First Thoughts – January 14, 2022 (14/365)

I thought I wouldn’t be writing until tomorrow until I remembered I needed to put in my daily thousand.

So I might as well start off with my verbiage for the message I’m recording for Sunday.

It’s just right. I shouldn’t procrastinate against this sort of thing; I shouldn’t procrastinate, especially when it comes to the preparation and delivery of a Pastor, someone who people are relying on for a good word every Sunday.

Yup, I’m a Pastor. And just like a Call Center agent has no business choosing the people he or she talks to over the phone, and just as a Taxi Driver really shouldn’t be a dick about being picky about his wares or not, I seriously shouldn’t procrastinate, with the reason that I should be in the right ‘mood’ before I type or speak as I am called to do.

I’m sorry, self, but I really hate this about me. This is a major area of improvement. I mean, I’m all for setting the right habits and environment to initialize any semblance of flow, or making changes inside and out to get in that said flow state, but ultimately, with or without preparation… the man who knows his worth knows that the flow starts with him, and it certainly starts with the first step, the first word, the first unit of currency invested, the first burpee, ad so ad infinitum.

Regardless of how there seems to be a great deal of outside influence getting me to slack off and to wait until the last minute, I honestly have all the reason to be excited for my message this coming Sunday.

As my congregation knows, I am walking down the line I started, declaring that 2022 is the Year of Overwhelming – Where (1) we recognize and respect the circumstances we are in, but we shall not place our focus on the pain and pleasure of said circumstances. Instead, we allow ourselves, in the presence of said situations, to be overwhelmed by Christ.

(2) To further clarify on our being overwhelmed by Christ: We are not necessarily saying that we are overwhelmed with what we say that the Lord will give us based on our circumstances. No, let me specify that it will always be more of us being significantly overwhelmed by who Christ is, and what He has already done.

In other words, we are certainly excited with what we think Christ may do for us and our church, but it is a solid second place to the overwhelming miracle that is Christ’s existence – His birth, death, resurrection and ascension.

As I mentioned in the first parts of the year 2021, you can’t talk about love without talking about God. Nor can you talk about God, without talking about love. And you certainly cannot talk about God’s love without talking about Jesus Christ.

What I’m trying to say here is that in our being overwhelmed with Christ, we certainly will also be overwhelmed by the love of God, as we see it through Christ. In other words, pag sinasabi po natin na bilib na bilib po tayo sa ginawa ni Cristo sa buhay natin, sinasabi na rin po natain na bilib na bilib tayo sa pagmamahal ng ating Panginoon para sa atin. Tagalog yan ha, pero sige – In other words, if we say that we are so amazed by Christ, we are also saying we are amazed by God’s love.

And as we talked about last week, it is never out of season for us to talk about the love of God. If you’ve spent considerable time with the Good News Aces you can definitely say that God’s love is talked about quite frequently around here. In fact, it’s something we talk about, something we couldn’t avoid mentioning every time we take in communion. The people here – my team especially, but hopefully my congregation also – we all share the same passion in just soaking in this love which, we’re finding out with every day, we couldn’t possibly grow sick of.

It’s never out of season for us to talk about the love of God – whether it be Christmas or New Year or Easter or my Dad’s death anniversary there will always be a perspective that has us appreciating Christ and His love for all of us. Just like a jewel is appreciated from an infinite amount of angles and lighting variations, so we can always find something that refreshes us when it comes to love.

And it’s not just a pleasurable love… Friends, especially in this day and age, and especially during the beginning of this year – we’re all supposed to be motivated and excited, but it seems like we aren’t feeling it. I’ve spoken to a good number of people who, surprisingly, didn’t feel Christmas or the New Year. Countless reports on the TV and online leave us constantly bombarded with anxiety, regret of the past, confusion in the present, and fear of the future… so much to the point that even the Holidays weren’t as joyous.

Kill-joy to the world.

But it’s that constant stream of negativity we couldn’t seem to shake that is the exact reason why this love is absolutely necessary during these times… and as we’ll find out, this isn’t just a love that involves feelings and words, not just a love that picks us up when we’re down, not just a love that fires us up temporarily… Friends, the love we have is a living Love.

I think, in our necessary talks with each other and with ourselves, and with our times intentionally spent with God, that we should understand that no matter how we don’t feel it, we do have the Love of God, present in and around us, 100% of the time, all the time.

NOTE: Before I got to this point, I must share that I already had it in my mind before I sat down to start typing: That I should speak out against this whole mindset of Mass Formation Psychosis.

To be brief about it: I heard it first from Dr. Robert Malone in his conversation with Joe Rogan, and I also heard it just recently from Dr. Peter McCulloch, who also talked with Joe Rogan.

Dr. McCulloch explained the 4 pillars that need to be established to establish mass formation psychosis – These aren’t the exact words, but he said the following:

  1. Establish isolation.
  2. Take away privileges that were once easily accessible and enjoyed.
  3. Stay consistent in bombarding the populace with fear.
  4. What he called the ‘Capper’ introduce a singular solution, from ‘experts’; At this point the said solution could be as preposterous and questionable.

My initial thinking about Mass Formation Psychosis – I think I shared this in a previous 1000 word attempt – was to hit the Thesaurus to see its opposite, its villain: Individual Autonomous Peace.

Now those were the words I thought about just now but I’m pretty sure the first words I pulled out were different.

First of all, we can also recognize Mass Formation Psychosis as collective fear. And when we see it from a Christian perspective, the antidote to fear, the vaccine against it, the treatment that kills it, is love. Perfect love, that could only come from Jesus Christ.

And contrary to us forcing the love of God to the populace as a whole by way of scaring them to Jesus, we approach one and many by way of relationships, empowering people with the genuine intention which can only be began and directed by no less than love. We do not tell the multitudes what to think, but how to think… with the faith that in their searching, indeed, they will find; just as we knocked, and the door was opened, they shall willingly ask, and receive Christ.

Now the strategy was presented, in the form of the 4 pillars stated above.

My question here is – is it a matter of preserving the strategy (and, of course, the verbiage), changing only the power that drives it?

Or is it a matter of us countering this strategy by way of not only changing the power, but the strategy as well?

First, think about it – Let me paste the said pillars, and point out how it’s just as feasible with how we would evangelize:

  1. Establish isolation, lockdowns. – We talk about sin, and how it separated us from God.
  2. Take away privileges that were easily accessible and enjoyed. – We talk about how by sin we ourselves are separated from eternal life and love
  3. Stay consistent in bombarding the populace with fear. – We bombard whoever is within the sound of our voices of the Love of God for all of us
  4. What he called the ‘Capper’ introduce a singular solution, from ‘experts’; At this point the said solution could be as preposterous and questionable. – We present Jesus Christ, born of a Virgin, lived among us, lay down His life for us, and rose again, that whoever believes shall be alive with Him.

Side note: I could see how the atheists call us goofy because of how we appreciate the resurrection, but this new life as a new creation in Christ is real – more communicated through actual life than through words.

We can see it this way: We can use the same strategy used against us, understanding that we’re up against enemies who may have great power and resources, and they already have a headstart in convincing our loved ones of their narrative.

But, little do they know that we have a Savior who is infinite, whose power defied and defeated death. We have a Savior who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (how that is converted to crypto escapes me). We have a Savior who is the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End – as such, ‘headstarts’ are irrelevant to Him who not only created but is beyond time and space.

See, we could go that route. Equally feasible is the idea of going against the fear mongering machine with a strategy which would have us pushing for the mindset’s aforementioned opposite: Individual Autonomous Peace.

I see we could make that approach through each word mentioned: Individual, Autonomous comprehension versus Mass-induced groupthink (HOW to think vs WHAT to think), with the focus on the Peace which goes beyond understanding, versus its apparent opposite: Psychosis.

This is going a little longer than I expected but I don’t care.

As I was typing my thoughts, first off, it felt good, but I see that there is no one answer for my question. Rather, we replicate the strategy of our adversaries to reach people who are still too indoctrinated to think on their own… and we encourage everyone who’s been set free of the psychosis to move on to meat, from milk.

As always, it’s not about us looking for absolutes, it’s more about establishing the correct options, and contemplating on the chances each option would work best in a given circumstance.

To this end, no matter what approach we take, the entire idea here does not stray from the truth of the Overwhelming Love of God – I was to present that the love of God was necessary, and in light of this discussion, it’s necessary because it is what keeps us stable. It is what holds us together. Christ is the Capper. Christ would have us function independent of fear. The love of God is necessary in that it would not have us easily conforming to the demands of the world, but would have us thinking on our own.

With that said, I suppose it’s a liberating love. It’s a love that sets us free – First, free FROM out old ways of fear, and free INTO the new ways of perfect love.

It’s a love that we can own. It’s a love that owns us. It’s a personal love. It’s personal in that He knows us by name.

I should probably stop here and keep going tomorrow. Very exciting but I don’t necessarily want to finish it by way of forcing it.

Let us rest. After all, rest is a weapon.

What words or stories from the Bible can I use?

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