Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Recent Word of Prophecy.

In the first week of May, this year, I was pondering on the end of days (imagine that!) and thinking about how many people I know and have talked with who are just as sure as they can be that this coming election will go off without a hitch; that George Bush may be a terrible leader, and a liar, but his rule has no significant impact on the spiritual "big picture" (because he's foolish); and that I would be a much better evangelist if I'd just lay off the politics.

In my prayer, I reminded God that I was following Him, and not "George Bush as the Antichrist". I reminded him of how frustrating it was to be compelled to share a message that very few people receive. And while the prophets of scripture were promised to experience exactly the sort of reception that I've grown familiar with, I couldn't help but feel that it was possible that my perception was misguided.

So I prayed that the Father would give me a sign, one way or another, about George Bush. I didn't want to "wait and see" (as so many that I've talked with seem willing to do). I certainly didn't want to be deceiving people unawares. And though my study of scriptures, and of current events only served to reinforce the conclusion that Bush is the Antichrist, I know that man's reasoning ability is never perfect. And that the enemy is much trickier than people tend to give him credit for.

So I prayed for God to guide me, to reassure and strengthen my spirit, to remove all doubt if it needed to be removed, or to stop me from proclaiming something that was not the truth.
Within the week, on the night of May 10th, I was compelled to write a blog post about cyclone Nagis, and the arrogant foolishness of modern people, who presume that we are more advanced than our ancestors. It was called "How long, Oh Lord?!", and in that post, I wrote the following sentences:

"(W)hat's happened to Myanmar is clearly, above all other things, a great tragedy. Even though this sort of thing is supposed to happen if George Bush is the Antichrist, I'm still stunned when I hear of earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and "mega-disasters" like Cyclone Nagis. The world is experiencing a new degree of suffering at the hand of mother nature."

I was up until about 2AM writing that post, and when I woke up the next morning, the first thing I heard about on the news was about 22 people who were killed by a flurry of Tornadoes from Oklahoma to Georgia the night before. Immediately, I remembered what was just written. But I didn't want just a confirmation of my current beliefs, so I didn't take that as a God-worthy sign. I know that God is capable of signs that are far less coincidental than that. The jury was still out.

Why did I dare to look for a sign in the first place? Because this is serious business.

The strength and power of a disbelieving majority is very great (and reinforces doubt). Likewise, the ability of our own minds to play tricks on us is a serious factor. I was determined to let God show me clearly whatever it was that he had to show. We all have to remind ourselves at times that we aren't forging this spiritual track like Luis and Clark: we aren't in the lead. We are all, instead, like sheep being led through the wilderness by a good Shepherd. This shepherd has a much better idea of where we're going than we will need. And our idea of the right path is only true when it follows the lead of our Shepherd.

I took note of the coincidence, and decided to keep my eyes peeled for earthquakes and floods in the near future. That happened on May 11th. On May 12th, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck China, killing tens of thousands. When I heard about that, I began to tell my house-mates, other friends and my family that America was going to experience serious floods in the near future. Seeing 2 out of the 3 randomly selected natural disasters that I wrote about come to pass within 48 hours of writing gave me boldness to prophecy about coming floods.

Between May 12th and when the current flooding began, I put a lot on the line. People in my life who are cynical of my beliefs about Bush could have used the absence of floods as a confirmation that I don't know what I'm talking about. I knew that, but felt strongly that I needed to take the risk anyway. I've never considered myself to be a prophet, because I have never gotten a "thus saith the Lord" kind of word to share with people. I write and speak about what I believe to be truth, not what a heavenly voice told me to say. But in answer to my prayer I got a word of prophecy. It was an interactive experience with God that has served to fully reinforce my beliefs that these are the last days, and that this weather is the judgment of God.

In the Bible, there are two types of prophets: those whom God sends and gives a message to, and those who deceive people and manipulate them to be at ease when they should be on guard. False prophets say "Peace, peace" when there is no peace. This happened in 2001, when the religious right sighed with relief, having restored the Whitehouse to the hands of a supposed "christian". Their assurance was shown to be as wrong as it gets within that very year.

In Christian tradition, a "word of prophecy" is a spiritual gift that can be manifested by all members of the body of Christ. A believer does not have to be a prophet in order to prophecy, but the way that we can distinguish between real and false prophets is simple: When real prophets warn people, and the people do not respond; the warnings of that prophet always come true.

Conversely, whatever a false prophet says in the name of the Lord will surely not happen.

1 Corinthians 14:1-3

"Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort."


2000 RNC Convention: A Reminder.

Friday, June 27, 2008

DISCERNING THE TIME

I frequently refer to the times we are living in as 'these days' and these days, whether they are part of the tribulation period or not, are already a time like no other. If we have not yet entered the tribulation period, we are really in for a lot of excitement based on what we have witnessed thus far. I cannot say if we are in the tribulation period, but in my Spirit I seem to sense that indeed we are; possibly the first half with the worst yet to come.

Right now the whole State of California is completely covered in smoke from over 1,000 wildfires that were mostly sparked by over 8,000 lightning strikes from the past weekend. What a site that must have been from the Heavens. Surely some of those strikes had to strike twice in the same spot. Residents are told of the dangers of the smoke, especially in those with respiratory ailments, and told to stay inside. Air and road travel are complicated and lives are interrupted and inconvenienced again. The heavy smoke is now starting to affect Nevada.

In the Midwest, two more levees have broken and the Mighty Mississippi is getting mightier. In Iowa, 83 of its 99 counties have been declared disasters. The fallout from the floods will affect all of us for a long time and will be as devastating as it is to those who are experiencing its impact first hand right now.

My Spirit also seems to be telling me that we may very well be close to witnessing the breaking of the Fourth Seal of Revelation, the pale horse that escalates death and destruction worldwide. This is not said to frighten, as it is my sincere prayer that those who are being called in these days have moved past that stumbling block a long time ago, but an attempt to discern the time of these days.

Revelation 6:7-8 (King James Version):

7And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.
8And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.


By doing as God commands us, in this case by staying sober and watchful, we will not be surprised or taken off guard because we have been given time to prepare in our hearts and minds for the coming days ahead. I believe this is so very important because it not only gives us a chance to draw closer to the Lord and strengthen our faith, but to be better prepared to help our brethren who may or may not be as aware of these days as we are.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

2 Corinthians 6:17



"Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you."

I took this photo today while under a bridge leading into a training base of the Indiana National Guard. I remember seeing this last year, and wanted to come back and snap a picture of it.

Being separated from the military is not an easy task, something that I personally learned last year. Thanks to the Catholic Peace Fellowship and GI Rights I was able to obtain an entry level discharge. July 3rd will be the one year anniversary of my Boot Camp ship date, and July 4th I will be celebrating my freedom once again.

I hope everything worked out for the soldier who wrote this. My eyes were opened last summer to so many things, and I'm thankful that my boss right now isn't GB. If circumstances were different I would join up again in a heartbeat. They promise the chance to defend freedom, but when I saw what was really happening I decided to give myself to God, and not to the world.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hi all,

Wanted to post some thoughts that have been going through my head from reading the Book Engaging the Powers by Walter Wink. This book is an absolutely fabulous critique of the Imperium which we all live under, and how to oppose it with the power of the Gospel.

The biggest trap that we all can fall into is the same scapegoating habits of the imperial crew. "its the Zionists, or the NWO, they are to blame. If only we could remove them..."

Fact is, the evil of empire is a part of our existence, it is a part of all of our daily lives. If we transcend it and are given the light to see it as evil and confront it, the glory is God's, not ours. It is his mercy and grace that has made this possible, and those still trapped in its clutches are to be pitied and helped as much as we can. But even more, the cross is the only way to defeat the Imperium, we cannot use its tools (fear, oppression, violence, etc) because then it wins by destroying us or making us like it. Only by refusing to participate in its evil, and accepting the possibility of being destroyed by the power of the Empire can we ever hope to overcome it. Jesus showed us the way. No one tool his life, he gave it freely. Amen

My "thought" of the day

Hi all--now that I officially signed up on our blog, I thought I'd try and be proactive by starting a conversation. I got to thinking this week about 'racism' and 'hatred,' two entities that aren't entirely different. Any "ism" as I would call it, be it "racism" or "sexism" is a form of hate. You wouldn't believe how many people today, in our digitally-driven, smart-phone carrying society are still racist, sexist, whatever-ist. In other words, many people are filled with hate.

Hate--it's such a strong word, but it is the blackest quality our society has. Hate, in my opinion, is a disease. Combine lack of knowledge, lack of empathy, and the inability to examine oneself; and you've got the recipe for hate. Why is it that we cannot get over ourselves, so we can help somebody else?

We all make mistakes and pre-judge others before we've truly gotten to know them. The difference between a hateful person and one who loves others is that the latter knows that what they are saying or doing is wrong...and thus, tries to change it. Others ignore any negative side effects of their bitterness or hatred, choosing to continue on this destructive path.

I was reading an article in Rolling Stone this week (please note, I do not endorse this magazine in any way, shape or form, but I DO enjoy some of their political/pop culture articles.) written by Matt Taibbi, an opinionated, at times venomous reporter who covers the politics beat. In his most recent article titled, "Full Metal McCain," he illustrates the June 3rd speech McCain made in New Orleans, amidst a swarm of supporters.

Though Taibbi can carry things a bit too far, a portion of his article really stuck out in my mind. Referring to a group of women he spoke to in the audience, he wrote:

Cindy Oestriecher, a McCain supporter who turned out for his speech in New Orleans, is stumped when I ask her for an example of Obama's lack of patriotism. "What was that thing about anti-American?" she asks a friend. "What were they referring to?"
"What thing?" asks the friend.


"People were talking about that thing, that anti-American thing," Cindy says, frowning.

"You mean about the flag, the thing on the Internet?" the friend replies.

"Yeah, I guess," says Cindy. "The anti-American thing."

"That bothers you?" I ask.

"Of course it does!"

"But you don't even know what it is," I say. "You just know that someone else said he was anti-American. You don't even know who it was that said it!"

She shrugs.

What's my point? We all know what the deal is. When it comes to presidential politics, you either are or you aren't. And Barack Obama aren't. If you can't grasp the simple math of that statement, you don't know much about elections in this country. It's not about the war, or the economy, or the faltering Republican brand, or any of that: This is about hate and fear, and a dark instinct in our blood going all the way back to Salem, and whether or not a desperately ambitious ex-heretic named John McCain can whip up a big enough mob in time to drown the latest witch. (taken from http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/21129038/full_metal_mccain)

Something about the last passage really got to me...partially because, I know its true. Democrat, Independent, or Republican...we all know what hate and racism smells, feels, hears, looks like. It's ugly. It's rampant. Even today. Just this week, I had a coworker tell me she would never vote for Barack Obama because he's Muslim and doesn't support our brave men and women in Iraq. I refrained from arguing for the sake of being professional whilst at work.

I won't even come out and say who I plan to vote for here. It's no one's business but mine. But, I will say that racism and a desire for segregation are still alive and well, and may very well be beliefs that a Fortune 500-broker with a Blackberry and leather briefase carries inside, not just your proverbial "back woods" redneck.

Friday, June 20, 2008

some thoughts on existence

Most of the following subject matter comes from an email that I sent youngbrother a while back, and felt that it would be a good first post for me. Any logical/ spiritual fallacies should be quickly pointed out please :)



An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.

– Essai philosophique sur les probabilit├ęs, Introduction. 1814



The absence of believe in God, or the concept that God is not real, is
atheism. In atheism the answer to life is knowing the world, and to
look around and observe it, and all the physical marvel it is.
Figuring out the world- you figure out the the meaning. But the
more science learns about the very fabric of the universe (continued
below) - the more frustrating it becomes because the answer is on the
tip of comprehension yet fails to grace us with its presence.

If science is the answer to everything around us, your still dealt
with the question of the meaning of life. Even if you know the answer
of "How" you still have the question of "Why"

I've read about existentialism. It states that the meaning of
our lives is the path we choose for it. I liked that concept. We walk
and talk and breath and every moment is a moment in time that we
create.

That might be acceptable but lets go into greater detail on the "how?"
A question is a question, how does this world work? What has science shown us so far?

While "The Why" is transient and changing (we've debated it since the
history of mankind), the "How question" has had great leaps of
understanding.

An early scientist who wished to solve the questions of life started
with Gravity. His name was Sir Issac Newton. He came up with a theory
of how the very simple thing of gravity works. Something moves because
of it's mass and it's attraction something else. This theory goes on
and more theory's are built on top of it.

Newton's laws started to have problems when confronted with relativity. Einstein attempted to correct this with his theory of General Relativity- which states that gravity is dictated by space time curvature rather than force.

Science builds on science. A scientist by the name of Alexander Friedmann took Einsteins general relativity theory and theorized that if all matter is constantly expanding, then all matter came from a single event. The Big Bang.

The Big bang has one main question surrounding it. Scientists have been able to trace time and matter to a central point, singularity. What happens then? Its a giant question mark in the theory, and one that religious can easily interpret.

We know so much and yet we are still stumbling with the basics.

My first notion on what singularity might be- was that it is God. Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end!

No one is implying it is, because you can't prove it. The ever
inquiring atheist scientific mind cannot accept that it is something
that can't be answered by means other than the answer of "God". We see
the scientific data and yet we continue to search. The answer to the
cosmos is so close! It's much like the computer in Hitchhikers Guide
to the Galaxy. It is charged with the question of "What is the
ultimate answer?" and after million of years of computing it replied
with "42". We are tantalized by the tree of knowledge but the more we
try to understand the universe, the more and more we find ourselves
trying to understand the question "What is God".

So more questions are asked, more things are observed. We learn new
exciting things and we hope that we find the answer (it appears so
close its frustrating). We find that certain things we swore were true
and followed every bit of reason and logic start to fall apart.

So more theories are made on existence, science plows forward and attempts to answer existence without God. I found a movie that summarizes some of the more recent and fascinating attempts to summarize existence. The move is called "Super String and M Theory- Origins of the Universe" [video link included- a highly recommended watch]

Some of the highlights of the movie:
String Theory: a still-developing mathematical approach to theoretical physics, whose original building blocks are one-dimensional extended objects called strings.
M Theory: M-theory would implement the notion that all of the different string theories are different special cases and/or different presentations of the same underlying theory (M-theory). Thus the concept of string theory is expanded. Unfortunately little is known about M-theory, but there is a great deal of interest in the concept from the theoretical physics community. Computations in M-theory and string theory in general are extremely complex, so concrete results are very difficult to produce. It may be some time before the full implications of these theories are known.

The movie mainly hits the point that maybe there are other universes out there. Parallel Universes that are almost identical to ours. When I was watching this movie I had an almost spiritual ecstasy come over me, the feeling that I had stumbled upon a thought that was huge.

The thought was that if reality is what we experience right now, that maybe when we die we simply enter a different reality with God. This different reality is Heaven. The reality we have right now is Earth.

That concept just blew my mind out. It made me really stop to question this reality so much, because it doesn't matter nearly as much as focusing on God.

I shifted from wanting to know what reality is, to wanting to know the very existence of God. It seems logical to me that if you wish to know what reality is, you have to know what God is. God is our reality, he is the very fabric of life.

Now lets step back for a moment and take a breather.

When I was doing research on the topics above, young brother recommended a movie to me called "What the #*@! do we know" [video link to full movie included]

The movie deals with the following:
* The universe is best seen as constructed from thought (or ideas) rather than from substance.
* "Empty space" is not empty.
* Beliefs about who one is and what is real form oneself and one's realities.

The movie had some notable criticism. Many serious scientists felt that the movie promoted pseudoscience. Some sections of the movie had very little scientific backing, and rightfully the critics had reason to to bring it up.

defined: Pseudosciences have been characterized by the use of vague,
exaggerated or untestable claims, over-reliance on confirmation rather
than refutation, lack of openness to testing by other experts, and a
lack of progress in theory development.)

But isn't some of this quantum stuff we have watched a bit magical as
well? The "M" theory standing for Magic or Madness? But the concept
that was the strongest for me in the movie was that the smallest bits
of matter we can detect appear and dissipate at will, depending on
when and how we look at them. Reality needs an observer to be stable.

The universe is amazing. Do you really think we will figure it out?
Doesn't that really tell you something about reality and the world
that we live in? Everything is so concrete when we examine it from a
rational view, but the more you try to learn about "whats real" the
more complicated it gets.

I guess I should wrap up this post. I wanted to bounce around on these varied and sometimes unrelated subjects to bring up some questions in your own head. The material may be wrong in places, but I know that when it was combined in my head it set up some very interesting thoughts on the nature of God. Knowing God is a goal of almost every religion, and it is a noble goal.

My next post I will try to bring this information another step forward when I share with you my thoughts and personal beliefs on the concept of Heaven. I briefly touched on this but I feel that the Bible is very vague on what happens to us when we die, and maybe it is deliberately vague because the concept is so unlike anything we can imagine. I have an idea, and I would love to share my concept in the next post.

Please- if you feel that any of the information I presented needs polish or additional information to either support or criticize do not hesitate. I'm not saying it right, I'm just presenting what has been in my thoughts :] But I do hope you enjoyed this random information.

//Josh

Upgrading from Comments To Blogging

There is no doubt in my mind that each and every one of the regular contributors to Stephen Hanchett's blog is capable of publishing blog posts of your own. Some of you are already bloggers...but for those of you who have experience only in commenting, the time has come to step up to the plate, and officially begin to "blog". The invitations that I sent (to those who have given me their email address) will make you co-authors of this blog.

Some of you will post very little, while others will be moved to post much. You are free to move as the spirit leads you!

Once you sign up as co-authors of this blog, I would recommend that you re-post on here a topic that you brought up on Hanchett's blog, or something of interest to you now. I know it will be awkward, learning how to post blogs instead of comments, but once you learn how, you'd be surprised by how easy and fun it is. And you'll know, once you begin to post actual blogs, that you had the skill-set to do this sort of thing already. Take advantage of the elbow room here, and remember:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Team Blog Hints and Help

Greetings, team. You all should know why you were given invitations to share in this blog. This is the blank slate, and we are the artists. Post what you are best at posting, and let us all share in fellowship with one another (and with newcomer readers). This blog has been a long time coming

For those of you unfamiliar with blogger, and for all of us trying out group blogging for the first time, please look through this site:

Blogging Tips For Beginners

There is a topic menu if you scroll down a bit, that should answer a lot of frequently asked questions.