Monthly Archives: April 2018

Heaven has a new resident

From the K-house FB site:

Koinonia House Announces Death of Founder
Reporoa, NZ— Koinonia House announces the death of its Founder and retired Board Chairman, Dr. Charles W. “Chuck” Missler. He was 83 years old, and passed away peacefully at his home in Reporoa, New Zealand. He was preceded in death by his wife Nancy and his two sons, Charles “Chip” and Mark. He is survived by two daughters, Lisa Bright and Meshell Missler, grandchildren Emily Wilmore, Madeline Wilmore, Mason Missler, Noah Bright, James Bright, Sommer Bright, Alexandra Bright, and Sophie Missler.

Two Careers in One Lifetime
Dr. Missler was fond of saying that he enjoyed two careers following his graduation from the United States Naval Academy and service in the armed forces: leading edge technology ventures and biblical studies. Truly the passion of his life was encouraging of others to commit to the serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.

Biblical Studies and Koinonia House
Dr. Missler’s effort as a Bible scholar, author and teacher lead to him gaining international recognition. Starting with an informal affiliation with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, California Chuck became known for his insight into the integration of Scripture with science, history and prophecy. Ove the past 40+ years literally millions of Dr. Missler’s teachings has been distributed and enjoyed. From cassette tapes to MP3 audio down loads, from VCR tapes to YouTube videos the message of “The Grand Adventure” has been enjoyed by many.

American Technology Ventures
During his 30-year business career, Chuck served on the Board of Directors of over a dozen public companies, and was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of five of them. Dr. Missler received a Congressional appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Upon graduating with honors, he received his commission in the U.S. Air Force, completed his military obligations, he had become Branch Chief of the Department of Guided Missiles at Lowry AFB.

Chuck completed a Masters Degree in engineering at UCLA with additional post-graduate studies in applied mathematics, advanced statistics and information sciences, and completed his PhD at Louisiana Baptist University. His civilian career began as a systems engineer at TRW, followed by a Senior Analyst position in a “think tank” serving both the intelligence community and the Department of Defense.

Recruited by the Ford Motor Company into a Senior Management position, Chuck established the first international industrial computer network in 1966. Leaving Ford to start his own company, he founded a computer networking organization later acquired by Automatic Data Processing (NYSE) to become its Network Services Division. He subsequently served as a consultant to the Board of Directors of Rockwell International for corporate acquisitions (which included Collins Radio, American Data Systems, and others); and has also participated in over 100 business ventures as a principal, strategic advisor, or turnaround specialist.

His final consultancy in the American technology sector was as an advisor to the Super-Wide Area Satellite (SWANsat) System, an international telecommunications venture.

After a lifelong citizen of the United States, Dr. Missler repatriated to New Zealand in 2010 where he resided with his wife Nancy. A memorial service will be held in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho the date is TBD and a funeral/burial service will be held on 16 June in Reporoa, New Zealand.

………………….

Chuck Missler was one of the big influencers in my study of the Word of God.   I started listening to his studies on the 66/40 radio program (online) and worked through most of the Bible while washing the dishes… his studies in Genesis and Revelation are particularly jaw-dropping.  (Drink a pot of espresso before attempting to keep up – you can find a great deal of this on youtube or elsewhere online for free).   I went to one of his presentations here in San Diego once, and was privileged to shake his hand.

“The degree of integration of design among the 66 books is astonishing. I don’t simply mean that there is a theme in the Old Testament which is fulfilled in the New Testament. It goes far deeper than that. I believe that every number, every place name, even the hidden structures behind the text itself, bear evidence of precise, skillful engineering.”

There are too few men of Dr. Missler’s caliber.   He paired a rigorously intellectual study of the Bible-as-precision-communication with intense and personal faith.   I listen now to some of the big conservative men (Peterson, Prager, Shapiro), and something that pains me is their lack of faith – even those who choose to believe with their intellect don’t seem to have that personal understanding of the supernatural that the giants of the past had.

I’ve been blessed to learn the Word of God from teachers who didn’t tell me that I had to choose between my spirit and my brain, and Dr. Missler was definitely one of them.

My hat’s off to you, Chuck.  See you again someday.

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Patience and Fortitude

Duh moment.  Writing down so I don’t forget it….

Sitting here trying to figure out why I’m having to wait for what I know God is going to bring, and yet again, I forget.  I forget that I *asked* God to develop my patience.   I was asked to ask by a mentor… it’s not one of those things that “they” will recommend you do, because growing patience isn’t particularly pleasant.

Patience is all wrapped up with faith – I’m not being patient for nothing, I have faith in God.

Yes, things are still up in the air.  No, I don’t know what direction we’re going.  No, I don’t like that.  Yes, it was a lot easier to be patient and cheerful when I didn’t think anything was going to change.    But change will come, soon or late.

And there you find fortitude.  Content in discontent.   This is, for whatever reason, God’s will.  His PERFECT will.   I am convinced that His will, will be done.   And that it is, and will be, perfect in my eyes when I get ’round to His perspective.   I’m just waiting to get there.

All the things that I am not good at, like dailyness and being in the moment, I am being forced to practice.   It’s amusing, in its own way.   I do find myself amusing… the flopping about like a fish out of water.  It’s not as if my life is actively unpleasant, it’s a very nice life – I’m just being grown.  Matured.

Why do I talk about it?  In some ways, to talk it out.  In other ways, because I don’t find a lot of folks writing amidst the struggle.   I mean, if you’re struggling you’re not sitting down to write.  So you get a ton of books written after the fact, encouraging you to walk through that moment with joy, because it will pass.  And those things are encouraging.  But … well, maybe I suffer from having grown up in a very outwardly perfect kind of church.   I’ve talked about that.  I don’t want to pretend to be someone that I am not.

And maybe I just want this to be out there, for the next person.  The one that says it’s all too hard, and “you” are just super spiritual and “I” just am not.  I’m not freaking super spiritual!!!!!  If you had the *slightest* idea of the amount of whining-in-prayer I’m doing right now… oy.  It’s good that God is all-loving, because I’m sick of myself.

And then there’s that too.   We don’t talk about that… how we’re supposed to relate to Him like kids to our Father, not like adults to our boss.  I’m learning that… learning, as I am sick of my whining, to not suggest that He take a certain course of action on my behalf, but just running to His arms and crying, “It hurts!”

Speaking of past grace, I’ve often said that if I knew how breaking my foot would fix my marriage, I’d have gotten out a hacksaw and chopped it off.  That’s true.  But IF it had been my conscious choice to cut my foot off to save my marriage (my foot is still attached, thanks) then I would always be able to point to myself and say, “look at me, how awesome *I* am, that I made this huge sacrifice and I *deserve* what I got in return”.  Ugh.  I don’t want to be that person – but I know that’s who I would be.   It wasn’t a sacrifice – God just used the situation in myriad ways to get us through a storm we couldn’t have gotten through on our own.    There were a lot of moments in that mess where God showed up with *perfect* timing… like when my SIL dropped by unexpectedly and talked us off the edge.   She needed to be there, at that very SECOND.  And she was.  She doesn’t drop by that often.   The day I broke my foot, I  was about to give up and get a job, be more independent.   Then I was made radically more dependent.   God’s weird like that – He doesn’t teach the lessons we think we need to learn, or open the opportunities we think we should have, He provides what we really do need, in ways we couldn’t imagine.

So I know – I know I know I know – that God’s timing is perfect and His ways are mysterious.  And I’m down.

As I’ve said before… my faith in God is solid.  My faith in my understanding of His plans is not.  And yet… I can’t shake that inner joy.   What does that mean?  I don’t know.   For now, I guess it means I should go do the next thing that wants doing… even if it’s a fiddly bit of sewing.  🙂

Talk to y’all later.

 

Spirit vs. Flesh

Have you ever felt like you were in sin, because your flesh didn’t align with your spirit?

It’s an interesting thing.   I’ve long ago come to the conclusion that while the Bible instructs us to action, it does not instruct us to emotion.   The things that sound like emotion are either gifts of the Spirit, or series of choices that look like emotions, but aren’t.

The usual example is love.  The Bible speaks of agape love, which is something that you choose to live out in action, not an emotion that you choose to have about someone.  Frequently, the emotion of love follows the action.   You may even be gifted agape by the Spirit – but you don’t *start* there.

Other “emotions”, such as peace and joy, are likewise gifts of the Spirit that can result from obedience.  I’d forgotten about the in-between time…. the time when you’ve made a *choice* to obey and walk forward in God’s will but your fleshly emotions haven’t been transformed.

The Holy Spirit has transformed my spirit into a place of joyful peace and excitement.   Certainty.  But in my flesh, I see signs of stress.   Why is this?  How have I failed?  What am I missing?  I am ruthless in my self-examination… I don’t like to fix my symptoms, I like to fix their cause.

I forgot.  I just forgot.

I’ve been directed in my reading to the Psalms of late, and I thought yesterday about King David, running from Saul in the wilderness, when he wrote many of those songs.   He is, on the one hand, certain that God will protect him, that God is his strength and his shield.   He is certain that God will provide for him what he was promised.   But on the other, David is pretty stressed out (far more than I am – no one is chasing ME around trying to kill me).   And David cries out in these psalms… speaking to God of his faith, his love – and his frustrations!

So, why did God call David a man after God’s own heart?  Because David (even under temptation) did not reach out to TAKE what had been promised him.  David waited until Saul died on his own.  David waited to have the door opened for him.   David trusted God, in the most practical of ways.  His emotions, those things that caused him to write such beautiful songs…. he didn’t act on those.  He acted on faith.

And so, likewise, am I – in much much much smaller ways.  It’s hard.  I don’t know God’s timeline.  But when you ask me, “are you sure of God’s provision?”  Yes.  Without a breath of argument, yes.

The faith is there.  The choice to trust is there.  And I can STOP with the endless poking at myself, trying to root out hidden sin.  The impatience and stress are just there.  They’re not signs of some hidden evil, they’re just body things.  The flesh DOES war with the spirit.  Okay.  So I can care for my flesh without indulging it, and feed my spirit and spend time with my Creator and get on with life.   If I keep my ‘ears’ open, God will direct my steps for each of my days, and I won’t miss anything.   If I obey in the details, He will take care of the big picture.   I’m not going to screw this up … I’m walking with Him now.

I have to remember that last – that God’s promises don’t depend on ME.  Or anyone else in flesh.  They’re God’s promises, and He will sort them out.  When He has done the big things in my life that He’s done – NONE of them have depended on ***me***.  So I can stop torturing myself and get on with life.

Maybe.  -winks-  I’m not so good at that.  But I’m going to ask for peace……. God does like to give you what He wills for you to have.

Keep Your Eyes Upon Jesus

That’s the message I’ve been getting repeatedly this last few months.   Only, and I’m just going to be honest here, I’m not entirely sure how to do that.  No, don’t comment the basic stuff, I get that, I do that.  Worship, prayer, devotions, Bible reading – check.    But when I stare at Jesus I either get to feeling like a scrubby worm and then curl up on myself and beat myself up, or I get so excited I expect change instantly – and I get unacceptably impatient.

The practice of gratitude was way more helpful – looking at the ways in which God has come through in our lives, usually just in the nick of time.   I have been present for miracles of timing that have changed the course of my life – repeatedly.

Just writing this out (y’all know I write to think) …    When I’m looking at Jesus and thinking about Him in relation to me, I’m really still looking at myself.   I need to *relax* and just look at Him.   Watch Him in all the ways He is working, observe His character, and just chill out.

It’s difficult to truly give over my concerns and my timing and just be.  If there is something I am terrible at, it’s living in the moment.   Even though I know that I can trust Jesus with everything, I … well, I like to work.  I like to be doing and shaping and planning.  (I really really love planning).

I see this tendency and I understand it – although I am surrendered to His will in my life, it’s not like I’m opinion-free.  It’s not like every decision of His for me has been what I wanted (and that absolutely includes the things that were for my own long-term best interest that I didn’t know in that moment).   Humans strive, we want to do things on our own.  -shakes head-  If there is one lesson that I keep getting, it’s that one.  I don’t know why I don’t get to go off and do things on my own (perfectly appropriate, normal things) but I’ve been choke-chained more than once.

I have to let go and just trust.  JUST trust.  Not “trust and do” – just TRUST and look to HIM, not to me, not to anyone else.   If y’all think that sounds easy, you haven’t done it.

Matthew 14: 28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” 29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

When I look at the wind, or the waves, I stop looking at Jesus.  I CANNOT walk on the water, so I might as well stop trying to figure out how.

Hope Scalds

For me, Hope is one of the great needs in life.  Air.  Water.  Food.  Hope.

If you somehow convince me that a situation can never be changed, I’ll leave the situation.  If you convince me that I can’t leave (and there is a strong possibility that I’ll chew my arm off to get out) then I droop.  I despair.   I stop doing ANYTHING.   It gets ugly.  Really, really, REALLY ugly.   Like, it’s a good thing that I can’t stomach alcohol, because I’d have vodka stashed in the couch ugly.

I don’t mind having to change tactics.  I don’t mind having to come at things from a different angle.  I’m all about flexibility.  And heaven forbid you think I mind working – I don’t.

But I won’t work if there is no hope.   Likewise, if I have to slog through and do my time … and I can’t speed anything up, but I just have to sit there?  Nap time!   I will do the bare minimum necessary to get to where I have to go.   Not pretty – and I’m not pretending that this is a nice part of my personality.

What’s hard for me is to have a problem and NOT mess with it.   To take my hands off and go do something else – that takes a tremendous amount of willpower, and preferably a choke collar with spiky bits inside.

But not everyone is me.   I talked to my BFF and to a couple of other people, and person after person told me essentially that they just got through the days – hope was dangerous, because you HOPE in something that you do not yet have, and that emotional investment can be scaldingly painful if it is taken away.   Interesting.  As a person who runs on hope, I am often disappointed.   I get my nose bopped, I get hurt, I sit down and mope for a minute…. and then I find another facet to work on or a whole new hope to invest in.   But I -literally- run on hope.

So, I’ve learned not to share my dreams with just anyone… it’s sad, because I’m perfectly happy to generate hope for others.   (And a path to the hoped-for-object, because I’m practical as well as dreamy).   I don’t like scalding people.

I have a problem right now (well, it’s not MY problem) and I can’t do anything about it, and I’m being cuddled and loved and kept busy… God is GOOD.   All my dreams could come true, does God will… or not, if not.   God is in total control.  I long, long, long ago surrendered to His will for my life, even if I don’t like it.  He’s God, I’m not.  We do things His way around here.

God is ALWAYS in total control, but not every season in life lends itself to that knowledge.   He often allows us the illusion of control.  But it’s an illusion.   Why should I not hope?  Any child can ask their father for a certain gift – and sometimes they get it, and sometimes not.   A healthy relationship with your Father is like a healthy parent-child relationship, where the child is not reluctant to reveal the desires of their heart, nor to surrender those desires to greater wisdom and perfect timing.

The difference is that we teach our children to do for themselves and not be dependent on us, for the children must grow up to be parents themselves one day.   We, as Christians, have growing up to do, but it seems to me that the more I grow in Christ, the more knowingly dependent I become, not less.   I grow in trust, in faith… and yes, in hope.

Hope does scald… but I wouldn’t trade it for despair, which is always five degrees cooler than room temperature, and a bit sticky.

I don’t want to be stuck.   Hope is easy – waiting is hard.

Caged Beast

Once upon a time, they caught a wolf and her mate.  They put them in a cage.  For years, the wolf howled, begging for release.   She hated the zoo.   But her mate was content there, even happy.   And so, the wolf eventually stopped howling at the moon, and concentrated on creating a wonderful den within the confines of the zoo.  She and her mate had cubs, and they raised them to adolescence.

Sometimes the wolf would see the moon over the bars of her cage and she’d long to howl, but she’d turn her face away and continue to make her den as nice as she could.  She connected with good resources, and she and her cubs were well taken care of.  She told herself to be grateful – and most of the time, when the moon didn’t sing, she was.  She had all the food she needed, she was safe, she was warm.

But her mate started to grow thin and tired.  He was brought out to display every day.   He didn’t complain, but his fur started looking patchy, and he didn’t have the energy he once had.   The wolf, who had been taking excellent care of herself (having nothing else to do) grew worried.   She made the den as nice as she could, and ministered to him when he was home, but she had no power to lighten his load.   Even if she were to go on display, it was him the crowds wanted, not her.

One day, someone came by and rattled the door to their cage.  No, not the door that her mate was brought out through when on display, but the door that they’d been shoved through, once upon a time.  Someone looked in on them from that side… Someone who caused her to trust irrationally… and words were spoken that she could not understand.

Hope, long buried, raised its head, and the wolf threw her head back and howled with everything she had within her.   She instantly hung her head in shame.  Her heart’s desire added a burden onto her mate, already sickened by his daily parade.   But she could hear the words outside her cage… what were they saying?  She’d heard rumors that sometimes, animals were released back into the wild… would they do that for her family?

She started dreaming of fresh air and peace.  She remembered her mate, so happy as the alpha of their pack, and how he had thrived, directing the other wolves and caring for them.   She looked around at her beautiful den and she felt a pang – there was much here to be grateful for.  Shame came again… why should she want something else?

She paced.  And then the zookeeper came to her – the one whose words she’d heard outside her cage.  He sat with her and petted her, calming her fears.  She still didn’t understand what he was saying, but she grew to trust him.   He brought her treats, and comforted her.

Now she was filled with confusion – she trusted the zookeeper utterly, but at the same time she’d never been a tame wolf.  She knew he’d never hurt her, and had her best interests at heart… but she didn’t know what he might do, or when he might choose to do it.

Hope had stirred up trouble… trust gave her peace… and every day, the wolf grew to hope more, and to be more peaceful.   But would she ever find herself running free?

What will the zookeeper choose?