Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bumping Against Bad

Recently a soul took issue with my Christian witness because I put a picture of President Obama in a post with the word “COWARD” written across his face.
My response, that I didn’t care what anyone thought about the post, was met with a return volley of chastisement, that I should care, because: “By their fruits shall ye know them, as it's written.”
Chuck Smith had a great line in one of his books about “Renegade Fruit Inspectors”.
You know, Christians and others (especially others) who take upon themselves the checking of Christians efforts/witness.
Am I offensive? If so, please feel free to ignore me and go about your day. But please, PLEASE, I beg of you(!)...stop back and share here at FDW the next time you apologize to someone for speaking your mind, for having an opinion. I'm eager to learn what that's like.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Faith Is Fine, But…

If you refuse to accept the impossible as possible, you’re on your way to quiet.
Here-two examples: let’s call them Vern and John.
Vern is an adult, mid-twenties, who was born into a church denomination which he still attends.
John has pinballed between religions, looking for Salvation in many dark corners.
Which one stands a better chance of becoming a Christian?
If you say Vern, as he already is one…no soup for you!
While Vern is comfortable in the religion he grew up in, he will never seek to become a Christian because his church has taught him that he is a Christian. He doesn’t think he needs Salvation, as he has already acquired it.
John, on the other hand, is not satisfied yet, has no such quiet in his soul. He knows he is a sinner, but is stuck in the reason/logic vs. faith conundrum.
The doors of Heaven will never be opened by logic or reason (or church membership), as those are part of man’s attempt to explain existence. If it were possible to win Salvation through reason/logic, then Christ wouldn’t have had to die for sinners, as they could argue their way into Heaven.
You can find Verns and Johns in the New Testament-Vern is a type of Pharisee whose religion has told him that he is just and right before God, irregardless of whether his heart is filled with sin.
John is still looking for someone to take his sin away.
If you refuse the impossible idea that man can earn, argue, reason his way into Heaven…you are on your way to the quiet Peace which God gives to His children. God only allows Himself to be discovered through Faith.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Drag Me To Heaven Instead

Sam Raimi may someday catch up on his adulthood, but right now, I’d say he’s busy being a kid, one with a BIG sandbox.
I wouldn’t want to spoil “Drag me To Hell” for anyone, but there is one point in the mythos which caught my mind’s ear enough to comment on: the idea of anyone ‘cursing’ someone else to Hell.
Nope no nyet.
You say, “Of course no one can do that, Doug!” and I say that
If people COULD damn someone to Hell with a curse, with people being the way they are, there wouldn’t be enough of us left up here to whistle back at the birds. We’d ALL be down there.
Conversely, not a one of us can bless someone into Heaven. It’s not up to us, for which we should all be grateful. I wouldn’t want to be the one to decide who goes where.
God reserves that decision for Himself.
Here’s a little side note:
the apostles James and John once asked Jesus if He wanted them to call down fire from Heaven to destroy some Samaritans who were obstructing Christ and His apostles. The brothers had already miraculously healed, cast out demons, and seemed to think that they had the power to burn up a village of Samaritans.
Jesus rebuked the brothers, and said, “the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” Luke 9:56a
God need not give Christians any special powers to damn someone to Hell-that would be like giving Christians the ability to teach fish how to swim. All we can do is point towards Christ and tell what He did for us. Even if no one listens. Tap this thing on?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Is The Pope Catholic?

Something out of the ordinate-ary: Pope Benny kicking open the doors to the Catholic Church, inviting Anglicans to (re)join the Mother church they so foolishly left in 1534 when “H’nry th’ ait” kicked those doors shut.
So now, with the Anglican Church split over the issue of acceptance/ordination of homosexuals, Pope Benny and the powers that be in Popery have seized upon the opportunity to proselytize.

“Come unto us, all who are weary of a church which accepts homosexuals as priests!”
“Anglican priests who join us get to keep their wives! AND get HUGE discounts at Costco and Sears!”
“Ye Anglicans were led away from the Mother Church by the lusts of one man. All is forgiven! Come home! Come HOME!”

You see, here’s the rub in the rubbish: either the Pope is Catholic, meaning that he is the head of the CHURCH, which is populated by all who have faith in God, what/which/however they may attend other denominations…or he ain’t.
I have faith in God. According to the doctrines of the Catholic (universal) church, I actually belong to them.
The fact that Catholics used to burn us Baptists as heretics notwithstanding, I am considered a misguided soul who doesn’t know that he is part of the universal church.
Sorry, Benny. Anglicans returning to your roost are simply trading one tyrant for another. You are no more the Head of the CHURCH than I am.
I now offer, in this space, (which is read by up to nearly three people on any given day), my own WELCOME to dissatisfied Anglicans who are looking for a new church home.
If trading up, please consider Baptist. Our Baptist Distinctives all fit on one page, unlike the edicts and pronouncements of the unholy Catholic Church. And we guarantee: NO Transubstantiation! Well Come home!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slough-ly They Walked

God called one of His angels, Phil, to come before Him.
“Phil,” said the Lord, “I have a very special task for you. Take this list, go down to Earth, and follow My instructions.”
A list appeared in Phil’s hand, and he said, “I will do anything You ask, Lord!”
The Lord smiled. “Good luck, Phil.”
“Luck?” thought Phil as he headed down to earth. “Why would my Lord wish me luck? How hard could this task be?”

It was dark on the side of the planet where Phil arrived at the bedroom of John Hagee. The pastor was asleep in his bed; after filling the room with heavenly light, Phil shook Hagee awake and said, “Pastor Hagee, I bring you greetings from the throne room of God! He has sent me this night to bring you up to Heaven, to forever be with the Lord!”
Hagee stared at the angel.
“What is this?” he said. “How did you get in here? I’m calling Security, so you better get out of here right now!” Hagee hit the panic button next to his bed, and sirens sounded all through his ten million dollar mansion.
Phil looked again at his instructions, nodded, and disappeared.

It was still dark when Phil entered the boardroom of Rick Warren. Pastor Warren was going over plans for his African Mission Hospitals, and barely looked up when Phil approached his desk.
“Pastor Warren, I am an angel. I bring you greetings from the throne room of God! He has sent me this night to bring you up to Heaven, to forever be with the Lord!”
Rick Warren stared at Phil for a moment, then pounded the papers on his desk.
“Are you CRAZY? I don’t have time for that! I have to be about the Lord’s business in Africa! You tell Him I’m busy!”

The sun was just coming up when Phil knocked on the door of the Joyce Meyer Ministry in Tennessee. After requesting an audience with Mrs. Meyer, Phil, following his instructions, sat and waited the eight hours before moving on to the last name on his list.

“Doug,” said Phil, “I am an angel. I bring you greetings from the throne room of God! He has sent me to bring you up to Heaven, to forever be with the Lord!”
Doug didn’t even shut down his computer.
“Let’s roll!”

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Background: Where I’m At

A couple of long time agos I discovered the stinker masquerading as Sean Hannity-before you start cheering my sanity, I think he’s too middle of the road, too too accommodating of Liberal ideas and idealists. He may have to pander to his buddies like Bob Beckel, but I don’t. I don’t have to make nice with the opposing party to fill broadcast hours and, though I admire Capitalism, I think Hannity is only driven by greed. Both for money and *stardom*.
I like Mark Levin; he’s the vociferous in your face thinker/broadcaster that Hannity wishes he were.
But I can only take Levin in small doses.
I had a subscription to Rush Limbaigh’s pod cast which I let run out. I like Rush just fine, but even he tires out my ears-I found that the pod casts were filling up my iPod unlistened to.
So, where am I? I have no great affection for or loyalty to the Republican Party, as they stuck us with the worst possible candidate last time, and probably the next few times ahead.
Washington D.C. corrupts absolutely. Without term limits, there is no whip in the hand of Americans to make the Beast behave. How many innocent do-gooders have come to Washington broke as churchmouses but now are as rich as Popes?
Here is my HOPE: when Christ returns, (and may it be soonerer than laterer!) He will cast all liars into the outer darkness. I daresay that Washington D. C. is going to be a ghost town, tumbleweeds rolling up Pennsylvania Avenue. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Ifs Belong To Us

I stated in my last post, concerning what will happen in our lives, that “Those Ifs belong to God”.
But we do indeed have our own Ifs.
If I were lazy, quit working but continually have my hand out begging money to survive, expecting God to drop daily manna for me…hmmm
It might be better if (there’s another one!) I put it this way:
We are not helpless babes in cradles. We are adults, and there is much work to do. God sets me to work, and I wouldn’t expect, in this life, to live like a Prince.
God never promised me a rose garden.
Paul was a tentmaker-his very important work of proclaiming the Gospel to the Gentiles was subsidized by his day job.
I am skilled in a few different areas, and can do most anything. The work I do is a blessing from God, as it is how He sustains me, takes care of me. But it is up to me to do the work, to earn the pay, to plan (asking His Providence) for the short bit of future I have ahead of me before Jesus returns or I go to meet Him.
That ‘short bit of future’ may be another 40 years, or eternity might sneak up on me this morning as I go to town to walk a puppy (another task I’m happy to have been tasked with).
“By the sweat of your brow you shall earn your bread.” still applies, though, in my present job it’s hard to work up a sweat, sitting at a computer.
Many of the parables which Jesus used to teach can be summarized thusly: “Be ready, work hard, be a good steward of what God has given you.” Amen! Make good use of your Ifs!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Avoid Capture by IF

I’ve been here before, covered this ground, but a refresher/reminder/rekindler can be good. Anyone can spout psychological babble (babel), but there is a point to some of what I do.
“IF” is the enemy for a balanced, well reasoned person. “If” can tear you up with might-have-beens…which never will be.
“If I had only done things differently
If I had given her/him another chance
If I had said yes instead of no
No instead of yes… “
I once had a friend tormented by an IF which happened when she was six or so years old-her family moved to another state, and she never got over the experience. We would visit the house where she had been a child, sit outside in a car, while she relived those days, telling me about the neighbors who had lived in nearby houses. Sad doesn’t cover it.
Unbalanced by an IF.
I don’t worry about the future, and I don’t exert an ounce of mind-sweat being troubled by the past; my actual past or various possible pasts invented by “IF”. I make my plans, take care of myself, but I entrust my present and future to God.
A cod-swallop theology which I rejected as soon as I heard it had to do with IF. I was once told: “Every man should be married, as there is a woman meant for him to have as his wife, and if a man remains unmarried, he is selfishly keeping that woman from having the husband she was meant to have.”
Who told me this? A church lady. I don’t even remember which church, as I’ve moved around a lot, but it was back in my Pentecostal days. Pentecostals are generally strong on emotion, very weak on theology.
It was inevitable- whenever I would start to visit at a church: “My goodness! Here’s Nancy! She’s not married either!” “My goodness! Doug, have you met Thea? She’s single too!” “Doug, meet Pam-she’s not…” you get the idea.
I believe that if God wanted me to be married, I would be. If he want’s me to meet the woman of my future and get married, it will happen. If I am to remain single throughout my life, then that is what will happen. Those Ifs belong to God.
Don’t give in, never surrender to the shifting sands of IF.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Looking For The Onion Label

The Incred is ulous. When I read that President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize, I thought that “The Onion” was getting off another Beau Geste at his expense-something along the lines of: “President Obama stops fight between daughters over toy, wins Nobel prize.”
So, in the tenth month of his presidency…without ending any wars…without achieving peace even in his own country…without gaining a single international agreement among a coalition of the willing or unwilling…Obama gets a Peace Prize.
President Bush led a coalition of countries which toppled two despotic regimes- through his leadership WE established and protected human rights, including the right of self determination, democracy, for millions of souls.
But President Bush doesn’t need a gold badge from a private foundation. His accomplishments are honor enough.
I know that others are treading this same ground, so I’ll leave off with this: President Obama can be honored by every yayhoo outfit from here to Alpha Centauri. I don’t care. He’s been a failure since before he even took office, and he is not leading this country into anything but chaos. We are in much worse shape as a nation because of his bungling of both the economy and international diplomacy.
But this country is greater than any one man or political party-we survived Clinton, we’ll get through this one term failure.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Ripping On Preachers Is Fun!

RIPPING ON PREACHERS IS FUNdamentally wrong, but that doesn’t stop both saints and dirty unwashed heathen paganists from joining in.
Those on the outside of the church-well, you would expect THEM to buffet Pastor PiƱatas about the heads, shoulders and backsides. An unbeliever has nothing good to say about ANY Christian. Church leaders are just an advanced form of Hypocrite.
I wish I could say that Christians don’t rip up Pastors, Preachers or church leaders. But, being human beings still stuck in sinful bodies, sometimes we do. To our shame.
What did God have to say on this subject?
“12But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.
So, dear Christian brethren and sistren, when it says in Philippians to ‘do all things without complaining or disputing’ that means within the church as well as without. Love your Pastor to death. Or, when you get to Heaven, God may assign YOU a pastorate, and then we’ll see how you like it!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Just For Fun

Sunday nights at church we usually have a Bible quiz-I came up with last night's quiz; I thought, "Why not post it and let the guessers guess?" So have at it:

Bible quiz 10-4-09

1. Who made the golden calf?

2. How did Absalom die?

3. Philip, Andrew and Peter lived in?

4. 10th NT book?

5. The daughter of Herodias who danced for Herod?

6. Who paid Delilah to entice Samson?

7. How much did they pay her?

8. Who said, " “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."?

9. In the OT, which prophet was also a priest?

10. Finish the verse- 7“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and...

11. 7th OT book?

12. Who said, "“Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”?

13. Of the 7 churches mentioned in Revelation 2-3, which ones receive no rebuke?

14. Book two books before Psalms?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Constancy And Thee

"6“For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed."
Malachi 3:6

"8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Hebrews 13:8

The other night I found a passage in Psalms which sounded quite familiar. I'm sure that many, many Christians have made this connection over the years-bear with me as I mix it up a little:
Words in Red are from Psalm 107:23-30
Words in Blue are from Luke 8:22-25
Black words are mine, commenting.

23 Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters;
At least a third of the disciples were sailors: Peter and Andrew, James and John. They worked daily, fishing on the Sea of Galilee.
22Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they launched out.
24 They have seen the works of the LORD,
And His wonders in the deep.
25 For He spoke and raised up a stormy wind,
Which lifted up the waves of the sea.
23But as they were sailing along He fell asleep; and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake, and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.
26 They rose up to the heavens, they went down to the depths;
Their soul melted away in their misery.
27 They reeled and staggered like a drunken man,
And were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
24They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
And He brought them out of their distresses.
And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.
29 He caused the storm to be still,
So that the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad because they were quiet,
So He guided them to their desired haven.
25And He said to them, “Where is your faith?” They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?”
New Testament or Old Testament, man gets in trouble, calls out to God, and God answers him, saves him.
Praise God for never changing!