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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 The Ultimate Sin

Not two minutes awake
And my sin
And failure
Is before me.
Before You, Father.

Day after day now,
Everything is a departure.
The flesh given into,
It's strength over taking me.
Tried to subdue it.

Cried out for deliverance.
But only a little.
The sinister side
Wanting it's enjoyment.
For a moment.
And the lie
At the end of it.
Even though I knew it's coming.

Now my head hung in shame.
Excuses and blame.
So shallow.
Clever words,
And painful reality.
Clashing and thrashing at one another.

"Who will deliver me from this body of death?"

Have grieved away Your Holy Spirit.
He has left me
To my own devices.
To taste the life of old.
Back to Egypt.

How does a man drift
While he is yet walking?
Given up or dragged away?
Forced out or taken over?
My own two feet,
They betrayed me.
And I permitted them.

But it was the thoughts
That preceded.
That set the course in motion.

Though this is all known to me.
And more so to You, Father.
It is I
Who have sinned
And done this evil
In Your sight.
To him that knoweth
To do good,
And doeth it not,
To him
It is sin.

All along
There was but one thing
And I choose
The lesser part.
Knew it, knew it all along.
The one and the same necessity.
The calling and beckoning.
The drawing to
And from You.

To lay it all down,
To stop.
To ponder.
To consider.
To pray.

Why are we so slow
To grasp?
Of such little faith
And dull
Of hearing?
Why would I deny
The greatest of privilege?
And go tramping
As a beggar?

How many
Careless words.
Prayerless words.
Have fallen, useless,
To the ground.

And even if true
Are but husks
Of the kernel.

The Lilly's of the field are beautiful.
But flowery speech deceitful.
Cleverness and knowledge
Can be helpful
But spirit-less,

This sin.
This lie.
This pride.

It is to turn from the banquet
And go starving.

To deny the life raft
And soon drowning

Cast off the rope
And fast falling

A small voice
Gently calling
A Father
Who loves His children
And children
Who love their folly

We will deny it
Even when we see it.
Since we find ourselves
Of such
Great importance
The compulsion
To speak our minds
Display our knowledge.

Trying to be helpful
We kid ourselves

Everyone a spokesman
Very few who have pondered.
Prophets everywhere.
But praying men
A famine.

This is the sin.
That we are less
To acknowledge
And may it be
The greatest
That we indulge
With the most

And the results
Ever so obvious
A tree without fruit
A branch cut off
From The Vine
It withers and dies.

Our own words
They betray us
They are lifeless
And empty

It is this
This prayerlessness
That is our enemy
We don't believe it
Nor its reality

That denying You
Your own privilege
To give us food
And wisdom
And strength
In time of need
Which is always

Having turned
To our own way
To our own devices
Such foolishness

Not to call
On Your Name
To wait silently

Though in former days
We have tasted
The goodness
The stirring
The blessing

The exposure
But liberty

The searching
And yet cleansing

The brokenness
Then the healing

The prayers
Of a righteous man
Avail much
The diatribes
Of a foolish man

I am that man

Mike Balog

 2005/9/20 10:55Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: The Ultimate Sin

Such great
And precious promises
Yet we will not come
Receive them

Rather to build
Our own
Little kingdoms
Propped up
In our minds
Of mixed mortar

Oh for a half hour
Of silence
In the head room
Every thought

Then may we hear
What our hearts long for
That we might know You
As You are
Not as
We have
Perceived You

Oh righteous Father
Smite this from us.
These fleshly burnings
That stray and betray
Rebelling against Thee

Let us no longer
Be glib and half hearted
Slow our compulsions
And our desires

It was Your good pleasure
To make this one
A reproach and a byword
To expose the folly
The hypocrisy
That I am a liar.

I confess it
And turn from it
Repent of it
And place it before them

That it be recognized
And despised
That it be rebuked
And indicted

Let it be forever
And acknowledged
That there is a walking
After the flesh
And a leading
By the Spirit

One is death
The other
And peace

May the brethren
Not hesitate
To call it
On the carpet

Rebuke it
Where it is found
A straying from
The calling
That I am accountable
To them
To You
To myself
For this
This High calling.

We are all indicted
In this sin
This sin
Of prayerlessness.

It is at the root
All our troubles

We often use
Your Word
Like bayonets
In a battle
A civil war
Amongst our brethren?

The bitterness
And slighting
The anger
And dividing

We are compulsive
Not reflective
Puffed up
With knowledge

We deny
The very Words
We hold to
To hear ourselves speak
While we yet deny You

Do we not know this?
In the quiet
That is our failure
To be still
Long enough
To fight the desire

We lie to think
That we don't want
To please men
To hear their accolades
Even our own Brethren

Is it wrong
To be well thought of?
To bring forth
A healing balm
For edification?

No, it is not
It is in wanting
The glory
For ourselves

That belongs
To Another

Different gifts
And One and the same

To each a part
To each a mission

Let us hold true
To that which is evident
That You Oh Lord
Have shown us

If it is to preach
Woe to you if you do not
If it is to intercede
Woe to me

If it is to be
Do not despise it

Brought low
Better than

To teach
The greater

In all things
We must
Do this

But let us
Hold loosely
What we think we know
For we know not
As we ought

Let us take heed
Lest we fall
Let us forever be
Everlastingly at it

Ever hungry
And ever
Being filled
Slow to speak
And quick to hear

Let us re-visit
All that we think
We have found
There is always
More light

Always more surprises
That have never crossed
Our minds
Or our hearts

Father, I thank you
And Praise You
For Your forgiveness
And Mercy

Three days in the cold
More than I could bare
I surrender once again
To Your perfect will
To Your perfect love
Fill me once again
With the Holy Spirit
That I sent away

Lord, all along
I saw the drifting
As if watching from afar
But now I have learned
That it is there
Where I must fight
Not in my own strength
Which is worthless

But to You.
Without equivocation
Two opinions halting.
No longer choosing.
Only responding.

For if You go not before us
We shall not go.
Lord, I beseech You
Cast this sin
Of prayerlessness
Into the deepest sea
Forever far from us.

It is of more importance
Than we understand
That we must be praying

How much awaits
If we would
But pray.

It is our daily bread
And we go starving.

No longer, Lord
No longer

Mike Balog

 2005/9/20 10:59Profile

Joined: 2004/10/12
Posts: 173

 Re: The Ultimate Sin

Amen. Thank you brother.

Hans Prang

 2005/9/20 11:43Profile

 Re: The Ultimate Sin

My dear, dear brother,

Thank you for pouring out your heart so openly in such a haunting melody to our souls. I hear your cry and thank the Lord for having called you to serve us here. May we give you and Him the honour due, while we eat the word you have set before us.... honestly.

The glory
... belongs
To Another

Different gifts
And One and the same

To each a part
To each a mission

Let us hold true
To that which is evident
That You Oh Lord
Have shown us

If it is to preach
Woe to you if you do not
If it is to intercede
Woe to me

If it is to be
Do not despise it

Brought low
Better than

To teach
The greater

In all things
We must
Do this

But let us
Hold loosely
What we think we know
For we know not
As we ought

Let us take heed
Lest we fall
Let us forever be
Everlastingly at it

Ever hungry
And ever
Being filled

Ephesians 4:1

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift...

11 And He Himself gave ... 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,' (NKJV)


 2005/9/20 12:16

 Re: The Ultimate Sin

This extract comes to mind, too, from a random article.

[i]'Christ the best Husband' preached by George Whitfield to a Society of Young Women, in Fetter-Lane[/i].

'Now, my dear sisters, I shall speak a few words to those of you who have not yet espoused yourselves to the Lord Jesus. It is a great sin, and surely you highly affront the Lord that bought you. It is likewise your folly to refuse and neglect the gracious proffers of being the spouse of Christ; hereby you forfeit all that love which he would bestow upon you;

hereby you choose rags before robes,

dross before gold,

pebbles before jewels,

guilt before a pardon,

wounds before healing,

defilement before cleansing,

deformity before comeliness,

trouble before peace,

slavery before liberty,

the service of the devil before the service of Christ.

Hereby you choose dishonor before a crown,

death before life,

hell before heaven,

eternal misery and torment before everlasting joy and glory.

And need there a further evidence of your folly and madness, in refusing and neglecting Christ to be your spouse?'

 2005/9/20 19:20


I encourage everyone to take the time and read that. It's really good. I thought it was gonna take TOO long to read, it's short.

Here are the 2 quotes of it that i liked.

""It is to turn from the banquet
And go starving.""

That happens quite to often.

""We often use
Your Word
Like bayonets
In a battle
A civil war
Amongst our brethren?

The bitterness
And slighting
The anger
And dividing

We are compulsive
Not reflective
Puffed up
With knowledge

We deny
The very Words
We hold to
To hear ourselves speak
While we yet deny You

Do we not know this?
In the quiet
That is our failure
To be still
Long enough
To fight the desire""

Resently with the brothers and sisters in the Lord that I minister with, I tell them 'stop the meaningless discussion between Calvinism and Arminianism, you are very young, and this has been going on forever, will never end; We make it seem that there is no Christ in the middle, we have meaningless and UNFRUITFUL discussions. Let's stay away from them, flee, run and ream 1 Tim. 6"

I minister with TEENS. And in my years in high school, my walk was stumbled because of this, and later i found out many in my age, stumbled when such a topic went up. Why? Because the poem above that I quoted, men and women using His Word like bayonets with the brethren.

Broken Heart,

 2005/9/22 5:51

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Prayerlessness and ...

Hoping that this may carry out to something different. Kind of a free flowing exercise without particular parameters ... Things that may seem dissimilar but still have a thread running through them.

[b]We Must Be Still to Know[/b]

[i]Be still, and know that I am God.[/i]

(Psalm 46:10)

OUR FATHERS HAD MUCH TO SAY ABOUT STILLNESS, and by stillness they meant the absence of motion or the absence of noise or both.

They felt that they must be still for at least a part of the day, or that day would be wasted. God can be known in the tumult of the world if His providence has for the time placed us there, but He is known best in the silence. So they held, and so the sacred Scriptures declare. Inward assurance comes out of the stillness. We must be still to know.

There has hardly been another time in the history of the world when stillness was needed more than it is today, and there has surely not been another time when there was so little of it or when it was so hard to find.

Christ is every man's contemporary. His presence and His power are offered to us in this time of mad activity and mechanical noises as certainly as to fishermen on the quiet lake of Galilee or to shepherds on the plains of Judea. The only condition is that we get still enough to hear His voice and that we believe and heed what we hear.

Some things can be learned in the din of modern life. Amid the noises we may become engineers or scientists or architects. In the humdrum we may learn how to fly a jet plane or to manage a department store. We may win an athletic contest, conduct an orchestra, earn a degree or get ourselves elected to public office. We do these things by accepting civilization at its face value and getting adjusted to it. Thus we become children of the twentieth century and our psychology takes its complexion from the times. We move as gracefully as we are able through the complicated steps of the dance of circumstance, the noise actually aiding our motion; or, not knowing where we are headed, we march with the multitude to booming music that keeps us in step and adds a bit of pleasure to the effort.

These things men can do and are doing. But when we begin to doubt the validity of a philosophy built on physical science and to question the soundness of a civilization that produced the H-bomb, and especially when we begin to grope after God if perchance we may find Him, something strange and wonderful happens. As we draw nearer to the ancient Source of our being, we find that we are no longer learned or ignorant, modern or old- fashioned, crude or cultured, white or black; in that awesome Presence we are just men. Artificial distinctions fade away. Thousands of years of education disappear in a moment and we stand again where Adam and Eve stood after the Fall, where Cain stood, and Abel, outside the Garden, frightened and undone and fugitive from the terror of the broken law.

There before the judgment seat which suddenly becomes as real to the trembling sinner as if it were the very last judgment itself, no modern religious techniques avail; none of the carefully thought-out methods work. The civilized man surrounded by his lately invented and noisy gadgets passes back in his heart through the centuries of "progress" and becomes again a terrified, whimpering human thing desperately in need of a Savior.

Because this is true, any evangelism which by appeal to common interests and chatter about current events seeks to establish a common ground where the sinner can feel at home is as false as the altars of Baal ever were. Every effort to smooth out the road for men and to take away the guilt and the embarrassment is worse than wasted; it is evil and dangerous to the souls of men.

A.W. Tozer (Continued)

Mike Balog

 2005/9/24 1:46Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Prayerlessness and ...

One of the most popular current errors, and the one out of which springs most of the noisy, blustering religious activity being carried on in evangelical circles these days, is the notion that as times change the church must change with them. Christians must adapt their methods by the demands of the people. If they want ten-minute sermons, give them ten-minute sermons. If they want truth in capsule form, give it to them. If they want pictures, give them plenty of pictures. If they like stories, tell them stories. If they prefer to absorb their religious instruction through the drama, go along with them—give them what they want. "The message is the same, only the method changes," say the advocates of compromise.

"Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad," the old Greeks said, and they were wiser than they knew. That mentality which mistakes Sodom for Jerusalem and Hollywood for the Holy City is too gravely astray to be explained otherwise than as a judicial madness visited upon professed Christians for affronts committed against the Spirit of God. "Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed" (Isaiah 6:9-10).

But, some earnest persons reason, since there is no stillness in this mechanized world we must learn to get along without it. We cannot hope to bring back the still waters and the quiet pastures where David once led his sheep. This rat race of civilization is too noisy for us to hear the still, small Voice, so we must learn to hear God speak in the earthquake and the storm. And if modern evangelism is geared to the tumult and the agitation of the times, why should anyone complain? Does it not represent an honest effort to be all things to all men that by any means some should be saved?

The answer is that the soul of man does not change fundamentally, no matter how external conditions may change. The aborigine in his hut, the college professor in his study, the truck driver in the bedlam of city traffic have all the same basic need: to be rid of their sins, to obtain eternal life and to be brought into communion with God. Civilized noises and activities are surface phenomena, a temporary rash on the epidermis of the human race. To attribute sound values to them and then to try to bring religion into harmony with them is to commit a moral blunder so huge as to stagger the imagination, and one for which we shall surely be paying long after this frenetic extravaganza we call civilization has ended in tragedy and everlasting grief.

What certain religious teachers fail to understand is that true Christian experience takes place in the human spirit, far in and beneath the changing surface of things. It is only the surface that responds to noise and agitation. The deep-in part of the man lies in primeval silence waiting that quickening word that shall give it second birth. Because this far-in spirit of the man is separated from God the whole life is out of order; so the flesh and the imagination take over and direct the thinking, the willing and the doing of the individual man and the race of which he is a part. These create the dance macabre, the dance of death we know as society and in which as natural men we find ourselves.

Popular Christianity parrots the language of New Testament theology, but it accepts the world's opinion of itself and sedulously apes its ways (except for a few evil practices which even the world itself admits are wrong). Then Christ is offered as something added, a Friend Up There, a Guarantor against the time when the tumult and the shouting dies and we are called in from the playground and forced to go to sleep.

Be it remembered that the great essential facts have not changed. Men are still what they were and the Son of Man is forever who and what He was. He calls to the eternal in us. Deep calls unto deep and the call, if it is heard at all, is heard by that in us which is neither savage nor civilized, old nor young, Western nor Oriental, but simply human and once made in the image of God.

It is significant that the psalm in which the words "Be still" occur is filled with noise and commotion. The earth shakes, the waters roar and are troubled, the mountains threaten to tumble into the midst of the sea, the nations rage, the kingdoms are moved and the sound of war is heard throughout the land. Then a voice is heard out of the silence saying, "Be still, and know that I am God" (46:10a).

So today we must listen till our inner ears hear the words of God. When the Voice is heard, it will not be as the excited shouting of the nervous world; rather it will be the reassuring call of One of whom it was said, "He will not shout or cry out,/ or raise his voice in the streets" (Isaiah 42:2).

It cannot be heard in the street, but it may be heard plainly enough in the heart. And that is all that matters at last.

A.W. Tozer
[i]God Tells The Man Who Cares[/i]

Mike Balog

 2005/9/24 1:48Profile

Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776

 Re: A Time to Weep

As I read your prose, I find it echoing my own thoughts about myself. I sense in it a connection with my spirit. It is the spirit of mourning. “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” [url=]A Time to Weep[/url]

If I were writing this, I’d probably entitle it: “Prone to Wander’ - taken from the hymn Come thou Fount: “Prone to wander, Lord, I know it.”
Only God knows how much we really don't want him and would rather be our own boss: The Ultimate Sin, yes?

I’d also try to eliminate words that I feel are so misused that they loose their punch ex sin, and prayer.
Maybe I’d substitute sin with: stray, miss the mark,
Prayer – listen to God, cry out to God, commune, breathe the life of God …

Any way, it’s not my poem, and I feel that the true meanings are clearly portrayed through the choices of words. I find it a very genuine, vulnerable expression of an honest heart.

we march with the multitude to booming music

Scott Peck, in his book “The Different Drum” drives home this sad truth in a way that hits very close. He looks on the evangelical church from the outside and so can see what most within it cannot.


 2005/9/24 7:16Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Who's prayer

[i]The Lord desires to have us much in communion with Himself. The reluctance of the carnal heart to dwell in God's presence is terrible. We will rather speak of Him than to Him. How often He finds occasion to reprove us, saying,[/i] "The companions hearken to thy voice; cause Me to hear it."

David MacIntyre
[url=]The Hidden Life of Prayer[/url]

Thanks Diane,

This is along the same thread weaved through, differing expressions... "Prone to Wander" very much could have been used, even the rest could stand alone; "Lord, I know it."

I’d also try to eliminate words that I feel are so misused that they loose their punch ex sin, and prayer.

How true that is. How much goes by the wayside in skimming over, overuse of a misuse and the words themselves become shadows of their former selves.
To bring revival and restore the tense, sense and meaning back to them and eliminate the barnacles that have attached themselves. To miss the mark is a start, not sure that even the target is known nor that the bow is missing a draw string. A line from the link you brought marks it well;

[i]Don't draw me into the superficial.[/i]

That covers a lot of territory.

Mike Balog

 2005/9/24 11:40Profile

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