Trail Blazer Ministries
Base Camp for Life: A Spiritual Journey...

Happy Thanksgiving!

1:47 PM
Hi everyone,

Just a quick update to wish everyone a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving day, and to remind the group that we will not be having a meeting tomorrow (10/26) due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday surrounded by friends and family, but more importantly, I hope that we each use this day as an opportunity to remember how richly God has blessed us in Christ.

In the Book of Genesis, God blessed Abraham so that Abraham, in turn, might become a blessing to those around him. While Abraham was blessed with physical wealth and numerous offspring, the greatest blessing of all would come centuries later, when the Savior entered the world through Abraham's line. As we recount our many blessings, I pray that we will be moved by the Holy Spirit to share the abundance that God has given us, both spiritually and physically, and that this would be an opportunity for us to share the love that God has shown to us in Christ Jesus.

Be blessed,
Michael

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name." - 1 Chronicles 29:11-13
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When you think about Christmas, think about changing the World. Follow Christ's example.

4:49 PM





Christmas Can [Still] change the World



The story of Christ's birth is a story of promise, hope, and a revolutionary love.

So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists.

And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling of missed purpose. Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?

Welcome to Advent Conspiracy.




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What is 'emerging church'?

3:38 PM
Here is another attempt to 'nail jello to the wall' for anyone interested in what the emerging church is. I have found Andrew Perryman's site to be very informative and engaging.
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"Of Kings and Covenants" Conference in Helena

3:24 PM
I'll be going to this conference in Helena on Saturday if anyone would like to hitch a ride!

Election Sermon and "Of Kings and Covenants" Conference

Call me at 406-570-0413 if you'd be interested!!!

Ryan
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This Week's Spicy Talk: Jesus Christ - Superstar?

2:23 PM

Today’s church often finds itself caught between two extremes. On the one hand, Christians sometimes take an insular approach to the world, thereby weaking our impact on our community. On the other hand, we often find the church employing the means and attitudes of the world in order to advance itself and gain power and influence. What does the Bible teach about the relationship between God’s people and the world? How is the term "kosmos," or "world," used in the New Testament?
What is the relationship between God’s Kingdom and “this present world, which is passing away?” Join us this week as we explore the complex relationship between God's people and the "world!"
(His) Peace,
Michael

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Grace…

3:40 AM
Grace…

I spent yesterday in bed. Why? Really I am not sure. I just felt empty and uninspired. Yet, in that moment where I slept more than thought I sensed that I was fighting something bigger than myself. Why in this moment did I want to shut down and not face the “whatever” I sensed was bugging me. Oh, and I hate to confess this so openly, it was the first day I tried to stop smoking cigars. Yep… addicted again to the devil’s weed. Arrgh.

It was not that facing the prospect of not smoking though that was bothering me. It was in a sense the idea of having lunch with a friend I had not spent time with for a while. Again, I was not sure of the “why” I was feeling as I was. I slept instead of facing the strange desire to call him and make up some excuse. “I am just too busy today.” “I have too much homework today.” “I don’t feel well today.” All excuses… to not face this strange feeling of dread…

Now, I finally got up. I had stayed up way to late as it seems I do too often and am doing now as I write this. I stayed up until 4:30 am Sunday. I know that is part of the reason I slept so much Monday. Yet, when I woke a noon, I just did not feel like getting up and out to face the day. I did check my blood sugar which was much too high again and took the dose of insulin. I also took care of some bodily functions that need attending…. Yet instead of going out and seeing what type of day God gave me today… I went back under the covers and hid. Sleep gave me the comfort and grace to face the day I dared not face.

My friend is a good guy though he is a bit messed up. He smokes, which I can’t hold it against him as I seem also to have this unhealthy fixation with tobacco, yet also he is stuck in a hold that seems to in able him to get a job and live his life more fully. He medicates himself with what is illegal in many states as he has horrendous back pains he says has kept him from working. We have prayed for healing and yet it seems that it does not come. He believes that this substance should be legal and is one of the best ways to help people like him. I agree that some people who have cancer or other issues may need this, yet I wonder for him if it is his “staying in bed all day” remedy. I try not to judge him about this as I know he loves Jesus as much as I do… maybe more. I also wonder though if I have the right to tell him that this may not be the remedy he truly needs. By the way, I do not indulge in his remedy if you were wondering.

No, I have my own that I face. Not “illegal in some states” types maybe, rather I tend towards things like eating, or in the case of Monday, shutting down.

It seems though as I woke up at 1:30 this morning that Grace is on my mind. Not at first, as I took a walk to buy a cigar and cursed my failings. I took a drive and listened to a recent book on tape about grace and found that just maybe that is what I was hiding from. You see, I believe I am grace to my friend. I am that safe space where he can be himself with all his flaws and find acceptance. I also realized my friend is grace to me. This was a bit of a shock as I thought about it. God’s grace covers our shortcomings. I am not saying that we should pursue our short comings as most often those are unhealthy ways of dealing with life. I see my friend in a bit of a different light tonight as I write this. I desire to fix him, yet also see I cannot fix myself so how could I fix anyone else. I sometimes wonder if God cares about fixing us… as I see that God seems more intent on making New Things out of the old. Is this the same? I do not think so as I ponder this idea.

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The Kingdom of Heaven/God is…

2:24 PM
Kingdom of Heaven/God is…



Ephesians 1: 3.Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
4. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5. he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6. to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8. that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10. to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment--to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 11. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12. in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
13. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14. who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.


The word “Logos” used in John 1:1 which is often interpreted as “Word”. We use it today in the word “logic” which has part of the meaning as when God created all things it was out of a chaos that existed. Both Genesis 1 and John 1 start with “in the beginning”. This should show us that we exist outside of the eternal and in a different dimension called time. The word “logos” is very much misunderstood and is really watered down in our English translations and understanding. God spoke “let there be…” and though it was not it was. Yet, we see in Ephesians, that there was a mystery that was before all things began. In the eternals (if there be a way to grasp this idea outside of Plato’s dualism) we see that we were chosen to be in Christ before creation. That means that before God created he had a plan that was that all things dwell in Christ.

Logos lost some of its meaning in our translations and understandings as we grasp that John was playing a trick on the Gnostics. John uses the Platonic concept to show that this is even greater than Plato’s ideas of dualism. In a simplified understanding it means a conversation. In a fuller meaning it is an ongoing conversation that started in the Godhead with the Father and Son and their unity or the Holy Spirit. Now I do believe the Holy Spirit is a Person, so don’t get me wrong on that. Yet this eternal conversation was of a Kingdom in the form of a Person being Jesus.

Jesus is not only the savior of me and my kingdom, which in the end is that of death; rather he is also the King of all Creation. I see that just as David desired the Temple to be built; it was his son Solomon who finished the Temple in which God filled with His Glory. This is the idea that God the Father desired for us in His Son Jesus. Instead of temples made by man, we are now the Temples of God in which He dwells and also we dwell in Christ Jesus for he is the New Jerusalem.

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We've got a license to lie .... (to the tune of "Ticket To Ride" by Lennon/McCartney)

2:41 PM
(The following is a lead in to this Thursday's study / discussion)

Dozens of times in the Gospels, Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth." Today, some Christians claim to believe in "absolute truth." Some even put the Ten Commandments in their yards and crusade to place them in courthouses. Yet American Christians of recent decades are widely perceived, by the public, as ... compulsive liars.

We've all heard the lies. Perhaps we've even parroted some of them:

"Our nation's founding fathers were all evangelical Christians!"

"America was founded as a Christian nation."

"Intelligent Design has nothing to do with creationism."

"You can't be a Christian and vote for _______!"

"________ is a socialist!"

"God hates liberals."

"There is no proof for evolution."

"The Bible says abortion is murder!"

"God wants you to be wealthy."

"Unless you believe like me, you're going to hell."

And the list goes on. History. Science. Politics. Religion. The lies spew forth easily, glibly, without second thoughts. It is as if many Christians just can't help themselves, as if lies are necessary to prop up God on a daily basis.

The story of how so many modern American Christians have come to be habitual liars needs to be explored.

But perhaps a more urgent issue is this: can Christians ever be trusted again? And if so, where do we start?
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