Snapshot “Do Something!”

Up to Speed.  We are living out our 11th year adventure called “Marriage”.  About three years into our “tumultuous, I am going to leave you” marriage,  my husband’s Asperger’s Syndrome (High Functioning Autism) came barreling into the forefront of our lives.   It was a surprise when he was diagnosed – I actually  thought that he was on the “crazy” (wink-wink) side –  seriously!

But finally the pieces fell into place.  Along with Aspergers and ADHD, he also has general anxiety.  Going to a new place, eating at someone’s house, going to do things alone, avoiding things that make us nervous (life) – all this and more plagued my husband and my life.

God’s Control.   I have seen the changes in my husband, and can testify that when you give God Control of your life – amazing, beautiful, wonderful things happen.  And they don’t always look pretty as the world sees pretty.  It is an amazing, blessed adventure!

H.E.L.P Athol is birthed.   A young man who personally touched our lives died in a battle with heroin.  God summoned my husband to step out and DO SOMETHING.  When this tiny sprout of holy boldness popped up un-expectantly, I was not ready for it. I dug my heels in, would not move.   I thought my husband had gone off the deep end, for real this time.  He promptly announced that God told him to go to Veteran’s park in Athol, to share God’s love.  Understand, this was coming from someone who primarily did most of his ministering “online”.  I was not prepared for this.  I spent this past  year digging in my heels and missing so many blessings.

Yesterday.    A short time ago,  my husband announced that God had given him a vision.  This is what my husband shared with me:    We are to worship God, we are to feed and we are to love in His name.  I was overwhelmed and fearful.   My husband is the one with the “hangups” not me, yet he was asking if I will step out and DO SOMETHING with him.  My knees shook, I became annoyed, every part of my being said NO, except He who lives in me.  Yes I will put myself out there.  I will look foolish for the name of Jesus.  My husband purchased a Marlin Back Pack guitar for my birthday.   Basically he said I need this guitar,  it will help me to worship God.

Today.  I praise and worship Jesus!  I am not a professional musician,  yet with God at my helm, I sing, play my guitar and honor the one who died for ME:  Yeshua – Jesus the Christ – !  So, if you have nothing going on, come out to Veteran’s Memorial Park, in Athol, Monday’s 7:00 pm,   Bring your version of Jesus, your voice, an instrument or whatever you have and let’s worship Him together.

Blessed.  I am poor.  I am rich.  I am sad.  I am happy.  I AM.








A Different Christian Take on Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go is all the rage and, of course, there are many Christians who have convinced themselves (and others) the Pokemon is a game of Satan’s deceptions. I went through this once before with this brand of gaming when I played it with my son back in the 90’s, and all I can say is its the same song – different day.

While several great thinkers in the Christian world have made fantastic and revealing connections between the children ‘capturing’ Pokemon and witchcraft and demon possession, I shudder at the reality of their accusations against this game, because the notions some have expressed about this game exposes the accuser of much of the same! Let me first share with you a few things most do not realize about the Pokemon world…

1) It’s complete fiction, and no one believes otherwise. Anyone old enough to actually play any of the Pokemon games, be it with cards, consoles, or cell phones understands that it is fiction.

2) The general atmosphere of the Pokemon world is one of caring and sharing. The true splendor of the games has always come down to trading, which has not yet been implemented in Pokemon Go but it is coming soon. This is not a game of blood and gore. It is a game of little animated characters that make cute noises being captured and harnessed. This is common in the history of mankind as proven by the use of horses, donkeys, mules, etc.

3) The game has caused a huge increase in foot traffic. As a person who has spent a lot of time in Vets Park (Athol) and who has been walking around playing the game myself, I can tell you I have met dozens of new people. As a Christian, is that not the first step in sharing the Gospel? You have to meet a person to greet a person!

4) Many churches are actually Pokemon Stations in the GPS game! This is because the Pokemon Go game used the map an earlier GPS game had generated through its own game play which favored churches (google Ingress). This is a blessing in disguise because as a Pokemon Station one can activate lures to draw Pokemon. Host an afternoon Pokemon Go party at your church launching Lures for the duration of the party. Meet and Greet and evangelize these people! Many kids come with their parents, so the possibilities are endless and all in the hands of our Lord, Adonai!

5) Regardless of what you hear, there aren’t ‘Pokemon in your home, backyard, or anywhere else UNLESS you are at a Pokemon Stop. For instance, Pokemon Stations can be Landmarks which means there are several neighborhoods that had been forgotten that are suddenly very busy and it can be alarming. Combine that with the fact that many don’t understand if they can see the Pokemon on their display they can tap and capture it… they do not need to run it down in a person’s backyard. Additionally, many players do not realize that Pokemon are randomly generated meaning when a person loads the game in their cell phone at home and a Pidgey appears on their kitchen table, it only appears because the person is playing the game. It wasn’t there ‘all along’.

Now then – does the game expose several problems with our current society? Absolutely!

Absent minded players so absorbed in the game are the result of a generation of children who have sat in front of the PS 1-4, the XB360 – not to mention the “wonderful days of the Wii” when it seemed like everyone was bowling in their living rooms… Are you seeing the heart of Nintendo yet?

Nintendo is first a company for profit, but they have always tried to find ways to make the games family friendly, safe, and still sociable. Nintendo was the company that refused to show blood in their edition of Mortal Kombat. The mobile gameboy games have had Pokemon, but its mobility has never included gps before. The Wii introduced motion controls into the lives of the players. Now, with Pokemon Go, instead of pressing one’s thumbs against a crossbar control pad, the player must transport themselves to various locations in real life! A person can drive station to station, but then they do not get any walking time to hatch their eggs. Yes, as a Pokemon trainer you will find eggs which you put in incubators. The incubators are powered by the actual distances the player walks making walking a HUGE component of the game.

While it is horrible people have walked off cliffs while playing, I seriously have to question what they were doing. The game generates audible alerts. One can walk without looking at the display and play. The only ways they were distracted like that is if they were a) in a pokemon capture battle, which is twice as hard walking, or if they were doing ‘clerical’ work like upgrading, transferring, and managing items in the game. This stuff is also twice as hard walking.  Still, none of it is any more distracting than texting, which has been happening for years.

What about people using it to victimize players? Yep, that is a possibility, particularly if one is letting a kid run off into a city to play alone. The world victimizes people and always has. The best answer is to go WITH your kid. I have met many parents who are playing WITH their kids and its become much like a 21st century ‘fishing’ trip for some already! If you can’t go with them, send them out in a minimum of THREES like the TV Show! Set boundaries. Check out the Pokemon Station locations for yourself and tell them, “Do not go to this Station because I don’t like…” If you don’t trust the kid – track the kid! If he or she breaks the rules take the game away. Its really basic but in today’s world there will always be kids roaming solo. For those of us out there playing who are over 18, its our duty to look out for them making sure if we see something odd do something about it. All basic community protocol, right?

The argument brings me back to something we have often forgotten in the Western world of Christianity… and that is this:

Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.

Its a bit of a double edged sword kind of verse, but those at the heart of the hatred against Pokemon should really examine their fury and see if it isn’t a bit misdirected. With all the problems within the church and all the misconceptions and bad theology that plagues the religion through thousands of denominations, we are going to pick on Pokemon? What these people see in it frighten me in light of Romans 2:1 because the thinking is stinking thinking. Where many see demons and Satanic digital tracking, I see opportunities to share the Gospel with a segment of society that has been trapped in front of big screen televisions for the last decade! I see the technology as a tool. If one thinks Satan can use it, then why doubt whether or not Jesus can use it?

I reserve the right to be wrong about this, so if you would like to discuss the matter I am always open to hear what you have to say! God bless!


Romans 1 and Homosexuality

I received this message in response to the Bible Study on Romans 1… I replied but then wanted to get a little more detailed.

viewer  – “I didn’t want to post this on the H.E.L.P. Athol page, but I think the portion of Romans … 1:24-28 and so on… are referencing the homosexual lifestyle. It’s a heavy subject, and a lot of people don’t care to discuss it because it is so divisive.  I kind of stay away from the subject  myself amongst those who are not Bible believers because it can cause serious arguments.  What do You think ?”

my response – I hate it. First of all, without a doubt Paul was speaking against homosexuality. Whether or not he was speaking specifically of male prostitutes or not (which is how Christian Homosexuals try to work around the passage), this idea that he was ok with homosexuality defies the reality that Paul was first a Jew and knew marriage to only ever be between a man and a woman, and this was unchallenged by anyone! Even the gays! The truth is there is only one acceptable path for a Christian who is sexual, and that is one man one woman – let no one separate them.

I don’t like the way the topic has become so vicious. If we were hard on pre-marital sex or divorce the nation would not be as it is. The nation, if not the world, has lost its moral compass. The problem is the flesh WANTS to be ‘ok’ with pre-marital sex, cheating and divorce so as a people we accepted it. The people WANTED their sins to be accepted but they could distinguish the difference between hetro sex and homo sex. Still, because our way is not God’s way, the nation has been turned on its ears and gay marriage has overall national support according to polls.. What God has said is wrong has become right in the minds of men because we didn’t hold the line.

The worst part is this truly all branches from women’s rights as that was the first real American attack on the design of God, but we needed women to have equal rights because men had forsaken God and abused the women. Ug. With all that said – despite what Paul wrote – I always remind angry non believers and Christians who are gay that all but one sin is forgiven of men… And that I shouldn’t judge, particularly those outside the body of Christ. That’s why I stated (in the Bible Study video) its between them and God and I say – I wish they wouldn’t embrace being gay but that’s as far as I can take it most times because of the rage around it. I don’t think they would be angry if they didn’t already know what God has said about it in the Bible anyways.

for reference – Romans 1: 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[c] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[d] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.


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I see this chapter in a very symbolic way to our society’s current struggle against heroin, as the addicts are elusive and locked within their own circles. What are we to do to break down those walls? Is it any mistake that Joshua is the name Yeshua in English which is the Hebrew name of the One called Jesus. I believe the key to victory is in this chapter and the confirmation is in verse 27… Joshua’s fame grew – the glory of Jesus, Joshua, Yeshua, the Son of God will grow. We need to unite. M.o.G.

Joshua 6shofar

The Destruction of Jericho
1 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

6 Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” 7 And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord.”

8 So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 10 Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.” 11 So he had the ark of the Lord circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.

12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13 Then seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually and blew with the trumpets. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the Lord, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. So they did six days.

15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! 17 Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”

shofar-rosh-hashanah20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

22 But Joshua had said to the two men who had spied out the country, “Go into the harlot’s house, and from there bring out the woman and all that she has, as you swore to her.” 23 And the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, her mother, her brothers, and all that she had. So they brought out all her relatives and left them outside the camp of Israel. 24 But they burned the city and all that was in it with fire. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”
27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout all the country.

I see this chapter in a very symbolic way to our society’s current struggle against heroin, as the addicts are elusive and locked within their own circles. What are we to do to break down those walls? Is it any mistake that Joshua is the name Yeshua in English which is the Hebrew name of the One called Jesus. I believe the key to victory is in this chapter and the confirmation is in verse 27… Joshua’s fame grew – the glory of Jesus, Joshua, Yeshua, the Son of God will grow.

We need to unite. M.o.G.

Jesus and Plants


Starter Notes & Scripture (NKJV) for Vets Park 6.1.16

Jesus and Plants – Jesus used agriculture to illustrate the reality of what’s happening between God and men in general. There are HUGE nuggets of truth in these teachings. It’s our hope we can catch a few of those and apply them to our lives.

Matthew 13 Parable of the Sower
3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: Behold, a sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.
5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.
6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.
8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Parable of the Sower Explained
18 Therefore hear the parable of the sower:
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.
20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

vs 19: Describes how people lose the Word of God in their lives when they don’t understand it. How does the enemy twist a lack of understanding into a refusal of the Word of God? (Consider the more difficult points of the Gospel that focus on self sacrifice over self edification).

vs 20-21: Many hear the Gospel and love it. The concept of a Savior is pleasing and the possibility of God great, but when hardship comes, they revert to old ways over His ways due to a lack of trust in the teachings of Jesus. Are you willing to risk ridicule and persecution for the name of Jesus?

vs 22: All too often – the world will appease the so-called ‘needs’ of a person. For instance, it is easy to be an a-hole when you’re belly is full and your bank account loaded with plenty of cash. Why worry about God or other people when you haven’t got a need in the world. Sometimes, this world will deceive us in constructs unexpected, such as with pride and power over others.

Another interesting way to apply this parable is by holding it against our home/family life. How does your home look against the different types of land seeds fall upon? Is your home open to God and the Bible? Does a lack of understanding bring fear which pushes you from God? Perhaps you’ve seen families who love God until the sh*t hits the fan or those that love God but are too busy with their careers (for instance) to truly get into the Word? Jesus mentions the harvest saying “who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” If you look at successful people and families that follow God, you can see their dedication to Him will directly relate to their adherence to the teachings of Jesus. Greater dedication will tend to give a larger harvest whereas less dedication leads to less, though both are successful at prospering so long as the seed is of God. Can you see anything in the parable of the sower you can focus on in your life to strengthen your relationship with Jesus?

Matthew 13 Parable of Wheats and Tares
24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.

Wheats and Tares Explained
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
37 He answered and said to them: He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.
38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one.
39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.
40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

vs 37: Jesus IS the Son of Man and the Seed He casts is the Gospel.

vs 38-39 Here, Jesus is describing the literal world… everywhere WE live. The good seed Jesus casts are based on Loving God and loving each other as ourselves. The seeds of devil are self serving and unrighteous. Can you think of examples of what that might look like?

vs 40-43 As if to truly put the devil in his place, notice that Jesus sends His angels to seperate and harvet or burn what they gather. The devil only has the power we give him in our lives. In the end, it always comes down to the will of God.

Also – ponder the words “THEN THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH” – which to me indicates the wicked of this world work against the righteous and ultimately that prevents the righteous from shining at their full potential. Consider the jealousy and bitterness that exists all around us and how that can diminish the good things in our lives. Can you think of any real world examples of this?

What is the Kingdom of Heaven?

How do wheat and tares look in our lives?

Is there any significance to the fact that wheat and tare look identical until harvest time?

Is it possible for a tare to believe it is wheat and wheat to believe it’s a tare (if we the people are wheat and tares)?

Click here for a downloadable PDF of notes for the Bible Study at Vets Park 6.1.2016

Quick Answers About Vets Park and H.e.l.p. ATHOL

Is it disrespectful to ‘hang out’ at Veterans Park?11415551_10153366662028415_841094841705645896_o

I don’t think so. In fact, I see it as a way to honor our Veterans. I find it ironic that the Vets who fought, died, and continue to fight and die for the freedom of this nation could be honored by an empty public park.

The Vets Park is Full of Drug Users!

NOT TRUE! While I confess I thought the same thing when I started going down to the park last year, I am here to tell you, the vast majority of drug users in Athol AVOID Vets Park. After all, its in the middle of downtown under the constant gaze of video cameras and it offers zero places to hide if a user wanted to use.  Additionally, the people who do visit the park regularly are generally very hard on people bringing drugs into the park. Its a public place, and its open to everyone, but the regulars of Vets Park are not druggies.

The People Hanging in the Park Leave it a Mess!
cleanupNope. They are actually the one’s keeping it clean! Again, the park is a public location, thus it is a huge trash depot for those walking around the downtown area.  Its the nature of a public park in a busy area! When I started going to the park, it was already being cleaned by Lisa B and Fast Freddy. It started getting crazy when Tim B. jumped in and demonstrated his talents in landscaping! (LOL). Now, there’s a group of us that get together and try to keep things up to par. Its really a grass roots community effort!  Athol Public Works does a lot in there already. We just do what we can to help.

Who Do I think I am? Who Died and Made Me King?

I am just a guy who used to say he cared, staring from his living room window doing nothing, but now gets off his butt and goes out to do brentwhatever God leads me to. It doesn’t really matter if anyone does it with me, but its a lot more fun when people participate. The thing about what I do is its all done in prayer and led by the Spirit. People don’t always understand that, but I assure you that if I am sitting in the park its because the Lord told me to. Even when I sit alone, I am not truly alone. Even when I am doing nothing, something is happening. His timing and purposes are perfect even when I find myself questioning some of the things I’ve done over this last year. I am just a guy who wants to share the love of Jesus.

What About the Rest of Athol? Its a lot bigger than Vets Park!

Indeed. We are dedicated to helping around the entire town and have with other projects such as shoveling snow off forgotten sidewalks, removing graffiti, delivering food helps, just to mention a few of the things we have found ourselves involved in. Our motto is ‘we will help anyway we can’.12487292_10153886309328415_7370691159587492187_o

So What is the Mission of H.e.l.p. ATHOL?

The mission is to simply follow Him and do whatever He says regardless of the people around us who sometimes think we are crazy. H.e.l.p. ATHOL is a zero budget ministry that Diana and I use to brand our efforts. We call it a zero budget ministry because we have (at this time) no formal financial support from any source. When there is a need we seek help on behalf of those in need and deliver whatever the Lord gives in response to our requests through the hearts of those moved in the moment to assist. Any donations given when there is no need present are used for ministry supplies (such as snacks, water, bandaids, trash bags) or saved for the next call. In the end we are blessed by every opportunity and hope others are led to Christ through it all.

Are There Not Better Parks Athol for Hanging Out?

I don’t know. I wasn’t called to the other parks, though Diana and I are in the process of planning a summer schedule to reach out with the Gospel in the other p4567parks. Right now we are considering Fellowship and Worship at Fish Park on Mondays and Saturday or Sunday Hangouts at Silver Lake. We’ll be releasing information soon, so I guess I can better answer this question after this summer.

Wait… Who Is H.e.l.p. ATHOL?

I guess that starts with Diana and I – but there is no official membership. If you want in just join us out ‘there’ doing something. We aren’t that formal.

So these are a few of the things we’ve heard over the last few weeks all tied together in one quick burst.

LOL – Have fun and be blessed in the Lord!


Ten plus years, Happy Jesus Day Ministry,  has been slowly plugging away.  Mainly as an “online” ministry and a zealous attempt at a home church and a youth group.  However, the heart of this “ministry” has always been Jesus and the desire to serve Him.

For many years we asked these three questions:

How do we share the Love of Jesus?  How does that look?  What do we do?

Despite our attempts to answer them, the questions remained unanswered. Until May 22, 2015, when God answered.

We were catapulted out of our comfort zones and pushed toward the direction that God desired for Happy Jesus Day Ministries,  AND the birth of H.E.L.P Athol.  Years of growing pains, HJD’s God intended purpose finally began to peek it’s head up from the soil in which it was planted.

So much has changed.  Fear no longer has a hold on us.  We have learned to engage with His ears and heart.  We are now able to DO SOMETHING.  Adonai’s spirit, His Holy Spirit, flickers and it’s ember’s begin to enfold those who come near.

Let me explain:

Position yourself in the middle of a public place, known to many in the community as a local “hangout”.  As you sit there people watching, Yeshua begins to stir and your eyes give way as you see through Jesus’ eyes.  Gazing upon the beauty in each reckless, restless soul, recognizing the seed of Yeshua waiting to sprout inside these beautiful people.

His mouth speaks with respect, humility and transparency.   Sharing a smile or a tear, fill a need on the spot, have a conversation, a listening ear, a warm coat, a bite to eat, a hug if needed.  Actively pursing relationships with those who God chooses.  This is what HJD is.  Love’s perfection takes over and there is no more you – there is only – I AM.

Since the initial thrust into God’s purpose for Happy Jesus Day Ministries, we have experienced Jesus in action, we witness the amazing redemptive power of God’s Love as we watch those whose path crossed ours now sharing a smile or a tear, filling a need on the spot, having a conversation, giving a bite to eat, and a hug if needed.

Nothing from The Word of God returns void –  Praise You Adonai.

11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11 (NASB)


Religious Thought

cropped-cropped-12525458_10153886309028415_8440371433574644074_o.jpgActs 21:21 They have been told about you—that you teach all the Jewish people among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or to walk according to the customs. 22 What’s to be done then? No doubt they will hear that you have come.

23 “So do what we tell you. We have four men who have a vow on themselves. 24 Take them, and purify yourself[b] along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may shave their heads. That way, all will realize there is nothing to the things they have been told about you, but that you yourself walk in an orderly manner, keeping the Torah.

25 “As for Gentiles who have believed, however, we have written by letter what we decided—for them to abstain from what is offered to idols, and from blood, and from what is strangled, and from immorality.”

The moral of this passage for me? Even the Apostles had to deal with the religious expectations of men – and they didn’t always resist it. No harm in a purification ritual, so why would it be a big deal?


Sermon on the Mount 5/11/2016

SERMON on the MOUNT 5//11/2016

The following is a collection of notes, ideas, and questions for use at the Veteran’s Park Bible Study. Please feel free to add your own thoughts via facebook for discussion tonight as well!  Press here to go to the comments!

Download PDF here…

Matthew 5:1-12
Do you see yourself in this passage? If we are persecuted for His name sake, we will be greatly blessed!

Matthew 5:13-16
What’s so special about salt? First, it is a flavoring. Second it is a preservative, especially in Jesus’ time as they would pack fish in salt to keep it from spoiling. How does this illustration relate to us? As salt, what is our purpose in this world? What kind of ‘flavor’ should we be in this world? What are we to preserve?

Matthew 5:17-20
Jesus did not destroy or take away the Law. The law still stands today, though it is not for us as it was for the Jews before Jesus came. Apostle Paul called it a harsh schoolmaster and he did not live under the law despite living within the Spirit of the Law. Interestingly enough, Jesus’ commandments to follow often seem in conflict with the Law, but the are actually clarifications and enhancements of understanding intended to assist us in exceeding the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.

Matthew 5:21-28
Murder becomes a matter of the heart, why? We are called to make peace with our enemies before bringing ‘our gift to the altar’ which is referring to our giving to God, no matter what that looks like.  Why? Because our adversary could turn on us and we could be in serious trouble if those accusations are true. Its a call to keeping a good and clear conscience so that our gifts to God aren’t corrupted.


Matthew 5:27-30
This one is deadly these days because of all our forms of media that are over saturated with sex. Looking in lust is adultery in God’s eyes. If you look at someone and lust for them, that is the same as sleeping with them as far as the heart goes. Safeguarding one’s eyes is compared to the harshness of plucking one out just to prevent even seeing the temptations, even to the point of cutting off one’s own hand . It is here that Jesus is trying to express just how serious sin is, and He is telling us it’s better to lose a body part here and go to heaven than go to hell with the body part intact. While no one seems to be up for self mutilation, we should consider how this impacts relationships, habits, and our life choices. For example, an alcoholic MUST cut himself off from bars lest he fall back into the sin of drunkenness.

Matthew 5:31-32
No divorce EXCEPT for sexual immorality – aka adultery – cheating. So what about women being abused by husbands? What about a marriage to the wife tells the husband lies, taking their money to pop pills all day? What about couples that simply are not working out? How do we even try to fix these matters if we can’t divorce?

Matthew 5:33-37
Here’s a tough one for us to swallow because we have been so conditioned to make and keep promises, oaths, and pledges. The fact is we ought not do any of those things. We ought to keep our answers to YES and NO. Why? Once we make a promise, we are bound to the conditions of it. Once we make an oath, we are swaering to fulfill it. Once we make a pledge we are bound to it. I, for example, do not customarily take part in the Pledge of Allegiance because I do not align myself with the values of this nation.  (Capitalism, war, abortion, etc)

Matthew 5:38-48
How well should we treat our enemies? We should go above and beyond their demands so to make them look like the selfish people they are. We should treat them so well that they themselves may feel their souls pricked for their poor behavior. It’s a tough calling at first, but in practice, it typically becomes a beautiful testimony.

We are called to be perfect as our Father is perfect – but the word is lacking in English… the Greek word used for perfect is defined as: brought to its end, finished – wanting nothing necessary to completeness – perfect – that which is perfect – consummate human integrity and virtue – of men – full grown, adult, of full age, mature… in other words – be a man of God, not a baby… knowing that He will work all things for the good of those who love Him.

Matthew 6:1-4
Doing good is great but if its done in the view of men – to gain their favor, we have received our reward and should not expect additional rewards from God. The greatest blessings are earned when we do good works in secret.

Matthew 6:5-15
The Lord’s prayer, which is more a general ‘how to pray’ as opposed to a reactive reading for church services… the biggest pieces to grab from here is God is Holy and Almighty and we are forgiven as we forgive. He will do to us just as we have done to others, so be fair and righteous as He leads us!

Matthew 6:16-18
Breakdown? When we fast, or give up anything of ourselves in service to Him, we shouldn’t walk around like we are suffering. We ought not use that suffering as a playing card to gain pity and sympathy from others. That which we do for Him and only Him He will see and reward.

Matthew 6:19-21
Storing up riches here is fleeting – we can’t take it with us. But that which we do here for God and His people will be remembered in heaven and rewarded accordingly. This is storing treasure in Heaven.

Matthew 6:22-23
This is deeper than it looks because the eye is the lamp but if its dark what good is it? A lamp helps you see everything around you so you might clearly make a choice where if one is dark eyed – they really can’t see at all. Apostle Paul wrote to the pure all things are pure but to the corrupt everything is corrupted. This is the same idea. That which is in us is what we will see out there… and in that is a plethora of information to help us overcome our sinful natures in Him.

Matthew 6:24
Everyone loves to have enough money to do as they wish, don’t they? Well, Jesus is telling us we either serve God or that love of money (which is the root of all evil). If we serve the love of money, we will inevitably find ourselves compromising our walk with God for the sake of the cash. We can see this in corporate business, religion, and even our own personal choices in life.

Matthew 6:25-34
While its hard to swallow while we suffer, God provides. The fact we are still alive proves this. Our problem often comes in that we expect what we WANT to be the same as what we NEED.

Matthew 7:1-6
Don’t judge lest you be judged the same way with the same intensity – first remove the log from your eye, or stop the sin you want to judge… then you may be able to help… its like a sponsor in AA who can help someone who is quitting drinking and struggling. The sponsor is better qualified to help than a person who has never drank at all because of his or her experiences.

Matthew 7:7-12
If we ask in His name – with the proper motives, He will respond. IE: Don’t pray for a million dollars and then sulk when you don’t get it. God knows what’s best and if He hasn’t given you a million dollars its likely because it would do you more harm than good… and you can’t see that from where you are but He can see it from where you will be in the future.

Matthew 7:13-14
Few will find the path of Christ because of all the distractions and deceptions of this world.

Matthew 7:15-20
False prophets meaning men who claim God but are not of Him – and you will know them by their fruits. For example, there have been certain televangelists who have demonstrated by their vast wealth that their fruit is very self serving and thus, I do not watch them because their fruit is bad in my estimation. Preachers and priests locked in scandals – sexual or otherwise, are demonstrating bad fruit. Even common Christians can exhibit bad fruit that can be seen by all. Can you think of some bad fruit you might have seen?

Matthew 7:21-23
This confirms that there are those who claim Jesus but as He says – He doesn’t know them! Notice, they looked like, acted like, even spoke like believers, but they fell short in their hearts… and He knows… they were lawless – remember that next time a fellow Christian says we don’t need the Law… it’s not that we don’t need it – its that we are not under the sting of its penalties because Jesus took that for us. We should be learning from the Law – not discarding it.

Matthew 7:24-29
Building on Jesus is the only good way to build our lives… every other way will eventually errode and fall apart.


Sunday Video!


Park Study Text

Not that we are reading this verbatim, but these are the notes we put together for tonight…

When Should We Pray?

1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

The easy answer is we should pray when we are seeking guidance or want God to intervene in a matter… but according to Apostles Paul, we should be praying all the time. This doesn’t have to be a down on the floor prostate kind of prayer per se, though we need quiet time like that with God too – but instead, it’s saying even within our minds we should be openly praying to God. When we stop to wonder what to do – ask Him in your head to lead the way. Think of prayer as having an ongoing conversation with God right in your very head. You have that power, in His name.

Why Use a Tallit When Praying?
The tallit is basically a prayer shawl worn by Jews which fulfills a commandment from God.  The tallit has special tassels attached to each of its four corners. The tallit is thus sometimes called the arba kanfot, “four corners.” The tassels have a special meaning which is found in Numbers 15…

Number 15
37 Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 38 “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. 39 And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined,40 and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.

To the Jew this calls them to remember to follow His commandments. For followers of Jesus, we look to His teachings to enlighten His Commandments which are written on our heart and in the Scriptures. So if they are written on our heart why do we bother reading the Bible? To make sure that we do not fall into harlotry, which, as it is written, comes from ourselves.  Jesus calls us to love each other, even our enemies, for instance… we should recognize that anything that causes us to fall into drama and divides us from each other is a form of harlotry. Racism is harlotry. Bigotry against gays is harlotry. Gossiping and bickering among ourselves is harlotry. Using our faith as a weapon to hurt others is harlotry.

Why Is Bible Reading a Good Part of Prayer?
Prayer is how we talk to God and the Bible stands as dividing line so we can test everything, keeping what is good. It is the plumb line we can use when the world starts teaching us what right is wrong and wrong is right, which has been happening ever since the the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Its hard to recognize Harlotry without it these days, as the world can be so convincing.  We are warned of our own hearts and mind in the following verse:

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

This is why its important to not simply trust and believe anything anyone says. It is written that ‘we do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God, which is an illustration of the flesh through the bread – and Spirit through God and His Word.


Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.


We are first warned not to pray in a way that makes the prayer a show and if we make our prayers a show, then the attention we get by making them a show is the only reward we will receive. Many wonder why prayers often seem to go unanswered, and this is a teaching echoed by James. Basically, wrong heart, wrong motive, no answers.  


Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place;and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

The prayer closet can be anywhere that you can get alone with God and get to talking with Him. When praying alone, remember to be silent long enough for Him to respond. Deep in prayer, we can often hear the Lord ministering to us through the Holy Spirit. The tallit is wonderful because it helps us get alone with God no matter where we might be, but we do not want to diminish the importance of getting alone with God and having a good chat.

Matthew 6:7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

We are all guilty of doing this… we pray over and over for the same things ever and ever… but if its done from an honest grieving in your heart, Adonai will understand. This passage is specifically targeting recited and memorised prayers that people recite as if they were magic spells. We pray even though He knows what we need already. I believe we pray so that we can get into communication with Him and we can get a glimpse of His will for all the matters that trouble our lives. Repeating recited prayer is found all over the world, in every religion, but again, its a matter of the heart which He alone knows. So here’s the irony in verses 7 and 8, because verses 9-15 represents the most recited prayers of all time. Instead of taking the heart of the prayer Jesus spoke here, our very own religion turned it into a ritual script.

Matthew 6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Jesus told us how to pray, but we tend to lose the essence of the teaching as it has been turned into a responsive prayer used in churches all over the world every Sunday… Perhaps a more appropriate way to look at this prayer is to break it down…

1) Pray to the Father, that is God in heaven, showing the reverence and respect the Almighty deserves.
2) Acknowledge and submit to His will everywhere! Heaven and earth! Even when asking for something specific, ask for it in a way that submits to Him… for example the evening Jesus was arrested, He knew what was coming and prayed the following prayer…

Luke 22:42

saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

Jesus was praying not to be crucified but was declaring that He was going to follow the will of the Father regardless of what Jesus hoped for Himself. Its a tall order for us today to live like this, but I tell you the truth, through Him we can.

3) Ask Him for your need and be thankful as He is the supplier of all things… even if you are working your fingers to the bone and barely surviving, praise God for what He has given you. Remember the manna…

Deuteronomy 8:3

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

When we suffer the trials of life, we need to understand that He is the only true answer to the problems. When the Jews wandered the wilderness He offered them strange food that they had little to no control over. When we wander spiritually, He will give us what we need to survive, but He will make us go through stuff in order to grow in Him – to get us on track and seeking Him.  

4) Ask for forgiveness and forgive others as you want God to forgive you.

This is taught in the parable of the Unmerciful Servant:

Matthew 18:32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

While we want God to forgive all our crap, we need to keep this in our hearts and minds… He will forgive us, show us mercy, as we do for others who have harmed and hurt us. This is difficult, impossible even, without allowing Him to do it for you and through you.

5) and ask that God will lead your way so you don’t fall to the worldly temptations – ask for protection from the evil one – whether that be Satan, demons, or the nasty little person that resides in our flesh that opposes the Holy Spirit on the very basis that the spirit and flesh oppose each other.

6) Acknowledge the Almighty’s sovereignty over all.

The only thing Jesus didn’t mention here is that we should pray in His name, which personally, I systematically do at the end of my prayers with something like “in Jesus’ name I pray AMEN.” or “IN Yeshua’s name AMEN” or even “In YOUR name AMEN” Why doesn’t He say so here? I think because He was praying Himself… I draw my belief that we should pray in His name from the following Bible passage:

John 14 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

On its face, I am sure some of us might think, but I have prayed for stuff in His name and nothing happened. It simply was not His will, and there may be many reasons for that. It could be you can’t see the big picture and your prayer is treating a matter than is playing a bigger role in the big picture. It could be you prayed with the wrong motives.

James 4 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet[a] you do not have because you do not ask.3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and[b] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? 6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

We need to understand, God knows the power of prayer and the reason it is not like magic or a genie in the bottle is because He controls the flow of grace. We are not His master, and we do not dictate to Him, particularly for our own greed and lusts.

Power of Fasting
There are certain ways to enhance your prayers further… for instance, fasting from food is one way we see prayer enhanced Biblically.

Psalm 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, My clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting; And my prayer would return to my own heart.

Matthew 17:14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Using Oil to Annoint
Anointing oil, mentioned 20 times in Scripture, was used in the Old Testament for pouring on the head of the high priest and his descendants and sprinkling the tabernacle and its furnishings to mark them as holy and set apart to the Lord (Exodus 25:6; Leviticus 8:30; Numbers 4:16). Three times it is called the “holy, anointing oil,” and the Jews were strictly forbidden from reproducing it for personal use (Exodus 30:32-33). The recipe for anointing oil is found in Exodus 30:23-24; This wasn’t a magic potion however. Instead, the recipe for creating the oil was a testament of the obedience of the Israelites and a demonstration of the absolute holiness of God.


In Mark 6:13, the disciples anoint the sick and heal them. Jesus had just sent out the 12 disciples and this was written –

Mark 6:12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.


Which is the same thing James teaches…


James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

We can also use oil to anoint each other as a symbolic measure to show someone as set apart as Holy – as a Royal Priest of Yeshua the Messiah! He is the High Priest – and we are His children – His descendants!

In the end, this is not an exhaustive study of prayer in the sense that it is just a glimpse at the wonder of prayer. God has answered prayers in so many different ways and circumstances that we will never fully grasp it. If that sounds daunting, remember, most of us can use a smartphone even though we really don’t have much more than a clue about how they work on the inside. Still, despite that lack of understanding, we can still be blessed through praying – and should be – it is our destiny as His children!

How Its Been Set Up…


What’s In a Name?

I’ve always known that “Christopher” means “carrier of Christ”, but I decided to look up William, my middle name, this morning. It means “resolute protector”.

mjThanks mom! There are no coincidences.

Play game with a joystick

Is God In Control or What?

God IS in control however, but man has been the worst steward of all He has given us. I believe as we get closer to the end, we are like a pot of boiling water. More bubbles, more movement, more evaporation… He knew this was going to happen and the end goal is like that of cleansing through fire. Perhaps this is how He has to destroy ‘evil’? If Satan and sin are a cancer, perhaps we are living through some form of spiritual ‘chemo’ which is having an effect on the entire world?

Jesus didn’t say it was going to be easy but I can’t help but think of a passage, John 16:21 – “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.”

So GOD is allowing all this suffering and even controlling it? In a sense, I am sure He is! However, He also has delegated to man, and man has faltered

Has God not provided us with enough to feed the world? How many boxes of food stuffs sit in warehouses full of preservatives so to wait until those with money can get around to buying it? Don’t we have the technology to transport meats, water, and medicines anywhere we want? If we can move guns and tanks globally, why is it food sits why children starve?

His part was to give us this world which generates substance to live. Our part was to care for our neighbors as we care for ourselves – to love each other! Our greed is why children starve. How long will it last? Only our Father knows. If a day is like thousand years to the Lord I would say its only been a couple of days since Jesus walked the earth, no? Still, to return back to the childbirth statement of Christ, like a newborn from the womb of a woman yet remembers nothing of his time in the womb, so shall it be for us. I do not – I cannot believe that anything suffered here by anyone who will be there is even remembered once its all said and done.


This Is Where It Started

Why am I against native American mascots in America like the one in my home town, Athol?

My father’s favorite recliner is the one thing I look forward to after a long day.  Laying in the my father’s imprint from years of use, comforted me tonight, I snuggle in, escaping in to marvelous memories of my Dad. 

There was one time in particular that continues to resonate deep within, bringing both tears of sadness and joy to my eyes.  My husband and I were headed out for the evening, it was our “date night”.  I went over to my Dad and asked him if looked pretty. He laughed, reached out his hand for mine,  “oh honey”, he said, “you are beautiful” the warmth of his hand and the love in his eyes made my heart swell with so much love that I knew without a doubt that my Dad loved me.

hANDSMy mind began to wonder what it might feel like to not know that kind of fatherly love.  If I had not benefited from the love of a father would I be able to love Adonai the way that I do?  I imagined it might feel like loneliness, sadness and a void that  continuously echoes in the chambers of my soul.  My thoughts do not linger long because thankfulness stirs up inside of me.  The type of thankfulness that words cannot truly express.

I am so thankful that Adonai gave me an earthly father that loved me.  It is because of the love that my Dad demonstrated throughout my life that I can glance upon my heavenly Father know that He must really love me.    When I think about the significant each play in my life, two images come to my mind.  The first is of Adonai and the love He demonstrated to His children through the sacrifice of His Son Yeshua the Messiah and the Exodus for His people so many years ago, and my Dad, sitting in his favorite chair, smiling eyes of love upon me.

Remembering during this Passover week that we are His beloved children – I am princess in the Kingdom of Adonai and my father’s beloved daughter- wow I am so very blessed! 

Happy Passover!!

(Originally published Apr 15, 2014 @ 18:31)


Follow Up on a Facebook Post: “Its only tough when we put THIS world above His kingdom”

The following, in italics, is the text from the original Facebook (FB) post. Many of you may have already read this portion on FB.

Some may think I spend too much time dwelling on difficult subjects. One such topic that has always consumed a lot of my mind is self-defense and defending one’s own family. People today are very quick to draw their lines in the sand over self-protection and defending one’s family, but I realized something this morning that kind of blew me away. Lets see if you see it too!

Genesis 19:5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” 6 But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, 7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. 8 Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.”
Lot begged the two men to stay in his home for their safety, knowing the wickedness of the city. When the people gathered and insisted on Lot turning the two men over to them, he refused and offered his two virgin daughters to them instead.

Do you see it? Ask yourself, how many of us would offer up two of our own children (into certain sexual abuse, assault, and rape) to save two men we had just met?

Remember when Jesus said these words?

Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

The example of Lot starts to shed some light on this statement from Christ… there’s another example to look at as well which blows my mind whenever I think of it…

Genesis 22:9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Interestingly enough, both stories required a huge amount of faith in God, and a willingness to give up anything and everything in service to Him…

These days we have a ton of great sounding excuses for not stepping forward due to fear for our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We’ve been conned by the ‘common’ sense of the world. Be faithful to Him and He will be faithful with you! Its only tough when we put THIS world above His kingdom.

One brother in Christ, James Morgan, had this to say on the matter…

“While Abraham’s test was indeed hard, he believed completely that God would resurrect Isaac from the dead, because he believed the promised that God had given to him earlier, that Isaac would be his heir.
There’s no way I’d give up my children for the sake of strangers. If Lot had access to guns, do you think he would have used them? I do. What about the guy in Judges 19 whose woman was raped until she died? Would he have used lethal force to destroy those evil doers? I think he would have. These people didn’t have the means to fight off a crowd of men. We do.

I pray that I will never be put in a situation to have to kill another person. In Psalm 82, we are implored to defend the weak and oppressed; to defend the weak and needy from the hand of the wicked. That’s what I’ll be doing.”

Concerning Abraham, while Hebrews 11 lays this out completely, the fact is that Abraham had to step up and step out in the Will of God no matter how scary. It is not unlike Peter’s walk on water, where everything about the situation spells certain doom and if not for the grace and mercy of God  it would’ve been certain doom!

The man in Judges 19 is interesting as this establishes a second case where townsmen rose up to have ‘relations’ with a male guest and the host tried to appease the crowd with the offer of women. Because of the culture at that time I assume women were treated in this manner because they were considered somewhat lower than their male contemporaries. I do not think ‘guns’ would solve the matter lest we become murderers – or at least risk becoming murderers. It is interesting to me that the matter escalated into a full on battle between the sons of Israel and the sons of Benjamin turning into a blood bath for both sides over several days. “He who lives by the sword dies by it” – even in victory. Guns might’ve made the battle shorter, but the result is always the same when men do not leave the vengeance to God (Rm 12:9)… One question one might ask is why God allowed the battles to occur, even telling the Israelites to stand and fight the sons of Benjamin, but I suspect its because of the hardened hearts of the Israelites that demanded and eye for an eye. Just as God allowed divorce in the Law of Moses for most any reason because of the hardening of hearts only to have Jesus teach against divorcing as it was not that way from the beginning, I believe violence was the answer at that time – for many reasons! Perhaps the most urgent reason is that God was keeping a line for Jesus to be born, God in the flesh, and the world was simply that uncivilized. Jesus countered eye for an eye specifically, however, and we have numerous examples both in the New Testament and the historical Christian letters that survived from the first 3-4 centuries AD that cement the truth in time; Christians had few options in the face of evil. We either stood and took the persecution even unto death or we fled.

It wasn’t until Emperor Constantine, in the 4th century AD, claimed Christianity as the Roman state religion that Christian attitudes changed on violence. Until that time, Christians were told not to become politicians, police or soldiers because they would essentially be caught up in worldly affairs.  Christians cared for each other and shared everything. They were not money hungry or selfish. The Christians denounced the ‘games’ in the Roman arenas because of their violence. The Christians even turned away from sensuality and vanity. I am sure you’ve noticed, these things; worldly affairs, the love of money,violence, sensuality, and vanity… they are all pretty much lodged in mainstream Christianity today. Any attempts to convince me otherwise have only led me to believe that we have been completely deceived and desensitized to how far the mainstream religion has come from the original Way. The one and only Way.  The New Covenant as taught by Jesus and His Apostles.

Psalm 82 is fantastic and it illustrates how different the New and the Old Covenants can be. Consider this, Psalm 82 is instructional for government, specifically rulers in the Jewish system,  kings and judges. If the early Christians were correct in their understanding, and I believe they were, Christians were no longer involved in the matters David would be addressing.  We have been called (again) to leave the vengance up to God. (Rm 12:9) It seems to me that the New Covenant puts God back in His proper place before the Jews demanded a king. Yes, there are worldly governments which God has allowed to advance His will, but the early Christians submitted to the worldly governments in place without compromising the Gospel of Jesus even if it meant they would be executed. Unfortunately, today, Christians compromise the Gospel of Jesus, even denying the most basic of teachings found in the Gospels in order to be a functional part of the worldly government because we believe we have the ‘right’ to do so!”

The fact is we are so far from the early Christians in this regard (and most other regards as well) that anyone who speaks up, like myself, is subject to hardcore anger and even hatred. No one wants to hear ‘turn the other cheek’ when ‘eye for an eye’ feeds our flesh as we rage for ‘justice’.

If we do not stand as the Lord stood. If we do not stand as the Apostles and their disciples  stood, what seperates from the other religions claiming the God of Abraham? I know we receive salvation through grace – not works – but should we not look differently if we are follow the Son of God? To me, one of the greatest distinctions between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is that Christians are called to turn the other cheek, be peaceful, gentle as doves though slick as serpents,  leaving the wrath of vengeance to God alone.


Thank You, Athol…


Questions About H.e.l.p. ATHOL?

So my brother in Christ, Lt. Michael Buzzard of the Athol Salvation Army asked me for an interview about the H.e.l.p. Athol Ministry to
be used as a College project. Humbled, I accepted and askHJD_broadcastlogo150ed that I be allowed to publish the interview on the web. This is the final product. In all fairness though, I have slightly edited the answers to fix a few typos in the copy I sent Michael.

Q: What are your responsibilities in this position?
A: This will sound coy, but that is entirely up to Adonai in this ministry. We use the 501c3 of Happy Jesus Day Ministries to manage funds which we use liberally to try to help any one we can. In that sense, Diana and I work together in keeping reciepts and collecting what ever comes around, but we also invest in the people of this town when we can. Diana does the paper work and banking,
while I am more of a gentle messenger… or at least I try to be. My personal responsibilities seem to be most often to step out and do the unexpected for the people in this town for His name sake. It sounds like a line until you do it. I mean, every day, seek out a way to help another person in His name. I speak openly of Christ, I write freely about Him, and He does what He does with it.

Q: How long have you been in this position?
A: “This” started May 5th, 2015, if you’re talking H.e.l.p. ATHOL, but that would not be the true beginnings of our efforts.


The Buzzards! Michael and Jennifer!

Q:  How long have you been In full-time ministry?
A: This was a funny question because we didn’t realize we are a full-time ministry until you mentioned it. Having a hot-line kind of works like that, doesn’t it? H.e.l.p. ATHOL is an extension of Happy Jesus Day which is rooted in our personal activities in home ministries and community churches. I guess our answer would be, officially full-time since May 5th… again.

Q: Describe your “call” to where you are serving now. How did you come to be there? Where do you see God at work in that community?
A: Our ‘calling’ came from the loss of a brother in Christ, Jordan Tarbell. When Jordan died, we lost a young man who came to Christ and was baptized in our arms through our home ministry which had been active on and off over the last decade in the Athol area. jordan!Jordan, who fell into the world of heroin addiction and finally perished at the end of a fatal injection. I was ‘involved’ before he died ‘playing’ minister, but getting nothing done to really help Jordan. I drove Jordan’s father to drop clothing and supplies to Jordan in rehab. I was proud, thinking I was involved. I bragged about getting 41 miles a gallon that last trip to the rehab. But on May 5th that ended. When I prayed about it, God showed me clearly I could’ve tried much harder to reach Jordan before he took that fatal dose, and I didn’t, and Jordan still would have overdosed as that was how his walk ended but that was then and this is now. So since that day we have endeavored to reach out and help the people of Athol. That includes getting out there on the streets and cultivating real relationships with the people every single weeknight. That includes  bringing Bible Readings to the Veteran’s Park in Athol and into the homes of those who loved the park readings this winter. Our group is small and full of broken people. We couldn’t be more blessed. We try to fill the gaps that people often run into for various reasons. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help homeless people find help through established and existing services. The Salvation Army is one resource we use often when people are seeking help that we can’t handle, but there are times when we find God moving us to buy food, provide rides, and other activities to assist the community such as graffiti removal from public walls.

Q: What traits or skills are needed, from your experience, to be a leader in ministry?
A: You have to be able to love as He loves and follow Him always. Proficiency in the Bible is needed but more than that, a real relationship with God is key. Faith and trust in our Father is key. Without Him, there is no ministry to lead. This may sound too simplistic for some, particularly those with formal training, but its important to remember that a child can have the faith and trust in God I am referring to, but a child will not be able to obtain ‘formal training’ while one can have all the training in the world but if God isn’t in it – it isn’t anything but an effort of the world.

Q: What role does accountability play in leadership in ministry?
A: Accountability. One way we determine whether or not we can proceed in our efforts with individual ‘clients’. We will do almost anything for a poor soul who is trying to improve themselves, but a person who refuses to work shall not eat, which helps define how we determine who to help. We hold a ‘client’ accountable to do what they say they are going to do in matters of improving their plight. Now, when I say no work no food, I am not saying a person with disabilities can’t be helped because they cannot work, however, if that person will not undertake the tasks (agreed upon as a condition of assistance) needed to move their situation along (keeping appointments with welfare services, making phone calls to state agencies, etc), we will walk away from the matter until such time as the person is willing to do something to help themselves.

We do not hinge our assistance on religious affiliation or prior participation with H.e.l.p. ATHOL activities such as Bible Readings, Graffiti removal, Park clean-ups, etc. In order to insure that we are stay on track in our ministry, we are accountable to God, several elders and the board members of Happy Jesus Day Ministries.

Q: In a sentence or two can you describe your philosophy of staff/team ministry?
A: Allow the reader to take it as they will. Our vision is directly inspired from the 4 Gospels of the Holy Bible and the Epistles which give us an illustration of how the Way works in real life. We seek to clean both the outside and the inside of the “cup” through the Holy Spirit regardless of how insane it looks to the world.

Q: How important is it to know or have experience with the specific tasks each person on staff is doing?
A: Honestly, in this ministry, its not nearly as important as the heart to do as Jesus did. Naturally, in certain matters, we would seek to have people serve where their strengths are evident, but if the Lord has moved a person to move, it will happen through Him regardless of experience. Never-the-less, we try not to smash square pegs through circular holes.

Q: How important is it to know what’s going on each person’s life? A: That really is something that varies case to case and hinges on a person’s own level of desire to get involved with H.e.l.p. ATHOL either as a minister or a client. Its about relationships. If I am assisting a client with a matter, disclosure on the matter and progress made in the matter is essential, but I believe it is important not to pry and force people to give certain details about anything. Jesus always looked for a heart that was willing to see and hear as well as a heart willing to follow Him regardless of how difficult that may be at times, yet He was quick to say – if you want to go – please – go…

Q: What are some things you do for professional development – particularly in the area of leadership?
A: Consult. Consult. Consult. We have not attended any formal classes or seminars on leadership because He is the leader and we are simply agents of His will, however, as things have unfolded in our ministry, there have been teachers sent and lessons learned. I expect this will continue. If the day comes that we find ourselves seeking Professional Development for needs of the ministry, we would certainly and prayerfully find it.

Q: What are some things you do for personal development?
A: We do not participate in formal P.D. If anything, the way our ministry works, our P.D. comes through Bible reading and face to face relationships. Mistakes are always made, but they will exist with or without P.D.

Q: What are three books you might recommend to someone starting in leadership in ministry?
A: This may sound insane to profession ministers as I understand the question you are asking and why,  however, I would recommend the Gospel of John, Acts, and Romans from the Holy Bible.

Q: What has helped you most develop as a leader in ministry?
A: Experience. More specifically, experience gained through obedience to His prompting.

Q:What advice would you give to someone interested in leadership in ministry?
A: Do not take your own personal relationship with Christ for granted. Always make time for Him. Without Him you are not in a ministry, you’re in a charity. Listen to those working with you in ministry but never put their advice over the prompting of God. If you cannot honestly justify the things happening in a ministry with the Holy Bible, you need to consider changing the matter. Remember that you are an example of Christ and your actions are being observed and judged by everyone around you. Never allow your kindness to be perceived as weakness account of your leadership (or lack thereof).