Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Adam and Eve messed up. At the fall of Man our world became corrupted, we became corrupted. Not a pretty sight. And God was the only One Who could do anything to remedy the situation. And He did.
He promised and sent a Savior to redeem fallen man. Christmas marks the beginning of that redemptive process, when our Redeemer was born in Bethlehem.
The path from cradle to cross to resurrection is all part of a whole, is the entirety of the redemptive work of Christ which freed us from sin and restores us to right fellowship with God.
No wonder the shepherds thrilled at the news of His birth! Humble shepherds given the honor of being witness of the birth of Christ. The angel didn’t go to the religious leaders of the day; indeed, their days of prominence were coming to an end.
What does Christmas mean? If you are a Christian, it’s a reminder that your Redeemer lives.
If you are not a Christian, it means whatever you want it to mean.
What do I want for Christmas? Heaven full. Peace on Earth, with our King of Peace ruling from His city, Jerusalem. No more tears, no more war, no more fruitless human striving. God Glorified. Merry Christmas.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
John Edwards-United Methodist
Rudy Giuliani-Roman Catholic
Mike Huckabee-Southern Baptist
Dennis Kucinich-Roman Catholic
Barack Obama-United Church Of Christ
Fred Thompson-Church Of Christ
Oh my. What a balanced field. I garner ted armstrong’d all of these church affiliations from Wikipedia, so if some are suspect, suspect the Wiki.
Clinton is first alphabetically, if not in the hearts of all United Methodists everywhere. If she were to succeed to the Presidency and choose Edwards as her Dan Quayle…I mean vice president (oops!)…their families could go to church together. Except Bill Clinton is another brother Baptist of mine, along with Huck and Paul. (Ron, not Saint.) The point being, Hil Clinton and John and Elizabeth could ride together, as they go to the same church.
I know that there has been a big ‘foux-fraux’over whether or not “Evangelicals” (as Time and Newsweek like to refer to us) would be willing to vote for a (hushed tones) Mormon.
Since I am the last Evangelical in America to be push-polled by USA Today, here is my two one hundredths of a dollar: Yes.
I have no problem voting for the man I believe to be best qualified for the Presidency.
And so far, for me, that man is Mitt Romney.
Yes, he’s a Mormon. If he wanted to join my church, that would be a deal-breaker. We don’t accept Mormons as brothers in Christ. But he has my vote, because he has shown himself to be an able administrator, whether looking at his Governorship or the 2002 Olympics or his time with (according to the Wiki-you really can learn a lot at Wikipedia) Bain &Company.
Whomever you choose to support for President, I encourage you to exercise your citizenship by joining in the political process. It can only be improved by your taking part and working to improve it.
I know-I’ve joked before about imploring God NOT to give us the President we deserve (as we deserve Hell, though are graciously granted Heaven). But there’s truth in that. Ask God, pray that we will have strong leaders, and that this country may succeed and prosper in our endeavors. As the bumper sticker says, “America bless God”. And may God Bless America.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Luke 2.8 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. Luke 2. 15 – 18 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2.20 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. Luke 2.9
Monday, December 17, 2007
This morning I will be going to my church to clean the bathrooms. Does that seem like a step down from working in a law office? Not really. I could make a joke, but it’s probably not necessary. I’m going to start reading a book by K.P Yohannan, the founder of Gospel for Asia. It’s a short little book called “The Lord’s Work Done In the Lord’s Way.” I can actually take the time to sit and read a book this morning before I leave to clean bathrooms! The book is described as a lesson in knowing “the freedom and simplicity of serving your first love.” This is my heart’s desire – to return to the simple love for Jesus I had when I started this journey.
I know I can’t persuade you all to quit your jobs like I did. I mean, someone has to pay the bills. But God has blessed me with more time than I have had in so many years, and I pray that I will use it to His glory. Some of us are going to need additional time in order to meet our Creator and get on the right road. Some of us need it to store up treasure. My Christmas wish for you – may God bless you with more time somewhere along this road toward eternity we’re all journeying on together.
God bless you and Merry Christmas!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Holding or based on the view that human endeavor is futile.
One who holds the view that human endeavor is futile.
What a lovely word. I was reading a book where one character is considered guilty of futilitarianism. And that character, a bird, is killed and eaten by the end of the chapter.
But what a word! I am a futilitarian. I consider human endeavor to be futile, when said human endeavor contradicts God, goes against what He has decreed.
Do you want to save the planet? Who’s planet would you be attempting to save?
Would you being peace to the world? Without acknowledging the King of Peace? Futile.
My faith is considered futile by most of the world. I know that God is in charge, that He ordains what will happen, and that He will do with this world as He wishes.
This leads some to consider my trusting God a ‘mental illness’, a dreamers fancy. Which makes me laugh.
Faith in God is anything but futile.
Faith in Man? A dreamers fancy, a mental illness.
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;
3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice;
4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.
6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
9 Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.
3 You shall multiply the nation,
You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence
As with the gladness of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders,
The rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.
5 For every boot of the booted warrior in the battle tumult,
And cloak rolled in blood, will be for burning, fuel for the fire.
6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.
The light shining on those who walk in darkness is the light of the Gospel, of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace; this is the only righteous Governance the world will ever know.
We Christians are the nation being multiplied, who are glad in His presence, rejoicing over the Blessings God has given us. We are adopted into God’s family, brought in by His Mercy and Compassion.
Our attempts to shine often flicker and fail, but He who lighted us will not let our candle go out.
May God richly Bless you today.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Some of the usual components were in place: parents and god-parents, church and pastor.
But I think it was at night. I know for certain that there was no one there, except for two families, ours and one other. We were all close friends; my parents are god-parents to their kids, the other set are god-parents to us.
Four or five of us were baptized in the space of a few minutes, and that was it.
Here’s my point about baptism. As part of the service the parents swear to raise the children as Christians; in the event that the parents pass on, the god-parents promise to take up that burden.
But if both the parents and their back-up are not Christians themselves, the kids are not taught about Christ.
How is a child to hear the Gospel if the parents don’t want to hear it? At best they get sent to church, at worst they never hear of God’s love at all.
Omaha Nebraska. Robert Hawkings. 19 year old suicidal troubled man shoots up a mall, killing eight people, wounding more before taking his own life. He was probably baptized as I was, parents and god-parents and insincere pledges to God.
People get twisted up inside, some more than others, and guilt is what does most of the twisting.
Guilt about having failed, guilt about law breaking-as “All have sinned, and fall short of the Glory of God”
We are all guilty. And guilt is like battery acid on the soul.
We all have to deal with our guilt; mine was hung on a tree, meaning that when I accepted Christ, all of my sins, my guilt, was washed away.
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
If Robert Hawkings had heard and accepted that good news, he and many others would be alive today.
But I can’t really say that-nothing changes the past. No one knows the number of his days. I have compassion for those in Omaha who have lost loved ones, have suffered because of the sad young man who didn’t know what to do with his guilt. He was a failure; in part his parents failed him first. And if he was baptized, and had god-parents, they failed, too.
Psalm 37 is one of my favorites, not for it’s description of the fate of the wicked, but how it describes the Love which God has for us. Take time to read it today. And may God richly Bless you.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Is there any good thing that can be said about popular culture today? The media shows an endless parade of sad and confused young men and women trying to fit into cultural norms by turning to uncommitted sexual relationships in lieu of marriage, drugs, sensuality, pornography, mindless entertainment, and more. Honor and respect among the members of a family are almost never recommended by cultural “experts.” Those values have been replaced by “tolerance” and letting our children make their own decisions of right and wrong at impossibly young stages of their lives. Our children now need to be taught in schools that r-e-s-p-e-c-t is something you do, not the name of a song. And, of course, it’s too late by then. There is certainly something very wrong today in families in comparison to the prior 200 years of our country. It wasn’t ever cultural heaven in the United States--there will always be issues of bigotry, for example, and the poor will always be with us--but it was certainly a little closer to it in terms of how the culture promoted healthy and Godly values with regards to the family. There was a father who ruled and provided, a mother who loved and nurtured, and children who obeyed and were teachable. We have come so far from this perfect model set up by God. Other than the church, which is in so many ways being attacked as well (and that’s another article), I believe the family was the last bastion of hope for goodness in our country, and that wall has been breached and our children are falling headfirst into the morass of moral relativism and the tendrils of a society callously unaware that it has reached the bottom.
I know the answer, doubtless. You can read it here. But there are so few with eyes to see and ears to hear the truth. This country has turned the corner to selfishness, perversion, and Godlessness unlike it has ever known. I think it’s going to require a revolution and I’m ready. Join me? It starts with prayer. Pray every day for our country to return to God. I’m not suggesting a theocracy; I am simply praying for the hearts of all Americans to repent and turn toward God. What is impossible for man is not impossible for God! It may take something quite disastrous to wake America up, but God is good and God is sovereign.
That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Because if we do the first part and when God answers, His marvelous work of renewal can begin in this country and my countercultural revolution idea will become moot.
Here is good news to start the season of light and the celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world:
That is us, Lord. We are living in the land of the shadow of death.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isa 9.2
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isa 9.6&7le
Thursday, November 29, 2007
A Christian is called to be a good citizen,
America tries to be a good world citizen.
A Christian abhors evil,
America abhors evil.
A Christian seeks to help the helpless, the weak and poor.
America does the same.
When called upon, a Christian will fight to protect the defenseless.
America has done that since our inception.
We’ve heard America referred to as “The World’s Policeman”.
As such, as a ‘Superpower’-we’ve spent the last 60 or so years maintaining a Cold Peace.
(And as usually happens, as a Policeman we are hated. Not everyone loves Peace, Law and Order.)
Bear with me, please. I’m nearing the point of the post.
A Christian bears the name of Christ.
Christ is the English term for the Greek word Christós, which literally means "The Anointed One." The Hebrew word for Christ is Mašía, usually transliterated Messiah.
(I borrowed this part from the Wiki, which put it succinctly.)
On a menorah, the “Messiah candle” is the one which lights (anoints) the other candles, just as Christ, the Messiah, lights us Christians.
The Messiah candle is also called “The Servant candle” -in the Hebrew, “The Shamus”.
Shamus has entered our lexicon as a nickname for a public servant, a policeman.
We are the world’s Shamus.
It would be more precise to say that God has raised up the United States for His own good purposes, to act as the official/unofficial World’s Policeman. And we’ve walked our beat in some pretty tough neighborhoods.
Imagine how much hell the world would have gotten into in the past hundred years if we had been negligent, stayed in the office, refused to patrol.
There would have been no World War Two because Germany would have won the first one.
There would have been no Korean conflict, as there would have been no conflict left in Communist Korea.
You get the idea.
We are not the greatest nation in the world. But God has raised us up to fulfill His purposes.
Christians are not the greatest people in the world, although Christ is Holy and Great, and has raised us up for His good purposes. Be a servant, be a Shamus.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
As I write this, President Bush and Condi Rice are spinning plates at Annapolis; I guess you young whippersnappers out there might never have seen the guy on the old “Ed Sullivan Show” who’s entire act was keeping a number of dinner plates spinning on 6 ft tall sticks. He would run from plate to plate, spinning, spinning, spinning, frenetic as a juggler juggling chainsaws…who has to sneeze.
I imagine President Bush is spinning, running from one side of a room to the other, like a pong ball rebuffed by paddles, between the Israeli delegation and the 39 other Muddled East delegates.
Sullivan? Pong ball? I do live in the past!
Actually, I live in the present, waiting for the future.
I appreciate that President Bush is trying to ‘bring Peace’ to Israel and all of those who want to wipe Israel off the map. I love Peace; we all want Peace. Second term Presidents usually attempt a Summit to “fix” the “problem” of the Middle East. Bush has the best of intentions.
The Road To Hell is paved with bad intentions, also. Meaning that those who oppose Israel are very pleased to send representatives to summits and talks, but they have no impetus to actually agree to Peace. There are no carrots or sticks, no guns to their heads (to use a very violent metaphor in Peacemaking) powerful enough to actually induce a change of their charred black hearts.
This is actually a Cold War. When it has turned to a Hot War, in 1948, 1967, 1973, etc. every single time
Israel has been the victor. No thanks to the United States in this; we were usually tsk-tsk-tsking from the sidelines. God Himself continues to maintain Israel. Or it would have been stillborn in 1948. Or conquered in 1967, or…
Here is my Middle East Peace Plan, which I freely extend to President Bush to adopt with no strings attached:
“Israel exists. All of you trying to wish it away, who are aligned together against our friend Israel, listen up! Give it up!
If you do not TODAY recognize the existence of Israel, you are OUR enemy, and we will topple your governments by force just as we did Hussein in Iraq. There would be no Middle East Crisis at all if you did not continue to make war on peaceful Israel! So cut it out! Now!”
Of course, I do not actually advocate making war on anyone. I’m simply suggesting that there is no Peace possible through Diplomacy when the one side will only be satisfied with the destruction of the other.
Think about it-does Israel demand the destruction of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, etc? No.
They only want to be left alone.
My “Plan” would be doomed to fail just as President Bush’s Summit in Annapolis will fail. If we did indeed
make Israel’s enemies ‘An offer they can’t refuse’ (Godfather allusion-help! I AM stuck in the past!) all that would happen is at the soonest possible opportunity they would renege on the agreement and go back to their “Death to Israel” screed.
I’ve covered this ground before-I encourage you to read the second Psalm again, and think about the ‘kings of the earth’ who assemble against the Lord and His Anointed. And see Who laughs first. And last.
Friday, November 23, 2007
We sing as we walk, Glorifying God.
But wait. Others are joining our parade, coming in from the left and right. They say that they are Christians,
Groovy cool! More the merrier. Keep walking, sisters and brothers! Hey! Where are you going?
They head off to the right, to the left, a few are rushing backwards! What is this?
I can hear them singing, but it’s not our song:
“We are Christians without Christ,
We don’t recognize sin
God loves us too much to
Send us to hell-follow us!”
What? What was that?
We keep walking, still led by our Lord, still Glorifying God.
Here it is. God is not who we say He is, He simply IS. He tells us in His Word, the Bible, implicitly Who He IS. God made man, man did not make God.
There are many in the world who suggest that they are Christians, bound for Heaven, saved by Grace…but they haven’t yet met Christ. They haven’t repented, do not recognize that they are sinners. Their faith is based on man made churcified customs. All that those will get you is dead.
There is a great world of difference between knowing Christ and knowing about Christ.
So who is lying about knowing God? Who are these people who claim Christ but don’t know Him?
“22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23
John sets the litmus test. If anyone denies that Jesus is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, then that person is a faux Christian, an anti-Christian.
A Christian without Christ is like a dolphin without fins. Not going anywhere.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
There is Hope and then there is hope. Hope is like faith; only as worthy as the object hoped for, the Object which is believed in.
Here’s an example which I Hope makes sense:
My Hope is that God has accepted me, given me a new life in Christ.
My Faith is exactly the same.
If your Hope is that I am wrong about Jesus Christ,
If your faith, your entire life, is based on the belief that Christians are wrong
(The born again Christians who keep mentioning Sin and the need for Salvation,
NOT the ones with a beer tent at the church picnic.)
If your faith is based on the belief that Christians are wrong, then we are at a Hope impasse.
The Object of my Hope, my Faith, is Jesus Christ.
Here are a few unworthy hopes:
“I hope I have enough money to get drunk tonight.”
“I hope to marry a rich man (or woman) who will take me away from this misery.”
“I hope, truly Hope, that I am good enough to make it into Heaven when I die.”
You’re not. Neither am I. But my faith isn’t based on my goodness, but on Christ’s Goodness, His love
For even such a sinner as I am.
“It is of the Lord’s Mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning.”
I hope for Heaven, but God Blesses me daily until I get there. Heaven is where God is, so I've been experiencing little bits of Heaven for nearly 30 years.
This world is indeed in terrible shape-man in his sin pollutes his environment, as much as he pollutes his life. But the answer, the Hope for the repair and reclamation of the planet is in God’s cleaning it, not man.
In Psalm 51 David begs: “Create in me a clean heart, O God” -we ask for that also, but we can also petition: “Create for me a clean world, O God”.
That is my Hope, and I believe it will happen because God, in His Word, promises to accomplish that very thing.
What is impossible for man is possible for God.
“Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
Saturday, November 10, 2007
As this is a day to remember our war Veterans, I’m remembering my cousin Bob.
Bob as a young man served in Viet Nam; newly married, he was one of the fortunate ones who made it home.
Some veterans returned to protests and verbal abuse. Shameful, but it happened. I remember my Grandmother admonishing us kids before Bob arrived not to ask him about the War, as it had been horrible.
We opened our home to Bob; he lived with us for some months as he had gotten a job working for the same company as my Dad. Eventually Bob and his wife bought a home, started their married life, and, as far as I know, are still married and doing well.
We don’t simply remember our Veterans on holidays, such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Our Veterans are our family; we respect and honor them for sacrificing their lives, for putting their goals and dreams on hold to answer the call of our Nation when needed. Someday, like Bob, they will return and become civilians again, returning to their goals and dreams, the workaday world…but always to be known by the proud title: Veteran.
You might wonder why I put a picture of an angel at the top of this post. Angels are God's messengers, the ones who are 'sent'. Each one of our servicemen is also sent, into battle, to different countries, far away from home. They are our messengers, sent to achieve our purposes. It is honorable to answer our Country's call. May God Bless You All.
Friday, November 09, 2007
And I do not mean “humble yourself before God”-we all are humbled before God. I mean humble yourself before man, also.
Pride goes before a fall-does it ever! And please-realize as I write this that I struggle with Pride as much as anyone. So I need the medicine God prescribes for all swelled heads and super-sized egos. And I get a dose more often than you might think.
I got an e-mail today from Creation Science Evangelism, the Kent Hovind ministry. Hovind’s son Eric wrote the e-mail, from which I learned that Kent and his wife have been found guilty of a multitude of tax evasion/related charges, and that he is sentenced to remain in prison until 2015. Her status is unclear.
I believe Kent Hovind is a good man, an intelligent man, my brother in Christ…and guilty on all counts.
I checked his Wikipedia page, cruised by a few gloating websites where his imprisonment was cherished and cheered, and went back to Eric’s e-mail. Uh-oh.
The Wiki has the basic story, and I encourage everyone to check it out. Just Google Kent Hovind and you’ll see the link.
A few years ago I ordered his seminar DVD set, and, while I don’t agree with all of his assertions, I think he is right about some of them. But this post isn’t about Creationism-it’s about humility.
Here’s my Hovind theory. Knowledge can puff up a person, make them feel superior to others, and I think Hovind had quite an inflated view of himself. And a low opinion of others. That was my opinion formed while watching the DVD set, and later seeing him on television. Even Bible knowledge, perhaps especially Bible knowledge can puff a person up.
Yes, we are adopted into God’s family, which makes us very special to Him. But Christ humbled himself as a man, a servant, and calls us to humble ourselves also as we walk through this world. If we look down on our fellow man, they cannot see God, because when they look up, we are in the way.
I am not better than anyone because I am a Christian. But Christ is better than everyone.
Over a year ago Creation Science Evangelism opened a blog, and I wrote to them, not knowing about the tax issues. I wrote that I hoped that Kent Hovind belonged to a strong church, with a board of elders to advise and govern his ministry. Too many Evangelists run into trouble when they have no-one to tell them “No.” Ask either Jimmy, Bakker of Swaggart. I never received an answer, and my post never showed up on their blog, which soon disappeared.
Remember my earlier “Uh-oh”? Eric’s e-mail continues to defend Hovind instead of showing humility.
God is in charge of every facet of our lives. Nothing happens to us which He does not allow or ordain. May God continue to humble me, as often as necessary, to keep me from Pride and the inevitable fall. While I am here, I will obey the authorities God has set, pay my taxes, be a good citizen, try to live at Peace with God and man. Wish me well.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Daylight Savings and Loan time has come back, so Tuesday’s post will appear last Monday. That sentence makes as much sense as anything coming out of Washington these days.
I am working a lot, happy a lot, busy, but with just a few minutes would like to point a few pointers:
iTunes and my iPod make my iWork iPalatable. Music is only one small part of the equation. I listen to quite a few pod casts, from “Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul” to Rush L. to the Woodsongs radio show I mentioned a bit ago to whatever strikes up a conversation with my fancy tomorrow.
I’m listening to old time radio shows-a science fiction anthology: “X minus 1” is pretty good, and just today I downloaded the Jack Benny program. Nearly all the pod casts are free, and it’s all good.
Last night was an election night; I did my civic duty and voted against raising taxes to benefit our school system. As usual, the emotional plea is: “It’s for the CHILDREN!” Hold on, sister.
I’m all for education, and kids learning. But I’m also fiscally conservative. With declining enrollment, fewer kids entering the school system, we don’t need more school bureaucracy , we need less. If we have fewer students, as is the case here, we need fewer teachers and staff, not more. That’s just sensible.
The world of “EDU” needs to meet up with reality. Not just in my little town-schools are ‘flunking’
at a greater rate than the kids are. Which brings to a close this part of the sermon.
Steven Wright: “It bothers me that just one company makes the game “Monopoly”.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
1 John 4:1-3
Recently I was listening to a radio show where one of the hosts, who had grown up in a Christian home, said that, rather than accepting Christianity, she thought it was enough to be ‘Spiritual”.
“Spiritual” doesn’t cut it. Spiritual without Jesus Christ is Death. Even if you fervently believe in your Spirituality, whatever form it takes. It is profane and unworthy of God.
Of course, this is stating the Gospel in negative terms; and we live in the positive:
Salvation comes through Christ alone, and we have been given His Spirit. When God’s children are told by John to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God” it is with the idea of keeping separate from the world and it’s spirits.
That radio show host said with a laugh, “My family thinks I’m going to Hell!” That’s not funny, friends.
Friends don’t tell friends that its okay to worship at strange altars. If you have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ, indwelt of His Spirit, you are His. You are a Christian. If not…not. Perhaps today is the day you get honest with God.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I also recently received this link to a You Tube video. Have kleenex box ready.
As I prepare to make a major life change, almost all of my blogging has temporarily ceased while I try to wrap things up. More later when an abundance of time, a thing I haven't had in many years, overtakes me. God bless you all.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Let’s have a little fun today. Go dig out…c’mon, it’s just for fun! Go dig out the litter of literature, the political propaganda swirling around us all.
If you already have had hammered into you the main ideological differences between Us & Them (Whichever Us you are) look no further than your own critically thinking, unbiased, impartial mind. And you’re beautiful, too.
Look and consider.
Which Party complains about how UNFAIR life is? They see Racism, Classism, Gendersism everywhere.
They propagate to agitate. No Cause is too small, no Anti too trivial. It doesn’t even have to be real.
The Perpetually Upset. The Doug and Debby Downers of the world. The Nay Sayers.
Which Party cheers about how GREAT life is? They see the world as their oyster; one of their most strongly held beliefs is that ANYONE can achieve ANYTHING. Self determination, Personal responsibility, are watchwords. If Life is unfair, fix it. If your life stinks, take a shower. Don’t whine and point fingers at THEM. Be a Nay Slayer.
I wouldn’t take life advice from someone standing on a window ledge.
And I don’t expect to find good fruit on bad trees.
Yes, the world is in turmoil, but that all stems from the World being in rebellion against God. As I am no longer a rebel, but have been adopted into His Family, I’ve run out of things to complain about. Instead of propagating agitation, I Praise and Worship God. Instead of complaining about how unfair Life is, I thank God for my Life. See you in church.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Here’s the short version. A couple of weeks ago Rush Limbaugh was talking to a caller on his show about ‘fake soldiers’ such as Jesse Macbeth, the anti-war faux Green Beret who over a year ago was proven to be a liar. Macbeth received media attention for claiming to have been a Green Beret who had been a party to raping, torturing and murdering Iraqis while in Iraq. It turns out that Macbeth had washed out of ‘boot camp’ so he hadn’t even become a regular soldier, let alone a Green Beret. And he was never in Iraq period-when confronted, Macbeth admitted to having made up the entire story.
Okay, back to two weeks ago. Limbaugh, speaking with a caller, says two words which started this whole thing: “Fake soldier” meaning Macbeth.
It was twisted twice by the Left-first that Limbaugh was impugning the patriotism of any and all soldiers who disagreed with the war effort, then simply that ‘Limbaugh was smearing the troops’.
It got so far along that many in the Senate, led by Democratic Senator Harry Reid, drafted and signed a letter to Limbaugh’s syndicator, Clear Channel, asking it to censure Limbaugh.
That is what led to this post today-the Constitution, which is supposed to protect private citizens from Federal governmental abuses, must have been set aside on the day that 41 democratic Senators drafted and signed that letter to Clear Channel while they were supposed to be conducting our business.
Here’s the Haw Haw. The President of Clear Channel, a friend of Rush Limbaugh, gave him the letter. And he put it up on Ebay, auctioning it off, giving the money to one of his favorite charities, the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, which creates college scholarships for the children of military/Federal agents who are killed in the line of duty.
As of Wednesday the bidding was up to $50,000.
Bidding closes and a winner will be declared in a few hours. The bid this morning is $2,100,100.
Limbaugh has promised to match the winning bid, and he has challenged the Senators to do the same.
Even if you can’t stand Limbaugh, I ask that you go to his website today, read the letter yourself, linked on the front page, and think about this whole mess the Senators created by going after a private citizen.
You might also ask yourself why the media doesn’t notice a story like this. Haw Haw!
Friday, October 12, 2007
Here’s the headline from the Hot Air Post:
“Coulter-Jews will be perfected when they become Christians”
My, my my. Hard to find fault with that. But over 500 comments at the Hot Air post show that some did find fault, while others rose up (again) to defend Ann.
Rather than pompostitate there, one little voice in 500, I decided to post about Ann here.
Ann always speaks her mind-it isn’t that she becomes more of a firebrand when she has a new book out to promote-she simply is heard more often as she makes the rounds plugging the book.
I don’t fault her for enjoying the controversy which comes from her stating her beliefs. She’s a bit more vulgar than I would ever be, but in her defense, she operates in a pretty vulgar space; the responses to her start at vulgar and run to inhumane atrocity.
As for: “Jews will be perfected when they become Christians”
Christians on Earth are not yet perfected, but God is working in our lives, conforming us to the image of Christ. Both Ann and myself have a loooooooong way to go yet.
All Christians will be perfected only when they get to Heaven. It may upset your theology cart to believe that Jews who do not accept Christ will go to Hell, but there it is. Jesus said:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Salvation is extended to all, which is only fair, as all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. The Jew who rejects Christ is the same as a nominal Christian, such as a Catholic or Lutheran, who is not born again.
There are many Jews who are Christian, just as there are many former Lutherans, such as myself, who have been saved by faith in Christ. If I had not been saved, if I had continued in the Lutheran church, which told me falsely that I was bound for Heaven…I would end up in Hell when I died. It’s as simple as that, and that applies to all faiths which reject Christ.
Ann could have stated the truth in a less controversial manner, but then she wouldn’t be Ann, would she?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I wasn’t yet a Christian, although I had friends praying for me, asking God to save me. He took the path of most resistance (mine)-I had to go through quite a bit of Hell to make me long for Heaven. I don’t regret a moment of those days, even the bad times, as they help me keep today in perspective.
30 years. In many ways I still feel like a kid. Up until a few years ago, my motto was: “Stairs are meant to be run up, not walked.” I walk now. Moving to a desk job has made me sedentary, but I’m not ready for the old rocking chair yet.
26 years ago I was finishing up my service time, very eager to get out, move forward. I’ve lived in a few different states, had a few different careers, and I am satisfied that I am exactly where God wants me.
May it be that 30 years from now we will still be Praising God, here or in Heaven. God tells us that the span of a man's life is like the morning mist that burns away, compared to the eternity awaiting us.
I'll see Sandy and Don there, Lori and so many others whom I've been honored to know on my journey so far.
Sandy was one of the ones in charge of the Christian coffeehouse where I first became involved in fellowship. She is a great lady, and I hope to someday have as much compassion for others as was a natural gift for her.
Don and Lori and many others were part of that coffeehouse, and helped me to get grounded in the Word, while still a 'newbie' Christian. Praise God for making us Family, with a reunion ahead like the world has never seen. Amen.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Man’s most identifiable characteristic is that of being a sinner, a law breaker.
We were made in God’s image; had Adam not sinned, we would best be defined by bearing His image.
But that isn’t the case; we are selfish, hateful creatures who cause more trouble than we are worth.
And I mean that in the fullest-any man, any sinful law-breaking human being would have pulled the plug on Humanity a long time ago. Given us up as a lost cause, an unfixable, broken Creation.
But God is in charge, not Man. And He knew before man sinned what the course of History would be.
Man hates; as a sinner, that is his birthright, to hate.
But God so loved the world that He did what was humanly impossible: bring a perfect sacrifice which could destroy Sin and hate and death. Jesus was that Sacrifice.
Do you love? Do you love your fellow man, have compassion for the poor and weak? Wonderful!
You get that from God, not Man. You are indeed made in His image; no matter how marred, you still share some attributes of the nature of God.
Remember “To err is human, to forgive divine”? It’s true.
We are errors, but He is perfect. If God were to treat us as Humans do, this world would have been a cosmic chunk of charcoal shortly after Adam fell. Praise God for His inhumanity.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
7 But the LORD abides forever;
He has established His throne for judgment,
8 And He will judge the world in righteousness;
He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.
9 The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed,
A stronghold in times of trouble;
10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You,
For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
17 The wicked will return to Sheol,
Even all the nations who forget God.
18 For the needy will not always be forgotten,
Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.
19 Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail;
Let the nations be judged before You.
20 Put them in fear, O LORD;
Let the nations know that they are but men.
Psalm 9:7-10, 17-20
When God says yes, and man says no, believe God.
When God says no, and man says yes, believe God.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Yesterday when I was heading off to work, I noticed that we had a few visitors.
They had no fear-they came up and milled around my feet as they continued their inspection tour.
Usually, the visitors we have are of the four-hooved/white tail variety. I'm guessing that these are Turkey Buzzards, due to their hairstyle.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Sometimes you get where you need to be without knowing that you've arrived.
Sometimes an event comes at you like a train, analog, with you being it's one possible destination.
Only pessimists expect to be blindsided.
Sometimes the field is so littered with possible paths that you aren't sure which way to face.
I look down and see feet of clay.
I look up and see Holiness out of my grasp, higher than me.
But God came down to my level, lifting me up.
and I will someday lose my clayfeet, the imperishable swallowing up the perishable.
God knows everything, every millisecond of what will happen to me, for me, by me,
between now and Eternity.
God is an Optimist; He hasn't given up on me yet.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Here’s my Dad in front of the Ghost House. I’m heading in to see him at the hospital in a few minutes; his knee replacement surgery went fine.
It isn’t really known as the Ghost House; I was being dramatic. The house was built by my Dad’s grandfather, and there have been reports of ‘spooky’ activity going back 70 some years. My Dad was born (at home) right next door to this house back in 1930. No one lives in the Ghost House now, and it will be torn down next year; the present owners, cousins to my Dad, want nothing to do with it.
Here’s my take on it all: leave it alone. God commands us to not have anything to do with spiritism, sorcery, witchcraft, astrology, demonology, idolatry, etc. for our own good.
I’ve had experiences, and I shun them. It might be cool to stay in the Ghost House overnight, but I know that, even though it might be exciting, it would be wrong. Daniel describes some of the spiritual battles going on in his day, King Saul broke his own law and went to see a conjurer, Jesus delivered many people from possession by demons-it is very clear throughout the Bible that we are to stay away from the occult. I don’t fear demons, but I know better than to unwittingly trespass onto the spiritual battlefield we’ve been warned away from.
Boo! Who? You? Shoo!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
God's Sovereignty may seem disconnected from the world you see going mad outside your window...but He is Sovereign, and the world is in denial. That denial, that refusing to acknowledge the existence and Sovereignty of God is the very reason the world is so messed up.
We all struggle, we all hurt and feel helpless, hopeless at times. But I have hope, even when I see a world that looks hopeless. Globally or personally, that Hope is the same: God exists and is in charge.
26“In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; 27for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. 28“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father.”
29His disciples said*, “Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech. 30“Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God.” 31Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32“Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:26-33
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
What is the opposite of “Love your neighbor as yourself?”
“Hate your neighbor as you hate yourself.”
Do you see any of that these days? How about in every news report, newspaper, or hourly update on the Web? You can’t throw a stone around here without hitting someone who is actively hating his neighbor as he hates himself. Go ask Israel.
But I’m not talking about you. You love yourself so much that you wish to preserve your life- for example, if you were on a sinking ship, a hundred yards from dry land, you would swim to the shore. No question.
But do you love yourself enough to care where you will end up in Eternity? Christians are often characterized as hateful when they mention Hellfire and damnation. As if we cherish the idea of you going to Hell.
Nothing could be further from the Truth. We have gained Heaven, not because we loved ourselves so much that we demanded entrance, but because Jesus Christ loved us so much that He made Heaven possible for us. And when He moves us to share the Gospel, we are motivated by His Love, not His hate. And that makes you my neighbor. As myself.
Monday, September 10, 2007
There are all manner of people who identify themselves as Christian who won’t be in heaven. There are those who go to church on Sundays and are on the member roll, or those who tithe religiously, or those who fulfill all religious requirements, or those who have parents who were members of a congregation or Christian denomination, or those who have been in a church or two a few times, or those who believe in an almighty presence, or those who believe that if they do good things they will be judged as okay in the end, or those who believe Jesus is just all right with them, but they don’t need to be born again. There are countless who lie or deceive themselves into believing they are Christians who won’t be there. [Matt 7.21] And there will even be those who perform miracles in His name who will hear these words at the judgment, “I never knew you. Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.'” Acts 8.20
Jesus identified Himself as The Way, saying, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me,” [John 14.6] and scripture shows that early Christians identified themselves as Followers of the Way [Acts 9.2, 19.9]. There was simply one Way, and that way was Jesus Himself. But very soon after the first Christians began to meet, there arose among them those of whom Jesus had warned when He said in Matthew, “"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Christians are warned repeatedly to zealously protect the gospel of Jesus from those who would bring in destructive doctrine, even for instance, denying Jesus Himself [1 Pe 2.1], because as scripture notes, “A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church].” Gal 5.9 Because of this desire to keep the faith from being corrupted, Christianity has been divided. In many instances, this division was absolutely necessary for the preservation of sound doctrine. We cannot, for instance, take lightly the practice by church members or leaders of disregarding God’s Word. We cannot allow behavior that does not exhibit the love of Christ and the truth of His teachings. We cannot allow false teaching to corrupt the Gospel of Christ. In fact, we are to regard the Gospel as treasure to be protected, and since our highest duty is to spread that Gospel, it is imperative to the Christian faith that the Gospel is rightly proclaimed. It is not wrong to condemn bad doctrine.
You Call Me Master
You call Me Master and obey Me not.
You call Me Light and see Me not.
You call Me the Way and walk Me not.
You call Me Life and choose Me not.
You call Me Wise and follow Me not.
You call Me Fair and love Me not.
You call Me Rich and ask Me not.
You call Me Eternal and seek Me not.
You call Me Noble and serve Me not.
You call Me Gracious and trust Me not.
You call Me Might and honor Me not.
You call Me Just and fear Me not.
If I condemn you, blame Me not.
(Engraved on an old slab in the Cathedral of Lubeck Germany)
There is only one Way to salvation and that is through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. No amount of works, even what the world would label as good works, will get one into heaven, and neither is the performance of sacrifice or ritual sufficient unto salvation. [Rom 3.28] This is the Good News, the Gospel, of the free gift from God, salvation through Jesus Christ. It is the antithesis of the law. As Luther said, “By the law, nothing else is meant than God’s word and command, directing what to do and what to leave undone, and requiring of us obedience of works. But the gospel is such doctrine of the word of God that neither requires our works nor commands us to do anything, but announced the offered grace of the forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation. Here we do nothing, but only receive what is offered through the word.” If a church that puts itself out as a Christian church teaches doctrine that suggests that we must do this or that to be saved from eternal damnation, that is a perversion of the glad tidings of Christianity and must be roundly condemned.
Further, scripture teaches, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. "1 John 2.3 – 6
This is one way that we know we have truly received Christ—when our hearts grieve when we disobey God’s law. Before I became a Christian, I made all types of excuses for my bad behavior, and even more, I didn’t really care or feel I had to answer to anyone for the things I did. Now, when I willfully disobey, I am convicted to quickly repent, ask God for forgiveness and make things right. (Today I had to apologize to my boss for getting angry.) I am compelled by my love of God to keep His commandment to love, and by loving to be joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. Against this type of love there is no law! I am freed from the bondage of religiousness! [Gal 5.23] I am also now indwelt by the Holy Spirit, another sign that my conversion is real. [1 John 4.13] And how do I know that I have His Spirit? I can tell by the measure of how much I am loving people, because the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love. When we walk in love, we are imitators of God and behave as though we are imitating our Father. We are commanded to “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Gal 5.1,2 We are to make every effort to be loving, because if we practice loving, we make our election sure. [2 Pe 1.5 - 10]
Love does not mean accepting any interpretation of Christianity so that no one’s feelings are hurt. We are not required to tolerate lies or misrepresentations. We are simply required to speak the truth, and to speak it with love. We are commanded to treat people in the same way that we would like to be treated [Luke 6.31], i.e., the Golden Rule, and this ought to lead to gracious and gentle discourse. But it does not mean that we set aside truth.
It is God’s will that while we live out our numbered days here on earth, we are still strapped with the rotting flesh that envelops us. Many times we fail, and many times we repent and begin again. This is how God is perfecting us. We need often to be reminded that we are citizens of God’s kingdom, his representatives on earth. In fact, Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is within His followers! God help us to glorify His Name by being good ambassadors!
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3.3 Other scripture puts it quite succinctly: “…. if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10.9 It could not be much clearer.
“You will not see the Kingdom of God unless you realize who Jesus is. You won’t have the Kingdom inside you until you open your heart to Him. And you will not be in the Kingdom eternally unless you’re born again.” Paraphrased from Courson commentary
It has nothing to do with the church you attend and everything to do with the condition of your heart. Consider these words today. Repent and believe on Jesus. You will never be the same. The outcome of your faith in Jesus and His acceptable sacrifice will be the salvation of your very soul. [1 Pe 1.9]
Sunday, September 09, 2007
“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
You’ve never eaten manna, but you have eaten. You’ve never walked 40 years in a desert, but you have walked on the planet He placed under your feet. Man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. Your very existence, all that you know and love and hate, comes from God.
What do you say to your Creator? Thank you? What do you say?
Friday, September 07, 2007
“This Way To The Egress”, of course, is the sign made famous by P.T. Barnum. Humanity’s Circus spans from left to right, here to there and back; it isn’t merely the Greatest Show On Earth, it is THE Show on Earth. And our tickets aren’t Golden, good forever and a day. Eventually we all make our way to the egress, and then, for us, Humanity’s Circus is over.
I hope that you will think about this, friends. Any Christian who has made you angry, failed you, made you want to turn away from God…and I’m talking about myself here…that (this) Christian will stand in judgment for every dishonorable word he has spoken. However you may judge me, I have a greater Judge who knows every careless word I’ve ever said. I know that I have upset many people in my life, not just online. Of course, many people have also upset me; friends have failed me, family have turned against me; it’s all part of the Big Top, Humanity’s Circus.
If I have made enemies instead of friends, I am sorry. But there’s a distinction which needs to be considered.
If anyone has been upset with me because of my general obnoxiousness, rudeness, etc. I regret that.
But…if someone is upset by my belief in God, my theology, how I exercise my faith in Jesus Christ-sorry, but I’m not sorry about that.
Here’s an example which should clarify what I’m saying. And I’m only using this example because it seems to be one of the most offensive stumbling blocks:
Homosexuality. If I call it sinful and wrong simply on my own authority, due to my own heterosexual prejudices, my word/opinion means nothing, and can be rejected out of hand. I have no authority.
However…if God calls homosexuality sin, then I’m stuck. Do I listen to God or those who think He has no problem with homosexuality? In order for anyone to believe that, they must ignore God’s Word, reject God.
And that makes a wall, a separation between us. Because I cannot ignore or reject God’s Word. Even if it upsets your worldview. Even if it makes you my enemy instead of a friend.
By the way, if anyone thinks that I’m simply trying to justify my prejudices by wrapping them in Scripture…not guilty. I encourage any of you out there who think I’m wrong to show me my error in Scripture. If you don’t know the Bible well enough to prove me wrong, consider asking God to open the Scriptures for you-you’d be surprised what can happen when you do that. I will never claim authority that isn’t mine, but I will point to God’s authority as being the only Authority by which to live while enduring Humanity’s Big Top Extravaganza.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Sometimes a surmise is as good as a smile. I have no way of knowing how the young lady had arrived at such a point in her life that she felt the need to have “Karma” inscribed on her neck, but there it was.
Sixty-five years from now, if karma hasn’t caught up with her yet, it will still be there each times she looks in a mirror.
From a few minutes spent talking with her, my surmise is that her desire for the tattoo sprang not from any adherence to Hindi or Buddhist philosophy, but a great affection for it’s most unlikely hero, Earl.
As in, “My Name is Earl”, the sitcom. Fictionalized Karma is readily available, as the scripts are written so that Earl does act as its agent and sometimes puppet. And sometimes victim.
In truth, there is no Karma. Some think that it is analogous to the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ But that doesn’t quite fit, as each of us is daily slogging through circumstance which does not change no matter how well we treat others. The same circumstance will happen even if we are villains. Karma doesn’t look high enough.
Yes, I’m reminding you that this is a Christian blog. Our Creator, the One who knows us intimately to our very molecules is in charge of every event, the Master of all circumstance.
“23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.” Psalm 37:23
“37 Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass,
Unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
That both good and ill go forth?” Lamentations 3:37-38
Karma doesn’t allow you to control what will happen in your life, even if you tattoo it on your skin or repeat the word two thousand times a day.
It is indeed good to live by ‘The Golden Rule’. But it is more important to live for God, to seek His Will for your life.
In case anyone was wondering, I didn’t photograph the karmic young lady; I “borrowed” the neck of a friend, which looks much better without the letters photoshopped onto it.
My name is Doug.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Actually, I'm not going far-just away for the wknd. Rest and relaxation at last. le will be back soon; be sure to tell her of what a fun time we've had.
Once more, thank thee to Meg at Cute Overload for posting the reclining feline. Let me encourage everyone to visit Hot Air dot com if they want to experience many meetings of un-like minded peoples.
They have a post going about whether Mormons like Mitt Romney are Christian. I know the answer, but I don't want to spoil it for you.
Have fun, y'all.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
It’s just cool. Summer is winding down, the leaves are getting ready for the ‘leaf-lookers’, and I saw an ostrich today named Katie.
Katie’s head is about 6.3 feet from her feet, and her body about the same size as our washer/dryer. That is one big bird.
And the bunnys. Each weighed about 30 pounds, mostly skin. They looked like chocolate bunnys which had been put in the microwave for a few too many seconds. Each completely covered the area of the floor of their cages.
There were many other animals; goats, shoats and a pot belly pig who looked like he was wearing a dark dungaree jumpsuit.
It was a nice day at the county fair. I saw people from my past and present, watched lumberjack and cowboy exhibitions, saw some beautiful horses and quite a few very creative 4-H projects.
Things have changed- the County Fairground now stands where the city dump used to litter the landscape.
When I was in 4-H, we never would have made a project out of “Legos”, but there were a few of those today.
In my youth we never had signs all over the fair warning people not to touch the animals due to possible e-coli infection. Back then, animals that didn’t ribbon were bbq’d on th…just kidding.
But many things have remained the same. Cotton candy, hot dogs and people out having a good time
as a community.
Community. What a great word. Have you ever been looked down upon by an ostrich?
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Don't be alarmed. I haven't succumbed to the siren call of Mariology. This photo shows someone presumed to be Mary praying to God. Note that, please. I’m sure that while she was on Earth, Mary did pray, and I believe that now she is in Heaven in God’s presence with all of the rest of God’s people.
But it would be pagan, evil and wrong to pray to Mary, or, as some Catholics like to explain it, (as if it doesn’t mean the same thing) ask Mary to hear their prayers and pass them on to God.
Mary was full of Grace. But she was never God, never part of the Trinity, never someone to whom prayers should be addressed. She was a sinner saved by Grace, just like the rest of us who belong to God.
While I’m on this subject, it is also wrong to pray to ‘The Man Upstairs’, ‘The Big Guy’,
or any other limited man-made construct of God. God is God. Our Creator, our Savior,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit triune in a way which we cannot understand or decipher.
God is the only One to whom our prayers should be addressed. And He is the only One capable of answering our prayers. You should be thankful that He does, that He has our best interests at heart while His Creation moves forward towards the Day of our Lord’s return to Earth, which will put an end to sin and death, war and destruction. It may seem like I’ve moved far and away from where this post started, but actually, no. It begins with a picture of someone praying to God. Let’s do the same. Pray that the Lord will return quickly, and find us with oil in our lamps, wicks trimmed and ready to be lit. Amen.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Debbie has a new article up about the Brit National Health Service protecting Muslims from themselves. To wit: Next month, during Ramadan, while Muslims are fasting, no food is to be seen on the desks of workers, no tempting chips left in the lounge, no food to be left in sight so as not to tempt Muslims to break their Ramadan fast.
Here’s the heart of one of the MANY differences between Christians and Muslims.
If a Christian is tempted, he says “I am weak, Lord, please forgive me.”
If a Muslim is tempted, he can say, “I am weak, but it is their fault for leaving the food right out there where I can be tempted.”
A Christian recognizes his faults and weaknesses, and accepts responsibility for his actions, as there is no fooling God, or ourselves.
A Muslim can claim innocence even in raping a woman, as ’she was uncovered, and is guilty of tempting me’.
This is one step from madness.
However they do it in Saudi Arabia, in Britain, or the United States, or Canada, we should not adapt our behavior one iota for fear of offending the sensibilities of Muslims.
Eat where you want, what you want, during Ramadan.
Wear what you want, where you want-it’s still a Free Country, isn’t it?
Go to the church you want, wherever you want, or don’t go-there is no compulsion under
And of course, if you decide to live a life in deference to Islam, that is up to you…but don’t be offended if I don’t join you.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
I know, I know-there is a lot going on in the world much more important than a TV gameshow, but I thought that this was a fun notable event.
In my careers I’ve often worked afternoon/midnight shifts; with my mornings open I’ve enjoyed watching ‘The Price Is Right’.
When Drew Carey was announced as the new host, I thought that the producers chose well-Carey is funny, personable, and I think he sort of resembles Bill Cullen, the first Price Is Right Host.
Hopefully contestants will be playing “Plinko” for many years to come.
Drew Carey, come on down!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
It’s been awhile since I did a Random Thoughts post. These past few weeks have been so scattered that…see? There I go again.
I’m a Baseball fan, and it was great to see Barry Bonds hit #756 last night. There will always be controversy, but I think Bonds is a great player, and I am happy for him and for Baseball, which has seen quite a few ’records’ and personal bests this season. My team, the Atlanta Braves, beat the Mets last night, so it was a great day for me.
We had a church picnic this past Sunday, and it was wonderful-great friends, a beautiful day at a lake, and the best part-two recent converts were baptized. I can’t really explain the feeling, but it was Joyous-as they were being baptized, I felt happy, brimming with Joy. I could see it on the other faces also-a Blessed, wonderful day. I know that the two who were baptized are just starting on the journey with God which began for me nearly 30 years ago-I know that they will have struggles, but those can never compare to the Joy of knowing God.
Some others who know that Joy are the Korean Christian workers in Afghanistan being held by Taliban.
I just checked-I had heard that two of our brothers had already been martyred out of the 23 being held.
The Taliban do not realize that they are holding prisoners who are very precious to God. I continue to pray that the Koreans might be freed, but more than that, I pray that God may be glorified by their witness. If they live, they live for Him. If they die, they go to be with Him. I don’t believe that the Taliban will be able to hold the Christians for very long without some of the Taliban being convicted and possibly converted.
God is in charge, and nothing happens that He does not make to happen or allow.
I know that these thoughts are supposed to be random, but God allowing events to happen brings me right to what’s left of Politics. No! Don’t stop reading! Please! I know I used the “P” word, but this will be brief, I promise you.
“Pray now for the government leaders you want, pray later for the government leaders you got.”
If in your daily life you live by a moral code which does not condone lying, don’t accept lies and Liars simply because it’s Politics. Rather than lowering your standards, demand that Politicians raise theirs.
I watched “300” the other night, and it is an amazing movie. How much of it is true is known only to God.
But it was a startlingly visual experience. Good men died to keep others free. How very relevant.
May God keep you and Bless you.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
There was once a Christian who set a record for number of days lived without sinning-3. Of course, he was in a coma all three days, but it still counts.
In a way, Christians are defined by their failures-we try to live holy lives and often make an unholy mess. Then we are reminded that God is perfect; as good as we try to be, in these carnal bodies we will never measure up, never be as holy as God. But God is working in us, perfecting us, drawing us closer. He would not expend the effort if it were impossible for us to become more sanctified, more holy.
So, steady on, Christians!
6For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Friday, August 03, 2007
We stink. And I love it. May we ever be a ‘fragrance of Christ to God’. To both those being saved and to the lost. I am ‘enjoying the aroma’ when I read the Word, worship, hear sermons about the Love of Christ. When singing in church, not only is God worshipped, but we Christians are blessed, are lifted up; we enjoy the ‘fragrance of Christ to God’.
And not only in church, but everywhere (in every place as mentioned above) we gather and talk, encourage and share among other Christians what God has done for us. It is Sweet.
And yet there is the essence of cold clay evident in us also. By being alive to Christ, we have put to death the old man, the old nature, and to those who are perishing, that is their entire existence. That nature is all that they have, and to hear that it need be put to death brings condemnation upon them for the very reason we rejoice: Christ, Who died for us, rose again and has redeemed us from Sin and Death.
It is no wonder that those who are perishing put up such defenses as they have to keep from hearing the Gospel or facing God. I know that I put up those defenses as an unbeliever, but Christ’s Love broke through
just like in the Keith Green song.
“The aroma from death to death.” One doesn’t have to be a goth Marilyn Manson fan with tats from ankles to eyebrows to embrace Death. Just go on living your life as if God has no part in it. Be your own man or woman-no Christian, no Book, no God is going to tell you how to live!
If Christians make you nervous, if being around Christians makes you uncomfortable, if hearing the Gospel expounded makes you grimace and want to cover your ears…I’ve got some Good News for You.
You don’t have to remain an enemy of God. The fragrance you can’t stand now could someday be as sweet to you as honey.
Jesus Christ made it possible for you to be restored to a right relationship with God; it is a Gift, which you cannot earn or achieve on your own. Freely you can receive what was bought at a great price.
And that is the ‘sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him’. To know Him is to Love Him. And to know Him is to be Loved by Him. Sweet indeed.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Romans 13:1-2, 5-7
This is one of the hard sayings that messes some people up. Not all governments are good, but we are to be in subjection to the government we have while striving towards the government we desire.
Hitler, Hussein and a thousand and one tinpot dictators before them have governed peoples who, by the Grace of God, eventually were freed from their servitude. Chavez, Castro, Kim Jong-il are next on the list to be deposed-but things might get pretty ugly between now and then. We are not excused from obeying the government we live under-we can only pray that God will deliver us from evil governments, specifically those in opposition to God and, by extension, His creation, those made in His image. Humanity. Us.
Tyrants don’t accidentally subjugate peoples, and, wicked as the heart of man is, it doesn’t explain all the evil in the world. Remember that we are involved in a spiritual war:
“12Then he said to me, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13“But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14“Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
20Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the prince of Persia; so I am going forth, and behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. 21“However, I will tell you what is inscribed in the writing of truth. Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince.”
Daniel 10:12-14, 20-21
Fallen angels (the prince of the kingdom of Persia, the prince of Greece) in conflict with Holy angels (Gabriel, Michael) were doing battle in Daniels time. They may not be eternal beings, but there is no reason to think that they have disappeared.
“12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
I think that the princes (principalities) of Daniels time have been wreaking havoc on this Creation since the Fall, and I believe they are still at work today.
If you have been looking at the conflict of Civilizations in purely physical terms, consider the spiritual element. I believe the Bible from Gen to Rev. I believe that this is indeed a spiritual battle as well as a physical one. And I believe that we ‘haven’t seen nothing yet’.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Has a fatal error.
All your barn
All your barn
Are belong to us.
Would you like
To send an error report
Our love will shut down
All your barn
All your barn
Are belong to us.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?
10 “I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.
“Winning the hearts and minds…”
Hearts and minds. The heart, being deceitful, can get you to believe things which are not true, and to believe them with such passion that the mind doesn’t even stand a chance. For someone to win both hearts and minds, their emotional appeal must also stand after being scrutinized critically.
I received a letter from an attorney who wants to be my state Senator. He appeals only to the heart, suggesting that I should be outraged at the abuses perpetuated by this Bush administration. As it is hard to tell the difference anymore, the attorney is a Democrat.
Among his emotional points:
“I have seen our country entrenched in a war we should not have entered, U.S. Attorneys fired for doing their jobs, veterans unable to get treatment for wounds received in defense of our nation, the erosion of human rights.”
See what I mean? That type of stuff works on the level of emotions, not rational thought. It’s on the same level as “DWB-Driving While Black”, emotional shorthand for racist police harassment.
Politicians (and attorneys, and salesmen, writers, political pundits, bloggers, news readers and editors, ad-some-more-nauseum) can make entire careers out of misrepresenting or fabricating facts. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trumpets lies and insane rhetoric against Israel and the United States, echoed by Hugo Chavez, and they continue to find willing hearers as they make emotionally charged lies which, if looked at critically, lose all credibility. But they and all other liars who play upon the heartstrings with emotional rhetoric are in big trouble:
“I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give to each man according to his ways,
According to the results of his deeds.”
There are going to be a lot of people who wish they could change the result of their deeds.
And I include Christians in this also. They may be saved, but they use the Grace God has given them to exploit the emotions of both believers and unbelievers.
As I’ve written before, I was in Pentecostal churches for years, though I am now a Baptist. I have seen emotional appeals which tug at the heart but don’t stand up well under critical scrutiny. Some teachings were simplistic, and ‘Worship’ was an emotional buffet with everyone stuffing themselves on ‘feelings’.
As has been stated many times, emotions are supposed to ‘season’ our lives, making life taste better, be more enjoyable. If a person lives a life led by their emotions, they are a train wreck in progress, constantly in crises. Their heart, deceitful above all things and desperately sick, rules and ruins their lives.
Where the scripture says that the Lord searches the heart and tests the mind, I believe it means that the Spirit of God, working in us, keeps us honest with ourselves and each other. He searches through my heart and finds something I believe on an emotional level:
“Doug, is this an honest emotion? Does your mind tell you that it is critically true?”
“No-I wish it were true, but I know it isn’t.”
“What do you do with this emotional belief, Doug?”
“Sigh. Toss it out.”
Be honest in all your dealings with man, and God will be honored.
If your heart tells you one thing, and your mind another, ask God to show you what is true.
And stick with it, even if the entire world tells you that God is wrong-God is not wrong; my heart and mind agree on that truth.