go and be beaten, spit on, laughed at, stabbed, whipped, mocked, pierced, hung in the open air on a sticky, nasty, splintery, blood encrusted (He was not likely to be the first one hung on that cross – it was a regular way that the Romans killed people guilty of crimes), wooden cross. If you ever wanted a visual for what took place the day that Jesus died, the movie “Risen” depicts it well. There was nothing gentle or easy about it. It was ugly and horrible.

But He’d rather accept that than have us apart from Him. Forever.

Much of the ramifications of this verse are truly difficult to take in. Again, I invite you to ask questions. I am no scholar, but I will find an answer for you.

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Interview With A Zombie

(GPNews-Jerusalem) Having established a recent discovery based upon rather sketchy and unprecedented events, one of our key analysts and top column reporters was able to garner an interview with one of the so-called Ezekiel Zombies. Presented here, in its entirety, is the word-for-word interview that Uri Freidhof conducted with Manny Zussman, the only member of the massive group of walking dead that has accepted an invitation to interview.

(Uri Friedhof – 6/10/18(BC)) I was recently afforded the opportunity to experience what most would call a fabricated vision at best. Truth be told, I personally would have never believed it to be true. But I stand nearly convinced by the individual I came to know as Manny Zussman. As many others, I had heard the stories surrounding the Prophet Ezekiel’s visions and purpatories. After much research and hunting for facts and sorting the various bits of information from the ridiculous urban legends and stories, I was able to meet with the sole volunteer that has come forward to tell his story. One that might seem beyond reality. Here is how our conversation went:

Freidhof: Where are you from?

Zussman: Israel. A small village outside of Jerusalem.

Freidhof: What did you do for a living?

Zussman: I was an Israeli soldier. A patriot. Actually, I’m still a soldier since I died as one. I love my country! GO IDF!

Freidhof: You died as a soldier?

Zussman: Yeah. Weird, huh?

Freidhof: But you are standing here before me (snicker).

Zussman: Yeah, I can’t really explain it. It just happened. I thought I was done.

Freidhof: There is a rumor going around that you and all those who are part of this are actually just zombies. Any truth to that?

Zussman: What’s a zombie?

Freidhof: Umm. The undead?

Zussman: Okay. Then yes. But then, you’re undead as well. I mean, wouldn’t that mean…

Freidhof: Moving on. Can you explain what happened?

Zussman: You mean in the valley of dry bones?

Freidhof: Well, it is the purpose of this interview.

Zussman: Right. Okay. Well, you see, we were dead.

Freidhof: We?

Zussman: Well, yeah. I wasn’t alone. There were hundreds of us. Maybe even thousands. We were dead.

Freidhof: What was that like?

Zussman: Being dead? Well, kind of… You know, I can’t really remember. Since I was dead. Your senses kind of stop working. I know it started out as quite painful.

Freidhof: Really? What was painful about it?

Zussman: Well, the sword.

Freidhof: The sword? What sword?

Zussman: THE sword.

Freidhof: Okay. Can you elaborate on THE sword and why it was painful?

Zussman: Well, yeah. It was inside me. That’s how I died. Wow, it hurt. A lot.

Freidhof: I see. Well, can we focus on the part that you were dead?

Zussman: Yeah, sure. So I was dead. I really don’t remember much about it. But it happened some time back. I mean, I’ve heard stories. And the guy that is king wasn’t king last I remember.

Freidhof: Can you explain more about the “stories”?

Zussman: Yeah, they called that place the “Valley of the Dry Bones.” I’m guessing because it was full of the dry bones.

Freidhof: What dry bones?

Zussman: OUR dry bones. My bones. My fellow soldier’s bones. We were dead. Remember?

Freidhof: Right. And what came next?

Zussman: Well, a couple hundred years of being dead. I mean, I’m guessing the whole buzzards picking us clean thing and all that.

Freidhof: Do you feel you have been mistreated by the vulture community?

Zussman: Did you just say that?

Freidhof: Never mind. Let’s move on. So you have been dead for many years. Maybe even a hundred or more. Yet you are standing here talking to me. How should I react to that?

Zussman: Hey, you were the one that wanted to talk about this, not I.

Freidhof: Me.

Zussman: What?

Freidhof: Me.

Zussman: What about you?

Freidhof: The proper term would be “me.” “You were the one that wanted to talk about this, not me.”

Zussman: Huh?

Freidhof: Okay, never mind.

Zussman: Sorry, not picking up on you there. Been dead for a while and still trying to get my senses back.

Freidhof: Right. Okay, you’re telling your story. Can you elaborate on how this all came about? How did it start?

Zussman: Yeah. Started out when I was about 16. King David sent out men to recruit soldiers. I love king David. What a warrior. I was honored to serve. So I lied about my age and…

Freidhof: I meant how this whole thing with becoming a zombie and everything.

Zussman: Zombie. You use that word again. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

Freidhof: Really? You just quoted…

Zussman: I’m not a zombie.

Freidhof: But it means undead. I thought that was established.

Zussman: Right. Forgot that. I guess we’re all sort of zombies then.

Freidhof: Well, I don’t consider myself a zombie.

Zussman: Then you’re not undead. Which, I think, means you’re dead. You should have that looked at. Might be terminal (snicker).

Freidhof: Yes, well. Once again, moving on.

Zussman: Okay.

Freidhof: So, you were killed in battle?

Zussman: Correct.

Freidhof: Which one?

Zussman: The one I died in.

Freidhof: Yeah. Which one?

Zussman: The one I died in.

Freidhof: Which battle was it?

Zussman: The one I died in?

Freidhof: Yes.

Zussman: Not sure. I imagine it took place in the Valley of Dry Bones. I can’t imagine them moving us all to that place to let us rot in the sun. Probably somewhere nearby.

Freidhof: Can you explain what happened the day you were… Resurrected?

Zussman: The details are foggy.

Freidhof: Foggy?

Zussman: Yeah. Not clear. Foggy.

Freidhof: Okay, just tells us what you know.

Zussman: I opened my eyes and could see. Which I knew right away something was different because I was a skeleton and we have no eyes.

Freidhof: You had no eyes?

Zussman: Yeah, skeletons can’t see anything. They have no eyes. Surely you knew that, right?

Freidhof: Of course. I just never thought about it.

Zussman: Yeah, well, granted I had a few years to contemplate it.

Freidhof: So, you can suddenly see?

Zussman: Yeah. I felt whole. Above us was a bright light.

Freidhof: Us?

Zussman: Oh yeah. Every single one in the valley stood upright.

Freidhof: The bones?

Zussman: All gone. Nothing but whole people. Flesh and muscles and all that stuff in place. Pretty crazy.

Freidhof: And what did that feel like?

Zussman: Well, at first, it was amazing. Then I realized I was quite chilly.

Freidhof: It was cold?

Zussman: Not really. It’s just that when Ezekiel called us back to life, he gave us tendons, muscles, organ, EYEBALLS, flesh, and so on. But he forgot to call back our clothes. I was embarrassed. But only for a moment. Turned out none of us had a stitch on.

Freidhof: What did you do?

Zussman: Well, we emptied Wal-Mart in a matter of minutes.

Freidhof: So, you took all the clothes?

Zussman: No. I mean we emptied it. A thousand naked guys running into the store. Scares people. They all ran out. Emptied the place. Including the greeter. It was a sight to see. Now that we had eyes.

Freidhof: Can we get back to the experience of being re-born?

Zussman: Re-born? That’s a great way to put it. Yeah. Quite an experience.

I felt like something had changed though. Not just re-born, but like there was something new inside of me. That the breath that was in my lungs was stronger than before. Greater. More powerful.

Freidhof: So, in a way, re-born better than before?

Zussman: Yes. With greater purpose. To do something I could never do before. Like the Great Power that had given us new life had a plan for us that was beyond what any mortal could do.

Freidhof: How do you feel now?

Zussman: Like I wish everyone could experience what I have experienced.

Freidhof: Well that would require us all to die.

Zussman: I know. I mean, that is truly how it is. Call me a zombie, the undead, the living, the whatever! But in my life, before all of this, I have never felt so alive. So excited. So powerful. So blessed.

Freidhof: What do you attribute for that feeling.

Zussman: Haha. Not a “what”, but a “Who.”

Freidhof: Who?

Zussman: When Ezekiel pronounced breath in us, we came alive. It was God’s breath. I have God’s breath in me. Do you have any idea how that feels?

Freidhof: No. I can’t say I do.

Zussman: Well then, I guess there’s something to be said about being a zombie after all!

 

At that point Mr. Zussman walked away, laughing and dancing. An odd encounter to be sure.

Uri Freidhof

 

The thief has come to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.  John 10:10

*Based very roughly upon Ezekiel 37
**Photo courtesy of Z3News.com