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16 hours, 31 minutes ago 0
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Let’s call this one “Coffee With Carl”   My dear brother Carl Turner is a wonderful writer and more importantly driven by his relience on the Holy Spirit.  I believe this piece he has written is important or all of us attmepting to follow Christ, I offer it with his permission, to inspire and encourage you!

 

Brain vs Spirit

 

It doesn’t require faith if our intellect can logically figure something out – it is called “brain power”.  If the brain controls our bodies/thoughts/direction/speech then our intellect is in control of our daily tasks/function/routine.  This is a real issue   in our Christian walk.  In “normal” life, faith is not required as all decisions are under the control of our brains/intellect.    Yet, the bible teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God.  .

 

When we are converted and our spirits are rejuvenated to align with God’s Spirit – His Holy Spirit comes to reside in/with our spirits.  This rejuvenation causes God to live inside us in the form of Holy Spirit.  So the “war” that Paul talks about (IMHO) is the war that goes on inside of us – in our brains/intellect.  The war is whether we are going to continue to let our brains be in control of our decisions (carnal or old nature) or are we going to allow the Spirit of God control our lives via HS (the new nature).  

 

So to me the question boils down to – Is our brains over the Spirit (inside of us)? Or, is the Spirit over our intellect?  If our brains (logical thought pattern) control our every action then there is no need for Holy Spirit to reside in us.  But if Holy Spirit is over our brains then we are subject to God being able to use us far beyond what we can figure out logically.  I think this is what Paul is saying in verse 14 of our discussion last night,  “For all who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (AMP).  If we do not allow ourselves to be lead by HS (Spirit over intellect), but by our intellect (intellect over Spirit), then I really don’t think we are “sons of God”.  That is the way I read/interpret that scripture (and others).  When we come to this conclusion it changes one’s whole viewpoint of Christianity!

 

So the question in my mind is “who is leading me”?  My brain or Holy Spirit?  Which is servant to the other?  I think this is what Jesus is saying when he simply said “I do only what I see My Father doing”.  He didn’t have to go into a long discussion of brain vs spirit!   His Father is Spirit!  He was following the Spirit inside of him.

 

Now, do we throw away our brains?  Of course not!  We have been given a logical means of deciphering things – billions of cells that can interact with each other in billions of ways to come to logical conclusions/behavior.   But the question for a Christian is, does the brain rule our spirits or does Holy Spirit rule our brains?  If HS is dominate over our brains then we will hear/do many things that we do not understand – some things people might call “weird” or “uncouth”.  As we learn to “hear” HS speak to us (inside us) and then do what we hear, we gain confidence in our ability to distinguish between our brains talking, demonic talking, or HS talking to us.  We gain this confidence over time to follow HS first and then our brains second – this is called “faith” – doing things we can not “see” (definition of faith) or logically figure out.

 

One of my biggest problems with going back to Evangel University, to many non-pentecostal churches, and my Jewish friends is that they must be able explain things in a logical manner – even God’s word.  It must be logical.  And I guess that is why is it called “higher education”.  But somehow in the spiritual world, our trying to always logically figure out things hinders/blinds us.  Truly, it is the brain ruling over the spirit.  Paul (in the verse above) is trying to tell us to let the Spirit rule over our brains.

 

Finally, do not come to the conclusion that I feel our brains are useless once we are converted.  Never!  I have a double minor and double major in college with two advanced degrees.  I do not walk up to my car door and ask God to unlock it!!!  I am all for learning.  But I am concerned that we as Christians are no different than non-Christians.  We eat, sleep, talk, go to places just as our brains tell us to – no different than other ordinary people.  THAT is not what Christianity is all about.  It is about leading an extraordinary life because we are being constantly talked to and lead by the maker of the world – the all knowledge – the all power – whose way is infinity beyond ours.  Christianity is about learning how to submit our minds to the HS that lives inside of us – not trying to figure something out – just do it and do it immediately!  Somehow it seems to me that Christians are all doing what Paul tells Timothy (2 Tim 3:7) – “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.  Somehow we are always learning but never coming to the truth that God is inside of us, talking to us constantly.  He is above all the knowledge we can ever get.  We must come to the truth that we must listen to Him first – our brains second!  It is a scary thought!  Faith is scary!  But only when we walk out into the “scary” can God use us to speak to people and do things that are not “logical” to our intellect – but is impactful to the ones we are with or those that are coming later.  We ourselves must be willing to step out of the boat – follow God when HS tells us something to say/do to others – no matter the cost of looking foolish/weird.  That is our calling.  It may be strangle looking – it may be scary to step out and say something contrary to our natural thinking – but it is truly what God has called us to do in order to be His servant!

 

I hope this blesses you as much as it did me!

 

In Him,

 

the pilgrim

 

3 days, 21 hours ago 1
Posted in: blog

 

Big snows in southern Kentucky are pretty rare.  This January two of our first three weekends have featured very large snow storms!  I hate for people to have to be traveling and for people to have accidents or be stranded, but I sure love sitting in the Lodge, the affectionate term some use to describe our home, with a roaring fire and watching it pile up!  Chester loves going out and trying to be a snow plow and we always get well prepared with food and fire wood and supplies for the few days of being thankfully stranded!

 

Apologies for anyone that is inconvenienced by this storm, just drop by and let me pour you a mug of hot chocolate and throw another log on the fire for you!

 

 

Blessings and stay warm,

 

the pilgrim

6 days, 17 hours ago 0
Posted in: blog

https://www.outofchicago.com/conference/smoky-mountains-2022/

 

1 week, 1 day ago 6
Posted in: blog

 

 

The old joke in our family goes like this;  Sherelene says “I raised four children, Scott, Wesley, Catherine and Bill!”  It’s true.  My daughter Catherine often asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  My answer has always been, “I don’t want to grow up!’  I did hve to grow up spiritually and Sherelene was a big part of helping me find the discipline to do just that.  She has been by my side through countless trials and  tribulations and has always mirrored for me Christian maturity, love and faith.  Thank you sweetheart for being the rock I needed.

 

 

My brother Homer proved to me that a real conversion truly does make you a new creature.  For many years Homer was not a believer and I prayed for him for years, one day he called me and asked me if I was sitting down, I feared he was going to tell me he had cancer!  He told me he had found the Lord and it was the best news I can ever remember hearing!  He truly is a new creature in Christ!  He has become a mentor for me, funny how God works!

 

 

Jim Haverstock lost his wife Sue several years ago and I have been in close touch with him ever since that day.  I thought I was going to try and help him through that terrible loss, but he changed me as he show me the strength of His faith and the gift of God’s resiliency!  He lives his faith in the most wonderful ways and is a blessing to so many, me included!

 

 

 

My son Scott witnesses his faith in a quiet but steadfast way!  His selflessness and love for others, family, friends and patients is a witness to the reality of his faith!  He deeply loved his brother Wes and submitted to a bone marrow transplant to try and help save him, his love spoke even louder and I know Wes is with the Lord today because of that demonstration of faith!  Rhonda, Sherelene and I,  all continued to lead him to the foot of the cross!  Wes deeply admired Scott and tried to emulate him!

 

 

Dr. Charles Stanley, Charles to me, has been a wonderful friend, brother and guide for many years!  His teaching and preaching have helped me to form the foundation of  a moment to moment walk with my Lord.  We’ve enjoyed many days in the field shooting together and appreciating God’s beauty!  He is exactly the man you think he is, and a powerful servant of God!

 

 

 

When you are facing a critical question and need Godly advice who do you turn to?  For me one of my first calls is to Carl Turner.  Carl has become a dear friend and brother and a powerful source of wisdom for me!  I know of few men that are more committed to serving God and being a great friend to all who need them!  Warm and tender hearted he lives his faith everyday!

 

 

This image of Ricky Skaggs shot by one of our students at his and my wokshop in Nashville several years ago, captures the Ricky I know best.  You know him as one of the giants of Country and Bluegrass music and the winner of 14 grammys, but I know him as the deeply spiriual man of God that loves everyone he meets with Christ’s love.  Warm and outgoing and always having time for fans and friends alike. Ricky is admired the most by those that know him the best!

 

 

Of course many other people inspire and encourage, but these seven keep me grounded and looking to my Heavenly Father for the strength to live each day!

 

Blessings

 

the pilgrim