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Everything posted by socks

  1. socks

    Evidence: Letters VPW wrote to the Way Corps

    Hi Penworks - in Buzzard's archive of doc's there's a letter from October 1978 covering events involving Marty McCrae, John Fanning and Peter Bernegger and they're involvement in some research project(s)....what's your take on all that? I vaguely remember some details but think we were traveling a lot at that point. You can message me too if that works better.
  2. Browsing and reading.... I think it has to do with perspective. What's the fundamental place from which I view this or any "technical" question in the Bible and from which I then get my view, my perspective that informs me? Christianity, faith in Christ, life in "the way, the truth and the life" is a rebirth, a new birth, a new beginning for me. So then, a question - if I didn't know anything more about it than that, could I still live it? If all I knew was that I now follow Jesus Christ, and accept my own human condition as one requiring mercy and forgiveness to succeed, that Jesus Christ has acted on my behalf and bridged a gap I would have been unable to, and that the full life possible is to be "born again of God's spirit", or God's "life".....then what? The most basic place to go from there is "living the life". And the question would be is it "on or off", active or passive, in wait mode for a future or in act mode, living now? I think we could agree it's on, it's active, it's a life to be lived. Everything I read in the New Testament encourages me to be patient and steadfast in living this new life now, while knowing death is not the end, that there is a future beyond that, a "hope" and that I must transition to that future. So again and still - what is this new life, this place from which I now live and work? The question of "gifts or manifestations" and related issues answers itself then - we have a new life, in Christ. We are born again of God's spirit, we are God's children, we are new creation in Christ, we have a fresh new set of answers and ideas to bring to our fellow man - Accept God's gift of forgiveness and mercy through Christ. Believe that God showed us the Way through death in Christ's resurrection, believe that God raised Him from the dead and that now we too can be raised into new life believing in that, and that the new life to come is our future. Believe it, say it. Now - forgive as you've been forgiven. Extend mercy as it's been shown to you. Lift others as you have been lifted. Pray to God and seek Him, pray for others and that they will do the same. Act as Jesus did, do as He did, live the new life without owing anyone anything other than to love them. I encourage people to a living faith, an active lifestyle that embraces all the fundamentals, all the time. "All nine all the time" sounds childish, boorish, to me now, like somethng I'd hear in a football game analysis. The whole attitude takes something eternal and incredible and turns it into a list of things-to-do and "believe for", greek words to be twisted and squeezed to gain some deeper understanding of what is already here, now and living in me. One thing I learned in the Way - men will torture the life out of each other and every word in the Bible while condemning each other to hell, to get to some elevated stated of enlightened understanding and ignore mercy, forgiveness, grace. There's that old saying - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"......in the Way we saw it as no, you can lead that horse to water and if you hose it down, stand it in 10 feet of water, show it pictures of water all day and say "water water water water water" a million times it will eventually just swallow whatever you're giving it to just get you to stop. It doesn't mean it liked it or won't bolt the minute you're not looking. And that isn't belief or faith or trust. How can God have the heart of a man or woman if they're only trying to please some lesser power or get something of lesser value than to please their Creator? The line of people that want to start some new improved version of Christianity that's better than what's come before is pretty long. The line of those who give a shit about people, care for them and are willing to be as passionate about learning to forgive and love as they are about cutting out their lesser competition is much shorter. “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” Psalm 145:8,9.
  3. socks

    Raising the Dead 1 & 2

    Maybe the dating's messed up on this thread but it looks like you just responded to a discussion that started about 2 years ago, saying you just listened to these - again? - and it was less than an hour not two hours.....there's been no link to the Youtube vid's you watched, and if I search under Raising the Dead 1 or 2, all sorts of dead things come up. Anyway - if it's been two years, and you did listen to them again, how's it going with this? Anything new to share? Thanks.
  4. socks

    Hello! Anyone out there?

    Yeah, both of everyone seems back. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  5. socks

    Random thoughts

    "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
  6. socks

    Random thoughts

    "Correct me if I'm wrong but..." Means - NO way in heaven or hell am I wrong and even if I were you're not up to the task of correcting me in this or any other world, so just listen please."
  7. socks

    Get Over It already

    Wow!! I've been perusing the posts here lately and just saw this and thought hmmm.... the sower online page link came up "nothing found for Sower Current.html" which seemed ironic for a site with the slogan "Building an Enduring Work of Truth" and then I checked back on the start post date and realized this post was started on May 31, 2006......Bush Jr. was president.....and a year before the first iPhone was released. I thought about where I was and what I was doing in 2006. A year later I took a major career step, one that turned out very well. It was a very different time and place but even now when I read that I thought how odd, what's this person talking about? And I think if I'd read that in 2006, and maybe I did, I'd have thought the same thing. I hope things have gone well, frisco person! Looooooooooooong time no see! Live well and prosper!
  8. socks

    Random thoughts

    (inserts LOL's) Used in a sentence together - "With all due respect, it goes without saying that the proposed plan under review, well, it sucks donkey balls."
  9. socks

    Random thoughts

    You can always tell when something "goes without saying" because that's what gets said next. Usually.
  10. socks

    Athletes of the Spirit Video (from the '80's)

    Some stuff to catch up on here - I heard VPW play that tune a few times, "Ol Rattler" or whatever it was. Later years, on one occasion, he did it on one of the Saturday "Doos" on the "Asphalt Terrace" outside the Wierwille Home and the Barn. I remember dropping in and thumping out the chords behind him the second time through - C and G7. VPW had told me way back in 1971 when he was out on the West Coast that he played some guitar, just a few chords and had played a little when he was young. I was showing him my Gibson LP, a '67 Gold Top and one of the other members had a Gibby SG he liked too. He was interested in the way you'd expect, like okay, now what. But it's funny, while he'd play that tune with all of it's two chords, he could strum with his thumb and keep the beat. Not exactly a player but he could play that. Shazdancer - the music was weak, I agree, but they had enough talent to do something decent. It seemed to be just all wired together wrong, the arrangements didn't sound coherent to me but there wasn't really any "story" for the music to follow. It was so abstract, yet struggling to communicate a complete vision. As I posted above early - it reminded me of that old 50's horror flick "The Mask". Today it would be one of those "so bad it's funny" movies, if you're doing a year in County. In fact, the only way I'll ever watch AOS again is if it's shown by Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  11. penworks - howdy! I've got a question for you on this topic and I'm kind of spring boarding from some things in your book "Undertow". Did you think or do you think now that Walter Cummins had any real moral or ethical platform from which he dealt with the lack of footnoting and crediting in the books? Since he'd done the time in Germany and been the bedrock of the current work we heard and saw in the Way Corps I have to wonder - in reading through what you wrote in Undertow, and what I've heard from others that were in the Research department, I don't think i've ever heard if there was an actual set of standards & guidelines for how to deal with footnoting and crediting that covered this topic of copyright and ownership. Or was it just ignored? My sense is that it was ignored but perhaps I'm just looking for a clear statement, was it ever really recognized by the teams over the years, to your knowledge? T'anks! Also - I remember you DWBH one day early in the 4th Corps when you came from VPW's study with some photo copies of pages from one of his copies of a Bullinger book - some stuff on Ephesians? Anyway it was a big deal as I recall, like there was real mojo in that paper!
  12. It works now. That's a great link there, thanks. I'm glad I took the time after leaving active participation in the Way to slowly and surely re examine my experience. What'd I'd been taught, learned, done, seen, etc. Not all at once, it took several years and in fact I took awhile after leaving to basically decompress. I was fortunate that my relationship with my wife wasn't a product of or embedded into the Way, we'd come into PFAL and our education and work with the Way together and I always understood that our foundation together was the foundation to whatever else we did, singly or together. We've spent probably 100's of hours going over many many things and in that way I've been able to compare two different perspectives - hers and mine. It's amazing what the human mind can do and how it works, and I say that with the appreciation of my own limitations. I remember hearing some mook in the Way say once "It's good to think things through but it's better to believe", which was Way talk for stop acting like you know more than me and do what you're told. After that guy got terminated from his position later I had to wonder if he regretted not having thought things through more. Y'know?
  13. You saved me the time, DWBH, thanks. But as long as I'm here I have to say this casts some light towards understanding SMS, "selective memory syndrome". It can take different forms including as a legitimate form of therapy for some forms of depression. Not to say that's the case with Mike's Mystery Corps-Person and Mike's verson of what actually happened and when but it may explain how certain "facts" from the past can become real for some people. I've spoken to some ex-Wayfers and Corps who are sure they were at certain events and heard certain things or conversely did NOT hear or experience certain things, and it all wraps up into a kind of wash-of-memory. An individuals perspective and actual experience may be very different in an event shared with others of course but I've found that when people endlessly quote what "Doctor always said" about something over and over as if they heard it many times over a long period when in reality they only heard it once or twice if at all, but have then HEARD IT FROM OTHERS TOO that he said it.....this can create the kind of "absolutely true" statement of a "fact" that may not be tethered in reality. BGL considered VPW a "bad student", not a bad copyist. Whether that be true of not it's an understandable perspective if Leonard is seen as the instructor of a class curriculum that VPW then changed and re formatted into his own class. That's the territory of both plagiarism and ethics. (aka "thou shalt not steal", a very inclusive order from God meaning to not take something from someone that isn't yours....and whether that be the stealing of God's own Word and taking steps to protect your own ownership of it or just outright theft of another's work done heartily before their Lord....it's not a hard concept, unless you're guilty) Both VPW and BGL functioned knowingly in a country with laws that they were obliged to recognize and obey. I myself never thought that VPW felt justified in collating BGL's and others existing material into a new form that he would then "own" because it was "God's Word" and governed by a higher standard.....because IF he had truly felt that way, he would have been able to openly make his case and take his stand on those grounds when he was challenged. It would not MATTER who wrote what first, if that were really his position. Instead he constructed his own version of it in his own timeline and constructed a very complex and detailed history to support it, of who he himself was, what he'd done and what experiences had influenced him and how. Anyhoo - this is an interesting article - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/8620360/Selective-memory-does-exist-say-scientists.html
  14. Yeh, I remember How to Enjoy the Bible Doglover, it was a very good book of Bullinger's, I got a copy shortly after taking PFAL the first time in '68, along with one of the early hard bound Companion Bibles, a huge book that was cheaper than the leather bound, which I got later. There was also a set of tapes the Way did titled "How to Enjoy the Bible", with a lot of the parts taught by Walter Cummins, and VPW, if memory serves. It was basically a shorter rehash of the book..I know because the Way West had a copy of them and my wife and I got them after we were married in '71 and listened to them off and on over the next month. HTETBible really did have most of the study and "research" methods taught in PFAL. It was a very good book, and one I used to recommend people get after they took PFAL.
  15. socks

    The Way "Gift Ministries"

    Gift ministries - a short hand term for the stuff in Ephesians 4:10 - 12. They're gifts, they're ministries, etc. I don't spend much time tripping on that one. Today we have a collection of scripture from which to establish a usable context for the Christian message, religion, belief, history, etc. And we have a "New Testament" of writings. From which I gather that all of the things specifically listed in Ephesians 4:11 are also generally the kinds of things that followers of Jesus Christ are able to do, or can be doing let's say. The Way's teaching sub text for 4:11 was that all those born again had the "same measure of faith" that wasn't received or achieved by their effort and wasn't earned but is given equally to all who believe in Christ. The "gift" of "holy spirit", pneuma hagion. There are therefore no special accoutrements that are given to some and not others. All are enabled with the "enablements", and that is whatever well, whatever we're told in the New Testament. So - without going into a lot of detail we're probably all familiar with I think one has to ask themselves what makes these 5 things different from anything else the born again child of God receives in the gift of the new birth? Today I would assume from what the NT says every born again child of God.... Can apostle - and is sent to bring the message of Christ to others. Can be a prophet - and speak for God and on God's behalf. Can teach - and teach the Word of God. Can pastor - and provide support and care for the church, the "flock". Can be an evangelist - and act as an ambassador for Christ and tell others about HIm. ....Without a special dispensation from God to the Church. Where this has gone for me is a slightly different view of what the "Church" is, and what exactly the "body of Christ is", and what God through Christ is doing ... with all this. Man's "Church" is largely a collection of traditions and tangibles that deal with the physical world and lives and so that needs support and provision, ordnance and protection even.....but....a lot of that deals with the affairs of a kingdom that is not part of what God is actually building and won't be resurrected in a future phase. One point I would call out is that it appears these 5 things listed in Ephesians (and referred to elsewhere too) and termed for "the work of the ministry" is for a specific kind of function or "office" within the church. And that carries a hella bunch of baggage with it in today's religion, but not if it's viewed in an Ephesians context, a "spiritual one" where there's no phoney man made construct. A function or even call it a "distribution" isn't a job or a position. Man thinks up and down and sideways, hierarchically - in the Kingdom of God there's no big hierarchy of mid management, which is how I think the religious version sees it. Anyway, however we view it we're given very clear instructions by both Jesus and "Paul" on how we should treat each other, think of ourselves and conduct our affairs in this life, as His followers, children of God and it isn't political or economic - it's social, familial. Abusive behaviors and practices in the Church by people doing "the work of the ministry" always reveal a departure from the fundamentals of our faith. It's not nearly as exotic or complex as we might make it - Jesus told us don't act prideful, don't put yourself above others, don't be an ass hole and treat people like shi t and they should be grateful you even talk to them. Be meek, be a servant to others, help them, treat them nice, be willing to forego revenge everytime someone looks at you wrong, forgive. And I guess Jesus could have said "Look at how I put up with you morons. Remember that the next time you want to hate someone who's cut in front of you at the pita bread stand." God didn't send a judge, He sent a savior. Dig it.
  16. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    R and R - Martin Luther's objections to Roman Catholic doctrine and practice led his actions. RC doctrine was a hybrid of the Bible's "saved by faith" or as Paul put it another doctrine that wasn't really another doctrine but a completely different animal of it's own kind. Luther also objected then of course to them selling Indulgences, certificates that gave remission of sins after one died. Now THAT'S a scam worthy of some effort. If you're going to absolutely degrade anything resembling even the slightest bit of good, then go all in - put one's eternal future on it and sell that puppy. Sit back and watch it roll in. Pretty nifty. If you're THE DEVIL. Anyway, Luther wasn't really trying to demolish or destroy the Catholic Church, he wanted to clean it up, purge it. He also had some ideas that would become popular later, like getting rid of the Jews in Germany. Anyway... Restoring and reviving is only important to people's lives. I can say that easily because whatever I lost through my dis association with the Way has been far outweighed by not having to be entangled with their bullsh it. The only thing I care about still today are the people involved, but if they're happy stewing and simmering there I can't do anything about that. Frankly I've never made it a full time job to "save" them from themselves. Cuz they don' a wanna change, so they's a not a gonna change, no matta wattah I do. Luther never got the RC's to change. Well, maybe a teeny bit sort of over years but not in any real substantive way that they would recognize. More recently I think it was Pope Benedict who tried to establish some ecumenical platform for RC's accepting a couple tenets of Protestant theology buuuuuut I think that's just window dressing on the ol' RC Childcare Store front. I mean, they're church face. Anyway - that's why I don't worry about what the next wave of geezers leaving the Way is doing. The only advice I would give them is they aren't young anymore, so there's not a lot of years to burn doing something you don't really want to do. So get busy livin' and get on with it.
  17. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Thanks. The stand-for-the-boss routines used in the Way were, are heinous. You'd think if they read Corinthians and Ephesians they'd get the idea that when the "believers" get together to hang out, pray, fellowship or eat it should be the ONE and possibly last place on earth where you can chill and be yourself and not have to lose a good seat and the big piece of chicken to some "elder" everyone feels the need to impress since they took their precious time to come and eat your food, drink your coffee and talk to you about something you may have already heard. Many times. And better. So I agree with that. Someone told me once they'd drive hours to hear Lynn teach - "He's SO FUNNY". He's not that funny. You gotta be pretty lonely, desperate or just plain sad to think that. I think that's why he mugs it up so much - he uses physical tips and triggers to signal when he's trying to be funny. Somewhere between the standing up for His Reverendship and the auto-laughter triggers there's a sore butt in a chair, that much I know. But - it's better than robbing a 7-11 I guess.
  18. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    You're a ramblin' TBone, but no more than me! Great stuff, I'll be digesting for awhile.
  19. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    True. But I am not for reviving and restoring anything from the past, to be honest. I made a mostly rhetorical statement with that, since I think we can guess that as long as some of these peeps have an audience, an interest and a paycheck be it dollars or just ego-boosting praise and worship, they're going to go their own way. But yeah, remove and replace is the ideal way to go. My view of the Gospels, Acts and Epistles are that while they give me a view of what happened, and why and a strong degree of "what God wants us to know" in terms of doctrine and practice I don't think they should be viewed as the one-and-only way in which to do things, to live. They don't really provide a finished template from which a final product will be produced, rather they give what I'd call a "functional guide" as to how to proceed to build what is really described as a growing, dynamic living organism. We're really like a body, we have attributes of say, a fountain or a river - everyone sees the water and hears the sound of the water but it's not the same water every minute. The whole of the expanse of what is that river or fountain is much larger than the single drops I see at one time. For generations the word "Church" has been synonymous with "Building". The Church has for many been first a place where a leader of some sort presides and the people gather and attend to listen and participate in some form of ritualized activity. Yet we don't see that happening in the first few generations of Christians and there's nothing written indicating that's the desired state for the Christians in the records we see generated by Luke, Paul, Peter, and other writers and scribes of that early era. So we get from the Bible a kind of "how to do all things through Christ, how to be abased and how to abound", in both individual life as well as group church life. The clearest message of the epistles is that there is no need for anything extraneous beyond the people themselves and their ability to come together and meet and interact as a "body" of Christ, with each person an individual part contributing to the whole, with support and assistance from God through Christ to each member. A "diversity" of ways and means, all through that "selfsame spirit". So - and this is like preaching to the choir I suppose - but by building an extensive library of copy cat rituals, traditions and requirements that essentially act as governance for individual and group behavior we, they, whoever, severely restrict their own ability to really "be" the body of Christ. Any artifice or facade, any set of authorization codes for specialized access, any levels of participation, titles, recognition and reward that restricts the free movement of all the parts will reduce and even prevent growth and function. Timothy and Titus give us a well rounded view of how the church should "run" itself, and there aren't any peripherals. Anyway - I find churches pretty boring and dull if all they do is meet/greet/sit down/shut up/listen/and go home, and they'll become germ-farms for all manner of ungodly viruses. Today more and more churches diversify and work "across the aisle" with other churches who may do different things. And they should - if we're all Christian in essence we're all related and have a godly right to our own diversity as well as a godly responsibility to share with others. What say ye?
  20. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Not for everyone, WW. But yeah, I get what your'e saying I think. Your "selective memory" may parse the experience one way, but someone else, particularly someone who actually had an experience with VPW's "system" and it's "perfect" status as you called it, or otherwise will have theirs. In fact I think a person's actual experience is going to be primarily for them to evaluate. They may be wrong or right by any number of values including yours and my opinion and informed evaluation - but it's theirs to have. And I would add in my own sphere of contacts I would say there are people who see their past experience differently than I do, and who in fact see certain things more favorably and positive than I do, or would and vice versa. I've come to understand through extensive conversations with them - as friends and not to debate or condemn or even arbitrarily correct anything but just to share the loving friendship we have - that they do think differently than I do about certain things. I offer my perspective and where I think it's a matter of "handling the Word of truth" I do my best to help where I can but it's up to them to consider and decide. Interestingly these are not all cut and dry matters looking at it within people's lives and not as an academic reconstruction of a past I have only heard about. And to be clear, I have NO skin in this game, theirs or any other, other than to put forth my own ideas and information. I am still not a member of any Way or ex-Way ministries, fellowships, groups, churches or organizations, formally or ex officio. I'm still me. And I can promise you that barring a hand written granite card from God showing up on a Grand Canyon wall addressed to me saying do otherwise, I have no intention of joining in anyone's effort to restore, revive or restuff and pickle anything to do with The Way. I'm just fine, thankya. I do know some of these people being named and have varying interests in their well being but overall I'd say I have an interest for anyone and everyone to be well and learn and enjoy the life God has for them.
  21. socks

    Revival and Restoration

    Innerestin' - there's a bit of that in the contect of 2 Twinky, as the writer is warning Timothy about a couple people who were teaching and misleading people. Here's a nice translation of that section of 2: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have departed from the truth. "handling the truth" correctly, or "making a straight way" with the Word of truth.....later in verse 25 it reads "Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth"... "Restoration and revival" - The phrase implies there's a former state that is being restored and revived, presumably a right one, a good one, one that should be present. It has to be a personal thing, a people thing that deals with individuals lives. Frankly I think it's going to have to be more than mirror image of what once was, and it's really just like the logic of Timothy's wisdom and in the words of Jesus Himself in Matthew 9 - "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins." When Jesus was asked why His followers didn't observe fasting practices and traditions that were were advocated by the religious leaders of the day he used that example to illustrate that it was better to not try and put His teaching into the old practices that didn't serve or represent the same things he was teaching. Much like today we would not want to dress up or refresh old ideas based on doctrine that was was wrong and then try to achieve different results - it doesn't really make sense. (or you might say "....doing the same things over and over and expecting different results is insanity....") Ephesians 4:11-16...."Ministries" are God given spiritual gifts from God to the Church, the body of Christ. They are given to people, for people. God doesn't give "Gift Farms" or "Gift Buildings" to the Church, he gives spiritual gifts to His people and the "work of the ministry" is to help support each other into a rich full relationship with God, in the "church of Christ". The realities of that are in us, in our lives, thoughts, feelings. The "invisible" things of God are then visible through our lives. So every church pastor needs a sign in his office that says "it's God and the people, stupid!"....because everything in the Bible leads us to understand that all this claptrap we're so earnestly building to glorify God is going to turn to dust and end up in someone's else's landfill. What will go on forever is - "Love", the essence of the pneuma hagion that is the "us", reborn, anew, and rockin' that new body smell someday. The BRC won't be resurrected, that grass I cut so clean and neat to look good for the Sunday Night Services won't be restored. It's "LIFE", our lives, eternally bound together with God, now. One thing I learned is that I needed to REMOVE and REPLACE some of the things that had accumulated and worked their way into my spiritual life, things I thought were necessary, things that were comfortable and familiar. In reality they were just baggage, dead weight. "Nice to have's". So perhaps there needs to be a REMOVE and REPLACE movement too.
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    Revival and Restoration

    Yae! That's nice work, T-Bone and TaxiDev. Thanks. I read 2:15 now and I see it pointing towards how the truth is handled, and as the person being one who "works the ground", a cultivator. To an extent it was self serving for VPW to overly emphasize 2:15 as meaning researching the Bible since that's what he said he did. He expounded on how he had spent hours and hours every day for years "working that Word", studying it, "rightly dividing it". Yet, in context the reader would never get that impression from chapter 2, without the impression of the English word "Study"...."spoudazo" is used 11 times in the N.T. and is never translated study anywhere else, or anything similar. In fact in use it deals more with what one does and how they do it, like being diligent or eager, or putting forth strong effort, "work". It's not sitting behind a desk racking up hours in books although that could certainly be part of how it could be understood in broader context. Yet, without doing that and doing it with a high degree of honesty and integrity, the Bible can be very misunderstood. So it's really .... ironic. How this all shapes up. Life can be - just, weird and wildly whacky. I for one appreciate what VPW did with PFAL and although I was very young first taking it I got it fairly quick. The 1967 version was at least the second formal collation of the teaching into a "class". It would have benefitted from a Ver 3.0, maybe even a 4.0, to straighten out a few sections and shorten it to it's leanest and greenest rendering. He never - ever- ever- supported the idea of continuing to work on PFAL to improve it - in the Way culture of that time it was sacrosanct. And as time went on and I got to know VPW more it always seemed clear to me that he was overly impressed with himself, or at least wanted everyone else to be. That said, most of the work he pulled together and taught has been very useful to me.
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    Revival and Restoration

    Sure, thanks. I've picked that up, yes. I think you're pretty astute in your estimation that all of this is different for those who had experience with how all this went down over the years we were involved. While that teaching is Vintage Way and actually fairly consistent with what is taught by many other non-Way sources, there's one part that is easy to gloss over and actually freaks a lot of old timers out when they hear that it might not state exactly what VPW taught about it, and that's his teaching on 2:15, "study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that doesn't need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth". Once I got it clear for myself my Bible didn't exactly "fall to pieces", simply because my understanding was different, rather it came together right in front of me. Whenever I hear Vintage VPW teachings being repeated, I'm reminded of this. Bear with me if you would. VPW taught 2:15 as a foundational scripture for every Christian, every believer, and his own research and teaching ministry. "Rightly cutting" the Word of truth, described by him as the exact "working" of scripture by the "workman" to properly "divide it", sort it out, parse it out to line up properly "just like in the original". 2:15 is carved in stone for those of us who took PFAL in the 60's and 70's, and who remember that story about Mrs. Dotsie VPW cuttin' that pie of hers so accurately. In fact, further study over the years has led me to some additional understanding on this - first that "study" means exactly what he taught, "spoudazo", or "earnestly endeavor".....so it isn't specifically saying crack open the books and start studying, Paul is saying to "Work hard" to do something......and to be a "workman".....the kind of workman referred to is someone like a laborer or a field worker. We already are told in 2:6 that "the husbandman that labors must be first partaker of the fruits". The workman is a farmer, vineyard tenders, laborers, those growing a crop, tending a field, bringing up a crop, fruit.......so we can read it as "Work hard to show yourself approved to God by being a worker that doesn't need to be ashamed (of his work)..... Rightly dividing is the single word orthotomounta, or orthotomeo per many sources and it means among other things "to make straight and smooth" as well as "to cut straight ways, to cut a straight path, to proceed by straight paths, hold a straight course, and equivalent to - to do right". So we have "Work hard to show yourself approved to God by being a worker that isn't ashamed of his work, making sure to hold to a straight, right course with the Word of truth"...... There's a better translation of that I've worked up, I'm doing this from memory, but that's the basic idea and if put forth that way is truer to the context of chapter 2, which is handling the behaviors and correct actions of a church leader in the church, with others. It's not talking about academic study, it's talking about accurately "handling" God's revealed Word, of how it's lived and taught - not a mechanical process of efforts to set it straight, separate it or literally "divide" it. To this we can consider Isaiah 40:3 "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.", and then John 1:23, ""I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Make straight the way of the Lord"...... Here the word euthyno is used, meaning "to make straight, level, plain, to lead or guide straight, keep straight"....... I'd also have to consider the use in chapter 2's context the usage of the word "husbandman" - Jesus compared God to a husbandman in John 15 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” ........A husbandman cultivates the earth, his plants, and naturally expects them to produce fruit as a result of the amount of effort he has invested in them. Our heavenly Father, the divine Husbandman, seeks to produce fruit through us as we ... abide in Christ. All of which leads me to understand that ll Timothy 2:15 is talking about bringing people to God through Christ, "showing them the way", to make the way to Him clear, to help others through what we teach and what we do to come to Christ. As if to say "here He is, this is who He is, this is the Way".....Remove obstacles, clear the "way", make the path clear and open. Work hard to do that, be diligent in bringing forth fruit. This involves much much more from a person than teaching if they really want to have skin in the game. Timothy is told a lot about that, how to, what to do, what to look for, etc. etc. Teaching isn't excluded, far from it, but it's not limited to public speaking. I'm NOT saying that we should never study the Bible, or never attempt to do the work to allow it to be so clearly and plainly understood that it can literally "interpret itself", nor am I saying that there aren't many wrong interpretations of the Bible, resulting in wrong teaching that makes it hard and difficult if not impossible to come to God through Christ and that those do need to be handled as part of "making that way" straight - but all of this fits very well with the words of Jesus when He said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but through me"....