I pray you all had a Merry Christmas and are having a very Happy New Year!
As we move forward into 2015, I thought I would take a few moments to update you on all that is going on. There are several new Facebook Pages and Groups, as well as a few new YouTube Channels to update you on, in addition to the plans for MOSAIC Five-Fold Fellowship.
First, if you are not already aware, in several weeks we will be launching a parachurch organization called "MOSAIC Five-Fold Fellowship" (or just "MOSAIC" for short). MOSAIC is being founded on something the Lord has been stirring in my heart for many years now. In short, it is;
* A calling back to the 5-Fold Ministry model given in the New Testament and utilized by the early church (eventually with full-time minsters in the 5 offices).
* A calling to 24/7 Prayer and Worship in a dedicated Sanctuary, open to the community.
* A calling to true Unity in the church, based not on an "Ecumenical" blind acceptance of all theologies and denominations as equally correct, but on a driving desire to seek out the one Truth of God, together.
* A calling to the "Free Church" model; a departure from the 501(c)(3) format so many churches have fallen into in this country.
As we plan to launch, we may be meeting at our home in Morton, IL for a time, but will be seeking a more neutral location and planning a permanent home as we grow. (This includes the previous plans for a "Morton Community House of Prayer" as part of its format so that ministry will be moving forward as part of this one.)
More information can be found at the temporary Website here, the Facebook Group, here, and the YouTube Channel, here. Both the Facebook Groups and YouTube Channel are still being developed and a permanent Website is forthcoming.
Next, the "Browncoat Society for the Continuation of the "Firefly" Television Series" Facebook Group has over 4,700 members now! We continue to grow by leaps and bounds, with more than a dozen new members almost daily! I've been seeing more a more Firefly/Serenity gear around as well, including "Firefly The Game", "Firefly Online Game", "Clue; Firefly Collector's Edition" and "Yahtzee; Firefly Collector's Edition", complete with a model Serenity for the dice cup! There's even a new "Serenity Film-Scale Artisan Replica" available for $7,500 from Qmx and Funko ReAction and Pop! figures! It's an exciting time to be a Browncoat, for sure!
This spurred me on to making a followup group; "Black Gun Browncoats" (Facebook Group here YouTube Channel here) for Firefly fans who also enjoy shooting sports. This page is featuring my own personal AR15 build as well.
Additionally, my interest in RC aircraft, particularly multirotors and FPV (first-person view) gear led to the creation of the YouTube Channel "Firefly FPV Flight Deck" (found here). This will follow my own quadcopters including my new Blade 200QX ("The CTS Hoban Washburne"), and a future FPV build, possibly based on a 200QX with a Razor or Phoenix carbon fiber frame.
As some of you may know, I have been suffering with a variety of physical issues for many years now. Several Xrays, MRIs and Dr. visits have yielded no real answers. I have several bulging discs in my back, at least 1 full herniated disc, 2 of the discs in my neck are fused (not surgically), I've had several dysplastic nevus (precancerous moles) removed, have some arthritis (but not as much as we expected) and am in nearly constant pain. There are days it's hard to walk and nights I sleep downstairs because I can't get up the stairs. My eldest daughter found a disorder which could explain a lot of it, and I plan to have a DNA test done this Spring to find out if that could be it. Unfortunately there is no medical cure, but at least it could be identified, properly treated, and maybe I could get on some kind of disability or something to help provide for my family. I've tried a couple different jobs, but have been unable to find work I can physically do.
One job I was always good at and really enjoyed was selling cars. At least, when I was able to treat clients the way I wanted to and was able to sell inventory I had interest in. Although I did well with either specialty cars or "college student" cars, I never did well selling new, current, domestic offerings to average buyers. One side of the spectrum or the other was better for me, never middle-of-the-road.
This got me looking for a niche market to specialize in and it came pretty quickly. All the cars I've been interested in over the years, many of them today are inexpensive, or experiencing a resurgence of interest, opening a new market for restorations, resto-mods and partial restorations (basically just repair, tune, clean and flip). One car that fits this category well is the Porsche 928. Now, the late S4/GT/GTS are all out of my range, but the early cars are usually doable, and they need more repair anyway. After brief research, I decided I would specialize mostly in 1985-86 cars. These were the early body style, but with the "S" trim, and these 2 years alone had the DOHC engine prior to the aero refresh in 1987. So, come March or early April, I'll be on the hunt for an '85-'86 Porsche 928S in clean, running condition for around $8K (or preferably under). Let me know if you hear of one that is available. Illinois has some specific rules on private sellers, but maybe this could be developed into a small business before I hit those limits.
Finally, my family and I are currently in a period of transition. We are in the process of leaving the church I grew up in and are looking into a few other local congregations to be involved in. There is a local "House of Prayer", but they are not a church (and don't wish to be). We will include them as part of whatever we end up doing, but are looking into other congregations for membership. There is one in particular we have had dealings with in the past which we are strongly leaning towards at this time.
Without going into a lot of detail or naming names, the only reason I would ever consider leaving a church (other than relocation or a call to ministry elsewhere) is due to a serious conflict of theology. As I make ever effort to be willing to be proven wrong, to base my personal theology as much as possible on the Word alone and to reject "religion" and doctrinal teachings of man without Biblical foundation, for me this means that church leadership must be doing something outside the scope of the Word for me to have an issue with it. And that's exactly what we've run into.
A Pastor and Elder of the church, from an open microphone at the pulpit at a prayer meeting, was praying for the Middle East. In this prayer, he prayed "that 'Isa would be fully revealed to the Muslim people". Now, 'Isa is a character who appears in Muslim texts as a "version" of the Jesus of the Bible, so the name is used by those who know (but not its full meaning) in an attempt to reach out to Muslims, or to sound learned on the subject of Islam.
Unfortunately, 'Isa was not the name used for Jesus by Christian Arabs before the invention of Islam. They used (depending on locale) variations of the Hebrew "Yeshua", such as "Yasou". Additionally, 'Isa has his own narrative, distinct from the Jesus of the Bible. 'Isa was not the son of God ("Allah" has no sons), was born in Palestine, not Nazareth, to Merideth (Islam's version of Moses' sister), not to Mary, did not die on the cross and so did not provide salvation to man (in Islam man does not require salvation) but was taken up into heaven and was replaced on the cross by Judas Iscariot. Furthermore, he will return one day as Caliph over an Islamic world, will break the cross of Jerusalem and put all Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims to the sword, have children and die after 40 years. He is NOT Jesus of the Bible but is in fact the very spirit of the antichrist.
I approached leadership with a mountain of reference material, as I had researched this topic heavily when Dr. Rick Warren ("The Purpose Driven Life") use the name 'Isa interchangeably with Jesus in his prayer at Obama's first inauguration. Needless to say, this did not go as anticipated and after multiple attempts, many emails and a couple meetings, they refused to hear the truth.
So it is with great pain and suffering that we remove ourselves from ministry and leadership, leave that church and begin looking for another church body to become part of. Be praying for us as we move forward into whatever God has for us in the coming year(s), and as we move forward with MOSAIC and other interests.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
In Service of the King,
~Michael "Blue" Erdmier