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There Is Peace In My Presence

Posted by tmoney80 on December 15, 2008

…are the words I heard from that “still small voice”  in the early morning the other day.  God was up early and so was I. Uncharacteristic for me, but not for God. Even though I basically despise the morning there is something unique about it, especially in this day in age, when the “noise” begins at 8:00am and doesn’t end until you go to bed.  It was about 6am on this morning, it was still dark out and most people are either still sleeping or hitting the snooze for the first time. I was at the office sitting in the “creative arts” room waiting for 8:30 to come around so I could start work…I had to drop Jaclyn off at work early and that is why I was up. As I sat in the massage chair, I really tried to “be still” before God, not physically, since the electronic massage chair was making my body move, but spiritually and mentally. And as hard as it is to mentally “be still”, it actually happened. Weeks of not hearing from God were finally over when out of nowhere I heard softly and clearly…”there is peace in My presence”. I heard it again and again. I didn’t keep an exact count, but I probably heard it 5 or 6 times. There is something about hearing a direct word from the Lord that completely changes you. I can’t explain exactly what the change is, but I know that it is awesome. I guess it can be explained as the moment when your spirit and the spirit of God commune and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is alive, real and is with you and powerful. When this happened the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders, the cares and worries of my present state were gone, and my heart was ministered to. Nothing else mattered and I knew, that I knew, that I knew that God was for me and was going to take care of me and Jaclyn. Ever since that day, I have not waivered and I have worked to stay in His presence. I remain at peace and now can testify that there truly is peace in His presence.

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Waiting In Confusion

Posted by tmoney80 on October 28, 2008

Well some of you know that Jaclyn and I moved in with some friends for a little while until we get our finances straightened out and while this is a huge blessing it is also a sacrifice and a challenge at times.  We all want our own space.  I should say that I probably am the only one in the house that is still a little unsettled about all of this.  Our friends have truly been great.  Anyway, I believe God has Jaclyn and I in a time of waiting.  The Bible says to “BE STILL and know that I am God.” so while I wait in stillness, I am trying to get to know God better.  The Bible also says “I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you…” It’s really hard to wait on the Lord and a lot of times confusing, but the Bible promises that strength will rise as we wait. Please pray for us that God will clearly and dramatically guide our steps and that we will know the path He has before us.  Waiting is hard, but it’s wonderful to know that it’s in His purposes.  At least we’re not alone, right? …oh and watching two cats become friends is fun!

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The Inevitable Dealings Of A Christian Actor

Posted by tmoney80 on September 24, 2008

I will be in the Modjeska Playhouses production of “The Odd Couple” on October 11, 12, 15, 18 & 19th at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo, CA.  Come if you can, curtain is at 7:30pm.  Go to www.modjeskaplayhouse.org for more info. 

Anyway, the play was written by Neil Simon and it is quite hysterical.  If you want to laugh, this play won’t disappoint you. But even though the script is generally free of obscenities and foul language as a whole there are a few lines each of the characters have where they would say something like “for Crise sakes” or “for God’s sakes”. Now, I am not sure, but I want to believe that Neil Simon didn’t write those lines out of a disrespect for God but rather out of what was the common emotional & verbal response of the time, 1960’s New York (unfortunately it’s only gotten worse over the years). You see those specific lines only appear out of reaction to a ridiculous circumstance or out of a character’s attempt to get the other character to see things his way.  Side note: I do not justify the reason or think that they should be in the script.  But that’s why and where they appear in the script.

Which leads me to the point of this post.  As a Christian actor, you always need to look at performance material through the eyes of the Christian Worldview.  I tend to ask myself…does the message of this script point to the human condition and conclude in a way where we are left with hope. If so, I’m down. If not, probably not interested. Now some shows are written for strictly entertainment value and while I don’t necessarily believe they are the best use of the arts (more on that later), they have value in providing rest and leisure, which is good.

As an artist, the point is not to be perfect in discernment, but to have a Biblical standard of discernment. We all have done things which we look back and say…”yeah, that wasn’t the best decision I’ve made”. But I’m telling you, some people (“Christians”) have no idea what when to say “no, it goes against my beliefs.” And that’s a problem.

Also, as a Christian actor there are times when you say to the director I believe in the show and I think it’s fun but I will not be able to do or say this, this and this.  And that is what I have done with those lines in The Odd Couple where I would be taking the Lord’s Name in vein. I haven’t heard back from the director yet so hopefully, I am not fired. I guess I’ll find out tonight at rehearsal. Actually, I’m sure it will be fine, since I have done it in the past and it’s been totally understood. It’s amazing how God works these things out.  

Come see the show!

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Unjust Criticism Forbidden

Posted by tmoney80 on September 24, 2008

Last night I was watching television and a preview for Bill Maher’s new movie “Religulous” came on.  If you don’t know Bill Maher, Wikipedia him, he is pretty famous for his far left liberal views and his outspoken and unapologetic belief that religion, any religion, is “a neurological disorder that justifies crazies and stops people from thinking” and therefore inconsequential (and that may be putting it lightly). Although to be fair to him, he does say…

 

I’m not an atheist, no. I believe there’s some force, if you want to call it God… I don’t believe God is a single parent who writes books.”

 

So after seeing the ad, where in it the character “Jesus” says to him in a debate of beliefs “well, what if you’re wrong” and Bill responds with “what if you’re wrong”, I thought to myself, “Wow, this guys is lost and it is evident that sometime in his life he has developed this hatred of sorts for religion.” I then immediately prayed that God would soften his heart towards the truth about faith in Christ and lead someone to love him to Christ. After my short prayer, I thought to myself, “you know, if he died today he would go to hell.” Mind you this thought was not out of judgmental hatred for Bill Maher but out of genuine concern for his soul.

 

So here in lies my question. Some people would say that what I thought was wrong. To strengthen their point they will quote the verse in Matthew 7:1-3 where Jesus says: 

 

1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

 

However, I believe the thought I had was legit. Because according to Matthew 10:32 Jesus says…

 

32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

 

And in Romans 10:9-10 Paul says…

 

9 …that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

And again in Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus says…

 

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

 

These verses make it clear the requirements for salvation in Christ and how to see it manifested in man.  So my question is two fold, first, do you think I was wrong in “judging” the condition of Bill Maher’s soul at this point in his life? If so, how would we decipher who needs Jesus or not?

 

If you don’t think I was wrong in my assessment, then how are we to interpret the first verse I quoted in Matthew 7:1-3 about judging others?

 

In my Bible the summary title for that group of verses in Matthew 7 is “Unjust Criticism Forbidden”. Notice it doesn’t say “Criticism Forbidden” but “Unjust Criticism Forbidden”. Obviously the summary titles are man’s interpretation of what’s written and not necessarily part of God’s spoken word.

 

I think what I thought about Bill Maher is not against the teachings of scripture.  However, what I do or how I act with that judgment is a different story and there in can lay a whole list of unbiblical thoughts and behaviors. I believe it is what we do with our judgments that can lead to sin, not so much the judgments themselves. Since justice comes out of love, it’s through love that I would even care for the salvation of others and through justice (the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral righteousness) that I would know whether someone’s life bears good fruit or bad fruit.

My mom made a good point about this in saying it is important to use the correct wordage. She said:

Hope this answers your question. It is all in the terminolgy of ‘Judging’ as opposed to observing or discerning. We know when a person commits a wrong act or speaks against what we know to be true (from the Bible). We are not judging the person, we are discerning that they are wrong. We also know that people who don’t accept Jesus, won’t want to be with Jesus forever, so therefore they send themselves to a place where they will never have to worship him (Hell).

For more go to:

http://bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/bible.show/sVerseID/23318/eVerseID/23318

Great point…50 points for mom! 

 

I am looking to come to a better understanding of the scripture…looking to study to show myself approved. So please offer your thoughts and beliefs on this, what say you?…Ready, set, go!   

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Difficult Times Call For Difficult Trust

Posted by tmoney80 on September 24, 2008

Many of you know that my wife and I have been going through some extremely difficult financial times. God has taught me so much in these times, not because He finally spoke to me, but because I finally am listening. I can also see how God has changed me for the better in recent months…that’s always a cool realization. But here is something my mom emailed me this morning, thought I would share. Pretty powerful!

F. B. Meyer on writing about how Abraham lied about Sarah being his sister said this:

How much better would it have been for Abraham to have thrown the responsibility back on God, and to have said, “Thou hast brought me here; and Thou must now bear the whole weight of providing for me and mine: here I will stay till I clearly know what Thou wilt have me to do.” If any should read these lines who have come into positions of extreme difficulty, through following the simple path of obedience, let them not look at God through difficulties, as we see the sun shorn of splendour through a fog; but let them look at difficulties through God. Let them put God between themselves and the disasters which threaten them. Let them cast the whole responsibility upon Him. Has He not thus brought you into difficulties, that He may have an opportunity of strengthening your faith, by giving some unexampled proof of His power? Wait only on the Lord, trust also in Him…He will provide.

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