Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sara Groves what I thought I wanted


One of the most intellectual, melodic, and poetic women in music: Sara Groves.

I saw Sara Groves live in concert in Peoria, IL about 2005, at Riverside Church. It was like a Beatles concert. Teenage girls were screaming "We love you Sara!!!" It was astonishing. I was in a bad time of my life and her music uplifted me incredibly.


"What I Thought I Wanted" -- Sara Groves

Tuxedo in the closet, gold band in a box
Two days from the altar she went and called the whole thing off
What he thought he wanted, what he got instead
Leaves him broken and grateful

I passed understanding a long, long time ago
And the simple home of systems and answers we all know
What I thought I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and somehow peaceful

I keep wanting you to be fair
But that’s not what you said
I want certain answers to these prayers
But that’s not what you said

When I get to heaven I’m gonna go find Job
I want to ask a few hard questions, I want to know what he knows
About what it is he wanted and what he got instead
How to be broken and faithful

What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted
What I thought I wanted

Staring in the water like Esops foolish dog
I can’t help but reflect on what it was I almost lost
What it was I wanted, what I got instead
Leaves me broken and grateful

I’m broken and grateful
I want to be broken and grateful
I want to be broken, peaceful, faithful, grateful, grateful
I want to be broken, peaceful, faithful, grateful, grateful


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Monday, March 4, 2013

Friday, December 14, 2012

How To Seek and Find God SERMON



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Here's my sermon #157 "How to Seek and Find God" on BlogTalkRadio.

There is only one true God. God made Himself known through the Bible and through the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. These two avenues are the perfect and infallible manifestations of God the Father, Creator of the Universe and Beyond.

He wants human beings to feel a desire to know Him and be one with Him. He has infinite blessings to give to us and He wants us to live with Him in heaven forever.

God knows that we live in a dangerous realm, called "the world", that is temporarily influenced by the celestial traitor Lucifer, now known as the Devil. God wants to rescue us and protect us.

What causes a soul to renounce the material realm and its cravings? What prompts a person to want to be set free from evil within? What leads a mind to go exploring and questing for spiritual reality?

In the midst of the confusion, deception, and chaos of this world, there is a way to search for and discover who the real and only God is.

Seek and you will find. Here's how to accomplish the most important task of everyone's life.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

North Korean Christians Our Prayer Focus



The Christian Metaphysical Society, headquartered in the USA, has officially designated North Korean Christians as our prayer focus. We decided to select what may be the most anti-Christian and politically repressive nation on earth as our intervention target.

As we investigated the underground church in North Korea, we were surprised to discover that North Korean believers seem to be more worried about us than we are about them. Our treasures tend to be on earth, not heaven. Our faith is weak and untested because we don't face severe persecution.

The Christian church in America is increasingly materialistic, money-loving, warmongering, and apostate. American Christians tend to be worldly, heretical, unbiblical, lazy, hedonistic, self-centered, and void of missionary zeal.

We are in such rotten shape, it's becoming hard to distinguish Christian pastors from corporate CEOs or New Age shamans.

Worship services are loud rock concerts, hymnals are vanishing, weird and grotesque manifestations are proclaimed to be signs of the Holy Spirit, and false unscriptural doctrines are being delivered in popular books sold at Christian bookstores.

Stuffed with the false "prosperity gospel", American Christians are often obsessed with obtaining more material blessings from God, more luxuries, jewelry, houses, cars, and expensive clothing -- and care little to nothing about impoverished and persecuted members of the Body of Christ.

Growing fat, smug, and narcissistic, the lukewarm, pleasure-craving church of America is in moral decay and spiritual decline.

Perhaps this is why America is being punished with corrupt leaders, bad economic decisions, destructive storms, rising unemployment, and increased crime rates.

This abandoning of the faith once delivered to the apostles is why North Koreans pity us and pray for our enlightenment.

Here are some of the bitter realities that face you when you become a born again follower of Jesus Christ in North Korea:

(1) Owning a Bible can result in spending the rest of your life in prison, tortured and malnourished.

(2) People are publicly executed for distributing Bibles, which are banned by the government.

(3) Christianity is considered a propaganda tool of the United States and thus it is hated by the North Korean leaders.

(4) Christians are often labeled as "spies" for America or South Korea and are thus viewed as enemies of the nation.

(5) The official state religion is Juche. This personality cult of Juche is the worship of Kim Il Sung, former leader, as God and now Kim Jung Il, the nation's current leader, as the Son of God -- similar to the situation of the early Christians in Rome, where they had to confess Caesar as Lord.

(6) Spiritual life is said to not exist. According to Juche, there is only physical life and political life. It is political life that is eternal.

(7) Pictures of the nation's leaders are posted everywhere and the people are commanded to venerate and honor these images.

(8) Pyongyang ("Flat Land)", the capitol of North Korea, experienced in 1907 a miraculous repentance revival. A cataclysmic Christian spiritual revolution occurred that lasted for 40 years. This revival expanded both Christianity and modernity throughout Korea. Protestant churches popped up all over the country. Pyongyang was called "the Jerusalem of the East".


READ MORE

Persecution.org North Korea articles

North Korean Christians

Christianity Today articles on North Korean Christianity


LISTEN TO

Sermons on North Korea at SermonAudio.com

North Korean Audio Weblog at SermonAudio.com

Hackberry House of Chosun at SermonAudio.com




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dealing with Atheist Insanity

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Atheists cannot think correctly. Their excuses for rejecting God are lies.

They tend to hate God and if you confront them with the true basis of their unbelief, they will become angry with you.

Here's how to deal with all this nonsense.

Download free mp3 of "Dealing with Atheist Insanity" sermon.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Prayer as Communication and Transformation

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Sermon #146 "Prayer as Communication and Transformation"

Praying is a spiritual practice that is far beyond a mere ritual, rote saying, memorized set of phrases, or emergency measure.

Prayer is a breathing of your spirit, inhaling the fragrances of heaven.

Prayer is more than just talking with God. Prayer is a weapon in spiritual combat and a technique for spiritual growth into maturity.

It also is a form of metaphysical power that transforms the very structure of mind and alters the contents of your heart. Prayer is occupying your thoughts with the presence of God so that you put on the mind of Christ.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Secret Dynamics of Super Faith

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Sermon #145 "Secret Dynamics of Super Faith"

The key to faith that works wonders in partnership with God is to understand the origin of faith and its principles of growth.

We are called to do supernatural feats in this world. We are not born again to just plod along with a mediocre life and lukewarm spirituality.

We are to be like Jesus, think like Him, and do what He did.

Super Faith is our right as sons and daughters of God our Father.

Super Faith consists of (1) Believing (2) Trusting (3) Obeying.

Let's find out how to achieve Super Faith that gives our life an excitement and purpose that is beyond the reach of most pew potato, "do nothing" Churchians.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

God's Blessings Not Decreased by Evil Society

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Sermon #143 "God's Blessings Not Decreased by Evil Society"

As the citizens of America become more lazy, dumbed down, and evil, we get the government that reflects our sinful ways.

But governments, leaders, and institutions are typically extremely hostile to righteousness. We cannot hope to reform and purify any groupings of unsaved, fallen humans.

Our hope is not in political action, but in the new heavens and new earth that will be ushered in by God, after He deals decisively with the devil and those who follow satanic paths.

Christians throughout history have suffered and struggled under oppressive governments, sleazy society, and corrupt religious leadership, whether pagan or fake Christian.

We ought not get depressed or exhausted by the workings of evil in this world, but continue to work, pray, share our faith, imitate Christ, and praise God.

Every passing day brings us one day closer to the eternal kingdom of God.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Is Separation from Society a Sin?


You often hear Protestant Bible teachers and pastors condemn Christian hermits, ascetics, and monastic practices. The consensus seems to be "shame on them for removing themselves from society" and "we are called to be lights to the world and a witness within society".

While I agree with the doctrine that Christians are to share their faith with others, this does not mean there is no justification for withdrawing from society and pagan culture, and even from institutionalized churches, to get alone with God, to contemplate, study, and pray in solitude.

There are tremendously blessed examples of isolation, of getting away from the human herd, of retreating to a quiet, lonely place to focus on God and the inner life of the soul, our mental struggle with personal sin and spiritual  combat and growth.

I have a hard time with those who are quick to condemn the Christian hermits and ascetics. I have derived great spiritual value from the writings of monks, nuns, and hermits who lived in the first to fifteenth centuries. 

Many times, they left the church because it was thoroughly corrupt, and so was society.

They left their friends and companions, who were submerged in sinful talk and behavior. They renounced both the hypocrisy of their religious leaders and the lure of their pagan, wicked culture. 

So they went out into deserts, caves, mountains, islands, wilderness, to pray, fast, study scripture, contemplate, struggle with sin in their souls, fellowship with other hermits and monks, and share their insights with people who came to see them.

I'm wary of those who despise and ridicule these great and wonderful saints. Often it seems that the injunction to "remain in society and be a light to others" is based on an unspiritual attachment to worldliness, success, materialism.

Some may say that monasteries and hermitages degenerated into a spiritual elitism and became corrupt, and even perverse, with such practices as self-flagellation and dangerous deprivations, indicative of masochism and prideful bravado.

Every revolutionary or reform movement becomes corrupted into reflecting what they rebelled against.

From the very beginning of the Christian faith, which began as meetings in private homes and in catacombs, there were tares sown in with the wheat, wolves in sheeps clothing, false teachers and prophets infiltrating.

At one point, apostle Paul said, "All they that be in Asia are turned away from me."

As I have not found a church to participate in, I have my own hermitage, a monk's cell in which I train myself and worship and study. 

From my study of three volumes of The Philokalia, and Evolution of The Monastic Ideal, and other literature, including works by Thomas Merton, I get the sense that withdrawal from church and state can be a very good thing, and not necessarily a rejection of the Great Commission, or an alienation from society, as most Protestant Bible teachers and pastors think it has to be.

My study of early Christian ascetics shows that they were taking the "love not the world" command seriously and deprived themselves of luxuries, dainties, gluttony, and participation in the culture that surrounded them.

But today, you can barely distinguish Christian culture from pagan culture in terms of music, literature, dress, speech, divorce rates, predators, etc. 

A good example of mainstream heresy is THE SHACK or PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE books.

When the institutional church is corrupt and contrary to Biblical teachings and practices, a hermitage or monastic life style can be a remedy for individuals. 

The book PAGAN CHRISTIANITY by George Barna and Frank Viola (I'm not endorsing Frank's other works and associations) is a great resource on what is pagan in the modern church, including one pastor doing all the oratory in a local church and acting as CEO.

Materialistic church people like to warn believers to not depart from society, to live a normal life, work at a regular job, and be around average people.

They insist on joining a local church, so as to obey the instruction of  "not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together". But the "church" is "wherever two or three are gathered together in My name", Jesus said. 

Jesus Christ himself often withdrew not only from society, but the "church" (temple at Jerusalem), and even the fellowship of his own disciples, to mountains and wilderness locations, "lonely places", to pray and have a private audience with God the Father.

I think the current danger is not "exclusion from society" but immersion in it -- with conformity to its attitudes and behaviors.

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