another sabbatical? … hmmmm…

Good question… is this one just  “another sabbatical”  for Philip  …  or is this the one where Philip just lets everything go and simply  “rests in Him”   until He comes to pick Philip up?   hmmmm…

I don’t know the answer to that… just yet… but…. I hope  I can simply do the  “resting thingy”  for the rest of the journey … not an easy thing for a Type “A” obsessive/compulsive like me…  🙂

It began several days ago after I had retired for the night… I was soon aware that I was standing in a pulpit addressing a congregation  (whether in the body or out of the body, I know not 🙂 )  but there I was… the guy who would  “never preach to a congregation again”… just up there  preachin’  up a storm… next thing I know, I am back in my recliner, thinking about what I would say if I ever was actually invited to speak somewhere again…. hmmmm… it just flowed thru me…. one thing after the other… all the things (the only things) I would ever want to say to a large group of people… to a captive audience like that.

I woke up with all that swimming around in me… and asking the Lord what the heck that was all about.  My structured mind and way of approaching things was pretty certain the Lord was telling me to do a  “series”  on my blog here… treating all these things I would want to say.  Then… the thought comes…  “but Philip… you have already written about all of these things… several times… over the past couple years… what are you going to do now?  Just say them all again… a little differently this time… telling some different stories?”   

To make a longer story short… I had a nice long Skype chat yesterday with my buddie Bodie… then talked to the Lord about a whole lot-a-bunch of stuff… and have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to be quiet again.. and just rest in Him...  I think He is going to take me deeper into this experience than I have ever been before.

Happy to chat with anybody on Skype at any time about anything… my Skype name is:   philipvilvic

I am terrible on  “the telephone”….

But very happy to use email… you know… the old fashioned way.…  philipthewolff@gmail.com

I do not expect to do very much on Facebook…  but you can always  “message me”   there if you like…  🙂

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couldn’t wait till tomorrow…

Had to keep going… I really needed to keep this one moving along…. 🙂

Jesus is the only one who can set us free… we are born a second time when He enters our lives and deposits His life in us… that is only the beginning… He replaces us with Himself, working slowly within us,  as the Holy Spirit eliminates  my  life and exchanges it with  His  life… inch by inch… row by row… for the rest of my life …

All we need to do is agree with Him about what He shows us and ask Him to get rid of it… we cannot  “stop”  sinning ourselves… by trying harder, making new resolutions, etc. etc. ad nauseum.. and… any time we actually do  “stop” doing something ourselves we then become very self-righteous about it which is worse than what we just stopped doing….  There were actually some things where I’ve just agreed with Him and He took them away without my even asking….  🙂

I will continue to challenge the religious systems and those within them until the Lord comes to pick me up.  People can tell me not to  “judge others” .. but that’s because people pick and choose scriptures to straighten out people like Philip… who make them feel uncomfortable…. they do that without looking at what the rest of scripture says…

eg:      “For what have I to do with judging outsiders?  Do you not judge those who are within the church? “     “…. do you not know that the saints will judge the world?”    ” …. Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?”

Lets stop thinking that Sallmon’s  Head of Christ  is what Jesus looks like. Meek and mild … white and Western… no emotions…  never judgmental or critical… come on… let’s get real here…  Jesus had emotions just like we all do… He laughed, He wept… He got angry… He was very emotional… judged constantly… and criticized a whole lot-a-bunch… most of that was against the  religious systems….He was a human being… He could just do those things without sinning….

and…. I want you to know… as critical as I am…. I never told people they were a  “brood of vipers”…  I never made a whip and drove people out of a church building… or any stuff like that… hope you are getting a different picture than the one below…

The_Head_of_Christ_by_Warner_Sallman_1941.jpg

Warner Salmon painted his famous Head of Christ back in 1941. It is so popular that many consider it the true likeness of Jesus. Others say it is too meek, mild, and western. At least one biblical incident portrays Christ, not as meek, but as strong, tough, and zealous for justice. It was at a Jewish Passover celebration. In the Temple area, He saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifice; he also saw moneychangers cheating people. He made a whip from some ropes and chased all of them out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the moneychangers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then going over to those who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a market place!” In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus says they had turned the Temple into a den of thieves. Jesus used his authority and physical strength to overturn tables and chase merchants out of the Temple. Yes, Jesus is humble and compassionate, but He is equally zealous for justice. He is disturbed when people mistreat others, when the rich rip off the poor, and find devious ways of justifying their actions. God’s people must always stand with Jesus in resisting injustice wherever they see it.
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have you ever wondered….?

I did promise more…  🙂

So… have you ever wondered why it is that every religious system works at keeping me guilty, while Jesus tells me I am free from all that guilt… that somehow it was me… I put Jesus on that cross, tortured Him, and killed Him… if I was the only human being in the whole world… Jesus would still have died for me…. (I am not even close to being the only human being ever on the planet)

While scripture actually tells us that  Father  sent His son to the cross to make it possible for Him to have many more sons in Him…. religion does its very best to keep people in bondage to their system…. enslaves people… motivates us thru guilt and keeps us constantly confessing our sin while giving us countless  things to do  in order to earn our salvation…..  just like Captain Miller told Private Ryan….  all these men died to save you….  now…. “earn it”….   how did that work out for you Private Ryan?

When I was growing up Catholic, I would beat my breast saying  “Mea culpa…mea culpa… mea maxima culpa”… (thru my fault… thru my fault… thru my most grievous fault”…)   When I  “sinned”  during the week  (not  IF but WHEN)  I had best get to confession right away so I could be forgiven by the priest…. because… should I be  killed  before I confessed my  mortal sin, I would go straight to hell… I would not past go… or collect $200…. This is not  Monopoly  Philip… this is  Religion

Each religious system has it’s own way of putting us in bondage…  do you pray as a congregation every Sunday a  prayer of confession…?    are you constantly reminded about how  your sin  put Jesus on the cross… ?   And regularly exhorted to stop sinning, straighten up and fly right… even though the scripture is very clear in telling us that the  “the Law was given”… in order to show us that the  “Law is impossible for us to keep “

Why do you think religion does this… instead of showing us   “who shall deliver me from this body of death”.… hmmmm…

I thank God that my Lord Jesus Christ is the  only one  who can set me free…. religion will never do that….

How that works… on the ‘morrow’…

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Jesus was not the first Super-hero….

Sorry… Jesus was not the first  “Superman”  or   “Captain America”  or one of the  “Avengers”…  He was a man… just like you and me…  not a God-Man…

“……Christ Jesus,[a] who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,[b] but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

The only difference was he was born the second Adam… he was not  born in sin  as we were…. but he was  totally human…  his relationship with Father was the same as the first Adam…  he was tempted  in every way… as we all are…  but he did not fall for Satan’s lie that God was nervous about him eating from the tree of knowledge where he could then  “be as God choosing good and evil”.…  Jesus was not  “grasping for equality with Father”...  he was “emptied of his Godhood”… he became a normal human being… just like us.

He talked to his father the same way you and I do… His Father talked to him the same way you and I do… He did everything he could in the garden hoping he would not have to go thru what he knew was coming….  yet bent his will to the Father….  “never the less… thy will be done”.

I have had a multitude of   “Gethsemane Experiences”…  asking Father to let this cup pass from me… the death of my manufacturing business…. the death of my perfect church system… the death of my restaurant… our daughter being born with a hole in her heart… our son getting leukemia at age 15… my pity party at the fence in 1999….  and others as the Lord has continued to reveal Himself to me over that next 10 years… and the past 10 years since then… until He comes to get me… the same way Father came to get His son… then I will see a whole lot more… the same way Jesus did.

I really expected to get bailed out… each time… I expected not to have a death experience… I believe Jesus did as well… right up to the end… just the way I did in every one of my own personal experiences… then Jesus cried out to his Father… when he knew it was over… knew he was going to die….    “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You  forsaken  Me?”

Think on this…    more is coming….

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Saving Private Ryan….

The only movie I watched more times than  “Saving Private Ryan”  was   “We Were Soldiers” …. mostly because it redeemed the war in Vietnam for me and every helicopter scene reminded me of what my brother did for us over there 50 years ago.

My  “Ryan”  experiences were quite different though.  My first watching back when Ryan  was first  released  in 1998 was shortly before I was  released  from my religious bondage.  As each year went by and the Lord kept showing me more and more about how endless His revelation of Himself is… and the horror of religious systems… I kept seeing more and more how  Saving Private Ryan  shows exactly what religion does to us.

I enjoyed a little googling on  Ryan  … never before realizing that there was so much different thinking about the movie…. especially the negative responses to the prologue  (this very old guy visiting the endless field of white crosses, and breaking down at the gravesite of Captain Miller”  as we segue into  Omaha Beach …  then the whole horror at the beach where we see one of Ryan’s brothers laying there dead on the beach…. learn his other brothers have also been killed… then the decision to save the last remaining child of Mrs. Ryan….  Captain Miller and his squad of 7 men are sent to find him and bring him back…

This was not a 1943 war movie… when  we were the good guys  and  they  were the bad guys… they  did  horrible, ugly things to us…  we were brave and wonderful, righteous and true… this movie was presenting the horror of war, with a zillion things to reflect on  and have opinions about… like I said… just google it.

My point is different… people who didn’t like the prologue, hated the epilogue… there is the old man again, with his wife, their son’s family, the grandchildren… and this broken old man at Captain Miller’s grave… his wife comes to him… he says to his wife… “tell me I was a good person”…

before the epilogue, we have seen most of the squad die trying to  “Save Private Ryan”… (not to mention thousands of others we watch die) the final death being Captain Miller, laying there propped up on the bridge, where the  good guys  have finally beaten the  bad guys…. he beckons to Ryan who puts his ear close to Miller and hears Miller’s last two words….  “earn it”

All these men died to save your life, Ryan…. now… earn it.   I hear these same words from every dying religious system…  “Jesus gave His Life for you, He died on a cross for you… now… go  earn it…”

Ryan was in bondage the rest of his life trying to earn it…. broken… guilty… needing to ask his wife if he   “earned it”….

Think on these things… I promise to say more….  🙂

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it keeps coming back to….

Relationships…  no matter which way we go or what Philip talks about… it all just keeps coming back to this one most important thing…   relationships

Once we have established the one most important relationship  (our relationship with God) … He wants us to start building relationships with others… now that we have His love in us… we are able to love others… as much as we love Him and ourselves.

It is Rule No. 6 of Philip’s 7 rules that I lay out in my business consulting site….

philips-consulting.com

6 – Relationships
Our relationships are the most important thing in our lives… certainly with those we are reaching out to for business but not just with our customers… never sacrifice your family and friends to accumulate more and more “business”.
Rule No. 6:    Always make time for family and friends… nothing is more important to a successful life and successful business than our time with those we love. I try to treat every person that visits or calls as if they were the only thing I have to do for the rest of the day… I think my wife appreciates it when she knows she has 100% of Philip when we communicate… 
I will be posting about another special relationship tonight on my personal blog…  check it out…
🙂
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is it circumstances?…

Lots of folks believe that the circumstances of our lives are what  mould us  into who we are… that premise had Bodie and I going back and forth with a few emails today.  There are also others that believe it is prayer that  moulds our lives… not circumstances….

Philip and Bodie believe any discussion on the subject should start with defining what  prayer  is… is it a time in the day when I lift up everything I feel is important to God and ask Him to bless it… is it a time of telling Him everything I would like Him to do for me… is it holding up my “list” of desires for others and for myself…  ?   hmmmmm…

Bodie and I look at  “prayer”  as simply talking to God about   “whatever”…  ongoing… all day long… based on our relationship with Him…. we simply …walk and talk with Him in the Garden of our lives… we talk with Him about all the things that are going on in our lives… all our circumstances… our desires… our ‘druthers’… anything going on in our hearts… everything that is  happening as we move along on our journey thru this life… and… stuff is happening all the time… in our lives, our family’s lives, our friends lives….

Then… out of my desire to know Him, to hear His voice, to follow Him and seek Him with all my heart…. wanting only what He wants… I am able to see  “all circumstances”   as from His hand… all arranged to bring about His purpose in my life… all things that He is using to  “mould”  us into the image of His son….
🙂
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