The Journey of Faithful Seeking
My Christian life has been my whole life. My mother was raised in a Seventh Day Adventist orphanage. She was a strict believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and her children were introduced to the savior as soon as they could talk. My Christmas present when I was six was a little New Testament Bible in the King James translation. I read it cover to cover and asked Jesus into my life, in prayer at my mother’s knees. She told me that she had named me after the archangel Michael. My dad later told me that the real influence for my name was the actor, Mickey Rooney. He was probably right in that they called me “Mickey” till I went off to college.
I used to lay in my backyard, trying to visualize the sky rolling back like a scroll. I built a telescope when I was 12 and did my best to try to duplicate the observations that got Galileo in trouble with the church. When the Russian “Sputnik” was orbited, I determined to make technology my life’s work. I completed degrees in electrical engineering and solid state physics. My degree set made a way in the aerospace industry and I was privileged to contribute to the Saturn rocket development and the “Man on the Moon” program. While finishing up advanced studies in physics, the Lord called me to ministry. I attended seminary and began a dual life as a pastor and university associate engineering professor. A strange combination of science and theology, according to some. My ministry callings led me in an ecumenical way, with opportunities to pastor in a number of different denominations. My experience helped me to recognize that each denomination’s revered creeds and tenets, possessed some truth, though none possessed all of the real truth.
The Kingdom of God or synonymously, the Kingdom of Heaven has intrigued me ever since I first read Jesus’ statements, perhaps because of my “need” to know how things work. I read, in my little New Testament and in every translation I could lay hands on, that Jesus’ gospel message was succinct, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” I wondered, “What was it?”, “Where is it?”, “How do I get into it?” When I asked, I got a number of different answers, none of which addressed my concerns. While in college as an undergraduate, I took a philosophy course that featured a five-week section on the Christian religion. Upon completion of the course, I had to admit that I was agnostic, in so far that orthodoxy seemed completely unable to answer my questions. Orthodox teaching declared that the kingdom was actually future, not “at hand”, and believers, when pressed, could only answer that the kingdom was simply Heaven. How could the kingdom be Heaven, when it was likened to yeast that a woman added to make bread? Why did Jesus declare that the Kingdom allows violence and violent men take it by force? Jesus admonished his disciples to “ask”, to “seek” and to “knock”, with the promise that they would find that which they sought.
“Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall
be opened unto you.” Matt.7:7 KJV
After more than thirty years of seeking and asking and knocking, this book was born. “The Goal For The Prize” is intended to somehow create a “dry place in the swamp of misunderstanding” regarding the truth of Jesus’ message. The parables of Jesus are examined with a new perspective, a perspective that recognizes the Jewish perspective insofar as Jesus was speaking to a Jewish audience with Jewish vernacular. It will be recognized that Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God, not necessarily heaven. A very non-conventional premise is introduced. The Tabernacle of Moses is seen to be, in type, a revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven or synonymously the Kingdom of God. The activity, both psychological and spiritual of a “violent man” is outlined as a “pathway” to the kingdom. Have you ever wondered when “Three is Really Three” or “Into What Were You Baptized?” A number of Appendices, which deal with provocative theological concepts are included. I try to keep the language reasonably at “street level”. I really do want the reader to comprehend the content. The book is hopefully intended to start a conversation that will result in revival of the “Way” that was the designated of the first-century Christian life and lifestyle.
In the words of an old analogy, this book “is not your father’s Oldsmobile”. The premise is revolutionary and counters to a good deal of orthodoxy’s leanings. It is provocative but solidly based upon scripture. Your Christian foundations may be rattled but only made stronger through a thorough understanding of our heavenly Father’s desire for fellowship with His creation.
I meet regularly with several police officers. Our meetings are generally over food, but allow for conversation, as I allude to above. They are acquainted with me as a Chaplain with the department. Their Christian experience is varied and as you might expect, they all manifest the temperament of the biblical, Thomas. It has been my joy to see the solid strengthening of their Walk as the questions and issues of Christian dogma and theology have been addressed in light of the Kingdom of God. While it may seem self-aggrandizing, please forgive me, I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is seeking the will of God in their life. “May God’s blessings be yours” is my prayer,
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