Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Much To Consider Pt. II (And then some)

Hey bloggers,

I'll be back later today to finish this, but in the meantime, I found this video that includes some clips from Ben-Hur (see yesterday's article). Again, you'll need to scroll down to the music player and pause it so that you can hear the song (which is one of my favorites)...


OK, I’m back…finding time to write anything today has been challenging, to say the least…we just found out that we have to go to Washington day after tomorrow, and are having to rearrange some things in the already busy schedule…and I just found out that Betty Orsini’s mom just passed away, so I’ve got to go see about that.

The bottom line is, I may not get to finishing this article today. But please feel free to continue the discussion without me. I love what you've already written (8 comments). It’s no problem putting your stuff through, even when I'm busy with something else...and sometimes I enjoy just seeing where the conversation takes you on your own…Be back as soon as I can…

_____________...Even later

OK, now I’m really back…

First of all, I owe everyone connected with this blog a huge apology! I really didn’t think about it at the time, but I realize now that I did something very hypocritical here last week…something very wrong and counter-productive…and for that I sincerely ask for your forgiveness.

I’m referring to the fact that, in answer to someone’s question a few days ago, I re-posted a letter that had been on here before, but that I had removed some time back for several reasons. Many of you will remember that when I first started the blog, it was primarily about answering my critics, defending my doctrine, and protecting my reputation concerning things that had been written about me on-line. But after a few weeks of being bombarded with pointless arguments from the religious cyber-community, I decided to change the direction of the blog, and to move away from the defensive posture that I had been taking here. So I deleted all of the original stuff (for a long time you could still find it all on-line, but it seems to be all gone now), and re-created the edifying, Christ-exalting site that we now all enjoy. The one thing that I kept was the article about my son, Jared, simply because it saves me time in not having to answer people about the things they read about him and his band on-line.

The reason I say that I did something hypocritical is that today I was scrolling back through all of the articles that are listed under the Blog Topic “reconciliation”, and it occurred to me (especially when I read the articles from May 9 – “Forgive the World”, and March 12 – “How Great is our God!”), that I had said I wouldn’t answer my critics or defend myself any more. It’s not that I can’t answer them, it’s just that doing so doesn’t do anything to build the Kingdom of God or to help people. Jesus generally avoided answering the questions (which were traps) of the Pharisees for the same reason.

You know how I said the other night in a sermon that the hardest thing you’ll ever do is to walk in your own revelation? Well, I’m confessing my fault in that area here, because I have already said (more than once, in fact) that it didn’t matter to me what people thought of me, and yet I still took a defensive stance concerning an accusation that had been hurled at me.

The worst part of it is that when I posted the article, it opened up a very negative atmosphere here, and suddenly there was a mean-spirited tone coming from the bloggers that is out of character for them, and totally out of keeping with the purpose of this blog. Don’t get me wrong…I’m not accusing those of you who wrote the negative stuff. I take full responsibility for everything that was here (that has now been deleted) because all of you were simply taking your cues from me, and I willingly posted all of your comments. In all honesty, I must confess that I cringed at some of the stuff that many of us said here (I am the chiefest of sinners in that respect), but my flesh enjoyed it, even though it grieved my spirit. I love the fact that you all want to protect me, but I’m a big boy…I shouldn’t even need that kind of affirmation at this point…and I am your shepherd. I should have never taken you there.

You may say that we were all justified in our reactions, because some really negative things were said about me by someone who doesn’t know me…but that’s not the point. I have already said that I would turn the other cheek, regardless, and yet I didn’t do it. Hopefully, I have at last learned my lesson in this respect.

As to the subject of answering doctrinal questions here, I can only say that I have already answered those questions presented to me over and over again, and at this point I consider that I owe no man anything but to love him. Besides, you can have all of your doctrinal ducks in row, and still be completely wrong in your motives. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. And no matter how many questions you answer, one man’s revelation is another man’s heresy. One man’s spiritual evolution is another man’s apostasy. One man’s ascent into greater truth is another man’s descent into error. One man’s orthodoxy is another man’s legalism. One man’s Scriptural interpretation is another man’s false doctrine. One man’s liberty in Christ is another man’s deception. My only answer to anyone concerning my preaching is this:

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1, 2 – KJV)

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what anyone says about me, or accuses me of…it doesn’t justify sarcasm and insults on my part. We wrestle not with flesh and blood.

I am confessing my fault that I may be healed. The sound of His voice has taken the sword from my hand.

Please forgive me, and agree with me that this battle in my life is won once and for all…

(Please pause the music player before viewing this...)



Erik said...

The famous last line of the movie is Judah Ben-Hur telling his family of how his encounter with Christ delivered him from his hatred and need for vengeance…“And I felt His voice take the sword out my hand”…

The voice of The Anointed One, Faithful and True, Daystar, The Word transcending into Flesh, has taken the sword from all of our hands.

Bitterness, fear, judgment, (and the like) doubt of The Creator - the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, has been taken from our hands. The Tree of Life is in our hands, that fruit is pleasure, peace, love, most beneficial and all completely permissible. That fruit is pure, lovely, messy, real, and beautifully raw, unprocessed, un-sanitized, vulnerably naked, confident, and trusting God in Eden indeed.

The God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, and Jacob, The Roman Centurion, The Magi, Zacheus, Mary Magdelan, Menassah, of All.

Each service, like again Sunday, we all share in the experience that is so sweet, transcendent, clear, embracing and expanding – that connection together though all of us, The Spirit singing, flowing, the illuminated outpouring out of each of us, all of who we are, blending with each other, The Alpha and Omega who is Lord, experiencing that connection, is what we try to describe in religion, in song, in celebration, in edification of each other , of every person who exists, and praise of God, which both are like each other. That connection is something every person has available, regardless of what words they employ to express their Spirit in the material world.

‘ The Voice, takes the sword from our hand’ – The Voice brings us love of All Others and Love of The Creator, as we Love Ourselves. Vengeance is gone for any one of us, it all belongs, far out of our hands, and only belongs to The Lord beyond anything we can possibly control, only thing blessedly in our grasp is The Love of every other , ourselves, and God. The sword that was previously used against ourselves of fear, accusation, and doubt, has been removed. We now only have the blessing, Love, edification of every other person left in us. Praise God !!! We All experience The Presence in every day in our own lives, and enjoy The Presence in our time together, in one place as well. All of this touches each moment of our lives. We shout a Halell to Jah, to ourselves, to each other in every moment. That is how we live from moment to moment. Within, between, and beyond the fabric of physical reality, we are Spirits first, then living in this material world. This material word is as sacred as the Spiritual, since all is the Expression of The Essence, (God, Yaweh, Allah, Vishnu, whatever word you can think of even Halamaka -from the belly– it is the expression of what eternally exists within each of us, and that we each connect to) . The voice has removed the sword, and put The Love of Faithful and True into the hands of each one of us.

Anonymous said...

I really don't want to see more than what is really there, but it seems to me that young Charlton and young Judah have some similar facial features. Not only that, but they are both long and lean.
See what you think.
When I saw the video, my first thought was that the Holy Spirit was showing you more than a name.

Anonymous said...

Good morning,

That movie is a parallel to what Christ means to each of us.

I can not say it any better than Erik or anyone else for that matter, but must say it as best I can. This present state is very much like a movie that we both produce and star in. The amount of research we do and gathering of information upon which to found the story is beneficial but the most important thing we will do is to listen to the Director.

Yes, anon @ 0410, Judah is already a star and no matter where he goes to produce his movie he already has much material to work with. He and his brothers and sister are already in the production of four very beautiful movies.

Erik, many new movies are in the process of being made based on the timeless concept of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. You are right to say that it does not matter by which name we call the Director as long as we listen to that ONE voice that is inside each of us. Christ my Director is also Christ my expression as an actor.

Christ has been called by many names by many producer/actors throughout the existence of material created for all to work with. No story is the same but all are founded on the same material and each one has the same Director.

What will my movie tell of my interactions with God and creation?

How well will I interpret the Director's advise and follow the supervision of my performance?

What will those of us who have existed on earth say in our collective omnilogy?

As we follow the directive to lay down the sword and love ourselves, each other and God the omnilogy is beginning to take shape. May we all play our roles to the best of accomplishing the directive of Love.


mayam said...

Good Morning Holy Spirit,
Good Morning Bishop,
Good Morning Bloggers:

Kazan was indeed a paradox...He was targeted by the HUAC because he was involved with New York's Group Theater - viewed as a extreme left-wing company, and because he had joined the Communist Party in 1935, leaving it disgruntled less than 2 years later. Initially, he denied any communist leanings in the Group Theater, soon changing his testimony under pressure from 20th C. Fox President Spyros Skouras.

Ironically, he followed this action with three revealing films: Panic in the Streets (1950) about the race against time to control/arrest an epidemic that was probably a metaphor for the communist scare in the US; Streetcar Named Desire (1951) with one of its main story lines being about the inability to outrun one's past; and, On The Waterfront (1954), a film that examines and defends an informant's rationale.

Kazan's incessant dissection of the immigrant outsider...the "imperfect" American...was the key to the brilliance of his work in my opinion. (Can all American's not relate in one form or another?) For that reason, it is impossible for me to separate his politics, self-perception, and even his weaknesses (the greatest possibly being contradiction) from his artistry. In his own way - through his films - I felt he sought some form of redemption...

Ironically, he was deaf when he received the award and did not hear the boos from industry colleagues...but he could see...

I love Kazan's work, and this could go on longer than it should... but I felt such a connection between Bishop's message Sunday on shame and knowing someone one way on a personal level that is presented another way in the media or other public vehicle; and my regard for his work from my perspective as an intimate observer of American film.

Also, the whole idea of naming names...Judah and all...how powerful the sheer act of naming a name can be...

Rest easy,

Anonymous said...

Good morning all,
I had a great breakfast this morning. Here is what I had..........


"Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence,

1. I walk in the confidence that comes from knowing who I am in Christ, that He has made me righteous, and that He wants me to be involved with His plan of redemption for the earth. My heart does not condemn me ("For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God." – 1 John 3:20, 21),

2. I will rise above any sense of inadequacy that attempts to paralyze me

3. I will hold my head high

4. I will face up to the consequences of my mistakes. I will not run and hide from them like a coward, but I will have the confidence to deal with them head on, doing what I have to do to correct them.

5. I will have the confidence to admit when I am wrong, making allowances for error without compromising greatness. Greatness is not perfection, and confidence that comes from a false sense of perfection is not real confidence

6. I will find the balance between Christ-consciousness and self-confidence.

7. I will be strong in the Lord


I am going to have a great day today, hope you all do too....

The video is great but I think the movie would have been better if the chariots had a front wheel and a HD 164 horsepower 89 CID XL engine is equipped with an AeroCharger and a NOS nitrous oxide system. With Big Boy 3in. Hard Chrome pipes!!!!


Anonymous said...

I am sorry to have to tell you this, but real race chariot drivers
wear bow-ties. Apparently you've never seen a souped-up chariotolet.

Nothing to lose

Anonymous said...

Good Afternoon BITN,

What a profound statement. I have never seen Ben-Hur but am now inspired to do so. For a long while, in various relationships and situations I have not felt the need to "prove my point" or be right or win. I mentioned to a friend last week that I felt "disarmed"....not passive or indifferent just unwilling to resolve conflict or disagreement outside of the love and peace of God. I have indeed "felt His voice remove the sword out of my hand."

DoubleBack Alley said...

Dayam Mayam

Unbelievable...would say more, but my chin is on the floor. You are incredible.

Ain't God Good?

Cliff Hancock said...

…“And I felt His voice take the sword out my hand”…


good call erik

Iris said...

Bishop, my head is still tying to absorb Sunday’s service… “Who told you that you are naked” “Who told you that you are sick”… “Who told you that you are poor”… The tree of life restored through Jesus… Our perception has to change to see ourselves the way He sees us through the tree of life…

Since Sunday I’ve been Reflecting on the garden…A lot happened there…
Oneness…The Creator and the Created walking together…Laughter… Purity…Innocent Joy…Life unending…

The tree… The struggle… The snake…The lie… The enticement… Lured…Souls drawn to pleasure, to independence from God… Inner agony…Who’s will?... The choice… Death of innocence…Entrance of death… The fall… Tear stains mingled with fruit stains…

God watched…never turning…ever loving… yearning for the garden again… time for redemption restored had come…

The creator… the divine artist now again forms a body… this time His own…Fleshly divinity… Skin layered on spirit…

Once again a tree… Once again a struggle…Hearts torn… Once again the question.. Who’s will?...

Then the choice… Tearstains mingled with blood stains… Relationships restored… Bridge erected…

Once again He smiles…”It is good.”

Just as death came by the means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man… For just as ALL people die because of their union with Adam… in the same way ALL are raised to life because of their union with Christ…

Through the resurrection of the second tree of life… we can enjoy His original purpose… we can be commune… move in and out… enjoy being naked before Him… trusting in the vulnerability… being totally exposed… complete openness… not using an artificial covering to create the feeling of the glory of God… but allowing the splendor of the glory of God to be our clothing… (I am NOT endorsing a physical nudist colony here… but maybe a spiritual one, if you will)… because only our nakedness before Him, allows Him to move through and around us… Enjoying the freedom of His presence with out any restrictions… (grace restored).

Something else you said Bishop, that keeps resounding in me, is…” What ever tree you eat from is how you are going to see your future”… WOW!!!! That is so powerful… once again my perception has changed… I have to see life through the tree of life… It prophesies to all that I am now and through out eternity

Erik…the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, has been taken from our hands. I know I (like you and so many of us) want only the fruit from the tree of life… because that is where the nutrients are… the ones that sustain… and allow us to thrive and live in the fullness of what we are suppose to be…

And One… I love that we are making our own movie… and yes it is written and directed by the “timeless concept of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost”. I totally agree with you and Erik that “it does not matter by which name we call the Director as long as we listen to that ONE voice that is inside each of us. Christ my Director is also Christ my expression as an actor”. Love… love… love that…

Food for Thought: Today, remember to make someone’s life better with a smile…

Anonymous said...

Fantastic video and song! Enjoying the deepness here!

It's so awesome that in Christ we already have every thing we need to live this day and life whatever the circumstance or situation that is or arises! Life is such an adventure with Him! Choosing LIFE just hooks us right into the power source....and that is what He gives us~CHOICE.

Love the idea of our life being a movie and Christ the director and also that 'His voice has taken the sword from my hand.' AMEN!

The following came from a book, Sandbox Wisdom. I read this today and loved it and thought you might enjoy a taste as well.

Fun, Laughter, and Enthusiasm...We should strive to keep that childlike spirit in our work and our play. When we grow up we take ourselves way too seriously, and sometimes we become a heart attack waiting to happen.

No Limit Thinking...As children we believe that we might become president, a great artist or a great explorer. But as adults we begin to put fences around those dreams.

No Inhibitions...Children speak from the heart, and as adults we should strive to do more of that.

Read People and Situations..... Children can see past the trappings of material success and see into the core of people. As we grow older we begin to label people, and as the saying goes, "labeling is disabling."

Creativity and Imagination...A great philosopher once observed, "Genius is childhood recaptured at will." The imagination and creativity we had at five too often begins to fade at fifteen.

With Christ you can't help but WIN! In Him alone is my strength!

Keep SHINING everyone!



Anonymous said...

My initial thought on what I said about young Judah looking similar to young Charlton was this. Could it be that the Holy Spirit was (without Bishops realizing it at the time) showing him what his unborn son might look somewhat like? Talk about awesome. And at the same time giving him a name to name him, and even imaging him with long blonde hair. You just never know.

Anonymous said...

OOOOPPPS, forgot to sign anon 5:23-

Nothing to lose.

Anonymous said...


Mystic said...

I forgive you, Bishop, your sins are remitted. (Though you have done nothing that requires it from me, I learned from a very strong, intelligent, spiritual, yet quite human leader that it is a positive thing just to say it.)

Blessings Bishop...and Blog Fam...

Erik said...


Real - Amen.

Avatar said...


Cue music, Whitney...

Everyone start running...

Bishop, take a deep breath...
get ready for a "pile on" like you've never seen before...

Intro music finishes, pace picks up, everyone is running faster...a-a-and...CONNECTION!! Everyone SING!!!...We--ee--ee, will ALWAYS lo-ove you--ou--ou--ou!

[Dear God, I love this place!!!
I'll bet you do too, Lord!!! My heart sings...]

Anonymous said...

I too must confess my fault. I was really wanting to take my sword and cut off somebodys ear.

Nothing to lose.

Anonymous said...

Great leaders are not afraid to admit when they are wrong or ask for forgiveness. Thanks for "keeping it real"


Iris said...


What you just did really showed what an amazing Shepard you really are... You are forgiven... We love you...Continue to lead us...


tracy said...

THAT is why we love you, that is why you are our Shepherd, that is why we are better people, that is why we go to the best church in the world. To publicly eat cheese takes kahunas. Don't mean to take away the sincerity of your apology, truly none owed to me. I said what I said under previous blogs because ...well i just did, but know this -I am a big girl and I should have thought my own words through, that is what I meant about the "personal" tweaking. We love you and have your back no matter what-I still have my give em all the benefit of the doubt mentality even though I sometimes do not exercise it-nonetheless that is what I want and need for myself and will work on giving it to others.

Anonymous said...


I believe I said it at least twice
and this is the third
Forgiveness and Love

You know they go hand in hand.
Not only for that person but also for yourself.

You are Forgiven now Love.

The Courtship Ball

As I go to find Him
He tries to find me
A person of virtue
Stripped of religiosity
He comes close to finding me
I’m hiding behind the veil
Where religion can’t see
I’ve been stripped of the names
That are of earthly claim
Given my heart
His and my love won’t part

Laura Benson

This is the first part of my poem and it says how I really feel about our ministry. Those who come against us are religious and they can't see who we really are. All we can do is forgive & love.

Peace & Joy To You

Anonymous said...


Nothing to lose.


Anonymous said...

Bish, with tears in eyes let me just say I love you friend, you are more dear than a brother.


Donald said...

Oh-h-h-h-h, O-k-a-y I guess!

Teezy313 said...

Forgiven beyond 70x7 Bish!

To whoever may be "blurking"...Come on in..the water's fine!!


Anonymous said...

Hello fellow bloggers,

I don't have the background knowledge to comment on this one with any depth, since I've been away for some time. I just want to express my astonished regard for your shepherd. One benefit of writing here, however truncated or unsubstantial, is the reflection is allows us all. Here's a thought I usually share with my high school students in an attempt to encourage them to write. I think it's appropriate for what Bish expressed:

I didn't know what I thought, until I said it.
I didn't know what I said until I read it.

Hope to see more tomorrow. Peace.


butterfly said...

I'm a new blogger also. Therefore I do not know about what's going on with the apology. But I accept it.

We're all human, which means that sometimes we do things we shouldn't do or say things we shouldn't say. Sometimes we realize too late that our actions have been hurtful to somebody else. When these hard times occur, the best response-the only response really -is "I'm sorry".

Owning up, promptly and forthrightly, helps the other person begin to heal just as important, it cleanses our own soul and sets us free. That is a small price to pay for a clear conscience.

Anonymous said...

In agreement...That's why we love you so much! You're real and the example you lead in the love walk and a pure heart is exemplary! I have to fine~tune regularly. Uughh..not fun.

It may not always be inappropriate to answer....

Father, help us each to be all and who you'd have us be leaving behind the FRAGRANCE of CHRIST thru the power of the Holy Spirit within to spread your LOVE! AMEN.

Smells really sweet here...mmmmm..

Goodnite blog fam =)

mayam said...

You did your part...and God's got it...

DBA, to be continued...

Teezy, Good morning to you, too...and thanks!

Goodnight Bloggers.

Rest easy (and thanks for leaving the light on)....

Anonymous said...

Hey Bishop,
who told you; you very hypocritical, very wrong and counter-productive?


Friend4Life said...

Bishop, forgive me for being a blurker these past days. I blog when I am lead to. If its something that has a bitter taste; I rather not comment.

I have been away cleaning out my moms house. She moved to Cali. So, I was away from the pc for a couple of days.

Forgive you..."YES, of course!" That lion video; tears me up.
"Uncondional Love"

Safe travels to Washington.

"You've got a friend",

Anonymous said...

That's my Bishop!

The greatest leaders are those that know the way, go the way and show the way. Thank you for your transparency. Transparent substances are the only ones in which light can be transmitted. Keep transmitting (broadcasting, communicating, imparting, expressing, ect.) the LIGHT and the atmosphere at BITN will always be sweet fragrance in the nostrils of God. Be blessed!

ronnielee said...

Awesome Humility...if more shepards would show such true humility...the annointing would break the yoke...it flows from the head down...i who have always struggled with what others have said about me often repeat to myself " what you think of me is none of my bussiness" not that i always follow that, as a matter of fact i have been known to school someone now and then! Awesome video..Peace

Anonymous said...

Watching the "O Brother, Where Art Thou" clip made me think about "to the pure in heart, all things are pure."

Sweet Delmar, in spite of his intentional and unintentional actions or, really, all that external stuff that we see and judge by, was still pure in heart! Go figure.

So is our Bishop.

Anonymous said...

I am moved by your willingness to become transparent. Often I feel there is an opaque wash between the stage and the church. I feel part of that was etched away today. You're a great leader - enough with what we don't believe in at CITN / BITN, I agree, let's start speaking what we do believe. I'm starting to think we talk more about the negative things in defense against them to the people we criticize for saying them than actually just talking about what we do believe. I hear from God so clearly when defense mechanisms are not operating in response to critics or my own critical mind. I pray peace to your mind and security in your heart. I know that here, at CITN, and in our 'family' we have enough support, love, and like-minded spirits (let alone THE Spirit) that enable us to truly not care about what is said about us or our doctrine. I make no excuses for us!

On the other hand...I know how much we support your message and believe in it being heard around the world. When you deeply believe in something so pure it's frustrating for people to not "get it" and it can bring out the worst in us. I don't think this is because we are “bad” but because we want to defend the Light. Sometime we just don't trust that He's ok with the critics and can handle it without our rebuttal. Preach on Bish!! I love you and forgive you!!

Rene said...

...and that's one of the many things I admire about you, Bishop. I've been here for 23 years and you have ALWAYS been quick to acknowledge and apologize when the flesh has gotten in the way or when God has corrected you with greater revelation about a matter. Your honor and integrity, love of God and the truth are what have held me here all these years (along with the fact that God has placed me here to serve this ministry and I do it with joy and am honored). We're not looking back...we're moving forward!
IHS, Rene.