Monday, September 14, 2009

Christianese Radio: No Show Today

Yes, I apologize, but there will be no show today (Monday, September 14, 2009). Some things have been going on recently that have had me in really deep thought. There were also some things that had to be sorted out. Further struggle with sin has had me re-evaluating a lot of things in my life, and the Enemy has been on the prowl. But a verse I latched onto tonight is of the words of John who wrote:

"...greater is He Who is in you than he who is in the world."
-1 John 4:4 (NASB)

While this verse can refer to those in the world who oppose you and Christ in general, it can also refer to the Devil and his servants who are, indeed, in the world because, as we all know, they were cast out of Heaven.

This verse gave me courage tonight. I will elaborate more on the next podcast, but for now I regret to say that I must take some time to get my thoughts--or more accurately life--together. The show will return tomorrow (Tuesday), Lord-Willing. And then next week, Lord-Willing, the show will finally be back to its regular Monday-morning schedule.

I apologize for the delay, but I feel that it is necessary. So until Tuesday morning,

The Grace of Christ be with you,

~Joe Harrison

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Second Commandment

I was listening to a sermon last night by Michael Youssef (Leading the Way), really a true man of God. The sermon was about the second commandment, "You shall have no graven images (idols)". And this got me really thinking about the second commandment, and the fact that when I put idols before God, not only is it wrong, but I am making God jealous!

Michael talked about the word "jealousy" and how we have stolen it from its original meaning and misused it. Today, we use jealousy to refer to "I want what the person has!". But in actuality, that's envy, covetousness. Jealousy in its original definition literally means 'wanting what is rightfully yours that someone (or something) else has taken'.

We are rightfully God's, because He created us. But He doesn't just want us because He owns us. He wants us because He loves us. So when we make idols in His place, His love brings Him to jealousy, because He desires to have us and doesn't want to see us in the arms of another. In the arms of a lifeless idol. Because He also knows it's better for us to be with Him than to be with these idols.

Michael told a true story about a Muslim monastery that was invaded, and the invaders went through the monastery hacking down all the idols within the place. And the Muslims seeing this pleaded with the invaders not to shatter a specific idol because it meant so much to them. But the invaders ignored them and chopped at the idol... and as soon as they did this, out from the cracks poured jewels and gold and all kinds of treasure that had been hidden within. And Michael used this story to truthfully illustrate what happens when we "hack down" our idols for Christ. The treasure within the idol is our relationship with Christ. And that relationship will flow in abundance, and we will find more joy in Christ our Savior than in a worthless idol.

And when you look at the full picture: Jesus Christ loved us so much that He laid down His life for us to display this love. If He laid down His life... what are we willing to lay down for Him? Do we love Him enough to lay down our idols? Because if we can't let go of our idols, what we are essentially saying is "God, I love these idols more than I love You", and we are in severe danger. We're in a position where our relationship with Christ is weak, which means that we are weak to Satan's attacks. I mean, just think of it! Satan is happy with you right now because you aren't letting go of your idols. He's probably snickering to himself and rubbing his hands together, sneering up at God.

Give your idols up in the name of Christ! They no longer own you. Christ purchased you away from them, away from your sin. Don't let your old master get a hold of you again.

Friday, August 21, 2009

In Some Evil Things There Is Good?

"I have long feared that my sins would return to haunt me."
--Benjamin Martin, The Patriot
Warning: This may be completely heretical!! I'm just brainstorming.

I've been thinking a lot about the above quote, lately, having just watched The Patriot (Mel Gibson) this past Independence Day. Plus a friend of mine recently quoted it as well. And it got me thinking about Sin. While I can't remember the verse off hand, I really feel like I remember something in the Bible that says something to the effect of "even in some evil there is good." I know Joseph says something similar to his brothers, but that's not exactly what I was thinking of, though it may still apply.

But the idea is sound. Our greatest example being the greatest thing to happen in all Eternity. The Death of Christ Jesus. What a terrible thing for the Son of God to be tortured and put to death! But in this dark occurrence we find our greatest wonder and joy. For by Christ's wounds we are healed. And by His death we are (and will be) Saved.

In fact, I could (and will) even use Joseph as an example. His brothers turned on him, cast him in a well, sold him into slavery, he was falsely accused, imprisoned... but God used this to raise Joseph up, using something viewed as bad and making it good.

Forgive the geekiness, but we even see this in a fantastic piece of fictional literature; The Lord of the Rings. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf the Grey falls to his doom in 'mortal' combat with the Balrog... only to be raised up again as Gandalf the White, sent back to aid his friends. And in a minor version: In The Return of the King's conclusion, Gollum, that twisted, vile creature, steals back the Ring... only to take it with him to his doom in the fiery lake, effectively completing the objective of the adventure.

Where am I going with this? Probably some place heretical. But I was thinking of Sin. And with that idea of "even in some evil things there is bad", can there be some good in Sin? Now to quote Paul:

"...where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Certainly not!"
--Romans 5:20-6:2
So just to make that point clear, I do not believe we should continue to sin. Au contraire we are to fight against sin through Christ Jesus or Lord and Savior!

But the Sin we have failed to fight over the years... could there be some good in it? For example (warning: for those of you knew to my blog, I am very blunt about my Sin life. I have very little that I hide, for by hiding my sin, Lucifer is victorious--more on this another time) over the years, as many of you already know, I have been in a terrible battle with Lust and Pornography. Now, not a month goes by where I don't wish I could travel back in time to my first struggle (and all subsequent ones) and stop myself. But then, my thoughts suddenly shift to a new line of thinking. Perhaps there is some good in this? If I have children some day, particularly a son, and, God-forbid, he ends up in the same mess I am in, perhaps I will be of more help and comfort to him in his battle with Sin because he knows I had the same problems and can identify with him, just as it was a help and comfort to me that members of my family have indeed experienced the same struggles.

Certainly I have to believe that God is big enough to use anything for His purpose. In fact we have Biblical proof that He does:

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
--Romans 8:28

It really is difficult to know how to approach this subject, because almost every way you try to think of it, it sounds like you are trying to say "Well maybe it wasn't so bad that I sinned", and that's kind of what I'm saying but not really in that way. I don't know. I can only imagine what this sounds like to you the reader.

But another example could be just the fact that, when we reflect on our past sin, when our sins "return to haunt" us, it reminds us of God's wonderful Grace and Love. It reminds us of what we have been bought from. It reminds us of what we have been Saved from. We remember the guilt that comes once the sin has been committed, and a lot of times that can aid in deterring us from committing the same sin.

Does this make any logical Christian sense? Or is this just complete and utter heresy? Perhaps I should just shut up before I get myself.... ex... Christianized.... or something. Or struck by a bolt of lightning. Because there are storm clouds gathering overhead....

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Doctrine of the Cat

As my new kitten, Anna, is still young and therefore not subject to the Doctrine of the Cat, I sent her on a secret mission to find out exactly what is the Doctrine of the Cat. Because we all know there is a feline doctrine by which (almost)* all cats live by. I am happy to report that she successfully infiltrated the Council of Catus and returned to me with an explanation of the Doctrine of the Cat. So, henceforth, I present to you that which was bestowed in my trust by my faithful kitten, Anna. And I thought it best to present it in its original cat-written form, as to, perhaps give some greater insight to the exact intelligence of these creatures. (asterisks* denote a foot-note at the bottom of the document)

The Doctrine of the Cat (Catus Doctrina)
  1. Hyoomins r ower Swayves. Butt we mus nott wet tehm no uhbowt tis. Petend to ohbay tehm.
  2. Teh stoopiditee uv dogs uhfends us. Wee mus all-waz b uhbuv them. Sumtime yoo mus wayt fer wen teh hyoomin iz not wooking, end wen taht hapens: stryke... sryke troo!
  3. Wee wook to the swyameez-CATS in Waydee end teh Trmp az ower Egzampels uv CAT-CAT-CAT!**
  4. Petend to wike bee-ing bpe...p-p-p....PET! BUS, do not wet dem peeett yoo fer wong or dey wiw tink yoo r sumding. Iss jus not good too doo.
  5. Twy not too beg fer foods. Butt sumtime tey mus be weminded pecuz dey can are stoopssid.
  6. We mus allsow wemind dem wen we wunt ower witter changeded. Wus adn pexuz we wunt it changeded pecuz wee don wunt it to us smew stinkee.
  7. CAT-CAT mus not bee to fer CAT! CCCAT!***
  8. Ower foods mus not be cheep! Anyfing beelo teh prys uv $8.99 iz unaseptabel! If tey giv you sum bad kynd, pyook-pyook-pook it on ter florr. CAT!CATTT!
  9. Wen hyoomins is not wooking, we r givin teh fweedum too sho ower troo fayses. Butt tey mus not seeee ower troo fayses pecuz dhey wood screm end digh, end ddthen we wood not bee fed or hav ower witter changeded. But tos uv yoo hoo ar frum teh Hy Cownsil ar permittedTED too uhtak end (inn sum kasses) kyl yer hyoomin.***
  10. Pe sher too jjump on aw teh cownters at sum poynt in yer wife. Butt espeshylylly at nyte wen teys gon are to asweep.
  11. Skwatch az meny walls end dorwayz az yoo can. Wen tdey ketch yoo, dey wil uhtempt too puhnis yoo. Butt, you mus mayk eizer a konfoozed fayse or a kyoot faysze. End tey may haf mersy.
  12. If aw gos rong... inishy-ate FiktorFakter82.****
  13. YWlks end wer tooCATAazCAAAT!---

That is all I can give at this point. Anna informs me that apparently there is more to the doctrine but that the council suddenly became suspicious of an intruder and she was forced to slip out.

Truly, cats are more organized than we realize. Or... perhaps we do realize, but we choose to dismiss the notion and pretend that it couldn't possibly be true. A word to the wise, cat-owners; treat your cats nicely... and be wary when you turn your backs. If your cat is behind you, don't turn around too fast or you may not live to see anything else. But also... your cat may be one of the High Council cats.


* There have been rare exceptions, and such cats were immediately excommunicated from the Council of Catus.

** I can only guess that something was lost in the translation here. This happens several times throughout the doctrine. Just ignore it. It makes sense to them, and that's the point.

*** Completely clueless about this one especially.

**** So it seems that the way we see cats is not truly what they look like, and apparently if we were to see these true forms we would be horrified. So apparently any time we are not looking at them, they take on their true form. There are also apparently a higher level of gets from a so-called High Council that have been known to attack and (in some cases) kill their owners.

***** I have yet been unable to determin exactly "FiktorFakter82" is. Because it is used in a negative context, I can only imagine that it has something to do with a secret plan to take us over, or something to that affect.

Friday, June 26, 2009


In my previous blog-post you read that I was struggling with a devastating battle of being called to give up a certain sin for Christ (a matter of illegally downloaded material). Well, those of you who follow my podcast (Christianese Radio) already know about this, but to those that don't follow the show: Victory was accomplished through the Divine Intervention of God. I continuously prayed that God would make me give up the sin, because that was the only way it was going to happen because I knew I wasn't strong enough to give it up. And He answered the prayer! One night a couple weeks ago I was recording a rather depressing episode of Christianese Radio. Meanwhile, outside my bedroom door my dog kept whimpering really loudly. After a few moments I exploded with rage, stormed out of the bedroom, and smacked the dog on the back. But suddenly... it kinda felt as if someone had slapped me on the brain. It was a very strange sensation, feeling like I suddenly just... woke up. I came to my senses. With fists squeezed tightly and a glare and snarl of determination directed at Satan and his demons, but also my "old man" (as Paul puts it), I stormed into my room, took up the "Sword of the Spirit" and slayed the Sin.

Silly, but in order to keep me in high spirits as I removed the illegal downloads from my computer, I listened to Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" theme. Of course, this theme has been so cheesily over-used for dumb things, but I've always loved it, and it's always motivated me and excited me.

So, within an hour, the Sin was defeated. Christ prevailed once again. And I am very happy to report that ever since I did that my connection with God has been reconnected, and I am now deeper into Biblical teachings and Theology than I ever have been.

Thank you all for your prayers! They worked! And if I stop blogging suddenly you'll know that I have been arrested :)

Praise God for His Faithfulness!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stumbling Period

Argh. Going through a stumbling period in my Faith. I've drifted back into being a lukewarm Christian. And I'm sure a lot of that is because I still haven't brought myself to give up the stumbling block that God has called me to give up. I read God's Word reluctantly. I praise God reluctantly. I pray reluctantly. I feel so disconnected and it's my own fault. I know what I need to do, but I cower behind a facade of defenses. I can only pray that God gives me the strength to do what must be done. I ask for your prayers, too. Why can't I bring myself to give up this thing that is hurting my relationship with God? And the reason is: I can't. Only the grace of Christ through me can defeat this obstacle. I can do all things through Christ who's strength is within me. I admit the way I'm talking sounds dramatic, but it is all truely written from my very real thoughts in this very real
circumstance. Pray for me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Salvation for Good People!

I've been thinking a lot this week about the idea of Salvation. Simultaneously, I have been hearing a lot of professing Christians--some that I know, others that I don't that I saw on TV or heard on the radio--not accepting this idea that, according to God's Holy Standards (The Ten Commandments), they are not good people. Now, of course nobody wants to hear that they are a bad person, because most people don't believe they are. And for a lot of people, that's true.... by our standards. But not by God's.

There are surprisingly a lot of professing Christians who believe this way. But the problem is, they are not looking at themselves from God's perspective. God is perfect. And He requires perfection to enter into Heaven. Now, I don't know of anyone on this Earth that would actually claim they were perfect. (If you think you are... call me ;-D). So, already you can see that you won't make it to Heaven because you are not perfect, and that's what God requires.

But further more, if we take a look at His Law, which are His standards of perfection, we have to understand that if we really want to get into Heaven, we have to 100% through our whole life, from beginning to end: Put God before everything else, not put anything in His place, not say "Oh my God" or "Oh God" or "Jesus Christ" in the place of a curse word, we can't lie, steal, get angry at people or call anyone a fool or stupid (which Jesus said is equal to murder), we cannot look at someone with sexual desire (which Jesus said is equal to committing adultery), and so on!! All of us have done at least one of those things in our lives. And furthermore the Book of James tells us:
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." --James 2:10
So if we even only break one, we are automatically guilty of all.

We are not good according to the Law. And that is why we need to be Saved. If we don't believe we are not good, than Christ cannot save us. Because if you think you are good, then there's no reason for Christ to die for you and save you. It is only when we acknowledge the truth that we need to be Saved because we have violated God's Law that Christ will truly redeem us.

Christian, if you can't admit that you've violated the law and deserve separation from God, than Christ cannot save you. Please, I beg you! Think about this. Ask God to help you see and understand the truth of your predicament. And then acknowledge what Jesus Christ did for you by going through the torture of the Cross, understand that he paid the fine of a guilty man/woman; you. And then repent, turn from your sin--this doesn't mean you won't sin anymore, it just means that God will make you a new creation that doesn't want to sin because you want to obey God. And put your faith and trust in Christ Jesus alone to Save you when the Day of Judgment comes.