Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday morning Rant

  Thank God it's Friday.  I've been tired nearly every day this week.  I'm so glad tomorrow I'll get a chance to sleep in.  A friend of mine suggested I should check my vitamin B12 levels.  Maybe I'll get around to that...

  Anyways.  Just some thoughts I've had zipping around in my head lately.

Friday Morning Rants

A friend recently said to me, "Travis, you seem so angry and have so much hatred for Christianity."

I laughed.  I'm not really that angry at Christianity.  Yes, I hate it.  Much like any disease that kills family and friends.  I'm only so angry as you can possibly get towards a disease.

That may seem harsh to some, but lets put it this way.  How can you appreciate something that lies to everyone it reaches?  Do you like liars?  I can't stand them.  You never know what the reality is.  We usually call liars different things like, Con men, Cheaters, Politicians etc.  Does it really matter how many sick kids and charities and other philanthrophy is done if the liar is still a liar?

How many of you would stay in a marriage relationship with a consumate liar?  Lying destroys trust.  In a marriage, lying can foster a feeling of insanity in the spouse that is being lied to.

So why would you put your faith in an organization that is dedicated to lying to you?

I was in a Church that professed "We believe only in what the Bible tells us.  When the bible is silent, we are silent.  When it speaks, we speak."

That only lasted until you got baptised and then the leadership had a firm hold of you.  Once that happened, the Bible was silent 90% of the time and it was the voice of the leadership and it's demands that took priority in your life.

In Christianity, creed, tradition and the voice of those "over you in the Lord" take precedence over the Bible.

In the Body of Christ, even those younger than you are free to call you into account if you are mishandling the word of God.

In Christianity, it is the voice of the Church fathers that is our guiding light.

In the Body of Christ, it is Paul's Gospel and Christ Jesus who is the lighthouse and anchor we steer by.

Do you not realize how deadly the lies are?

Hell -- Fosters fear of impending doom in this life.  It creates confusion at best.  Deadly mental anguish and possible insanity at worse.  And no - that's not a figure of speech.  People have gone clinically insane for fear of hell.

Trinity -- Is there anything more ridiculous than a schizophrenic god?  If you can swallow this bullshit line from the council of Nicae you can swallow anything the Church feeds you then.  The BIble is extremely clear on this.  If you believe in the Trinity you might as well beleive, black is white, up is down, the Bible is only a "guide post" and your feelings are more important.  You might as well join some Charismatic church as I hear they've got a policy of checking your bible in at the door before you roll in the aisles and chant worship songs.

Just read 

2 Corinthians 1:3 
3 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of pities and God of all consolation,

Does it get any more simple than this?

Free Will -- Is there anything more prideful and doomed than this false doctrine of free will?  No where in the BIble is there any mention of a free will, in fact it extensively teaches that GOD is in control of all things.  And takes exceeding pains to show how powerless man is.  In fact, if you spend a lifetime beleiving in the strength of your own will - you will be the most stressed out, unhappy and miserable person the world has ever met.  Once you embrace God's control - there is no end to the joy and comfort you will find in that.


I'm not a Christian.  I haven't been a Christian for years, and if antyhing I'm more opposed to Christianity than I ever was before.  How can I say that?  "Don't you follow Christ Travis?  That makes you a Christian!"

No it doesn't.  All of my doctrine is directly opposed to Christianity.  Theirs is a perverse mixture of Peter's Gospel and Paul's Gospel.  Paul called it "a gospel that is really no gospel at all" and even went so far as to say "They are men who love injustice", injustice being the doctrine of hell.

And THE most significant difference between Christianity and the faith that I profess is this; I believe Christ's faith saves me.

They believe their own faith saves them.

Christianity teaches that Jesus died for every sin except one - unbelief.  In essence, Jesus death wasn't good enough.  You have to make up for what was lacking.  What a horrible lie.

Some of you will understand this, and if you do, praise God!

The rest will most likely scratch their head and have no clue what that means.  

I hope one day you do.  I really do. 

God bless, and a great weekend to you all!

Travis Penner

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Original Lie - The Never Ending Conclusion

  I had a wonderful night last night.  I took my wife out for a date to see the new Star Trek movie and have dinner.  The movie was phenomenal.  I hadn't seen any reviews or read any spoilers.  The entire experience was fresh, thrilling and completely exciting for me.  What a great show.

  I also got to talk with my wife without a child running around whining, and seeking our attention.  It was great to have time to reconnect, talk and just relax.

Even Greater Things..

  In case you thought I would end this entire series on death, you were mistaken.  There is much more to come. 

  Before I can conclude with those things, I need to set up the contrast.

   As I've said before Death is the enemy of God, it seperates us from him.  Anyone who is dead can no longer have a relationship with anything.  Anyone who is dead is simply gone.    This is why God hates death.  It prevents us from having a relationship with him.  It wastes all the effort he went into in creating each of us, for we become as though we never existed and all that was invested is gone.

  Thank GOD for Christ who reunites us with God by destroying death!

1 Cor 15:22-26
22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;
24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.

  This is the purpose for which God brought death into the world through Adam.  We could never appreciate the resurrection unless we had death as it's contrast.  We could never embrace the relationship with God unless we were first barred from it.

  We could never appreciate the goodness of God, unless we first saw what it was that was it's opposite.

  The Bible, especially the New Testament refers to death frequently as "repose".  To repose is simply to be asleep.  When someone is asleep, they no longer have a relationship with the world around them.  They are, for all intents and purposes, temporarily dead.

  We, and all creation is living out this story of death and life.  Act 1 - Creation, Act 2- Death, and FINALLY Act 3- Resurrection!!!!

1 Cor 15:51-57 
51 Lo! a secret to you am I telling! We all, indeed, shall not be put to repose, yet we all shall be changed,
52 in an instant, in the twinkle of an eye, at the last trump. For He will be trumpeting, and the dead will be roused incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality.
54 Now, whenever this corruptible should be putting on incorruption and this mortal should be putting on immortality, then shall come to pass the word which is written, Swallowed up was Death by Victory.
55 Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?
56 Now the sting of Death is sin, yet the power of sin is the law.
57 Now thanks be to God, Who is giving us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Glory be to Jesus and His Father!

Travis Penner

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Original Lie - When We Die...

  Had a nice night last night visiting a good friend of ours.  She came over and informed us on her husband's health.  Please pray for him as he's struggling with mono and in a great deal of pain.

  We spent a few hours visiting after we had cleaned our house.  Jana had washed all the carpets and I worked on the basement, cleaning it and putting things away and preparing the spare bedroom for my parents to stay over during their visit tonight.

  They'll be watching our daughter as we go out to have a movie date.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Spending some time with my wife and enjoying a good movie.  Should be fun.

  Well, let's see where we get today!

The Return

    The Bible is so explicit about what happens to us after death.  It really shouldn't be a mystery.  The only reason it remains shrouded in mystery and illusion is because of traditions, mythology and poor translation of the Bible.

Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your brow shall you eat your bread, until you return to the ground, for from it were you taken.  For soil you are, and to soil you shall return.

  Do you remember your birthdate?  Go back 10 months before that, what do you remember of those days? Nothing right?  You have no recollection of any existence before that.  Death is simply that.  A return to the state you were in before you were born.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 And the soil returns to the earth, just as it was, and the spirit returns to the One, Elohim, who gave it.

Again, your body returns to the earth, your spirit returns to God.  What is spirit?  Genesis 2 describes the forming of man, soil+breath = a living soul.

  In the greek and hebrew, breath is the same word given for spirit.  The breath of God breathed in us forms our spirit.  When we die, the spirit returns to God.

Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall return to the unseen...

Acts 2:27 For Thou wilt not be forsaking my soul in the unseen...

   Where does our soul go?  It goes to the unseen.  In short, it returns to oblivion.  Even Jesus' soul was in oblivion for the 3 days he was dead.  This is the state of death.

   It's ridiculous when people say at funerals "Oh he's gone to a better place."  Or that craptacular phrase "Sudden death, sudden glory."

  Uhm... No.  The Bible doesn't teach that.

  Death is not glorious.  It should not be glamorized or glorified.  We should be embracing death as some longed for state of being.  

1 Cor 15:26 26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.

Job 30:23 I know that you are returning me to death, to that house appointed for all the living.

Job mourned his future demise.

Philipians 2:27 For he is infirm, also, very nigh death, but God is merciful to him, yet not to him only, but to me also, lest I should be having sorrow on sorrow.

Even Paul didn't glorify death nor celebrate it.  He celebrated that God delivered his friend from death.

  This teaching on death and what it really means is so vitally important.  If we do not grasp the complete horror that death truly is, we cannot grasp the depth of Jesus' sacrifice or the faith he had in his father when he died himself.  Jesus DIED people.  He completely and utterly TRUSTED that God would rescue him from the death state.  He became powerless in himself to rescue himself.

   There are no casper the friendly ghosts floating around.  When we die we don't become angels or spirit haunting these earthly halls.  We die.  We all die.

  The good news is that Jesus has risen!  He is coming back to raise the Body of Christ and even MORE the he is going to abolish death for ALL mankind and ALL will be saved.

   If there is no death, then there is no reason for our faith and everything we believe is in vain.

  Glory to God!

Travis Penner


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Original Lie - It's in the Blood

It's in the Blood

  Last week I began teaching on what exactly our soul is and that Satan has continued his lie that death is not death to our present day.  I'm going to try and do this topic as much justice as I possibly can in the short time I have every day.  I will probably spread this across a couple days.

  First off, I need to retread a little ground here.  I wrote that our Souls are what result from the combination of spirit and body.  I also wrote that animals also have a soul.

  Yesterday I even added a postscript which I'll reiterate here.  The modern translations of our Bibles have massively mistranslated the word Soul in both hebrew and greek to mean a variation of over 40 different words.  In the Concordant bible, however, the translation for the Hebrew and Greek for Soul is literally translated to be SOUL.

  This is incredibly important, because unless these words are translated correctly, the definition and understanding of what a soul is, is completely lost.

In Genesis 9 God tells us what our soul is;

Genesis 9:4
Only flesh with it's soul, it's blood...

 He continues on in that chapter equating the soul with Blood.

Again it is emphasised in 

Leviticus 17:11
For the soul of the flesh, it is in the blood, and I Myself have assigned it to you to make a propitiatory shelter over your souls on the alter; for the blood, because of the soul, it makes a propitiatory shelter.

  This is amazing and opens up a vast store of revelations as a result.  Many people think God is just blood hungry, but that's simply not the case.  The Soul is the blood.  And in order to save our souls, we had to use the blood of animals to cleanse us from the sin of our souls.  However, the old Testament sacrificial system was just a template of what Christ's blood would ultimately do.

   This isn't blood hunger, this is a necessary EXCHANGE.  The sin of our souls for the redemption of Christ's.  HIS Blood, HIS SOUL, was exchanged for ours so we could be cleansed!!  This is amazing. 

   I'll continue on track however.

  Because our soul is in the blood, it's obvious we are not immortal.  In fact, immortality is only mentioned a few times in the entire Bible and it is NEVER in reference to our souls.

  In speaking of Christ;

1 Timothy 6:16 
16 Who alone has immortality...

Jesus alone is immortal

1 Corinthians 15:53
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality.

We are still corruptible, thus, we are NOT immortal.

1 Corinthians 15:22 
22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying..

All are dying, nothing has changed since Satan told his lie.  It's STILL a lie.

1 Corinthians 15:22
...thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.

We aren't KEPT alive... we are MADE alive.  Christ will vivify us.  Another word for RESURRECTION.  When are we vivified?  Read 1 Corinthians 15 on your own. It holds a hosts of treasures.

 So where do we go when we die?  I'll answer that question tomorrow.

 Continue to read the word, study what I've said.  Get a proper translation so you can understand the word of God correctly.  Trust me, these traditions hold no sway in the light of true and correctly translated scripture!

With all love,

Travis Penner

Monday, May 27, 2013

Come and Seek Me

  It's been a good weekend.  Other than the Saturday which I spent the entire day with an excruciating migraine.  The weather here in Calgary has varied from Rain, Wind, Clouds and Sunshine all in the space of one day.  No amount of drugs was going to kill this migraine.  Even hiding in the basement did little to improve it.

   Fortunately I was functional enough to spend the day with my little girl, as well as visit my wife at work.  I even got around to playing a little Bioshock.  Unfortunately my brain power was at such a minimum I was unable to do much reading.  So I'm going to have to put aside my writing on the Soul until I get a few more things nailed down as I study it.

   I know where I'm going with it, but I want to sketch out the roadmap, as it were, as well as I can.  I need to get the Bible verses together and the whole thing put in such a way that I can communicate these vital truths about the soul as effectively as I can for you.  I don't want to do this one off the cuff.

   If you're anxious to learn more however, I would encourage you to visit these websites; - There's a huge wealth of information on so many subjects here.  I've learned a great deal from Martin Zender and continue to do so. - I've also learned alot from Dan Sheridan's stuff here as well.  Particularly on the soul and death.

  And of course, I always refer to my Concordant bible frequently and love to discover more from it.  You can get one of your own from

The God Who Hides

  This weekend I had a nice visit with an old friend.  We got to talking about the Bible, my Blog and various other topics.  The main thing that stuck in my head after our visit is what she asked;

"Why does God not reveal himself?  Why does he take so many pains to make it difficult to understand him?"

  I don't think I explained it as well as I could have.  I'm afraid I'm better at writing words than vocalizing them.  But here is the best explanation I can come up with;

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter;
    to search out a matter is the glory of kings.
Hebrews 11:6
6 Now apart from faith it is impossible to be well pleasing, for he who is coming to God must believe that He is, and is becoming a Rewarder of those who are seeking Him out.

Acts 17:26-27
26 Besides, He makes out of one every nation of mankind, to be dwelling on all the surface of the earth, specifying the setting of the seasons and the bounds of their dwelling, for them to be seeking God, if, consequently,
27 they may surely grope for Him and may be finding Him, though to be sure, not far from each one of us is He inherent,

  God has hidden himself so that we would seek him.  And he rewards those of us who seek him.  It's as simple as that really.  When we desire a relationship with someone else, we seek them out, we learn about them, we do our best to uncover what we can.  That is called seduction, the chase, romance.  Etc.  God is doing no less for us.  He is drawing us in through the excitement of discovery.  

  If it were as simple as writing on the wall.  Then there is no pursuit and no relationship.  Yes, I know this will probably frustrate many of you.  Many people want the Drive Thru theology.  That's what church is for.

  But if you really want to know God, you're going to have to learn about words, and how to read the Bible.  Correctly understanding how things are written, their context, the audience it was written for, and so on.  This is called "Correctly cutting the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15)

  God HAS revealed himself, he's given us the Bible.  It's up to us now, to pursue him.

  Sadly, the honest truth is - even the desire to pursue him.  The faith to believe him.  Everything involved in that pursuit is given from God.  Without that, no one would want to.  No one would care.

Psalms 14:2-3
The Lord looks down from heaven
    on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
    any who seek God.
All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
    there is no one who does good,
    not even one.

  So if you are pursuing him, believe in him, and long to understand him.  Give thanks to God, for he himself has put that desire in you!

  Best of all regardless of that pursuit.  Whether or not you do, he has saved all mankind!

1 Timothy 4:10
... Who is the savior of all mankind...

1 Corinthians 15:22
...In Christ shall all be vivified.

Praise God!

Travis Penner

PS. Let me add, it's not only God who's hiding himself, but also the translators.  The KJV for example has translated the word Soul from the greek and hebrew into 44 different words;

for example for soul it has: Any, Appetite, Beast, Body, Breath, Creature, Dead Body, Desire, Fish, Ghost, Heart, Hearty, Life, Lust. etc. etc.

Make SURE, if you really want to pursue God... you get a good translation.  The Concordant version is the one I highly recommend.  Every time the word soul is written... they translate it Soul.

Very scientific you see.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Original Lie

  Thank GOD it's Friday.  The weekend is finally here.  It may have been a short week, but it has been an extremely busy one.  I've been slammed at work.  It's raining.  And Cassidy has been needing to be entertained in the evenings.  Last night we played with stamps Nonna sent us.  At 2 years old, she's still learning how things work.  She kept trying to stamp without inking the stamps first.

   At any rate, she got her face, feet and hands covered with ink and needed a bath after stamping a roll of paper.  Crazy kid. 

We're No Smarter Than Adam

  When God created man, a long long time ago, this was how it was done.

Genesis 2:7
7 Yahweh Elohim formed the human out of soil from the ground and He blew into his nostrils the breath of life; and the human became a living soul.

  When he created animals this is what he did;

Genesis 1:24
24 And Elohim said: Let the earth bring forth the living soul, each according to it's kind: domestic beast, creeper and land animal, each according to it's kind. And it came to be so.

  So... What is the soul?  Simply put, it is what comes forth when life pervades a body.  God breathed into the soil that man was formed from and he became a soul.  So... Body + Spirit = Soul.

   So keep this in mind as I continue to make my point.

    God gives mankind the first commandment in 

Genesis 2:17
17 But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you must not eat from it; for on the day you eat from it, to die you shall be dying.

  This is different from most other translations.  This is a literal concordant translation.  Most others reduce it to "you shall surely die" which is NOT what God said.  Pay close attention he said; "To die you shall be dying"

  It looks like he stated himself twice.  When actuality this is what he said "Once you eat of it, you are going to slowly die until you are dead."

  When I was little I was told "God was warning Adam not to eat of the tree because this would bring the second death."

  Uhm... No.  That's not what God said.  He said "To die you shall be dying." There was no mention of "spiritual death" or any other form of death.  He said - You're going to grow old and keel over if you eat this fruit.  In short he said "This fruit is going to poison you."

  So... What happens next?

  The serpent comes onto the scene and says;

Genesis 3:4
4 But the serpent said to the woman: Not to die shall you be dying...

  And as you continue on, they both eat of it and the curse of death enters the world.

  This may all sound very sunday school to you.  It isn't.  This is a very important concept to grasp.

  Most of the modern world today believe that the soul is eternal.  That's not what God said though.  Remember he said;

"To die you shall be dying."

  And yet, even from the pulpit we hear about our "immortal soul".  Poems like Invictus, slip in "Our Immortal soul".  And so on.  Nearly every culture today teaches on the immortality of the soul.

  Once again Satan is telling his oldest lie.

"NOT to die shall you be dying."

  Uh... sorry folks.  At the end of the line, we all die.

  That's all I have time for today, but next week we're going to dig a little more into this.  Where does the soul go?  What happens to the spirit?  We're going to find out what God says about all of this versus what culture and Church has taught you.

God bless you all and have a fantastic and relaxing weekend!

Travis Penner

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Peace and Politics

  Well last night was good. Got supper with my family before my wife went off to work. Had to run down to my wife's work to give her insulin that she had forgotten.  I even got my daughter to try playing Kingdom Hearts on the PS2 which I ended up playing for her as she cuddled in my arms.

  All in all a good night.

  I think I must express where some of my writing on Christianese came from yesterday. I'm not sure if I was clear enough.

  Someone on a forum that I'm part of quipped "well he's not much of a kingdom man..." which irked me.
What is a Kingdom man?  Is this a soldier? A warrior? A little king?  And what kingdom are we talking about? Yes I'm being factitious.  I know very well what she meant by it but I'm sure the vast majority of america doesn't. In addition its just such an ignorant phrase.

  She would've been better off just saying "He's not a very good man. " and that would've been easily communicated and understood. This need for christians to use this ghetto language of religion is the height of idiocy. I often wonder if they even realize what they're saying. The desire for religious sounding words is nothing more than religious pride and is useless as it is showy.  Let's just say what we mean, and mean what we say.


How to Have Peace in Politics

  Last night I had an interesting discussion with my brother. He's a union man and is pretty down on the current Canadian government.  I grew up in a very politicaly minded household.  My family was raised on conservative values and very much wanted to see a government that was conservative run our Country.

  My political conciousness began during the Mulroney years.  Our economy was in the tank and things were rough for people all around.  My family really believed in the Reform Party.  We went to rallys and talked politics as a family.  I would watch every election, hoping that Canada would wake up and vote for great changes!

   I'm 36 now.  I've pissed people off on politics.  I love political debate and watching the tallies come in.  It doesn't matter what level of government, I find it fascinating.

   In the last few years, I've been struck with how pointless it is though.  Growing up, I thought, "If we just got a true conservative in there!"  And then in the 90s it was "If we only got the Liberals out!  We can fix Canada!"

   Now we DO have a Conservative in.  Even in Municipal government I was all "If we only got Nenshi into govern our city!  He beats all contenders!".  For our provincial election last year I had my heart set on the Wildrose Alliance.  All the polls were showing that things were going my way this time.  Allison would be tossed out on her ass.

  The final 2 weeks changed everything.  Insanity ensued and of course, a corrupt government took over our province and now we're hurting like a baby with a bad diaper rash.  It's not going away anytime soon either.

  I began to realize how completely futile politics and government are.  Mankind is simply incapable of good government.  The voters are like sheep, scurrying wherever they please.  It baffled me until I began to see it in a spiritual perspective.

Daniel 2:20-22 from the NIV says;
20 ....“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
    wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things;
    he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him.

  It is God who chooses who rules and who does not.  The voters hearts are in the hands of God.  The system is in the hands of God.  Indeed, God is in control of all things.  Jesus himself recognized this when he faced Pilate 

John 19:10-11
10 Pilate, then, is saying to Him, "To me you are not speaking! Are you not aware that I have authority to release you and have authority to crucify you?"
11 Jesus answered him, "No authority have you against Me in anything, except it were given to you from above...

  Jesus remained incredibly calm in the face of authority because he knew all leadership was from God above.  There was no authority over him that was not put there by God.

  God has a plan, he has a purpose and an ultimate destination that he is taking everything to.  If you can get behind that.  You will find an incredible amount of peace.  None of this is strange, people are not stupid, the world is not off the rails.  This is all happening according to God's plan.

  What plan is that?  To show how utterly futile man is at ruling.  We can do nothing apart from God, and the more we men try to rule ourselves the more of a mess we make of it.  Just look at history, every single system of Government has fallen apart because it is man who is in charge.

From King David, to the present.  Every single time.  There may be a golden age, but the wheels have always fallen off, every. single. time.

  So what should we do?  Pray for the people in Government, they're but unwitting pawns unaware of the situation they are in.

Daniel 4:17
17 “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’

  Did you get that?  Our leaders are "the lowliest of people" they need your prayers.

I'm out of time here.  God bless, and I hope this brings some peace to your heart.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What The Hell Language Are You Talking?

  It's one of those rainy days today.  Woke up at 5am with what felt like a pickaxe buried in my temple.  I have no idea what it was, perhaps the pressure change from the clouds coming in.  At any rate, I lay there for an hour trying to get some more sleep before having to get up.  Finally at 6am I just got up and got ready and took my pills before breakfast.  I almost never take meds on an empty stomach but this one was wickedly bad.

   It alleviated my pain for almost 3 hours but the bear of a migraine is rolling back in.. sigh..

  Lets hope it doesn't interfere too much with my work today.

  Made a wonderful supper of Saag Paneer last night.  I have a few recipes I learned from Glory of India last year and I make them from time to time at home.  We love Indian food and it's always fun doing some different ethnic dishes at home.  Steak and Potatoes is only original for so long before it gets... old.

  Not that we have Steak and potatoes every night but you know what I mean.

The Evils of Religious Language

  Nothing drives me crazier than people using dressed up religious language to communicate to people.  It's as ridiculous as those people who dress up their dog in outfits and think it's cute.  It's not.  The dog isn't amused, and most of us who are sane pity the poor animal.

  When I was a teenager in the early 90s my best friend at the time, and I, had a secret language when we wanted to talk about the girls in our youth group.  We would name them each after a type of Ice Cream.  On girl was Tiger, another was Mint Chocolate Chip, another was Strawberry and so on.

  As you can imagine, we thought we were being really cool, talking about them right in front of them.  And as I can imagine... we sounded like complete morons.

  We never got to date these girls.

  I wonder why.

  Now we have a more insidious subsitution for words going on today.  It's called Christianese.  Rather than saying exactly what we mean, people who use this language attempt to elevate the perception of who they are by the language they use.  Pharisee much?

  Instead of saying "This is what the Bible says..."  They use words like, "You're not being spiritual enough." leaving the receiver of their words be in utter bafflement as to what that means.

  When I was in a cult called the International Churches of Christ some years ago, I was hotly pursuing the affections of a particular sister.  Well... as hotly as "kingdom dating" would allow.  Before we were given permission to actually go "steady" with a girl we had to talk to our "discipler" and the grand poobah our "evangelist".

  Discipler = Guy who gives you permission to wipe your butt and whatever else you may choose to do in the lord.

  Evangelist = Big wig who runs the church inflated with his own sense of self importance and gets regular phone calls from god to update him on the status of his members in the church.

  Anyways. I pursued this chick for 3 years, and the answer I always got drove me insane.  "You have to be more spiritual Travis."  So I'd ask what that means, the answers I always got varied from, "Keep your nose clean and your head down." or "Invite more people to Church." or "It's not a state of doing, it's a matter of being."

  With such a ephemeral and transient state of language, you can imagine how maddening it can be to decypher christianese.

Colosians 4:5-6
5 In wisdom be walking toward those outside, reclaiming the era,
6 your word being always with grace, seasoned with salt, perceiving how you must answer each one.

  When we speak we need to be understood.  We need to be clear to people.  What is grace?  What does it mean to be gracious?  In the dictionary it's; charming, appealing, a sense of propriety or rightness.

   Without being dishonest or manipulative, I believe our speech should be all of these things. Nothing is clumsy, dishonest, or more manipulative than someone speaking in large, religious, spiritual overtones.

   "Oh God spoke to me today and I really felt that he was leading me to..."

  Are you serious?  Maybe you just had bad sushi.  That movement you felt was to go to the bathroom and stay there for a while before you clear the room with your toxic stench.  Honestly.  The first thing I think of when someone says "God spoke to me..."

  I get a sense of holy shit, this guy is full of crap, before he says anything further.  Is this how you want people to communicate with you?

  Seasoned with salt - You know what salt does?  It preserves   It adds flavor, increases thirst and desire for more.

  When you dump a load of religious bafflegab on someone, you are not seasoning with salt, you're seasoning with manure.  No one wants to dig through a manure pile to find a hamburger and fries.  Nor does anyone want teaching from someone who's filled with the pride of religious speech.

  One last one;

1 Timothy 1:13
13 Have a pattern of sound words, which you hear from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

  Do you know what something is, when it is to be sound?  It means without defect.  This is to be our pattern.  It's a consistent practice that we use in our life.  In other words, it's something we always do.  When something is unsound, you can no longer trust it.  For example, if you're constantly walking across a bridge every day that creaks, groans and sways we would call that "unsound" you would not trust it with your child on it, much less your own self.  You would not walk a horse or a drive a car across that bridge.  To do so, you would be taking your life in your own hands.

  Why would you trust your hearing to such unsound words?  Why would you inflict these things on others?

   Learn to communicate in a way that everyone can understand what you're saying by appealing to the lowest common denominator in your speech.  When using words only understood by your closest church buddies... You might as well be talking about Ice Cream flavors for all anyone else can understand.

Travis Penner

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Do You Know your ABC's?

   I never got around to writing yesterday.  However I hope my other posts over the weekend tided you through.

  Our long weekend was incredibly busy.  We went out for dinner with my grandmother, visited Jana at her store for her lunch breaks, cleaned out both vehicles from a winter of crud being built up inside.  And even lounged out back of a friend's house drinking beer watching the kids play in the sprinkler and romp around the yard.

  It was a much needed break, vacation is still a way's away so until then - I'll take what I can get.  I even took a break from Final Fantasy XI.  Apparently alot of people on my server are also enjoying the sun.  The economy and the leveling parties have really shrunk in the last week, lowering the fun factor significantly.

  I've been kicking back, during my gaming time, playing Bioshock: Infinite with my daughter hanging around.  She loves to yell YAY! Every once in a while as I play.  She even grabs another controller and I allow her to pretend she's playing too... even though she's not.

  Sometimes, I wish she could be 2 years old forever.  But now she's learning new words and trying SO hard to communicate.  I'm just enjoying watching her grow and change.  Maybe God will grant us a second one to have that fun all over again.  Who knows?  We're no longer anxious in this, Cassidy has been a great joy, and continues to be one.  If this is what is best for us, in this eon, then praise God!

   I read a really good letter on Martin Zender's site.  The reasons why one person wouldn't go to Church anymore.  They line up pretty much with all the reasons why I wouldn't go either.  They are;

1. The pastors always giving us life lessons, telling us what we should do and what we shouldn’t do. It’s obvious to me already: follow the Golden Rule. 
2. I feel like I’m constantly being measured, that is, how good of a Christian I am, what ministries I’m in, etc. 
3. I feel like I need to portray a certain image. I can’t just be myself, without worrying about being looked down upon. 
4. I start to look at people in a judgmental way. I don’t like to always be measuring people, and being judgy, always thinking to myself, Is he/she a Christian? 
5. I don’t feel comfortable or feel the need for praying in public, yet in a church group it is pretty much a requirement. 
6. I feel like a church is a business, so a pastor has to keep asking for tithes. I know of a church where the pastor has a regular job, and he doesn’t get paid by the church. I think all churches should be that way. Also, that can be the incentive for pastors to want to evangelize, so that the church will have more money, and they will be proud of themselves for getting more people saved. 
7. People feel like they get brownie points for evangelizing. They think they will be rewarded in heaven the more people that they get saved. I don’t think that is the way God wants it. 
8. I think that the true church is an invisible body of believers. Just because you are in a church doesn’t make you a Christian. 
9. As a single person, I sometimes feel like a second-class citizen. The married people with children are considered complete. 
10. Church is about establishing relationships. I have friends and family with which to cultivate relationships. I don’t have the time or energy to establish new relationships without them being flaky or half-hearted relationships. 
11. Basically, I don’t feel comfortable with the whole church scene. It seems like a big show. It’s like a country club for Christians. If you don’t fit in, or if you disagree with anything, then you are rejected and cast out. 
12. I like sleeping in. 
13. I don’t like to tithe. I do like to give, but to the person/organization of my choice. 
14. I like to think for myself, but when I’m in a church, their attitudes and beliefs start to rub off on me, and I start acting like them. I don’t want to be a Christian zombie that fits into the cookie-cutter mold (cheesy, clean-cut, do-gooder). 
15. All the female singles in the church wonder why I don’t ask them out. Then they make me feel like something is wrong with me because there are plenty of perfectly good women right under my nose. 
16. Churches make you feel like you always have to be doing something—do more to make yourself a better Christian: "Attainment, not Atonement." You seem to never reach the point where you can say, "I’m content and satisfied with what Christ has done for me, and I can rest in His grace." 
17. People in the David Koresh and Jim Jones church thought that they were in a good church. A pastor’s wacky beliefs may rub-off on a congregant. Churches are cultish. 

For the whole letter please go to:

I love #12... LOL  - I like sleeping in.  Amen dude... amen...

Word of God

  I've had some people say to me "Well the Bible was written by men, so even though GOD inspired it, it's not really to be taken so seriously."

  What a contradiction. Either it's God inspired, or not.  Either it was written solely by men, or inspired by God. You can't have both.  If God inspired it, then we need to give it the gravity it's words are due.  If it's written by men, then we might as well give it the respect that "Grimms Fairy Tales" are due.

   With that in mind this is what God has to say about HIS word;

Psalms 12:6 The words of Yahweh are clean words, Silver refined in a kiln, Fine gold refined seven times.

  This is how much though God put into every single word in that book.  FINE gold. Refined SEVEN times. This is not just an off the cuff stand up comedy.  This isn't open mic night in the realm of the deity.  This isn't improv.  This is careful, meticulous, thought out words that are refined seven times.  That's how important it is that we read it right, study it right and get it right.

2 Peter 1:20
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture at all is becoming its own explanation.
21 For not by the will of man was prophecy carried on at any time, but, being carried on by holy spirit, holy men of God speak.

  These words were not written by man, but God authored them.  Sometimes even the prophets had NO idea what they were prophesying.  They were simply wrote what God gave them.

1 Peter 1:10-12
10 Concerning which salvation the prophets seek out and search out, who prophesy concerning the grace which is for you,
11 searching into what or what manner of era the spirit of Christ in them made evident, when testifying beforehand to the sufferings pertaining to Christ and the glories after these.
12 To whom it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to you they dispensed them, of which you were now informed through those who are bringing the evangel to you by holy spirit dispatched from heaven, into which messengers are yearning to peer.

  So... If we've now established that this is the Word of God, and you truly want to learn it.  Then we need to study it and learn it as well as we possibly can.  We need to understand the language of the Bible, how God chooses to speak and uses words, grammar, context, we need to become masters at WORDS and READING WORDS if we want to learn about God.

2 Timothy 2:15 Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth.

  God is consistent, logical and WANTS to be understood.  This is why he sent us a book in a human language.  If we understand that, then we must also learn to be consistent in our doctrine and our words.

2 Timothy 1:13
13 Have a pattern of sound words, which you hear from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 4:16
16 Attend to yourself and to the teaching. Be persisting in them, for in doing this you will save yourself as well as those hearing you.

  Having this established.  Please, feel free to correct me if ever you see that I'm in error.  I endevor as in all things regarding Christ and the gospel, to teach only what is taught in the Bible.  And I will only accept teaching that is in line with what the Bible teaches.

God Bless you and Peace be with you as you correctly cut the word of truth,

Travis Penner