Thursday, July 23, 2015

Living Life Bible Study Entry 1: "The Way"

Amos here!

I will be making periodic bible study entries on various topics and verses that I might be thinking about. Throughout these entries I will use a variety of translations and commentaries to further the discussion as well as further the discussion on these topics. Enjoy!

I recall an episode of Star Trek: Voyager titled "Death Wish". The humans in the show are given an opportunity in a scene to explore a dimension where Omnipotent beings exist known as the "Q Continuum". Since this dimension could not be comprehended by human in it's entirety, it was represented as a road that extended in 2 directions going on into infinity.

John 14:6 (Wuest)
Jesus says to him, "I alone, in contradistinction to all others, am the road and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me"

In the Wuest translation the word "road" is used instead of the common "way" we are so familiar with. Soo commonly some Christians have used this verse in a manner to describe Jesus as the only way to heaven and that his "way" is the only way. Without context, this can be both right and wrong at the same time. The context used by Christians is often rigid and gives the idea that other "paths" lead nowhere.

What if we looked at it in a different context? What if there was no other "path"? No other "road"? We can see in Colossians 1:16 that Christ is essentially the binding agent or factor that holds all things together.

So the question that came up for me was, do all roads lead to Jesus? Yes!

Jesus is the road. There are no other roads. All of mankind is on "The Road."

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pissed off at God

There are times in our lives as Christians that we realize that things just aren't going the way we intended them to go. We get frustrated with our situations and struggle to stay "in faith". We sometimes get mad, we find scapegoats, and we even compromise our beliefs in order to explain the present situation.

For roughly 10 years, I watched my father's condition go through many ups and downs. During his last 4 years, something changed. 

We both started learning about healing, performing miracles, and walking like Jesus did. We both had prayed for thousands of people and had seen thousands healed. Some of those healings included were those of simple aches and pains, actual bones being mended, and cartilage completely restored. I took what I had learned, and had traveled around the world and the country teaching and preaching the good news of Jesus's work on the cross. I saw people healed by my hands as well as by the hands of those I taught. God has done amazing things in my life. 

That all sounds great, right? Well of course! God can heal anyone through anyone, right?

Ever since learning about healing, I had prayed for my father to be healed. Many others that have had better results and have seen many more healed than I have also prayed for him. Nothing manifested. I'd quote all the scriptures back to myself and go through all I've ever learned on the subject just to try and find why, why, why my dad wasn't getting healed. 

One night about a year ago I was talking to a friend and told him about my frustrations with my father's condition. This friend asked me if I had ever shared this with my father, I said no. He recommended that I do. I promptly ended the chat and went upstairs into my father's room to speak with him. 

I sat down and poured my heart out to my father. I confessed all of my frustration and told him about all my doubts. I sobbed and had tears out my eyes and snot running down my nose. 

"I don't care about healing.. God.. the devil.. I don't care about anything! If I can heal thousands out there and no one in here, what's the point? I'm not going to be like all the other healing evangelists who will heal millions and never heal their family." Those were among some of the things I said. For the next 2 days I felt like a balloon which was inflated to just before bursting and let all the air out. I felt flappy and deflated, vulnerable to changes in my emotions. I'd get really depressed, angry, happy, and frustrated all within minutes. For the first time in awhile, I challenged my own beliefs. I challenged my view of God.

A few months passed and again, I was praying for my dad again. Results would come and go, but no real change in the grand scheme of his condition. One night I had laid hands on my dad to pray for him. I left the room and as I walked down the hallway, I realized something that disturbed me. I didn't expect him to get healed, I didn't walk in any faith. I doubted. In that same moment that I was afraid I was no longer an effective minister to my father and that I could no longer heal anyone, I felt an "impression"; a word from God for lack of a better term. When I said to myself that I no longer expected nor had faith for my father's healing, God said, "Good, now I can do it." 

It is not by my faith that I do what I do, but by the work of Jesus and his faith in mankind that we perform miracles and get people healed. God reminded me of that truth. 

In the final months that my father lived, I got even more angry due to the circumstances. His condition worsened because of medications that the doctors tried on him to help him deal with certain pain and respiratory issues due to the illness. The drugs had caused him to become delirious, incoherent, and forgetful. His condition had drastically declined within weeks and it was wearing on my family and I. Towards the end of September, my father had been considering giving up. He was tired and wanted a way out. In the last days of my father's life, I had felt this was a loss and that "the devil" as I understood at that time had won. 

My beliefs, once more-- challenged. My father did not lose his life, he gave it up. 

John 10:17-18
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father."

On the evening of September 30th, my father was in bed and awoke my mother yelling. He yelled "Praise The Lord, Hallelujah!"and went back to sleep...

My father woke up the next morning, his eyes glazed over and was almost non responsive. He couldn't speak and drifted in and out of consciousness. That morning, I had gone to work and worked 2 hours before getting a call from my grandfather. My father had gone into a coma. He died later that night at 12:15am of October 2nd. 

Pissed at God? You bet I was. Did God understand? Yes. This is my point in this whole article.

We claim we have an exclusive right on our belief in God that not only do we not allow other's beliefs to teach us to learn more, we don't even allow God to teach us something either. God didn't kill my father, he didn't make my father sick in order to teach me something. However, through my father's sickness and through his death, God taught me a great deal. I learned that God honors our choice. He honored the fact that my father was tired. 10 years of fighting a disease followed by a drastic decline is tough for anyone. 

What I want to share with you is this. Question anything and everything. Even God. Sometimes the solution is not in God itself, but in ourselves. Through questioning and even getting pissed off at God, I question and even get mad at what I believe and force myself to change. 

Is this the best course of action? Is it the best case scenario? No. Is it important to understand that we are in such communion with God that we can speak quite plainly to Him and frankly to Him? Even to the point of anger and sometimes some swearing? Yes. It frees us up from our frustrations and allows us to empty our minds of all the junk we're holding up inside and let Him come in and minister and teach us. 

God is our best friend and our father. We may not understand, but He is all understanding. He knows why we're happy and He also knows why we're mad and frustrated. 

Stuff to think about.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

From Sorrow To Strength

6 months ago, I attended the Kingdom Awakening Seminar and met many awesome people and spoke into many lives as well. Midway through the conference, I met my fiancee Kathy Boberg. At first I was unsure what it all meant when I realized that she, like myself, had also had one of our parents with a chronic illness. Ever since the conference, we spoke every day and opened up to each other as our friendship grew.

October 2nd, 12:15am… My father passed away. I had never felt such sorrow and loss about anyone else ever in my life. His condition had deteriorated beyond anything I could handle and let alone my family could handle. One of the first people I called that night he passed was Kathy. Through those moments of sorrow and grief, she had been nothing but becoming my strength more and more everyday. When one part of my life had passed away, another chapter began. She became my life. When someone I loved dearly left, someone who I have come to love more than anyone I have ever loved came into my life.

I have never loved someone soo deeply. She had given me grace where I saw none was deserved. she loved me when I didn't love myself. Kathleen Marie Boberg became my strength, my joy, and my love.  To truly see how God loved me was when I understood how and why I loved Kathy. There are times we seem to lose sight of how much God really loves us and we want some sort of sign, a word, or even a voice. Kathy became all of that for me and Christ personified where I needed it. 

With the transition in my family with finances, emotions, and relationships, my life has shifted drastically. With my father’s income out of the picture that he received from agencies, my mother and I have become the principal income providers of the household. 

Through all of this, Kathy has been there for me in all of it and our love had grown more and more everyday. On February 8th, I proposed to Kathy and she said yes. It was one of the happiest moments of our lives. We plan to get married in August and I’m looking for a second job to raise the money for our wedding. However, life can happen and wedding planning plus moving in together costs more than we anticipated. We are trying to make this wedding and new life as simple as possible but I love my fiancee too much for us to feel so tight through this process. I humbly ask my friends and family in Christ to pray about this and for this as I move into this new life with not only the woman I love, but God as well. If you feel it on your heart to help me make the best wedding for my fiancee and our transition into us moving in with each other. you may do so below.

God bless you guys and I love you all!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cookie Cutter Christ

My name's Amos, I was born in Minnesota. I lived there for 5 years and then moved to Taiwan and lived there for 8 years and then returned in 2005 and have been in the US ever since. The experiences and years have made me to be who I am today. They are experiences that are unique to me and me alone. At 12 years old, I accepted Christ into my life.

What I just did in the previous paragraph was to show you one thing we forget when we get too caught up in trying to be Chris like. We think our life is to be exactly like Christ in the manner of literally being exactly like him from his personality to his results in the works of miracles and other supernatural incidents.  

Say it ain't so! 

I believe in the spirit of Christ in us Jesus expects us to mirror and follow his example in all aspects of our lives. He say we are to do greater works than him. This is all very true. 

He also calls us his body. He doesn't call each of us one body of him making up many "singular Jesus's".

Try to see what I'm getting at here. I'm not saying we are not to be like Christ by ourselves. I'm saying we should not diminish the fact that Christ called us to be unified within him and supplement and compliment each other as such. 

We are different people and God made us that way. If any two of us had exact similarities and experiences, that'd be boring. There'd be no room for growth. 

In conclusion, be yourself. I know I'm probably not the best at conveying this but I hope the title get's the point across. Don't be "Cookie Cutter Christ's". Be Christ in your own way while the rest of the body is Christ in another way. 

That's what we call a "Calling", right?