Theoretically Hackable

I encountered this particular phrase as I attempted to do a download from a reasonably effective source.  They came out and made this simple statement.  I suppose it was done for legal issues.  It was “theoretically hackable.” (That word, “theoretically” cracks me up!)  But I understand what it means.

And I started to see something.  It was a thing of some sense.  I am most vulnerable to things that are beyond my control.  I’m pretty much accessible to the many different things that could and should take me apart.  I have to tell you, that I regularly buy cheap “netbooks” with this fully in mind.  In a way they are like “Bic lighters,” I use them over and over, for 1 or 2 years, and than I ditch them.  I have gotten more than $400 out of them, and it beats the $800 plus to keep them going as they should.  It’s “Bryan’s Rule of Good Computing #87.”

“Theoretical Hacking.”  There is so much theology that gets rolled up into this phrase.  It has the idea that you can be accessible to anyone that has just a special urge to make things rough on you.  “Theoretically” speaking they can possibly walk right in and wipe you out.   It’s a bit nebulous, I’m sure, but the threat is out there, and it can happen–to the best of us.

“Hacking” is a bad word.  It carries with it a trickery, or a deceitfulness.  It most certainly is a word we avoid, as it carries with it very substantial problems.  And yet, it has a deeply theological concept.  Deception has incredible issues.  To walk out on it is thin ice.  You never, ever realize what the next step will bring us.  It really comes down to a deception.

We struggle with deception.  Kind of a theological deception.  The idea of being taken in, tricked and then destroyed.   We are so trusting.  Few of us carry the 24/7 “on guard mechanism.”  We step out without the slightest sense of betrayal.  We become “lambs” for the slaughter.

Evil is such, that we can never really factor through it completely.  It folds on itself to dimensions we could never fathom.  We can’t really approach it, because it expands things so rapidly.  It is full of deceit.  To encounter it face-to-face is destructive in itself.  We must hope in the presence of God.  He is the only one who can dismantle it.  Our trust (in the face of such evil) is in Him.

Yes, we are “hackable.” We are in a deep place of vulnerability.  But I must tell you, this is not a bad place to be.  In a theological sense we are pretty much accessible.  We have an openess that places us in front of the dark evil.  From here we have nothing to say.  We can do nothing but to believe that we are immune from the darkness.  That someone has stepped in and altered us, in a way that will prohibit us from harassment.

More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_(computer_security)

Exulting in Our Shadow

 

So that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”

Acts 5:15-16, ESV

 

Astonishing!  It was Peter, who denied the Lord—three distinct and definite times. Since we are moving past Good Friday and our celebration of Easter, so we should rest for a moment and consider Peter, and think about this “rascal.”  He really isn’t magical, or a “miracle worker,” Peter, quite precisely is a definite loser.  The best you can say is that he is a displaced and “has-been”  fisherman, who hasn’t really got a good track-record.  He tries hard, but he always muddles it up.  He falls very short.

Peter’s shadow reveals the power of unconscious influence.  His shadow wasn’t magical or possessed a healing virtue.  In a deep sense we all influence people around us–for good, or for evil.  Our imprint on others is quite significant.  Our impact is quite noticable.  Watchman Nee in his book, “Release of the Spirit.”  Nee compared our influence to the “ring” we leave in the bathtub.  Everyone leaves his mark.  Looking at that we can understand (to a degree) what that particular person is really like.  But the reality is, we all leave behind some scum.

J.R. Miller relates this thought.  “There is a legend of a good man for whom was asked some new power. He chose that he might do a great deal of good and might not be aware of it. So it was ordered that when his shadow fell behind him, where he could not see it, it should have healing power, but when it fell before him, so that he could see it, it should have no such effect.”

We need to view this thing closer.  How exactly do we influence others?  What manner of people are we to acheive such attention?  Do we really deserve “the praise of men?”  Do we go as far as to exult  in our shadows?  If we really want to powerfully affect others, we have to be humble, perhaps even dismissive of the good that may follow behind us.  (It doesn’t belong to us.”)   When we become really conscious of our significance or sway, we are in mortal danger and risk spoiling everything.

The kingdom is not big enough for Jesus, and than us–who takes over the center stage?  There is a disturbing assumption that we are most significant.  We stack-up our blocks and create a facade of being quite exceptional people.  The reality is this–we are all very much like Peter, our lives belie what is truly real.  But our authenticity really is found in the “blood of Jesus,”  which covers our wickedness.  That dear one, is our “claim to fame.”  Essentially, due to the proportion of our pride, determines the glory that the Lord receives.  We often eliminate him from our consideration.  Your pride determines His glory, plain and simple.  So step up, who goes next?

CCM Spotlight on Kelly Willard

Her music has always blessed.  She has a voice of an angel.  She was with the Maranatha Singers.  Two albums I can vouch for–the first “Blame It On the One I Love.”  The other being “Willing Heart.”  They are both pretty old though so not sure you can find them.

Kelly Willard, 1978

Her website: http://www.kellywillard.com/

A BrokenBelievers post of an interview she gave a few years ago.

http://brokenbelievers.com/2009/12/10/kelly-willard-more-than-life-interview/

A Spellbound Captive of the Night

“We are all infected and impure with sin.
      When we display our righteous deeds,
      they are nothing but filthy rags.
   Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
      and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”

Isaiah 64:6, NLT 

 

There are things that happen to us–ugly, awful and rigorous things, that only God himself can explain.  We read theology and we read our Bibles, we listen dutifully to preachers (who often incite us) and we approach the throne more mystified than anything else.

We are playing ping-pong with grievous and most challenging things (or issues, or events).  We come to Him, because there is no one left who can answer things that have perplexed everyone else.  Why do we suffer?  Why does evil exist?  Why do people who live in blatant sin, succeed?  Why am I sick all the time?

If God is really God, why doesn’t he just give us an explanation about these questions?  Our title talks about being “spellbound.”  Are we really that inured, or attached with a sinister evil?  To be spellbound means we are being confused, drugged or hypnotised by something quite awful.  A cobra rises up, and opens its “hood.”  Its victim is entranced by what it sees in front-of-it.  He soon becomes supper.

Being held captive is not an ordinary happening.  Captivity brings us imprisonment.  Usually in a dark, dirty and unpleasant place.  But yet, it intrigues us so much, and the “light” is such a boring and dull thing.  We feel great as we trade the truth with lies.  What a deal!  “Step right up, and exchange it for the lie!”

From this new and fresh influence we come under the control and will of the dark side.  (And this is not merely “Star Wars‘ mythos.  It is very much real.)  We gradually give ourselves over, in a reasonably predictable pattern.  We think we are pretty much unique in this, but the truth is that we are pretty much ordinary.

There comes a point when enough momentum, and weight, that it creates an avalanche. And hell insists on being paid.  At this point things have gotten desperately grim.  From a human standpoint, there will be no way to avert the inevitable.  It will come, blasting into our lives, and the hearts of our family.  In a most plaintive way, things get very dark, very fast. 

Sin will always capture you.  It will pivot, and drop its immense ugliness on you.  We are entranced by what it wants to give us.  It looks so good…one could call it “self-actualizing.”  (Maybe even “liberating!”)  But in one of the many purposes of the Old Testament, is to clarify what happens in people’s hearts when we step down and let the sin and confusion take over.  You could say, that there will be pleasure for a brief season, but it has a very savagely grim and a black conclusion.