30 October 2009

Not Ashamed Of The Gospel

Edward B. Sell. Most who will read these words will have never heard the name. It is only in a small corner of this world the name Edward B. Sell is celebrated. But in the limitless expanse of heaven the name is marked. Crowns are being readied. For Edward B. Sell IS NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.

Did you catch that?


Therefore, Edward B. Sell is one of the last Christians on the face of the earth.

Edward B. Sell is the world’s highest-ranked non-Asian in TaeKwanDo. He is the founder of America’s oldest martial arts school. Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to witness Grandmaster Sell teach a *karate* seminar. In a booming voice, standing before a class of 6 – 12 year olds and their parents, Sell informed:

Let me tell you what’s different about our martial arts school. In our school, WE ARE NOT ASHAMED TO SPEAK OF GOD AND JESUS.

From his Grandmaster martial artist’s perspective, he proceeded to relate the story of Cain and Abel. He detailed Cain’s fall to sin (paying particular regard to the destructive force of evil thoughts), then dramatized the horror of violence and death before concluding his remarks by presenting the fratricide as the genesis for the need of self-defense. It was a far better sermon than I have heard on 99.9% of my Sundays in various pews across the country.

Interesting to observe were the facial expressions of the parents, as their children sat spell-bound by Edward B. Sell. The parents, many of them Asian or other colored, most of them with the spirit of the dead, seemed puzzled. It must be they had little idea when they registered their children for the seminar they would hear this 9th Degree Black Belt speak about Satan’s ability to destroy lives through evil thoughts, but that we need not be ashamed when evil thoughts pass our mind because they can be resisted through the supernatural power of Jesus Christ.

The rest of Sell’s seminar was likewise full of fresh takes on Bible stories and Christian principles as he and his wife demonstrated and coached martial arts techniques. My kids have been in various Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible Schools and Do-Gooder groups and camps. . .and these organizations have invariably impressed me as being remarkably lightweight. . .seeming to have as their main goal the providing of *wholesome* activities, games, songs, etc., rather than providing genuine instruction on the Way. In essence, they use the Faith of Christ to serve entertainment. . .in some cases, almost to the point where they apologize Christianity prevents their entertainment and activities from being more worldly. But Grandmaster Edward B. Sell brought TaeKwonDo to the service of the Faith of Christ. And without any trace of apology, he made clear from the moment he stepped in front of the crowd he was NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. Trust me, there are not many left like this.

To learn more or contribute, write:

The Sell Team Ministry
P.O. Box 1474
Lakeland, Florida 33803
Online Donation

21 October 2009

The Land Of Nod

Salt Lake Tribune, 19 October 2009: Whenever I think of the smiley-face icon, I think of Wal-Mart because of its once-ubiquitous ad campaign. And when I think of Wal-Mart, I think of crappy wages and insecure employees who probably live paycheck to paycheck. That metaphor -- the happy face fronting a world of worry -- is the subject of a new book, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America , by social commentator Barbara Ehrenreich.

Ehrenreich's bout with breast cancer and the cloying "pink ribbon culture" that surrounds this dreaded disease (she was urged to see her cancer as a "gift") made her explore our cultural obsession with being happy. The book's point is that realism is being elbowed out of the way by all the life coaches, self-help books and prosperity gospel preachers like Joel Osteen who tell us that a positive outlook will lead to success, riches and the fulfillment of all of life's desires. These heaping helpings of sunny optimism are subtly diverting us from grappling with serious social and economic issues in ways that can truly bring about change.

The Secret became a runaway best-seller by telling readers that they could have anything they wanted just by imagining it. The book was obviously unadulterated bunk, but it sold madly as people grasped at any chance to better their lives.

One has to wonder if such magical thinking would have been so popular if people felt they had temporal power to change the conditions of their work and prospects. . .

A very good article pointing out the new faith of America:

Magickal thinking.

The Bible tells us:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Of course, in the American’s magickal thinking, faith is misplaced. Faith is centered in the American’s own imagination.

Well, it may not even be that the American’s faith is misplaced. This would assume the American has the ability to place his or her faith in the right power.

The faith required to move mountains is the faith of Christ, which is the gift of God.

Can we then be surprised most Americans, outside the family of God, engage in magickal thinking?

The article on magickal thinking Americans concludes:

The ultimate irony is that even with the booming positive-thinking industry, Americans are not among the happiest people.

Indeed, 10% of the magickal thinkers are so miserable, they must narcotize themselves to continue their existence.

There is no life outside of Jesus Christ. Magickal thinking Americans can do nothing but try to wish away the days until their deaths. . .

No wonder they pretend, no wonder they live vicariously through their celebrity gods, no wonder they stuff themselves with doughnut burgers and sugary drinks, no wonder they drug themselves silly, no wonder they molest their children--they seek, by the derangement of their senses, to blur the reality of the dark fate that awaits.

This *magickal thinking* is not just confined to America, of course. We know the entire world is a madhouse. . .full of the anxious dead. . .their judgment clocks ticking away. . .outside the family of God. . .desperate to find salvation on earth, but knowing, always knowing the ultimate futility. . .they have NO HOPE. . .hopelessness breeds magickal thinking. . .magickal thinking is the only offspring hopelessness can produce.

Think of those blessed by grace. . .

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

Think of those given the gift of the faith of Christ. . .

This is why the scriptures tells us those who have this gift are:

Strangers and pilgrims on the earth.


For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

Those who have the faith of Christ have no home here. . .the mad scrambling of the damned, trying to preserve their piddling nations, empires or their own personal livliehoods, are of no consequence. These are nothing. . .all destined for the dust heap. . .nothing.

Those who have received the gift of the faith of Christ have no interest in the course of the world. . .
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. . .

Those who have the gift of the faith of Christ are above the world, are above *magickal thinking*. . .

How horrible it must be, how horrible it must be, not to have that hope of glory, that hope the Apostle Paul wrote of:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

How horrible it must be, not to have this hope. . .

How horrible it must be, to believe this world is all there is. . .

I understand the drunken, the obese, the sexual maniac--Cainites, following their spiritual father into the land of Nod.

07 October 2009

For The Winners Shall Be Losers, And The Losers Shall Be Winners

Life is all about losing. Winning is for losers. You understand that? Winning is for losers.

The winners shall be losers, and the losers shall be winners.

That’s the secret paradox of life. That’s the secret paradox of Christianity. And make no mistake, Christianity is life.

In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Everything else is death.

I remember being heartbroken watching that Tigers – A’s game. . .

I was a little boy and the Tigers were my favorite team. . .

I wanted them to win that game so bad. . .

And not to get beat by a negro pitcher. . .

Did I pray for them to win? In some primitive heathen fashion, surely I did. . .

But the Tigers lost. 2 – 1.

How could God allow that to happen, I wondered?

At that time, I had no knowledge of Christ. Just had the vague awareness of *god* that most people never grow out of.

There are God only knows how many hundreds of thousands of smart ass atheists who imagine they shake the foundation of faith by asking how a supposed *good and loving* god can allow evil to happen. That question has never been of any concern to me. And even if it were, it could have been easily answered by looking into Romans 9:

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

That would be answer enough, were I concerned with the question of evil. Evil has its place, as a kind of second schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ.

Evil has never troubled me. . .but how could God allow the Tigers to lose game 5 of the 1972 American League playoffs to the Oakland A’s?

How could God allow Mike Lantry to miss those field goals against Ohio State in 1973 and 1974, ruining the seasons for Bo Schembechler’s best Michigan teams?

[Mike Lantry, his status as Vietnam vet provoking the classic opening line from the Chicago Tribune’s account of the 1974 game: Mike Lantry served in the Vietnam War and he had reason to believe the worst was over--until Saturday. Had I known then what I know now about America’s history of dirty wars, perhaps I would have found solace. . .]

The great value of sports in building the character of youth is that it introduces children to losing. All the rest, sportsmanship, teamwork, being a good winner, etc., etc. is meaningless.

I imagine the greatest prayer I could pray for all who stumble upon these words is God give you the knowledge you are a loser. For losers are blessed by God with the humility to recognize they need Christ.

Winners? Let us look at examples of *winners* in the Holy Scriptures:

The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Children identify with their favorite sports teams, and when they lose, it is difficult to accept. But this is a good introduction to losing.

Children who love the New York Yankees are denied this valuable lesson. We must liken child Yankees fans to the following:

And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him: For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Bastards, these are Yankees fans. Never chastised with defeat. Growing up knowing only the riches of the Yankees. It is true, they suffer recently a drought in World Series titles. . .but their autumn defeats never sting, for their bastard fans are comforted in the expectation the riches of the franchise will procure for the next season the latest *star* whore. The Yankee fan has an unshakeable faith his team will lure for filthy lucre’s sake another team’s best player, and win next year. Trying to learn about losing from the Yankees is like trying to learn about marriage from pornography. The Yankees are sports porn, their lineup filled with centerfolds. Yankee fans are bastards and wankers. . .children of Satan, never having been chastised by the Lord.

Last night, the Detroit Tigers suffered another bitter loss. There may have been thousands of heartbroken children in Southeastern Michigan, going to bed wondering how God could have let the Tigers lose. May they discover themselves, even at their tender ages, in that bitter loss. And may they never forget. For, unfortunately, later in life, in the valued things of the world—career, material wealth, status, etc.—some will appear as winners. I can only pray God save them from their deception:

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Only a chosen few are bestowed by God with the gift of the knowledge of their true status as loser, and it is this supernatural gift which produces the humility to kneel at the Cross. . .

Today I thank God for giving me early lessons in losing, as demonstrated by the Detroit Tigers and Mike Lantry. . .