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This is from the journal’s owner, Mary, to all her friends who will write over the next 30 years.

1821-1850

1st
Gladly I’d twine a wreath for thee
From friendships fair unfading tree
And bid it bloom unceasingly

To slain thy hours of loneliness


2nd
but where shall this rare plant be found.
does it eve grow, on the earthly ground
or only grace some heavenly mound


amid those lovers of happiness

3rd
It sometimes blooms neath suns bright skies
But when misfortune blasts arise
Quickly the sunshine friendship dies
and leaves but dull formality

4
Some bird of origin divine
I’ll seek to form this wreath of thine
plucked from the withering bond of time
to bloom for thee eternally

5th
nor i alone this wreath will twine
but all thy friends who trace a line

in this nespitle (?) of thine
shall form this wreath for thee

6th
this album then a wreath for thee
and every name a flower shall be
a pure bright gem of constancy
sacred to love and memory

Mary E. Harlow

I had my computer stolen after coming back from China while I was in San Francisco. Within two hours and without me knowing it was even gone, the SF Police called me telling me they had it. I was asked by the SF Police to send a message to be read in court. I only had 10 minutes to write it though. Pray for he criminal and for his heart to be changed. He had had crime in his life for many years. I believe in Jesus and in his power. He goes on trial in an hour.

Thank you for allowing me to send a message to be read in court. Thank you to the SF police Department for returning my computer as quickly as they did.

I would like to speak now to the defendant at this time with my words. What you stole that day was very important to me and held a huge project I was going to show to Congress and the Obama Administration. My computer was returned unharmed and even though it was very important I was not angry with you and I never held any resentment for what you did.

When I came in to pick up my computer I wanted to meet you and tell you that God loved you and that you did not have to go on stealing to live. God will supply everything you need to complete his will. His will is where true freedom lies and where you will never go hungry or alone.

I live a life dedicated to Jesus Christ and in that life forgiveness is a major part of it. I want you to know that if you search for Jesus your life will be changed as he softens your heart and gives you a reason to live. Ask Jesus to reveal himself to you and open your heart for his correction.

In the Bible there is a story about a man named Saul who was killing Christians. Jesus revealed himself to Saul and asked him why he was killing God’s people. Saul’s life was changed that day and changed his name to Paul. Paul spent the rest of his life telling people about Jesus. Paul wrote much of the New Testament.

As you head to jail I want you to know that Jesus is there with you. You deserve to go to jail. God is a just God but he is also a forgiving God. If you ask God for forgiveness you will be forgiven by him. Jesus Christ, God’s only son, came to this earth as an offering for our sin and died upon the cross so that all could come directly to God.

I pray that your heart will be changed as my heart was changed, as Paul’s heart was changed and that you will live your life for Jesus. I don’t know you but I love you as God loves you. You are still his son and still can have an amazing life in Him.

I will be praying for you as often as I can remember for your time in jail.

“For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.”- Psalm 33:4-5

Hello, hope you are well!

If you could get this message out as many people as you feel comfortable forwarding to, that would be greatly appreciated. It has to be done soon though.

Praise the lord that God has freed us and chosen us to bring forth his word and love through his son Jesus Christ.

In January I made a video for an authors book release. It was a competition between six filmmakers and their interpretation of a single page from the authors book.

When I was picked I saw this opportunity to continue in the path the Lord has set before me to become move involved with the world of filmmaking.  Though this competition does have a prize, I see this as an opportunity to push faith based films in a creative way to inspire faith and encourage conversation about Jesus. The book is called Dug Down Deep by Josh Harris and the intention for my film was to do just that, cause you to search for the meaning and to not only not give you answer but leave you in question.

The winner is chosen by how many comments the video has.  Please go to http://www.joshharris.com/2010/01/film_6_stephen_mcgee.php#comments

and leave a comment under my video if it moves you. Thank you.

The movie is about one Christian who sees that his church is focused more on going through the motions of religion. I chose a Ukrainian actor to play the lead and an Ukrainian man to be the voice. Read why in the blog post below.

Harris testifies in his book that until recently his life was built on sand even though he read and believed the word of god. A Sand based foundation was a theme throughout the film. I had the narrator whisper some key lines in the script to emphasize how God speaks to us; in whispers. Like Elijah and God’s still quiet voice at the mouth of the cave I wanted the audience to lean in and truly listen to what was being said. There are elements throughout this film that mirror what Harris wrote about Doctrine and Theology as well as instances in my life where God was revealed to me.

I love the shadow scene in the dark church.  I chose this sequence to represent a few different things. Maybe I’ll write more about that later.

Harris also wrote “I kissed dating goodbye”.  In one section in this, his most recent book, “dug down deep”, he talks about meeting the holy spirit in what he called ‘the bubble church’. The bubble church he thought was great but focused too much on performance based faith.  I represented the bubble church as a ballerina with bubbles.

So often Christians name themselves specific parts of the body of christ, giving themselves opportunity not to serve in other ways than their “role”. As The pastor is preaching from blueprints representing many Christians today who have ministry goals based on what works in other parts of the world and in other churches the congregation goes through what looks like a workout routine.

The main character sees one group who are focused only on prayer, the next group on action and a third, the ballerina, on performance based faith. His search for truth brings him to the front of the church where he sees the ballerina. Beliving he needs also to take off his shoes to do the right dance to meet the holy spirit and become like her faith he takes off his shoes and sees that he had been walking on sand the entire time.  The main character walls over and takes the sword out of the sand and walks it out of the church which stops everyone.

The main actor is a Ukrainian and so is the voice. Because of this film both got to see the love of chirst and were ministered to.

If you could send it to everyone you know and have them do the same if they are moved that would be great. Comment on the video to cast your vote.

May God reveal himself to you and create in you a clean heart built on the solid foundation of his son Jesus.

Thanks.
Stephen

Sorry for the typos, my computer died so I typed this on my phone.

God is light in him there is no darkness. God revealed to me today that I had yet another systematic approach to seeking him that I needed to die to. My reasoning was this, If I deny the world for long enough, God will eventually give me the status I want in this life because then I will have the right motives to handle that status. It was awesome to see God open up a new part of my heart that I didn’t know needed working on as I was praying. When that thought came into my head I knew it was something God was working on in my heart.
I am taking today mostly off to seek God. Also known as a day of rest aka sabbath. It is mostly off.
I claim to have fellowship with God and continually ask him if I still walk in darkness.
In this segment of my day I am writing to encourage the saints and those seeking.
The more I am seeking the more I am finding that the bible tells us what God has done and is not about great people in history that have done something for God.
Taking more of the opportunities given to me to talk to people.
God gives us responsibilities to finish, not just to start.
“Rest for your soul does not come after the economic crisis is over, after the dollar turns around, or after your support is raised, rest for your soul can be given to you by Jesus… at anytime. He is not limited by any of our circumstances. His rest is never in short supply. He never runs out. It is not a false, temporary rest like a weekend off, then by Tuesday you are slammed again. It is a rest that can find its way into the deepest fears and worries of your soul. His rest is not simply for the shallow places. His rest can invade the hardest struggles and heaviest burdens. His rest does not arrive after the fact, but can be experienced right in the midst of it all.”

For the believer whom knows and acts as though the time is near is wise. For the believer whom does not care that the time is near will not act accordingly. The time is now to do what has been said to you.

My first thoughts when two competitions came across my mind is that I could have two free cameras soon and if by chance I won I would have a lot of money. Well “by chance” is not how God works and if I am not allowed to win or to even enter then praise God for teaching me to test my motives, thoughts and responses.
“If you claim to be without sin you deceive yourself, and the truth is not in you.” Well believe there are areas of our hearts that we don’t know contain walls, locks that hide away pride or unbelief. IF you don’t think you have them then you have not asked God to reveal them. If he hasn’t revealed them then I would encourage you to sit longer next time you are listening being open for his answer and work.
The light is bright and in chaos God still is working.

I just came across Hebrews 5:8-9. This just leveled me.

Although Jesus was a  son (God’s), he learned obedience from he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

I run from the suffering I don’t want. I run from it trying everything I can to fix it or just not deal with it. I even curse my suffering in my mind, indirectly in my words and creatively in my works.

God however, even taught his own physical son through the suffering in his life. What did he teach Jesus? Obedience. The ability of discernment and recognition of God’s voice. I want that but show mercy on me lord. Through that suffering which Jesus did endure and ultimately died from, Jesus was made perfect.

So in my suffering, should I long for something else I can compare myself to or run? No. I should consider every trial in the will of God from which he allowed and from which he will deliver me if it glorifies him. Each trial can teach me to be more like Christ. How stubborn I am when faced with the work of the perfection my spirit desires to become.

It is hard to understand but a continental shift in faith is occurring in my life. The form of it can not be presented in well crafted words or works and revolves around the same words I have been reading in my life for as long as I have been able to read. The shift isn’t measured in locational standards or by distance of thought but by a centering of existence in and around Jesus.

When the early church was teaching about Jesus, I have just read/researched, they taught about what Jesus did more than his teaching. What he did for us by dieing on the cross.
Using the common sunday school model of a wheel spoke; the center hub being Jesus and the spokes being various parts of life, I now see that instead of being with jesus in the center, my life is lived accordingly hanging on along the outside wheel. When opportunity approached, aka a spoke, for example a film, I, with the film am outside of Jesus, looking at Jesus, looking at where Jesus is, from me and the film’s perspective. I can not say that I have changed until Jesus reveals to me that he has changed me.

Jesus Centered faith is walking with Jesus, next to Jesus, focusing on what God has done for us and not what we are doing for God. I prayed a few weeks ago that I would stop hiding Jesus in God, stop hiding my faith in Jesus by just telling those I was ministering about God in my life without mentioning Jesus.

A lifetime of recalling what one person did for God will never equal a lifetime pointing to the one thing Jesus did for us.

If you support a missionary please don’t gauge whether or not to give to them or to continue giving to them by the number of people that have been saved because of their ministry.

I am empty and I don’t know what to do. Ask Jesus to reveal himself to you and listen.  Be active in waiting for the Lord to work. He will work.

I am beginning to put together my entries for the World Press Photo competition. I think I will submit my pro life story, some type of detroit story, maybe a china story, and ukraine.

As one who seeks Jesus, I began believing that I knew that I knew what my motives were in areas such as serving others, loving, living, photographing, etc. I told myself that I was doing it for Jesus. Prompted by the spirit I had a revelation yesterday and that belief changed as I read scripture.

Obedience to God is not found in yourself, aka, your ideas. This is why the Spirit of God leads us to put to death the deeds of the rebellious flesh (Rom. 8:13, 14; Gal. 5:16,24). Sooo, I will never know what my motives are when I try and justify my actions by my own understanding.  So deep are the shallow roots of man’s attempt to follow God. A list  containing all things that separate us from God and one list of all this that God approves, if memorized and practiced still will not make us pure. . That we shouldn’t do will never be able Man’s best attempt is not enough, even if the motives seem pure.

God is the one who makes the motives pure and is the only one who knows my heart. Although at times my heart can cry out and make me feel that it’s feelings are so real, so true, so guiding that all I can do is follow it to find the fulfillment it searches for. Even up to yesterday, I knew that I was trying to serve the Lord with a clean heart, believing with a dangerous subtle notion that my motives were pure. That is still too bold, I believed that my motives didn’t need to be checked.

The flesh nature is hostile to God and will not subject itself to the law of God’. (Rom. 8:7).  Can I determine what is and isn’t a pure motive in my heart. What Pride! Either all is pure or all is not. The truth is found in which is leading my life; the Spirit or the Flesh. I will never know the motives of my life but I will submit myself to the knowledge of God I own, bowing all of me to let the Spirit guide.  The all that we feel we need to know, (financial questions, health questions, love, etc), we don’t need to know.

Belief in Jesus the most powerful opportunity we have. But the devil believes in Jesus too! And he is scared. In Christ, where all can stand by God’s strength, can we find true life. My prayer for you is the same as it is for me, that Jesus reveals himself and that in words, attitude, reaction and response may the fullness of Christ be the only reflection of life in mine.

I have had a few people lately say that it is so “easy” for me specifically to be a christian. I don’t know what that means. As you just referenced in your mind that I am on the outside of what you are going through then I ask you what you think the inside is and how it differs from the outside. Experience?

Know that You are awesome! And so complete in God! Now  it seems as though you are searching for more of something to fill your down time. Prayer isn’t enough, God isn’t enough. I say that is because you search and pray on your own strength. God never hides and doesn’t go anywhere in relation to where we are. You have defined your needs as more social life or more whatever. I feel the same way too when focused on myself, but my impatience is with my job and what I am doing to be a better photographer/filmmaker. I never feel what I am doing is enough. I dont think you actually want me to go on as I do, encouraging you in what I believe is the truth, but here the words are free and your time is limited.

I pray that joy and contemptuous gratitude come to you through jesus. a small story, my friend Andrew Jump always countered my selfish thoughts with scripture, and i didn’t like it. but it was because my heart was hard and in subtle rebellion, I was seeking for my own way to follow god. Then he hit me with a proverb…Притчи 1:5..Хай послухає мудрий і примножить науку, а розумний здобуде хай мудрих думок.
[12/7/09 12:50:46 AM] Stephen McGee: have a good time.

Pray for this man who just emailed me and know the He who began a good works in you will complete those works. Meaning God is moving in your ministry while you believe it or not.

…I just visited your site and I am touched by your love and faith for Christ.  Recently and over a period of several years, my family and I have gone through some pretty amazing trials, two of our children had serious problems with depression and drugs, we had to have our teenage son locked up for 18 months, my wife had cancer, I had to close my business of over 20 years, and we lost our home.  All I can say is that it has only been through my faith in Christ and my surrendering continually to Him that He has sustained my family and myself, and has kept me sane as I nearly lost that too.

In 1992, while I was taking a shower I had a powerful vision of ‘who’ Jesus is that forever changed my relationship and walk with him…..

My Response

…. Nothing I have is my own. Praise the lord for your faith and testimony. Thank you for your email. If the crediting of my video leads people to the lord then place it on the site. Your email came at a great time in my life as the lord is moving and you are witness to that. You have felt great pain as life unfolded un-according to your plans. Job lost it all and praised god but that isn’t to say how strong job was but how strong god is. Later as you know job received twice as much or even more. Although you might not receive your reward for your faith in this life you will receive it in heaven. We soon shall join him at the throne. The devil has no power though there is darkness in my skin. The grace of god has freed us from the law of sin and the mosaic law through Jesus. The lord does not work in our understanding of time and saves our spirit for his kingdom while we are here. I don’t understand heaven but I believe it is there. I would be humbled to the point of death if I glimpsed at what is to come (for us who love Jesus). In my struggles I have begun praising god for those struggles I’m in. Like serving and loving our enemies I have, under the lords strength, begun to do so when considering my trials. All things can be used for the greater good for those who love Jesus. (Romans 8:28) Surrender to him like you told me about and I will do the same, encouraged by your faith. I have not been through what you have. I consider you in a place where you, like Paul, can boast in what you’ve been through because you have the ability through gods strength to claim Christ as your victory. Rescue is coming. We have already won. Don’t try and make sense of it all like there is an equation to be figured out. Christ is moving and it will look different. Again thank you for your email. I’m not sure what site you visited, my blog? All I have written you I pray for the same in my life and the lives of all the saints. Stephen