Monday, April 30, 2012

Hate V.S. God's Love...

I know what it is to hate someone. I have hated various people in my life. The one I hated the most was my ex. When you have been cheated on and left, with no control or way to stop what is happening, you get angry, you hate. I hated her. I wanted her to die. I wanted to kill her and her man with my bare hands, and believe me when I say I could of done it. I am so glad that God is big enough to listen to stuff like that... That hate ate away at my insides like caustic acid. I put on a fairly good show when I was going through that mess but there is a lot I never showed... That pain, that hate, it damaged my relationship with God big time and just the last little while have I even begun coming back from all the damage that hate inflicted on me. I felt there was nothing left to live for. Satan got me off by myself in a corner, a prison built of hate, and anger, and discouragement I had built for myself and just put the boots to me, curbstomping me at every turn. I just lost the whole point to life. I tried to kill the pain, even thought of suicide... but the pain of the thought of my grieving mother, what it would do to the ones I loved stopped me. I could not put them through something like that when it was not their fault. They did not deserve the pain, anger and hate that I was living for and that is exactly what would of happened, it would of all transferred to them. Instead of being mine, it would now of become theirs. I could not do that to them. So I drank to kill the pain when no one was around, I tried to numb the pain and the hate inside me. It was only temporary. I had to get refocused.

I know I was going to church, going to work, and there are times that were real. But there was times that I was just an angry, hateful person putting on a very good persona. I am not proud of this. But I did it to survive. It was the only thing I knew how to get on with what I perceived to be life. Inside I was Jeckel and Hyde at least 60% of the time. I honestly don't ever think we will be rid of Jeckel, the old man. But at least I know I am on the right track now.

You know what really turned me around? God got me looking through His eyes instead of my own. I was looking inward, everything was My hurt, My anger, My hate, I had a reason to hate right, look at what had happened to me. It was right because I made it right. That did not mean that it was God. I justified my hate that because my ex committed adultery I had a Reason to hate her. God said Hate sin so I hated my ex with all I was worth. That is where I went wrong. I Hated the sinner WITH the sin. I hated her and what she did to me and after all I was right, right? NO.

On the way back from Winnipeg when God said to me, would you rather have her back, or have her in my kingdom, having her back with blood on my hands or having her in heaven, I wrestled with God on that soooo much. It took most of the trip to come to terms with that. What would you rather have? What would you know GOD would rather have? And if you want to follow God where does that leave you? If you say that you love God as much as you do, there is ONLY one choice. This is what I had to deal with. I conceded to God I would rather have my ex in heaven.

This is what God said to me regarding hating people...

In spite of all the pain doled out upon you by the one you hate, they are still MY CHILD. I CREATED them, and only I have the right to hate or love. If you are truly my child you must love them for no other reason than I have made them and the are mine, therefore you are to love them the way I love them and no Less. Even the drunk laying in the gutter with vomit all over him is still MADE IN MY IMAGE. Who are you to hate what I Love? I told you to Love your enemies, I commanded it for this very reason. You have no choice in who to love or hate. I have told you to love All. If you cannot love the least of these in my kingdom, how can you love ME? You see through the eyes of hate, anger and disappointment. I see through the eyes of Love, peace and Restoration. Why do you think I made Hosea marry Gomer, a prostitute who constantly was running around breaking his heart, Consider the anger and hate he bore, yet was without sin. You don't think he had some questions for ME? But that was to demonstrate My love for Israel how Israel constantly turned away from MY love to go to other Gods, as an adulterer goes to other men. There was a purpose in it.

There is a purpose with every relationship you are in. And just because YOU don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. That is not your call. It is God's. You are to love your enemies, love those that spitefully misuse you. You are to turn the other cheek, be the example of God's love, even if she does not. You are to be the High Priest in your house, the one in tune with God when all others are not. This is not my job description. It is God's. Is it fun? Well no... but when you are under that covering, you are under God, and that is exactly where you are supposed to be. You must see people with the eyes of God, not yours. When they lash out, you must see it for what it is. Satan is testing your relationships, and every time you concede ground you give him that territory. Satan is slowly grinding away at you like a knife on a wheel, and unless you move from hate to love, God's love, an action not a feeling, and choose love instead of hate, every time you clash with others, Satan is trying to grind you down to nothing. Don't give him the satisfaction. You are a child of God, the son of the Most High, Seated in the Heavenlies, RIGHT NOW, beside God, You are HIS SON (Daughter). He is well pleased with you because of who you are, not what you do, Hate will rot you out from your insides and will wreck your relationship with God. You know as well as I do that He says, if you cannot love your brother (or sister) who you see on earth, how can you love ME? or what about when God says if you cannot forgive how can I forgive you?

Broken relationship on this earth between people breaks relationship with God as well. Why do you think we need communion? Why the need to get right with our brothers and sisters before we have communion together? Because it is impossible to have a pure relationship with God when we are hating someone on earth. To some extent it will damage our relationship with God, it has to, because we are not where we should be with the people around us. What comes around, goes around, yes brother, but it also goes the same way for hate. You sow hate, you will reap hate. You sow unforgiveness it will reap unforgiveness. That means that you must learn to sow love, peace, and restoration, and you will sow the same. How can you finish right if you start wrong? You must always remember, it is not her you have to worry about when you stand in front of the Most High God. It is you and your actions.

Life is not easy. That is why Jesus called this life our Cross. He never said it would be easy but He would give us peace and joy for the journey if we followed Him. We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who are cheering us on brother, people who have endured so much more than we have. They call to us to finish the race well. People who had their own personal Hell's to deal with. Off the top of my head:

Corrie Ten Boom - watched the demise of her sister living in a Nazi death camp, living with people she could of easily hated, but instead loved because God loved them and sought to share God's love with all in that camp instead of hate.

Christians during Nero's reign... where do you think the gospel would of gone if it just stayed in Rome as Christians stayed in catacombs hating the Romans for turning them into candle sticks and feeding them to the lions?

If anyone had a reason to hate, Joseph for what his brothers had done to him, selling him to egypt and then going to jail falsely accused because of his master's wife. Now there's a reason to be bitter... but look at where he ended up....

A man I personally knew in P.A. Max security prison who was daily beat for his faith but persevered and turned to God daily for strength even though he has no chance of parole, ever, with no need to turn to religion to get out, because he never will, and to love the men who beat him mercilessly and end up leading them to Christ. There is a man with a chance to hate. But chose love instead.

There are many, many others, Paul had been beaten and left for dead many times, the scars he refers to on his body, does he hate the ones who did that to him? No, he loves them and prays for them. Stephen praying for those who stoned him...

Take a good read of any of the people in Fox's book of martyrs... did they wonder why God had them where they were? You bet they had doubts... but they did not love their lives (themselves) unto death because they saw there was a greater purpose when they saw through they eyes of Christ. They saw LOVE not hate... brother, you must go to the Love. God is Love and there is only one thing to cast out that kind of hate is God's kind of Love. Perfect Love casts out fear, but it also casts out Hate my brother. You must stop looking at people with earthly eyes, but with heavenly eyes... not what they are right now, but who they are in the heavenlies to God, and what they might become if they had love sown into their lives.

I know that stepping out and loving is a huge risk, but Look at the risk Christ paid for us... He lost His LIFE. Anything less than that is mercy and grace. I am convinced, the only way to turn your relationships around is to stop sowing hate and start sowing love. No matter how hard that sounds and it probably sounds huge... I remember me calling forgiveness towards my ex a "Mountain". You really want to know who took me over that mountain? You already know. It wasn't me. It was God. Him and Him alone, through forgiveness and His love.

I am not saying this is easy, and the last thing I want to do is give out pat answers, but I want to encourage that with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. Even though some of your relationships look like a write offs, God sees it differently. He has you there for a reason. The fact that you are still there here through all you have gone through is a testament to his mercy and grace. If you checked out (in a bad way) or left now, all the ground and the testimony of God's work in your life would be bragging rights for Satan. I am reminded of two songs by Casting Crowns, if you haven't listened to them I encourage you to. I have to tell you, at my lowest point worship music was the only thing, Like Saul when David played for him, that calmed my soul and made me feel like I was near God. I encourage you to fill your ears with worship, you need God's truth saturating your soul, maybe even some time to cry, to let out the pain.

If I Was Jesus

If I Was Jesus, I'd have some real long hair
 A robe and some sandals, is exactly what I'd wear
 I'd be the guy at the party, turnin' water to wine
 Yeah me and my disciples, we'd have a real good time.

 Ooh and I'd lay my life down for you (woooooh)
 And I show you who's the boss (woooooh)
 I'd forgive you and adore you
While I was hangin' on your cross

 If I Was Jesus. I'd have some friends that were poor
 I'd run around with the wrong crowd, man I'd never be bored
 Then I'd heal me a blind man, get myself crucified
 By politicians and preachers, who got somethin' to hide.
 Ooh and I'd lay my life down for you (woooooh)
 And I show you who's the boss (woooooh)
 I'd forgive you and adore you
While I was hangin' on your cross

 If I Was Jesus.

 If I Was Jesus, I'd come back from the dead
 And I'd walk on some water, just to mess with your head
 I know your dark little secrets, I'd look you right in the face
 And I'd tell you I love you, with Amazing Grace.

 Ooh and I'd lay my life down for you (woooooh)
 And I show you who's the boss (woooooh)
 I'd forgive you and adore you
 While I was hangin' on your cross
  If I Was Jesus.

 If I Was Jesus.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fellowship of Believers

I have been really stirred in my heart lately on the subject of how important the fellowship of believers really is. God designed us to be like coals, to be set afire in the presence of other believers. When we move ourselves out of fellowship and outside the fire, as it were, we find that our light grows dim, and that is when satan comes at us. Even in the midst of spiritual battle in community, we can find we can grow discouraged, how much more is that darkness when we are by ourselves. Like a coal that is pulled out of a fire and left to cool, the light goes out, we become insignificant to the light and warmth of Jesus in our world, and we find we are truly alone. It is when we come back into the fellowship, that we find that even though it may be uncomfortable to someone who, like myself tends to be a bit of a loner, and even, yes a bit antisocial, finds myself encouraged and "lit" by other believers. It is true what is said "surround yourself with people you aspire to be like" and you will be like them. Just as we are to surround ourselves, and bathe ourselves in Jesus Christ's presence, we become like Him, so when we surround ourselves with positive, Godly people, we become like them as well. Jesus said Himself "wherever two or more are gathered, in My Name, I am there, in the midst of them". So true is this statement. This does not discount intimate worship and time with God alone on our sojourn's with Christ, but does speak to our need for other believers in our lives for victorious Christian living. Jesus said to "take up your cross and follow me daily" but then we find that fellowship with other believers helps to also share the burden of that cross. We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, here on earth, and in the heavenlies, we are to be encouraged that we are not alone, unless we choose to be. I suppose the imagery of the coals and the fire really was impressed on me again, when up at Tobin Lake at Wilderness Ministries I found myself staring into lots of campfires, playing guitar and meditating on the goodness of God. One last story before I go on this topic.
A man had not shown up to church for a while, found that there were too many hypocrites there, had been slighted too many times, and generally had become cynical about the whole thing. He decided it was better for him to stay at home, by his warm fire than to go out into the winter for church. One day, the pastor shows up at his home. The man lets the pastor in, offers him a warm cup of tea and a sit by the fire. Concerned, the pastor inquires into why the man hasn't been to church and the man shares his views. Quietly as they are both sipping their tea, the pastor places his cup down, and removes the poker from the fireplace. He removes a single coal from the fire off to the side and sits back down. As they quietly sip their tea, they watch as the coal's light fades until they cannot see any light but ash. The pastor then moves the coal back into the pile of coals and they watch as the coal starts to burn again, and glow like the other coals as the flames warm the room. The pastor finishes his tea, thanks the man, and leaves. The man shows up to church the very next Sunday.
I love this story, and I have to admit I am readily more interested in allegory. A couple things we can glean, like the pastor, we have to be ready and willing to reach out to those we do not see in church, to care enough to give them a call or take them for coffee so that they feel like they do indeed belong, are missed, and are loved. People will do what they want, but we must not leave a man behind. Love in action speaks louder than any words. I believe it was St. Francis of Assissi that said "Preach the Gospel continually. If necessary, use words." We are to be the salt and light to this world. We need to encourage one another and love each other, and by saving someone else, we find that we end up saving ourselves as we draw near to Jesus, the ultimate saviour.

God Bless You All Real Good! Moose

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Few new things...

Hey all, well its been a while since I been on this thing... wow February... that's quite a while... been a lot has happened between now and then... first things first though, please watch and if you think a good blog add this guy to your blog roll: This man is like a brother to me and is involved in a really cool ministry that God has called his family to. Pray for him and for the funding and the people to come into place for this simply HUGE vision God has given him.

In other news... lol... Living in North Battleford has been awesome... waking up to a wonderful wife every day is incredible, and God has been blessing me here in every way. God is indeed good. Still going to the R.O.C. or the Reclaim Outreach Center in North Battleford, getting to play guitar once in a while :) It is a street level ministry with a soup kitchen, used clothing, and men's temporary housing. My friends Don Toovey who used to tour with Double Portion and Pastor Len Beaucage are good solid men who love street people and are incredible ministers of the gospel.

I am still working at Bannerman Photo, (I actually built this website for them :) but have resigned from the hospital. The tech job at Bannerman's went full time and I needed my weekends to spend with my sweetheart, so though a drop in income, it is so nice to have a life now :) I can even get out to church more too...

Darcy's oldest has graduated and is getting his welding ticket, we now have the second oldest living with us and the youngest is still living with his father. Days can be stressful sometimes... the whole kid thing / teenager thing can be as anyone will tell you... hormones lol...

We got away to Tobin Lake to Wilderness Ministries this year, both Dillan, the youngest and Taylor, the second oldest came with us. It was awesome to see how much they really enjoyed being out there. They didn't want to leave which was pretty amazing considering no PS2, Internet, or Cable TV... LOL... They even bore through the Country style Gospel music lol... in spite of it being a little on the cool side with rain :)

I ended up going back up for the September long weekend as Harry and Joanne Cash Yates were up and ministering. I even got to play around the campfire with some Double Portion crew... was an awesome weekend... again cool and rainy but still bearable in a tent with a tarp :) My brother Kel and his family were able to make it up as well and made for an awesome visit.

Another development is that even though I still do not have the funding to get my old shovelhead harley on the road, God saw fit to bless me with a 1980 Yamaha 650 Special... even made it affordable $500! Usually the motor sells at salvage for a buck a cc... so just the engine is worth $650! You can do the math there and see what God did... He is an awesome God... is good to be up riding again... though not my old Harley... God is giving me the little things to be faithful with before He gives me the big things. God is good.

Anyways... got up to get a drink of water... ended up writing this lol... heading to Carrot River for Thanksgiving with my family, going to jam with my brother Kel and get to see my cousins new little baby girl... and of course two of the joys of my life, my little nephews

Caleb and Jo... going to be awesome.

Well God Bless you all, stay safe and warm :) Snow is here...
Steve "Moose" Funkner

Monday, February 16, 2009

What an awesome weekend...

Had a super weekend! Traveled to Saskatoon to spend some time with my brother Chuck and his family for a movie nite and burgers... Best American ice tea you ever tasted! Spent the nite there and then next morning got to spend time with my Saskatoon church family at Hope Fellowship. Was so good to get together with a lot of brothers and sisters I haven't seen for a while. Went to Joe and Sarah's for lunch and then a pleasant surprise, went to see the Monster Truck show at SaskPlace. Was an awesome afternoon of hanging out with two of my spiritual brothers in arms Joe and Darcy. I posted a few pics and Vids on my facebook... It has dawned on my how much I miss having guys to hang out with and share my heart with. I have not really found that in North Battleford. Of course I can share my heart with my wife, Darcy, but not the same as the brotherly camaraderie one feels with Christian brothers. Then again there was never much a church like Hope Fellowship either... The church I am at is the Reclaim Outreach Center, and that is what it is, an outreach, the tight brotherly camaraderie is just not there yet... it is a newer church only 2 years old, and it has gotten me playing guitar again, helping lead worship... just miss the brotherly love of Hope Fellowship... God is blessing me where I am, I know it... but just lacking in that dept. My friends that read this, you can feel free to pray for me in that area :) In other news... still working at Sask Hospital casually... at Bannerman Photo more so becoming a full time job... the other job opportunity I was looking at wasn't as good as I thought, so I am happy where God has me right now. I enjoy my job at Bannermans... doing more and more Photoshop work... I love that... designing collages for people, doing photo touch ups, I love designing stuff like that... Fixing the 10 or so computers around the place lol... sometimes can be frustrating... but I do like the work. Seems God has me in a holding pattern for now that sometimes I want to buck out from... but all around as a friend of mine once said "Its all good" Lord Bless Ya'll -Moose

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Haven't watered this thing in a while :)

Been a while since I logged in here... Been a busy summer... working two jobs, one at Saskatchewan Hospital as a Care Aide and at a Photo Lab in North Battleford. Being at the bottom of the totem pole works not too bad in the summer when all the the people with Seniority are on holidays... Got to spend about a week up at Wilderness Ministries this year, muchly needed, but all too short. Was a good time for R&R and time to reacquaint with friends and family. Was awesome this summer to see Rick and Bebe a few times, Double Portion and Ron and Donalda. Been also busy helping Don lead worship at my church at the Reclaim Outreach Center or the ROC as we call it... been kinda getting back in the saddle with that again... Generally life is good, marriage is good, still in Newlywed stage with my honey I married last August, a few bumps with the kids here and there, but all in all pretty good. A new life and a new sense of direction. Saw all 3 of my cousins from Carrot River married this year... was awesome sharing that with them and really helped get us closer together for sure... Got some new Cousins in Law :) Awesome people all... Looking at another job opportunity in the wings... see what that holds... am surrounded by a lot of positive people, life can only get better :) A different view from where I was just a couple short years ago... still not a millionaire ;) LOL... but life is generally good... enjoying life in North Battleford and the quietness of it all... Biggest things are missing my family up in Carrot River, my old church family in Saskatoon... but all in all, not really big things in the light of eternity :) God is Good. Well... thats all I can think of right now... Blessings... Moose

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Bill's Baloney: Professional Association of Idiots

Bill's Baloney: Professional Association of Idiots

Man Do I EVER Agree with this guy! Just watching some of the Calgary Stampede Bullriding "Competion" and thinking how Idiotic these guys are. How 'bout making a sport where we spin a barrel on a gun and point it at our heads and see if it goes off when we pull the trigger... oh yeah... already invented that... its called Russian Roulette... Sheesh. And they say motorcycle riding is dangerous... uh... yeah RIGHT.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wow... Turning 40...

Well today is my birthday. 40 years old... WOW never thought I would be 40, weird thing, 10 more years is 50, scary how the years go past a guy. I had seen it coming for a while, white hair growing in, but now, 40... Reminds me of the song by Randy Stonehill, called, Turning 30, just adding another 10 years lol! I remember when 25 was a big deal, then 30, 40 seems so far off... and 50 well, only OLD people were 50. Got kids calling me "SIR" at gas stations, sheesh! I don't feel like a "Sir" I still feel like an 18 year old at heart, though my body would disagree some mornings... some days almost feel 80 lol... noticing other friends of mine, turning grey, kids graduating, going to college, etc. and realizing we are all getting older. Realizing that now, more than ever, only the things that really matter are worth anything on this earth. Friends, Family, God... how we fight over such minor things that in the light of a lifetime are really trivial. Learning that picking our battles is so important. Thinking that more or less, on average, half of my life is over. What I want to do with the last half of my life and how much of the first half I had squandered in nonsense, or as King Solomon said "Meaningless" stuff, and a lot of life's stuff is meaningless. A lot of life needs to be lived a lot more purposefully for sure. LOL! Rambling on lol... it seems here. Life is too short someone said, and I do believe it now. We are just a blip on the radar of eternity, and what we do here somehow makes a Huge difference on what happens in life, here and ever after. As I get older I realize that spirituality and faith is much more of value than things that pass away. The afterlife now tends to hold more sway in the panorama of my vision than it used to when I was younger, and there is more of a need to get to the point of issues, issues that matter than when I was young and foolish. Time seems to have gotten up from a crawl and started running away from me, more and more, and when captured for a while, time is more and more valuable. Mabey these are all things everyone goes through when they get older and become more reflective on their lives, I don't know. Never been here before :) But life definitely does get more interesting the older you get. Ask me again when I get another 40 years under my belt LOL!

God Bless Ya'll Real Good! Steve "Moose" Funkner