Sunday, December 03, 2017

...In Lonely Exile Here

I love this song, this hymn. I've always thought that it points to Christ's return rather than His first 'advent'.
Before church this morning I pulled out an old hymnal and sang this...and then sang it again in the service.
"We look for the Day of our Lord's return.".
That prayer has been on the lips and in the hearts of Christians down through the centuries since Christ ascended to Heaven, recorded in Acts chapter one.
Why has it taken so long for Him to come back?
We don't know, but the fact that Christ is still adding souls to His Kingdom is one possibility.
We don't NEED to know, and we don't need to worry that He won't return.
In His perfect time, O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Nev Let Crisis Go Waste

Seemingly unending sexual harassment accusations against "The Powerful".
I am certain that there is fire behind some of these smoke, but I am also certain of a little thing called 'Human Nature'.
Remember playing "King Of The Hill"?
Someone on top defends against those below.
Those below working to take out the King.
Mixed in with the many actual accusers who have been assaulted/harassed, there will be some who will USE such accusations to forward their own agendas.
Not saying that ANY of 'The Powerful' are innocent-but that there will be some who will use the present atmo of harassment/assault grievances to "take down or shake down" those above them on the hill.
Human nature, and not the good one.




Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Driving With a Full Thank

Sure, sure-I've posted this picture before, but this is the internet-always someone seeing something for the first time.
Some pop sugar Star recently claimed that she 'Created mirror selfies' a decade ago. That's cute.
Here-I can sound brilliant after five seconds on a search engine:
"Why, I'm sure that Nicéphore Niépce, after he created the first camera probably made a few duck lips." 
This is the internet-you read a name like that, tied to the thought of this guy having created the camera, and 2.4 seconds later that knowledge is discarded by your brain as something of no value.
What DOES have value?
Thankfulness.
Thankfulness is a self priming engine of good. Being thankful engenders more thankfulness and peace.
Back to the picture of the long ago me.
My net monetary value back then was whatever I had in my pocket.
It wasn't my house, it wasn't even my camera...but notice that I was smiling.
I'm still smiling. Thankfully, I don't need to get haircuts as often as I did back then.
I will never be 'rich' by this world's standards, and it doesn't bother me a bit, as my treasure is in the next, where robber moths can't get at it. Or something like that.
You might find these words false to your ears, if you don't feel as if you have anything to be thankful for.
I understand that, and this world can shred you. I've been there.
But there is always some light in every dark life.
Don't give up the search for peace and things to be thankful for.
If nothing else occurs to you, be thankful that I didn't post this as a rapping video.
See? SEE? light.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hearly Near

See you on the other side, Rhodes.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Blessed Forgotten

Seems that political candidates/sitting Senators are catching flack for misconducts.
Doesn't matter if such misconducts are 11 or 30+ years past-nothing is forgotten.
Let me quickly state that this post won't j'accuse  anyone. Plenty doing that already.
But I will say that there is blessed forgotteness with God.
Have you done something wrong?
Are you guilty of anything? God has Mercy.
"For I will be merciful to their iniquities,     And I will remember their sins no more.”Hebrews 8:12, quoting Jeremiah 31:34.
Are all your sins remembered? (quoting Joe Haldeman)
God says,  "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake,     And I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25
One more, to drive home the point:
"As far as the east is from the west,     So far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12.
Though our sins are as scarlet, we shall be white as snow.
You can't buy that. But forgiveness and blessed forgotteness can be yours through God.
Believe me, I have sinned. More Ain't than Saint some days.
But God 'for His own sake' does not remember my sins.
And it feels wonderful.





Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Worship For God

Now that I'm multi-mediate, and am catching up with friends from ago, from time to time I'll bring back some older stuff-this first is a song that I've been singing
for a few years now.
May God richly Bless you today.

Monday, November 13, 2017

When Is Good But Not Good?

When IS good but not good? I'm amongst the millions of Crime watchers, we who love to see Cops and Robbers copping and robbering. We love seeing justice served, bad guys and gals punished, happy endings.
But not good comes in if we Binge-watch our faves too plenty much. Good may win out at the end of {most} episodes, but the steady intake of the violence/heartbreak/impolite criminal activity we must swim through to get to that final scene-bad recups, man.
Above are just a handful of the Crime Dramatical shows available most everywhere. I added "Crossing Jordan" because that was the template for most of the other 'CSI' procedurals, including 'Rissoli and Isles'.
Law & Order is it's own grandpa, so to speak-STILL kicking out Justice 47 minutes at a time, with SVU still being produced.
It's all good in moderation, but...mix it up a little, please, for your own Peace.
A good palate cleanser would be...well, there's a clue in the photo.
Bottom line-too much of anything can overbalance your load. Be cool.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Vet and Yet







I'm a Veteran, though from a time of Peace. Facebook has hooked me up with former shipmates- Jim from the Westwind and John from the Mackinaw-very cool.. The older gent in the pictures served in the Army during Korea, but kept Fort Sill, Oklahoma safe.
Post is titled 'Vet and Yet', as I may be a Veteran, but, to me, the true Veterans are those who fight, who defend our country and interests in the military.
I'm very happy that we have a Day for honoring Veterans. I'm looking for another day, too:
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:4).

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Conflict Free For Me and Thee


And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
A wonderful promise, which comes from:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 
Notice that God's peace guards both our hearts, for what we feel, and our minds,
for what we think.
How do we gain that peace? By entrusting to God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving what we request. What we feel and what we think. 
All that matters to us. 
Every conflict which threatens, every circumstance which finds us lacking.
Be anxious for nothing, or, in other words, don't be anxious, we children of God who trust in Him. Peace.


Monday, November 06, 2017

Here I Stand, Too.

Been hearing sermons about Marty Luther and the beginnings of the Reformation.
Christians in 2017 are facing some different trials than he withstood, (see what I did there?) but for the most part Christians ARE re-formed.
Meaning that we do not break away from the church because it is vile and heretical.
I've made the point before, that my military dog tag lists me as a Protestant, which is no longer true. Rather than identifying with a negative, protesting against that church that Marty nailed, I identify with Jesus Christ, the very most positive of possible Positives.
Standing with Christ automatically puts me at odds with an entire world which rejects Christ.
Been so standing for nearly 40 years now, and I wouldn't switch back for any or everything.
So here I stand, too. One among many, many, many,many others who also stand.
May God richly Bless you today.



Saturday, November 04, 2017

Establishmental Clause Because The Cause Is Ares

Eveybuddy seeks to be recognized as right and Righteous.
No matter how scoundrelous they actually are.
Picture above is an example. The garage I choose to show the world is clean and bright and righteously organized.
Reality? Cluttered and messy, the stable for my truck and since it's been snowing, some melt on that nice clean floor.
Here's a funny-we've all heard the maxim:"Absolute power corrupts absolutely"...but we are shocked, SHOCKED! when those who have risen into positions of power are found to be corrupt.
We have far too many recent examples, but as H.Weinstein now has his turn in the barrel, let's use him.
Harvey W. is reported to have used his star-making power/threats/money to silence women whom he had allegedly raped/sexually harassed. For decades.
He lives by the Other Golden Rule:
"Whoever has the Gold makes the rules".
As far as the world (outside of Hollywood) knew, Harvey's garage was clean and bright and righteously organized.
Here's the thing-as a Christian I do not esteem myself to be righteous. I am not righteous.
But the Righteousness of Jesus Christ has been imputed to me, placed on me by God.
Those who do not know Christ, who are not Christians work work  work work work their entire lives to establish their own righteousness.
Filthy rags, Harvey. 
History buffs-name a war or movement which did not begin with someone attempting to establish is or her own righteousness.  Thanks for playing.














Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sketch Of a Life So Far

Sorry, I couldn't find a goofier picture where I am wearing the Jesus Lighthouse Coffeehouse T-shirt. Hopefully this will pass muster.
Since I have recently been Blessed by catching up with friends from the Great Back Whens, I thought that I might thumbnail sketch my life since we parted company.
1981-happy and set in Michigan, part of an aggregation of good people who were part of the Jesus Lighthouse Coffeehouse.
I was bodily the chattel of the United States Coast Guard, and while we were on a Summer cruise to Chicago on our ship the Mackinaw, Fidel Castro decided to empty his prisons and insane asylums, encouraging the Cubans who didn't love him to wash up on American soil. So I had T.A.D.-Temporary assigned duty down to Key West. In August. It was hot.
Can't recall if I even got to say goodbye to any of my friends in Michigan-right after that I was transferred to Base Milwaukee to finish up my term of enlistment.
TL/DR...okay. Milwaukee to Duluth, Minnesota where I was cooking for three years. Duluth to Missouri, cooking a year and a half. All kinds of personal stuff happening, as it does for us all.
Missouri back to Duluth for three years, still cooking.
Sister invited me out to try my luck in Las Vegas, stayed seven years. Working for an office complex doing Maintenance-my brother in law got me the job, and I was very grateful to get out of the kitchens.
Seven years, and then back to Minnesota, up the North shore of Lake Superior to a little haven called Lutsen/Grand Marais.  Back to cooking for four years until an opportunity opened to do building maintenance again.  Did that for three years at a ski resort, then back down to my home of Two Harbors, near Duluth in 2002. Went to college as an ancient student, graduated towards computer networking. Two things happened back then-I began working in a business to business company sort of in the IT field, and my parents started not doing too well, so they needed me to help them in their last years-I had been planning on moving to the Twin Cities with my fancy computer networking degree...they both passed in 2010.
My Dad in August, Mother in December.
October of that 2010 I bought the house in Two Harbors where I am currently writing this long 'sketch'. It was built in 1893, and is solid. 
I am still working at the B2B company, with one little bump in the road a few years ago when things changed and I was let go for a year. As soon as they could bring me back in they did, and I am very grateful.
Family/friends reading this might make mention of the fact that I have left someone out, my girlfriend during my time up in Lutsen/Grand Marais. We parted ways in 2001, and I wish her well, but am very happy to be single at this time in my life.  There were a few other possibilities over the years, down in Missouri in particular, but God knows how to shepherd His sheep.
So there it is in miniature-an entire life from 1981 to 2017.
 Any of my back when buddies who want to follow my example, I would love to see how your lives have been. Our 'real lives' wait for us in Heaven, but what we have down here, good and bad, is part of us. May God richly Bless you today.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Tasha's Prayer Closet and Common Grace

Tasha's prayer closet isn't a closet, and I'm pretty sure that she does no praying there or anywhere.
Tasha is the best cat in the house; in my pantry there is an open area about 18 inches wide by 30 inches in height. I was going to utilize that space, but I noticed that the best cat likes to go in there and sit...for about 20 seconds, and then she comes out, usually complaining about the food rations.
No toys in there, not using it as a litterbox...she just goes in and then comes out.
Been thinking about Texas floods, Florida hurricanes...and the fact that we all enjoy what the Christian theologians call "Common Grace".
Tasha enjoys common grace, as she is fed and taken care of without 'earning' her keep. She doesn't even catch mice, which is good-seven years here in October and I have never yet seen a mice.

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. 

For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

 Common Grace means that you are not struck by lightning the first, third or three millionth of times that you sin.
With Common Grace you live, work and have your existence even IF you totally reject God. 
Sun still shines, rain still waters your crops, you have birthdays and work and loved ones and all the usual stuff that comes with living.
You get to see beautiful scenery, tell awful puns, sing along to your music...all of it is yours to enjoy.
And it is the same, it is common to us Christians, too.
But here's a difference.
When a Christian is caught in flood, riding in a doomed airplane or is sitting on a beach where a tsunami hits...we die here, just like everyone else.
But we go right to Heaven, which is much, much better. That is Saving Grace.
The words of Jesus in red that you see above-we are called to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Christ set the example when He went to the cross in our place, us being His enemy due to our sinful nature.
When Florida is hit by a storm, just as Texas was flooded, the good nature of Humanity is given opportunity to shine. Wonderful and good. Love your neighbors as well as your enemies.
If a Christian comes at you with Scripture, and you just want him or her to shut up and go away...love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you by talking about Sin. Our heart is in the right place. 





Saturday, August 19, 2017

You? More Righteous Than I?

Measure for measure, my righteousness vs your righteousness...a wash. Tie.
You are no more righteous than I am. Same back at me. Neither of us would win an award.
WHOLE LOT of righteous indignation been echoing back and forth across this indignant Nation
lately.
Comes from a cosmos flailing around on a sand foundation.
So, who is Righteous?
God.
I can hear the ungodly now:
"I AM more righteous than you, Doug, and certainly more righteous than the imaginary God you have been fooled into believing!"
You may be more Righteous than I am.
But you are not righteous compared to God.
Who isn't imaginary. Or the confused remnant of some poor earlier theology.
Here's the thing-because I am a Christian, Christ's Righteousness has been imputed to me.
I am not righteous. But He is. And by His Righteousness I am righteous before God.
Measure yourself against His Righteousness. Do it. 
Sand.



Saturday, August 05, 2017

Similarities Found



Similarities between the destruction of Jerusalem witnessed by Ezekiel and the judgements of
The Great Tribulation affecting the entire world.

   Ezekiel and John
Ezekiel lived among the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the Apostle John was exiled on Patmos. Both were separated from the land/areas being judged and punished, though John was witnessing events far in the future.
The first seven chapters in Ezekiel lay out God’s evidence against the people of Judah and Israel which brings about the much-deserved judgement, recorded in Ezekiel chapters 8-11.
   Ezekiel 8:3-Ezekiel’s call:
3He stretched out the form of a hand and caught me by a lock of my head; and the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the seat of the idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy, was located.
   Revelation 4:1-John’s call:
1After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”
Four corners-may signify complete areas of destruction
   Ezekiel 7:1
1Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me saying,
2“And you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, ‘An end! The end is coming on the four corners of the land.
   Revelation 7:1
1After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.
Jerusalem’s judgment is recorded beginning in Ezekiel 9:1-2
1Then He cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying, “Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.” 
2Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north, each with his shattering weapon in his hand; and among them was a certain man clothed in linen with a writing case at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

This ‘certain man in linen with a writing case at his loins’ is quite possibly a Christophany, an image of the Pre-Incarnate Christ. Just as Christ in Revelation is seen as ‘a son of man’, a lamb as if slain, a conqueror coming mounted on a horse with his robes dipped in blood, the ‘certain man in linen’ has a writing case, possibly a symbolic identifier for Christ (The Word). His actions in Ezekiel chapter 9 show that this may be Christ.
   Ezekiel 9:3b-4
And He called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case. 
4The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.” 
Only Christ or an angel given knowledge by God would know the minds and hearts of those in Jerusalem who ‘sigh and groan over all the abominations’. These would be God’s people, the sheep known by their Shepherd.
The marking of these people for special protection from the judgement about to fall on their city is echoed in Revelation 7:2-3
2And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
3saying, Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
This group is the 144,000 sealed from every tribe in Israel. They are found with Christ in Revelation 14:1
1Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

Ezekiel 9:5-6 speaks to the six men with shattering weapons:
5But to the others He said in my hearing, “Go through the city after him and strike; do not let your eye have pity and do not spare. 
6“Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary.” So they started with the elders who were before the temple.


The man in linen notes in Ezekiel 9:11:
11Then behold, the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case reported, saying, “I have done just as You have commanded me.”

Next, the man is charged in Ezekiel 10:
1Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them.
2And He spoke to the man clothed in linen and said, “Enter between the whirling wheels under the cherubim and fill your hands with coals of fire from between the cherubim and scatter them over the city.” And he entered in my sight.”
In Revelation chapter 8 we find:
5Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”
Notes: these are a few similarities, but hardly a complete list-the rest of Ezekiel deals with future Judgement all the way through history.
In Revelation, we have three series of judgements: Scroll with seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowl judgements.
Scroll with seven seals- may symbolize ‘the written Word’, satisfying the sins against Christ.
Seven trumpets- may symbolize ‘voice of God’, satisfying the sins against God the Father-throughout Scripture the voice of God is said to be like the sound of trumpets:
Exodus 19:16-19, Revelation 1:10, Revelation 4:1
Seven bowls being poured out- may symbolize satisfying the sins against the Holy Spirit which is described as being ‘poured out on all flesh’:
Isaiah 44:3, Joel 2:28-29, Zechariah 12:10

It seems that the destruction of Jerusalem may be an approximation in miniature of the worldwide judgements found in the book of Revelation. In both cases God shows exactly WHY Judgement is due.
And He is honored and glorified.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Heaven's Low Door

Right now on TV there is a documentary about a religious cult which operated in Minnesota in the past 20 years.
Normal, happy peoples such as are depicted above...fell under the influence of a charismatic sociopath who right now is paying for a few of his sins in prison.
So...why am I writing about this?
Sociopaths intrigue me; religious sociopaths are extra evil. They've gone Pro.
I mentioned recently that I had once been targeted/witnessed at by a cult back in my Coast Guard days. Them folks were nuts.
This Minnesota contingent of bad theology brings it too close to home, so I thought I'd share a few insights.
God leads His people to congregate together, to sit under church authority and move forward in His plan for our lives.
Egocentric, proud and divisive "leaders" will go rogue, refusing to humbly submit to church leadership/discipline-usually they split churches, separate and start their own 'Ministry' such as the Minnesota group being highlighted tonight on TV.
God doesn't bless egocentric sociopaths who "go their own way".
They can usually keep momentum rolling for a few years, sowing religious tares amongst the wheat...but they end badly, which God orchestrates.
The very good purpose of church leadership/discipline is to keep the church of God as unstained from the world as possible. So God will root out those who would trouble His house.
Here's the thing-Christians SHOULD be in church, should remain safely under the aegis of church leadership. If you are a Christian who does not have a church home, ask God to direct you to one.
If your theology is not in absolute harmony with the church you attend...you (or I) might be wrong.
I have learned some things over the years, but none of us will ever understand/grasp all there is to learn of God on this side of eternity. Those who study the Scriptures, who really take in as much as they can of God's wisdom will be ever more humbled as they move forward.
Sociopaths will be 'puffed up' by their theology. Scripture for them is their own personal interpretation. Bad Juju.
For those who have trudged through this post, thanks for reading.
One more thing-I once knew a Christian who felt it was proper and right for him to commit a felony on a regular basis.  
A Christian doesn't arrive at that point if they humble themselves and sit under church leadership. 



Monday, May 22, 2017

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

No Longer Restrained By Reality

Post title-I heard it today whilst listening to a podcast.
Observe the obverse: the ladies holding signs in the picture above are completely understanding and in tune with the concrete Reality in which we live. They know it and live it.
So, what's with the "No longer restrained by reality?"
That would be those who feel that their emotions are Truth, that 'how they feel' is evidence of how things are.
That path leads to madness. Because if feelings define reality, then there is no core REALITY, as emotions are fluid, shortlived and often wrong.
Here's the example that you probably won't like.
Some of the most Life affirming, positive people, those who would march, protest, act as human shields  for Peace, who Live to end War...
have no problem with abortion.
If you are a dove who sees the killing of tiny humans as right and proper...
You are no longer restrained by reality.
The ladies pictured above get it. They understand that humanity is sacred, and to take human life,
no matter how old or young...is the opposite of sacred. This is Reality.





Saturday, March 04, 2017

who's now a successful yoga instructor

Ambivilafun.  Mindless harmless enjoyment which may not change the world but can brighten a day.
Was perusing movie reviews on a site which I've noted here before-"blu-ray.com" and read the line: "who's now a successful yoga instructor" regarding an actress from the 1980's.
My mind pinballs~
"What constitutes 'success' for a yoga instructor?"
"Is it being at peace within while existing in an unpeaceful without?"
"Is success for a yoga instructor determined by financial profitability? Just as it is for plumbers and lawyers and post office clerks?"
"Is it ever the goal of a yoga instructor to retire? Retire from...inner peace? Retire from what constitutes success?"
Success. Now there's a word!
Pictured above is a young lady named Jenny Nicholson. I have no idea who she is, what she does for a living, but she is a success, at least in my eyes.
I discovered her on youtube reviewing...I don't remember.
Point is, she is an articulate, creative FAN of movies and TV shows who shares her enjoyment with the world through videos.
Sometimes she dresses up and acts out the characters, as she did in a review of "Frozen".
She puts a lot of thought and work into her video reviews, and it works well not only because she is a FAN, but because she has much to say, writes/acts out her reviews very well.
She is a success, and if you have a few minutes which need brightening, seek her on youtube and enjoy. Her video on "Adventureland", from which I took the screen shot is a prime example of her work.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fix't Hope





Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. 
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 
storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.
1 Tim 6:17-19
Note that last part: “storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
Here is why that sounds familiar:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 
for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:19-21
I am very grateful to God Who richly supplies me (and ALL of His children) with all things to enjoy.
Carnation Evaporated Milk famously purports that their product ‘comes from contented cows’.
That’s nice, but can’t compare with the prayers and thanksgivings coming from contented Christians.
Do I struggle? Too often.
Make mistakes? Like a pro.
But the bottom line is that I trust God, and know that my faults will not follow me into Heaven.
Whatever stains and blemishes on my character…they have an expiration date.
And then…I will “take hold of that which is life indeed.”
I would love to see you there.