Topic: Ordination Sermon Prologue, Broken Dreams Made New, Mixed-Up Royal Flush
Lesson PDF link: Mixed Up Royal Flush
Ordination Sermon Prologue
First, we are going to make a technical change to our ministry's website. To usher this in, we are going to have a small group of gaming pictures.
This is a very special set of cards. In the game of Yu- Gi-Oh!, there is a group of cards that spell FINAL . If used properly, this is considered an instant win when completed successfully. Our ministry is dedicated to helping the lost that don't know Jesus as Savior. We will help them win FINAL victory in their lives so they will be granted eternal life in Him!!!
From this moment forward every regular lesson on the site will be called Spirit Messages because the Spirit of God makes messages in people's hearts to share with the world. On a side note, this can be considered an homage to the game that this idea is derived from. Any lessons that work as a literal curriculum including A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language will not need this although, it could eventually still include this as well. If this happens it will look something like Spirit Message Curriculum: A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language or insert another curriculum name if appropriate.
Broken Dreams Made New:
As of September 3, 2016, I am ordained as Pastor Carl R. Heinlein at Toonspirit Ministries. Any personal or ministerial friends, please call me Pastor Richie, of course if any prefer, just Richie is fine still too if you want the informal way.
This is such a joyous and happy time for our ministry as we start a totally new chapter in its life. Before we get to the main topic of study, I wanted to share some of my past hopes and dreams. In years past, I was searching for a good career and found that a lot more went into it than I originally thought.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor--just like my Uncle Carl L. Heinlein. I showed this by making a little plaque that I was sure would be used when I became this doctor I thought that I was supposed to be. It looks like this:
Looking back, I am sure that Uncle Carl was my hero and I probably idolized him at the time. As I got older and tried to make it happen, the unfortunate happened. I couldn't pass the labs of a beginners' course in Anatomy and Physiology in College because my vision made things look exactly the same. The bookwork was almost no trouble--if only right?
At the same time, I was thinking about Spanish interpretation--perhaps even combining it with the failed medical degree attempt. My cousin Serge is one after all--maybe I could be like him. I was actually somewhat gifted in high school. I received this plaque scroll as a present because Mom and I thought of what I could become.
I couldn't pass the first class of college Spanish and this dream died along with the medical idea as I failed college and returned to Mom's house.
The next dream was something to do with kids perhaps. I am extremely good with them. So, I was strongly considering daycare as a career. I didn't do so well with this as in the 1990's as I was possibly lacking maturity. I was determined however and received a correspondence degree from Professional Career Development Institute (PCDI). They looked like they would be a great pick and was very proud when I received this:
This school promised help in job placement. I thought this was a good idea since I have a vision impairment. However, the school didn't deliver on its promise, even though I learned a lot. Nonetheless, this dream died too.
After this, I thought I still needed to get something going as far as a career because the warning of getting older and needing to make money in some kind of job or vocation was being drilled into my head by my Dad all the time. Unfortunately, Dad also told me that he thought my dreams were getting smaller and smaller and he was afraid that I wouldn't do anything with my life. At this time, I found a hobby with sports trading cards and I liked it. I thought this might be a good career move since it was very enjoyable. However, after a little while, I ran out of money and couldn't sell any cards. I tried grading them with PSA etc. and noticed that cards were quite fickle anyway even fresh out of a pack. I went into debt even with this idea--to no avail. The dream of trading card entrepreneur died there.
I got a new lease on life when I had the opportunity to go from Mom's house to live on my own and found a couple of jobs partially to get myself out of debt. I worked at Cracker Barrel and Shoney's together for a short time. Cracker Barrel promised me a lot more hours and I foolishly quit Shoney's three months into working for both restaurants. I was fired from Cracker Barrel after having an accident involving a light that was a kind of strobe light (because it was going out). I collapsed and face-planted in a bus tub I was carrying. I was already being yelled at for being slow and sometimes doing my job right (part of my slowness), however they should be understanding about my vision impairment. So the dream of even having just a regular job and making a living that way died too. Shoney's would have also probably let me go too because it ended up closing very shortly after (Shoney's declared bankruptcy to restructure), so it probably wouldn't have mattered much. I haven't had a paid job since, but hopefully things will look up in the near future. At that time back in the year 2000, I felt like a failure in life because I hadn't succeeded at anything I had tried really.
I was baptized in 2002, and started becoming very spiritually inclined. I started receiving dreams and even messages about who God is. Unfortunately those writings were destroyed because of some computer trouble--so, back to the drawing board. Things were improving greatly, however slowly.
Then came the year 2004. I was pressed into going back to school by a friend who kind of acted about the same way Dad did. He thought that I was being lazy and needed to make something of myself . Reluctantly, I went back to school and found out that I am not a bad student. Evidently, my maturity level was greatly increased from the 1990's. I made A's and B's. Soon after I started school, God showed me a plan that would eventually be known by me to be my likely life's work. I started writing Bible Studies and called this series of lessons A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language which is one of our ministry's ever growing mainstays. This very special series, a lot of it anyway, is based on roughly 20-30 year old memories of cartoons when I was a child. Those cartoons were too soon taken away from me by Dad because he said "I was getting too old for them, I was becoming a man". I really think I needed them at that time as well because my school life was full of bullies and no friends. Cartoons were a big stress reliever--not having them was very harmful. Remember, I am 10, 11, or 12 at the time that the cartoons were taken away. During the time I had them freely and sometimes not (because I watched them when dad wasn't looking), I was learning a lot of good ethics and lessons even though Dad didn't know that cartoons were actually in this case beneficial. God started to give back all the cartoons I was told not to enjoy all those years ago. As stated, I had soaked up all of the ethics that those good cartoons had in them back then and gave the basis for what would become "A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language" . God made sure that I had other things too. In 2006, I had a presentation with the Final Judgment lesson in the series. It didn't go too well as it was the second part of two (without the first one) and hardly anyone could get over the series used. One of my friends pretty much wasted a lot of my presentation time. Since, he isn't a Christian, he proclaimed that Jesus wasn't the Son of God and everyone jumped on him with the Biblical scriptures to prove otherwise. I was lucky that the lesson went all the way through (this fiasco took 45 min. with me having the rest). Through it all, there were a couple of people that enjoyed it and one of them would become my wife 1 and 1/2 years later. Her name is of course Bonnie. The other one named Gloria, joined our ministry as well.
Broken dreams are made new. For example, the Dr. Carl R. Heinlein MD plaque became true in a very real sense. Dr. would mean I am now a spiritual healer and the MD part of it would mean 'Message Deliverer' because I am now the pastor of our ministry.
Next comes the plaque of the Spanish Psalm 23, it didn't become a symbol of what I would become; it became a symbol of what our ministry would become. We picked up a Spanish interpreter named Angela and she is a very strong friend and very much a part of our ministry.
Now, we are on to the daycare diploma. This dream actually is part true as well because we are using cartoons and other shows that kids might like, but the lessons are surprising in the fact that adults will be challenged by the messages, while kids will get their parents to talk about the cartoon symbols on their level if they don't already understand.
About the trading card idea, we use trading cards of the gaming type in our ministry partially because of that old hobby that failed to help me with getting a career. On top of this, we use video game stills or 'screenshots' in other lessons. Video games, especially old ones I grew up with, are as much a hobby as trading cards ever would be as well. These were taken away mostly as well eventually--for the same reason as the cartoons. God has given those back too and is now using them for His kingdom.
Finally, we go to the 'odd jobs' dream. Looking back, I think that having those jobs, even though they didn't work too well, started to prove something about my work ethic and perhaps made me a better man because it helped develop this ethic. I am not lazy. I work really hard and those failed jobs proved that to me. It is obvious to me and everyone in this ministry and a lot of people around me that I am actually succeeding in life (even though right now not getting paid for work done or services rendered). This ministry is the culmination of all of those failed or broken dreams; they are made new. The ministry will do nothing but help the communities that it touches by improving the lives and Christian walk of all of the people that live in said communities. This ministry is bound to at least show something to the lost about who Jesus is and perhaps those in this sad shape will be saved because of God working through the ministry at their level so that they understand. These people, whether saved or lost just need to see it and use this for their hearts' needs. May God bless all the people who see this ministry as it buds like the trees and blooms like the flowers. In my view, this whole ministry is the product of all of my bad memories and broken dreams, redeemed by God. This ministry is further subsidized by a lot of actual good memories of the limited number of cartoons and video games that I was able to watch and play before they were taken away by what I would like to call an abusive and gross misunderstanding that is now being neutralized by God's hand.
Now, here is our first sermon that God has given me as the Pastor of Toonspirit Ministries.
Mixed-Up Royal Flush
I saw a vision of this message in a dream and would like to share with all looking and listening. Playing cards are popular for many games, which include, Poker, Hearts etc. These two games (especially Hearts) mentioned specifically, have a spiritual meaning to me and if you will use your imagination during this message, you will see it too. The suits of these playing cards and some of the individual cards can mean different things and we will explore these together. Before we continue, the title Mixed-Up Royal Flush means something too, even though not necessarily part of the main Bible study directly. It's just what they are in game play in one's hand. When you have a Mixed- Up Royal Flush , it is actually the most powerfully high regular straight in the game of poker--a middle rank hand. Let's begin.
When we use the word 'boss' within this message, for this lesson, it means the card or cards of study in the given suit. This may not mean highest rank. When we talk also about the game of Hearts we are talking about the version that has the 'no run rule' where even when you receive every point in a round you are still given all the points against you (not your opponents).
The Diamonds suit with its boss of the lesson, the Ace, symbolizes riches, style, and self-glorification. It stops at nothing to get what it wants and wants to justify itself with flashes of class and lights that dazzle and this would involve worship of money and attention. In other words, diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but they are not God's best friend. People love to be in style, classy and wealthy and these things do have a definite earthly upside. If not properly surrendered to God however, power and money rule and not the One who granted it to begin with it.
Bible Study Mathew 6: 19-24; 19: 16-26
Mat 6:19 "Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
Mat 6:20 But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal,
Mat 6:21 because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Mat 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.
Mat 6:23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light within you has turned into darkness, how great is that darkness!"
Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, because either he will hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches!"
Mat 19:16 Just then a man came up to Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what good deed should I do to have eternal life?"
Mat 19:17 Jesus asked him, "Why ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to get into that life, you must keep the commandments."
Mat 19:18 The young man asked him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not give false testimony,
Mat 19:19 honor your father and mother,' and 'you must love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Mat 19:20 The young man told him, "I have kept all of these. What do I still lack?"
Mat 19:21 Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me."
Mat 19:22 But when the young man heard this statement he went away sad, because he had many possessions.
Mat 19:23 Then Jesus told his disciples, "I tell you with certainty, it will be hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom from heaven.
Mat 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God."
Mat 19:25 When the disciples heard this, they were completely astonished. "Who, then, can be saved?" they asked.
Mat 19:26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, "For humans this is impossible, but for God all things are possible."
If the Ace of Diamonds is your boss, you have serious spiritual problems because this is idol worship in one of its worst forms; it is one of the most tangible forms of recognition and legitimacy in the world and it's not God's way; only He gives true legitimacy. Riches do a mockery of a job of filling this place where God needs to be.
With its boss, the King, this suit represents something actually good. It symbolizes humility. Clubs are what shepherds use to kill enemy animals so that their flocks will not be killed. David is a prime example of this and he became King David. Shepherds were one of the lowest orders of a living that you could find and they weren't respected as much as they should have been. We will look at David for a moment and then link it to another scripture.
Bible Study: I Samuel 16: 1-13, John 10: 11-18 I Samuel 16: 1-13:
1 The LORD said to Samuel, How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.
2 But Samuel said, How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me. The LORD said, Take a heifer with you and say, I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.
3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.
4 Samuel did what the LORD said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, Do you come in peace?
5 Samuel replied, Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me. Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, Surely the LORD s anointed stands here before the LORD.
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, The LORD has not chosen this one either.
9 Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, Nor has the LORD chosen this one.
10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, The LORD has not chosen these.
11 So he asked Jesse, Are these all the sons you have? There is still the youngest, Jesse answered. He is tending the sheep. Samuel said, Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.
12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, Rise and anoint him; this is the one.
13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
No wonder that Jesus was born in the most humble of ways, because this is how God exalts His people. Jesus went on to say this about himself in John 10: 11-18:
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life only to take it up again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.
If you have the King of Clubs as your boss you might be on the right track because the king represents traits of what makes a good king and the traits of the Lord our Good Shepherd, however, traits don't necessarily make a relationship; it's a start. A good shepherd will indeed risk life and limb for the flock. Jesus Himself is the real example of this as He demonstrated on the cross and His resurrection. However, this symbol can be misused, and if not properly surrendered, you can be shepherd of the wrong thing. In other words what are you guarding? Are you guarding the right things?
The Spades Suit with its bosses the Queen and Jinx is a sure sign of hatred and pollution. The kind of spirit she has is of the demonic and symbolizes the Devil himself because of what she does to our next and final suit which we will get to later. The queen is the Jinx of Hearts. She is called playfully "The Queen Of Mean" (for good reason) and makes what would be a nice thing bad instead. So, there is a Jinx card that goes with her (9 of Stars from another deck).
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned
21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23 to be made new in the attitude of yourminds;
24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
26 In your anger do not sin : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27 and do not give the devil a foothold.
28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
The word 'spades' is slang for 'many'.The Queen of Spades is the symbol for all that is evil in the world including the Devil himself and should be gotten rid of in real life and given to nobody. In the game she always goes somewhere. Woe to whoever gets stuck with her. If the Queen of Spades and the Jinx that goes with her are your bosses, get rid of her and that Jinx fast by letting Jesus rule instead; they indeed are big trouble in the worst degree possible. Pollution of the heart is not an option for the Christian.
The Hearts Suit with its bosses the King and the Jack is the last in our tour of playing cards. This is the suit that you don't want in the game of Hearts because they are against anyone who receives them. The Queen of Spades in this game has already poisoned this otherwise noble family. Instead of being instruments of love and favor, they are instruments of the same hatred and evil that the evil Queen has. So, the Hearts suit symbolizes us as a human race that is fallen and needs Jesus as Savior. When Jesus is Savior in anyone, then the Hearts Suit is symbolic of love that only God provides.
Bible Study: Romans 3: 23-24 (This is a true classic).
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
This scripture has been quoted more times than I can count and for good reason. Our hearts are poisoned without Jesus to cleanse them and without this cleansing, God is not pleased and will be against the people that are unwilling to surrender to His Son who died for our sins and wants to forgive.
Now, let's look at the symbols of the King and Jack of Hearts. These are literally the symbols of our Lord. God sent His Son to die for us so that we won't have to get what we really deserve which is wrath instead of grace. Grace, however is given freely to those who will believe and have faith in Him and witness for the kingdom of God.
Bible Study: Romans 5: 5-13; 10: 5-13, Psalm 37: 1-15 Romans 5: 5-13
5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God s wrath through him!
10 For if, while we were God s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone s account where there is no law.
Romans 10: 5-13
5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: The person who does these things will live by them.
6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down)
7 or Who will descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:
9 If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
11 As Scripture says, Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13 for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
If you look closely at the King and Jack of Hearts, the Jack looks like he is writing a sort of letter--I would say a love letter. The King looks like he is about to be killed in my opinion because the sword is at his neck, but at the same time it's in his own hand. A show that I watched on TV once referred to him as The Suicide King because it looked like he was about to kill himself with his own weapon--this is of course in the perspective of the character we are speaking of. This made an impact on me and that is one reason why I consider that very symbolic. Effectively, God took full responsibility for our sins and sent his Son. The sword is at His own neck as the card suggests. Something, or in this case Someone has to die for what we did. There is a saying that people use sometimes "The Axe Falls On Me"; this is said when you are in charge and you take responsibility for what happens in your care This is what God proclaimed "The Axe Falls On Me!" (choosing crucifixion for His Son). The Old Testament declares that the wicked will be pierced in the heart by their own sword and thus, in my way of seeing it, die by their own wickedness.
Psalm 37: 1-15 (ISV)
Psa 37:1 Don't be angry because of those who do evil, do not be jealous because of those who commit iniquity.
Psa 37:2 Indeed, they soon will wither like grass, and like green herbs they will fade away.
Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness.
Psa 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psa 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD; Trust him, and he will act.
Psa 37:6 He will bring forth your righteousness as a light, and your justice as the noonday sun.
Psa 37:7 Be silent in the LORD's presence and wait patiently for him. Don't be angry because of the one whose way prospers or the one who implements evil schemes.
Psa 37:8 Calm your anger and abandon wrath. Don't be angry it only leads to evil.
Psa 37:9 Those who do evil will perish. But those who wait on the LORD will inherit the land.
Psa 37:10 Yet a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more. You will search for his place, but he will not be there.
Psa 37:11 The humble will inherit the land; they will take in abundant peace.
Psa 37:12 The wicked person plots against the righteous, and grinds his teeth at him.
Psa 37:13 But the Lord laughs at him because he sees that his day is coming!
Psa 37:14 The wicked take out a sword and bend the bow, to bring down the humble and the poor to slay those who are righteous in conduct.
Psa 37:15 But their sword will pierce their own heart, and their bows will be broken!
Jesus didn't ever commit sin, but allowed Himself to die on the cross in our place to satisfy God's wrath by design, even though powerful enough to not even be scratched or injured.
A king's place is a given that he is a ruler and Jesus is the King Of Kings And The Lord Of Lords and our King Of Hearts--God is Love. A Jack is a prince in any of these royal families and Jesus is also our Jack of Hearts--The Prince Of Peace.
If the King and Jack Of Hearts are your true bosses, then you are doing well and you should and must strengthen in Jesus and be free. There is no room for the Queen of Spades and her Jinx if Jesus is in control.
You can have any of the tens or even multiple tens to complete your set, the tens of any suit for this lesson are symbols of small power underneath any of these families. Let's call them your circles of influence. However, they each symbolize what their suits do. Do you want people around you to give you prestige, do you want those that are humble and can help you have humility; do you want to guard something (may it be your own heart against evil), or ones that are hate filled, or ones that are loving; do you want God Himself? We all have to make that choice.
If we want to plug in the symbols of the message, the obvious answer is that we want to have the Hearts Suit and the Clubs Suit. This means we should and must choose to surrender to God's Son Jesus first, choose humility over riches and love over hate. We need to know the grace and favor that goes with a good solid life in Christ and be faithful to the kingdom of God in which we serve. Choose the right suits for the jobs God has for you. If God has anything to say about it (and He does), these suits will become strong trumps in the plans God will choose for you which will never be defeated.