Except… what do you expect?

expect

And right about now, I really don’t know.  What to expect, I mean.  Because things have changed haven’t they?  At 60+ years old, thinking I’m still 35 or less, I had some expectations about growing older.  Some are close to what I expected, others are so far gone as to be funny or just sad.

When I look around our world today, I really want things to change again, but this time for the better, since in my eyes, it’s really, really bad out there.

Except… what do you expect?

When relativism is the rule of the day, and the concept of absolutes has been totally vacated by most of the sane men and women leaders in this country, what do you expect?

When “religious” ecumenism, in defiance of Scripture (2 Corinthians 6:14), seems to be all the rage, and the lines defining what it means to be a true Christ-follower are being blurred further and further everyday… what do you expect?

When jurisprudence in this nation has come to mean “guilty until proven innocent,” fueled by an angry mob mentality, which has “bought into” the relativistic, religious ecumenical ravings of the liberal mindset… what do you expect?

Do you really expect that we can keep going on the path we’ve set and survive?

Do you really believe that standing by and doing nothing to correct the maniacal ravings of corrupt politicians, false-teaching preachers,  along with entitled professional athletes, actors and media moguls, will yield any other result besides destruction?

The sheer lunacy of it all boggles the mind, but… what do you expect?

Is there anyone out there who can really solve this problem?
Is there an answer that makes sense?
Is it available now?

Yes, yes, and yes.

The answer to relativism is the Authority of Scripture, and that the Bible has everything we need to live justly with other people, and rightly before God, and is is the ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

The answer to “religious” ecumenism is John 14:6, where Jesus says:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Again, based on the authority of Scripture, and its absolute truth, this becomes exclusively true and we must believe in it ABSOLUTELY.

The answer to jurisprudence based in truth is to understand that God alone is the ultimate judge.  And again, from the words of authoritative Scripture comes this teaching in Hebrews 4:12-13

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Except that we believe this fundamental principle is in fact ABSOLUTE TRUTH…

… what do you expect?

 

Expect

 

Home of the Brave?

braveWhat does that even mean anymore?  Brave?

How brave is it to kneel or sit or raise a fist when the anthem is played… ugh!

How brave is it to disown and dishonor the men and women who actually demonstrated bravery with the lives they lost protecting our freedom? ugh!

How brave is it to rain down a hail of bullets from a high hotel perch on unprotected innocent people below? ugh!

How brave is it for some mealy-mouthed liberal “Hollywood” wanna-be-in-charge to continually bash the President of the United States without a clue of what that job really entails?  ugh!

Do we believe in anything anymore?  Is it time we just went out into the harbor and dismantled this statue?  When will this nation grow up and be big boys and girls?  It’s been 200+ years, you’d think by now we’d learn how to make it work.

Bravery?  The will to stand in the face of growing persecution (make no mistake, it is coming), when we say “we need God to step in and take control again.”

Bravery?  The ability to put everything you are into one basket called “Christ-follower” and live it out in real time.

Bravery?  Bravery?  What does it really cost?  Everything.

Matthew 16:24-26
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

 

 

Brave

 

Loyal to the King

70 days until Christmas

Loyalty seems a rare quality in the political and cultural climate of these United States of America.  Think about it.  We see it abbreviated, “U.S.” or “USA” or “America,” but rarely is it stated in full these days.  Perhaps that is because the “United” part hasn’t been true for awhile now.  With the division and dissension growing by the hour, it begs the question if we’ll ever be “united” again.

I’m not much into the feminist movement, but an article this morning caught my eye because even in that “movement” or “agenda” there is dissension in the ranks caused by an article written by Mayim Bailik.  Amy Farah Fowler is one of my favorite characters from “Big Bang” played by Bailik. But she opened herself up to a backlash of rage with her op-ed piece for the New York Times about the Harvey Weinstein scandal. [click here to read it.]  Feminists immediately were divided on the support or condemnation of Mayim’s statements.

The NFL protests continue… see Terry Smiley’s protest against the protest here

ObamaCare and Tax Revision efforts continue… we could go on and on right?

We are anything but a United States of America.

Yet while we have this freedom, I will in my own way be loyal to the King.

This blog gives me a soapbox or a platform from which to speaks out, so here it comes.

I’m using this image weekly (at least once a week) until Christmas because:

  • I can
  • I believe it can help us refocus on what is important about expectations
  • Christmas in itself is a message of hope based in Christ alone
  • I want to be an alternative voice to the commercialization of the event

Christmas as an event has divided this nation.  Some rise up and want to change the whole meaning of the season by eliminating the very word from their advertising campaigns by using “Happy Holidays” instead of Merry Christmas.  In 2015 these 8 “Unique Alternatives to Christmas” were suggested by Michelle Nait’s article (here):
Yule, HumanLight; The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster; Krismas; Kwanzaa; Newtonmas; Festivus; and Saturnalia.  Trust me, I just don’t understand where people come up with this stuff.

Wait, yes I do.

In Luke chapter 12, the gospel writer says (vs.1)  that “… so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another…” and that day Jesus talked about the fact that God knows and cares about our circumstances.  He talked about the dangers of covetousness (a primary Christmas pastime), and how we should always be ready for the return of the Master (foretelling His own future return).

AND then He said something which many have never read or studied before…

Luke 12:49-53
I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!  Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three.  They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.

This doesn’t sound like a picture of the baby Jesus in the manger to me, does it to you?

Christmas is divisive … because He came.

Christmas might also be the single most important opportunity you will have this year to be LOYAL to the King.

You have 70 more days to be ready…

Loyal

 

Lest We Succumb

succumb

Do you identify with this image? I know I do.  That may shock some people who read this because they know I have been in ministry, both as a lay-person and a staff member in churches, for almost 45 years now.  Trust me when I say, “I know how you feel.”

There are always the voices… “go ahead, you know you want to,” and “is this really what God wants for you? Is this in God’s will?

Hearing the voices is not the problem.  The problem is deciding to succumb to one, or submit to the other.  Do you see what I did there?  Submission is where we yield our will completely to the will of God, knowing it is the best thing for our life.  To succumb is to fail to resist some pressure brought to bear, some temptation that comes our way, or any other negative spiritual force that seeks only to ruin our lives and destroy us.

1 Peter 5:8
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

But the devil doesn’t always look like a lion does he?  Especially to Christ-followers.

2 Corinthians 11:14
No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

So, you see the problem right?  Satan is really good at what he does, and so are all those fallen angels who succumbed to his leadership in rebellion against God.  [Revelation 12:4]  And if it is really hard to tell the difference (in appearance or voice) between the actual angels of light, and the fake angels of light (like fake news on the internet), then how do we discern which voice/message to heed?

Ah… now we’re getting somewhere.

Jesus told a great parable about Him being the Good Shepherd, and Christ-followers being His sheep.  The answer to our dilemma is found in the Gospel of John chapter 10.

John 10:5
A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.

John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

I’ve heard the argument from other Christ-followers that they don’t know Jesus the way the original 12 apostles did, and they never could.  Yet, I find this exactly backwards.  In many ways I think we can know Christ better than the apostles, in a different way.

Sure they had Him for three years, and had a lot of conversations, observed many miracles, and were taught by Him directly.  Yet they didn’t have one thing we have; a revelation of the complete picture of God’s will.  They didn’t have the writings of Paul that give us doctrine and instruction for how to live in this evil world.  They didn’t have their own personal copies of the Old Testament Law and the Prophets to pour over at their whim, discovering how all of these verses pointed the reader directly to Jesus as Messiah.  They just couldn’t see the big picture of God’s mighty plan of salvation at work in them or the future.

But we do. We have the whole shebang.

So here’s the thing.

Shouldn’t we know Him better?  Shouldn’t we be able to discern His voice and His will in ways that maybe they never could, because they didn’t know what we CAN know?

If you find yourself in a spot today, where you feel you are about to succumb to that negative voice of temptation or destruction, are you well-read enough in the WORD of GOD to distinguish the voice of the Good Shepherd who wants to show you the way?

In this same parable Jesus says: John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Don’t let the deceiver steal your life away, by succumbing to his voice.  Hear the voice of the Good Shepherd today, and follow Him.  Run to Him.  Find shelter in Him.  Find life abundant in Him.

If nothing else, begin the journey again with Christ, and read the Gospel of John.  Find out how Jesus answers your every need by saying, ” I am the…”

Succumb

 

Cloaked, Hidden, Veiled

cloaked

Long time Star Trek viewers will know that a “cloaking device”  was a technology utilized by different intergalactic species to render ships, stations, equipment, personal, and sometimes whole planets to be invisible to the naked eye and/or sensors from enemy ships.  These devices were often used by starships to move unhindered and undiscovered, thus adding the element of surprise during an attack when the ship was uncloaked.  For more information on this sci-fi technology click here.

The human eye is a marvelous thing, but sight alone is only 1/5 of the sensory characteristics built into the average human being.  The human brain requires all of these five senses to properly assess and render insights and focus to the challenges we face in life.

Even then, when completely attuned to all the data input from these senses, life can at times seem cloaked, mysterious, or hidden as if trying to see through some dark veil.  Contrary to the poster above, everything is (not) in perfect focus if your vision is alright.  Just the opposite at times, what I see seems more like a hodgepodge of random letters arranged into a column for no purpose at all.

The apostle Paul said [1 Corinthians 13:12] “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”

The Old Testament shepherd/king – David – said [Psalm 102:2] “Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress; incline Your ear to me; in the day when I call answer me quickly.”

Trust me when I say that this life doesn’t have to feel so mysterious, hidden or cloaked.  God isn’t holding out on you, or keeping Himself or His will cloaked behind a veil.  In fact, the mysteries have all but been erased through Jesus’ death on the cross, when the veil in the temple was torn completely in two, from top to bottom. [Matthew 27:51]

For those who are true Christ-followers today, Jesus made this original promise to his apostles, but in essence it was also intended for every person who trusts in Him as Lord and Savior.

John 16:13-15
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. 

John 14:26
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Nothing in this life that is in God’s will for you to know will be cloaked, hidden or veiled from you.  However, make sure you hear what I just said, “that is in God’s will for you to know.”

I did not say we would know all things, or that all things would be in perfect focus.  It’s not wrong to ask “why?”  It’s just important to be realistic about the answer you might receive from God when you ask it.

I would alter the image above and say it this way.

Everything is in perfect focus if your vision is on Jesus Christ.

If not, life will more often than not seem veiled, hidden, or cloaked.

Cloaked

 

BELIEVE: 77 days until Christmas

77 days until Christmas

You must think me mad.  It’s October 9th and I’m bringing up Christmas.  But you have to know I’m not the first, right?  If you’ve gone into any supermarket or craft store or shopping center in the last 30 days you’ve certainly seen their shelves being filled with Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies or paraphernalia.

The Daily Post word prompt today is: “Believe.”  How can one not believe that Christmas is 77 days away?  The Calendar is fixed, and it doesn’t change just because someone disbelieves it, or ignores it, or pretends that Christmas doesn’t happen.

A man once said: “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”  Do you remember that one?

Well, knowing and believing are not always the same thing are they?  But facts are facts and they are hard to escape.

That said, here is another fact spoken by the same man who spoke the truth mentioned above…

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”  [Revelation 22:12-13]

Believe this fact or not for yourself, but whether you believe it or not will not change the truth of it, the fact of it, the certainty of it.

So, here’s the thing.  While we live our lives now based on a linear fixed time line that dictates Christmas will arrive in 77 more days, we cannot know the Divine time line which defines what day, month, or year the King will return.  But we can know the fact of it, and live our lives accordingly… if we believe it.

We can be ready for Christmas, there’s still plenty of time.  We can shop for that perfect gift, plan the menu and acquire the food for that special Christmas dinner, knowing full well, that except the King returns before hand, Christmas will arrive in 77 days.

What happens for you if the King arrives first?

Are you ready?

Do you know the truth?

Has it set you free?

 

Believe

Elastic Love

elasticJust suppose for a minute that the following verse was the last verse you would ever read from the Bible.

John 13:35
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

Suppose this were true because there was no guarantee that tomorrow would arrive, making this the last time you ever had an opportunity to share with those around you what it means to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

How elastic would your time be?  To what ends or extremes would you go, to love someone today?

In what way would the world view your actions, so that in the end the world would say, “Now that person is a true Christ-follower!”?

Something to think about…

Maybe even to act upon…

Elastic

Stylish and Trendy

my mind

The folks who read this blog are literally all over the world.  Since January 2017 someone from somewhere in 82 different countries has clicked an article to read. (List of Countries 10-5-2017)

While this fact alone boggles my mind, there is something you should know if you’re new to this blog.

It is just not in me to be “stylish and trendy.”  My mind sort of takes me places that others would never think of, much less want to go see.  The chicken in this picture is not so much a literal image as it is perhaps a symbolic one.  More than anything else I truly want to communicate some truth in this world that is relevant and worth hearing, seeing, or investigating.

Forget walking around in my shoes, life really doesn’t work that way, does it?  For you to get inside my mind is even further removed from reality, so what’s the point?

The basic premise of this blog is to take the “Word of the Day prompt” from a site called the Daily Post. Using that as a starting point, I search to find something in God’s Word that speaks to me, some truth to be shared, related to the Daily Post prompt.  I usually include the prompt word at the bottom of my article.

Here’s what I believe…

I believe the Word of God is powerful, authoritative, and self-expressive.  Like I said, not necessarily stylish and trendy, huh?  But God didn’t call me into a personal relationship with Him to be fashionable.

Paul said in Romans 1:16 [powerful]
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the jew first and also to the Greek.”

I believe Hebrews 4:12 implicitly: [authoritative]
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

The prophet of old wrote, Jeremiah 33:2-3 [self-expressive]
Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

It is only when we approach life’s questions with an openness to God’s Word that we will find understanding, peace, and courage to keep going.

In the wake of incomprehensible violence, natural disasters, personal and private tragedies with illness or broken relationships, there is only one place to turn and find answers to get you through it all.

Turn to God’s Word, the original instruction manual for life.

It may not be fashionable, stylish or trendy, but taking this action will always get you closer to the truth than social media, the “talking heads” on the evening news, or the “headless voices” from news-talk radio.

Turn to the source of life itself… God’s Word.

 

Daily Post Prompt:  Fashionable

Interest in the “Why?”

Words on Wood

Was it a lack of love that turned a man’s heart so cold that he would slaughter innocent people at a Country Music concert in Las Vegas?  Is it that simple?

Should we blame the gun manufacturers for inventing these instruments of death, even though the originators had no knowledge of how these weapons would be used when placed in the hands of a loveless homicidal maniac?

Or how about the individuals who sold the man these rifles, should they be held responsible for the irresponsible and horrific actions of this one man?

On a different note, what would possess Haley-Geftman-Gold to post on social media that she wasn’t sympathetic because “country music fans often are Republican gun-toters“…???

Worse still, while Mrs. Clinton even now shows her true colors by speaking in ignorance about something she doesn’t understand, why does tragedy so often provoke politically motivated responses which neither solve the problem or address the real issue?

It just seems a daily ritual now to wake up to a another news story of tragedy, chaos, threat, murder, terrorism, war, or natural disaster… and I wonder if the ONE on high is not trying to get our attention.

I don’t agree with John Lennon and Paul McCartney that “All You Need Is Love.” Actually it takes quite a bit more than just love to change the world.  In 1967 the song was selected by Our World  for its “contemporary social significance.”  But think about what is being said, because in the 50 years since this song’s release the world is not a better place is it?

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy

Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

Nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

While the media and investigators surrounding the tragedy in Las Vegas search for the answer to the most pressing question “Why?”; we will probably never know precisely, because the only one who can definitively answer this question is dead.  Speculation abounds, and the “talking heads” of the media love their next 15 seconds of fame.

However, that’s not good enough, because we the people seem to always want to know the “why?” so in essence, we’re feeding the frenzy.

Actually the answer is ancient, but clear, and still applicable today.

Romans 1:18-25

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

America, World at large… we’ve lost our way.  I didn’t include it here, but I challenge you now as a reader, to go read the rest of the first chapter of Romans.  See for yourself if the imagery there does not match what is going on in our country and around the world today.  Just a quick read, that’s all I ask.

This world needs Jesus.  He is the only answer to our problems.  Trust in Him today to show you the way to live in a bent and demented world.

Interest

 

Mostly, It’s a Contest

popularDancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, American Idol, et al… it’s most a popularity contest.  I’m not diminishing or demeaning anyone’s talent or lack of, far from it.  I’m only too familiar with thinking myself to be more talented, skilled, or liked than I am, only to have the prize go to someone else.  Life, huh?

Now that I’m older, wiser, some might say “seasoned” or “veteran” of the whole life thing – I’m much more content to live with who I am.  Because I know just like the “dark-web” there is an unseen world out there that is not about popularity at all.  So I fight for the prize that will never tarnish.  I struggle to win the battle that will last through eternity.

Not many will vote for me to win, some in fact will cheer my competitors, simply for the fact that they don’t want me to win.  I get it.

Some will not like my message, they will seek to silence me.

I rest in the grace of the one who carries me daily through the rigorous struggle while I walk in the mire of this earthly clay.

I adopt the words of the Apostle Paul.

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Popular

 

Jocularity, Jocularity

witty

M*A*S*H was one of my favorite shows during the early 70’s when I was in college and trying to find myself.  The 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital found life in the Korean war unbearable at times.  Whether by the weather, or circumstances of war, they were forced to make their own fun.  The whole show is at times poignant, at times brutally sad, but most episodes are filled with the shenanigans and exploits of doctors and nurses who become a witty, if not hilarious close-knit family just managing to get through the pain.  Perhaps my favorite character of the cast was Lt. Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy.

One of the great episodes of M*A*S*H was an episode titled “Movie Night.”  The whole gang has been fussin’ and bickering, so Father Mulcahy procures Colonel Potter’s favorite John Ford western classic, My Darling Clemetine, to be shown in the mess hall that night. The film is full of cuts and splices causing it to break and Klinger having to turn on the lights to fix the thing.  When the film breaks the second time, Father Mulcahy plays the piano and leads the raucous crowd in “Gee, Ma, I Wanna Go Home.” The film keeps breaking periodically and the next breaks become a Father Mulcahy impersonation time.  Hawkeye, Klinger, Frank Burns, Margaret, Radar, all take their turn at the witty quotes, with the closing statement made by Colonel Potter in a fit of chuckles, “Jocularity! Jocularity!”

Father Francis was my favorite character because I identified with him on so many levels.  No I’m not a catholic priest, and no, I’ve not been to war.  What I found most in common with the good Father was his earnest desire to make a difference.  In fact, Father Mulcahy was earnest about everything.  So earnest to do a good job when his supervisor came to camp, that he got a little tipsy dipping into the sacramental wine.  Most of the time he went about his business of trying to offer counsel to young soldiers, or giving last rites to those young brave men who wouldn’t make it through surgery.  He was witty and funny and always willing, over-zealously willing, to jump in and offer a hand with just about any task… just to make a difference.

Perhaps if you’ve been reading my blog this year, and follow it regularly, you’ve noticed my propensity for taking on a serious tone, applying Scripture and God’s truth to the topics each day.  I guess that’s because most days I see the world around us and it seems like a spiritual nuclear war zone to me.  The stakes are too high to try to force myself to be witty or clever when eternity is at stake.  When the funny times do come, when the diatribe goes slack and the smiles come out, I count my blessings and laugh along with everyone else.  Just like the good Father Mulcahy.

[Ecclesiastes 3:1-4]

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—

A time to give birth and a time to die;
            A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

      A time to kill and a time to heal;
            A time to tear down and a time to build up.

      A time to weep and a time to laugh;
            A time to mourn and a time to dance.

Take the time today to experience the witty, clever, funny side of life.  God designed these parts too, just for you.

 

Witty

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Introduction then Indoctrination

launch

On February 25, 2007 an advertisement aired on ABC introducing Apple’s first iPhone.  In June 2007 the iPhone was released and the indoctrination was launched.

At that time, 10 years ago, I was not using apple technology, although I had been around it since my early days in computer retail selling Apple II’s.  This Apple product sold for $1298 with only 4K of ram in 1983.

The Apple iPhone 8 base unit with 64GB (34 years later) was introduced at $999.  Predictions of iPhone 8 unit volume for the first 12 months is 241.5 million.  This is what I call an introduction and indoctrination plan that worked.  I realize there are people reading this right now who do not purchase Apple products, and never intend to do so.  That’s ok, I’m not endorsing them, each to his own I say.  I’m sure Samsung, Motorola, Nokia all make a good product, but can we all just agree that Apple (at least according to the latest Gartner data) is leading the industry in market share (as of Q4 2016).

Introducing a new idea is one thing.  Indoctrination of this new idea in such a way that it impacts the entire world, is a whole other thing altogether.

The Old idea in the first century had been around for a about 1400 years, first given to Moses while he lead God’s people out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land.  We call it by different names:  The Law,  The Torah, etc.  Made up of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Old idea was God’s role as Creator, God establishing a Nation, and God’s Laws for that Nation.  The initial instruction set was only 10 Commandments, encompassing everything a person would need to relate to God and to his fellow human.

  • No other gods before Me
  • No idols
  • No using my name in vain
  • Keep the Sabbath day
  • Honor mom and dad
  • Do not murder
  • Do not commit adultery
  • Do not steal
  • Do not lie about your neighbor
  • Do not covet your neighbor’s stuff

It just seems to me that even now, after 3500 years since this stuff was written down [Exodus 20:1-17] we still don’t do any of these things very well.  I realize that these original DOCTRINES were given to a specific group of people (the Hebrews), but God’s intention was that the Hebrews be a light to the world about God’s blessings.  By now we should be so convinced of God’s blessings that the world would look different than it does.

Here’s the thing, after 1400 years of indoctrination the Hebrew people were not only NOT a light to the world, they had been so cut off from God that the last prophet to arrive, announced the coming of God’s Kingdom and the arrival of Messiah, the NEW IDEA.  So steeped in the Old idea were the leaders of Israel, that they had no clue God was doing something New.  The arrival of Jesus is Good NEWS!  The introduction of Messiah should have been the pinnacle of Jewish existence.  Instead it became infamous for the actions of the Sanhedrin, orchestrating the death of the Son of God.

Here we are, 2000+ years removed from this event.  And while there is much indoctrination among the many different beliefs about who Jesus was, or is, or will be, when I look around our world I’m a little sad that we don’t seem to have made the same impact today as the first apostles did when it all started.  Peter preached on two separate occasions and 3,000 and 5,000 men respectively, came to be first time Christ-followers.  Where is that kind of preaching today?

When the church gathered for prayer, because two of their own were chained to the wall in a prison cell, God heard their prayers and the chains fell off, while an angel of God lead them out of that jail.  Where is that kind of praying today?

Have our hearts grow so cold?  Have our wills become so weak?  If we can’t get folks to just stand up and hold their hand over their hearts for the singing of a national anthem, how could we ever expect them to stand and do battle against the spiritual forces of evil at work in this world today?

We’ve lost sight of what Jesus said about His church.  Do you remember?

Matthew 16:18
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Jesus wasn’t talking about Peter building a church.  Jesus was talking about the faith statement Peter has just uttered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

If this is the faith statement, and the Church is living this out in truth and power, then why does it seem Satan and Hell are winning so many battles today?  … in the media, in politics, in our school systems, in almost every entertainment venue, including the NFL?

We’ve fallen prey to his deceptive ways.  Tolerance was introduced as the Prime Directive.  Now it seems the indoctrination of “tolerance” has led us to the point of no return.

God save us from ourselves, and from those who would destroy us with agendas of hate and condescension.  God, show us the way back to you.  God, launch us back in Your direction…

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Launch

 

Is Planet Earth Home?

planet

Whew!  We escaped the latest doomsday scenario of September 23rd, so let’s party on, right!?  Not so fast! What about the super volcano sitting under Yellowstone National Park?  According to Brian Wilcox of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the threat to our planet from a super volcano is exponentially greater than being hit by an asteroid or comet from outer space.

In the article first published in August 2017 by news.com.au, the Yellowstone super volcano is a greater threat to Earth, and if it were to erupt it would bury much of the United States beneath a thick layer of ash and lava.  Not to mention the “real” global climate change that would ensue.  The article highlights NASA’s plans to diffuse this possibility by monitoring the magma temperature, and if it gets too high, drilling vents to let off steam, thereby preventing an eruption.

I don’t know about you, but this still sounds a lot like science fiction.  But there you go.  Life on this planet most of the time, is stranger than fiction.

I guess the bottom line for me is this.  While I love my life here on planet earth, and on most days I feel very privileged to be alive, and blessed beyond reason, I have a fundamental understanding that this is not my long-term dwelling place.  I understand that part of our responsibility on earth is to be good stewards of this planet.  It was part of the basic directive which God gave Adam (subdue it).

Genesis 1:28
Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. 

Mankind is to be the “good” steward of the planet.  There is no other way to interpret this directive.  That said, mankind is considerably more corrupt and sinful today, than when these words were spoken in the idyllic setting of the Garden.  It bears out in logic and reasoning then that we might want to look elsewhere in God’s revealed Word, about what might be coming next on our planet based on humanity’s current level of depravity.

The Book of Revelation and its apocalyptic nature, has been the fuel of many debates over the centuries. Chapters 16-18 describe the very end events as God rains judgment on evil men in what are called the Seven Bowls of Wrath.  The seventh bowl is seen in verse 21 of Revelation 16.

And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. 

One hundred pound hailstones?  Really?  How is that even possible?  Where would these hailstones have to originate?  Could a super volcanic eruption result in this kind of phenomenon?  Is this a symbolic term, or a literal description?  See where I’m going with this?  Whether literal or symbolic, what is God trying to communicate to us here?  What does He really want us to know?

If all we do is read chapters 16-18 about a coming judgment, and then quit reading because it’s too hard to understand, then we miss the most important part about what God wants us to know.

Jesus said to His disciples…

John 14:1-3
Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

In Revelation 19-22 Jesus reveals to John more of the details regarding the “I will come again and receive you to Myself” part of this promise.  One of the details in Revelation 21 is a new planet.  John says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.

What we can know from this is the one we inhabit now, this tired old planet, will not be our final home.  Living now as though it is, is to contradict what God’s word says.

So Peter instructs us… 1 Peter 2:11
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 

Billy Graham encourages us… “My home is in heaven.  I’m just passing through this world.”

Jesus promised us a place to be with Him, and that He would come and take us there.

This planet my home?  I don’t think so.

 

Planet

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Healing Through Pampering

pamper

Ahhhhhh.  One of the ultimate luxuries of vacationing at some resort might just be the famous “couples massage.”  To be pampered in such a way was something totally foreign to me for most of my life.  Most of the back-rubbing I received was when I just worked to hard, and had a cramp or something.  A quick 2-3 minute rub-out was as close as it got to something that might be called “a massage.”  I’ve done the “real” massage thing a few times in the last ten years, but even now, I can’t imagine this activity as fitting into my normal schedule or routine.  I know how good it feels.  I just don’t do it that often.

Now, imagine if there were an activity in which you could participate, that would have the same net effect on your mind and soul, just as a good massage does for your tired or aching body…

Such an activity would be sought out, would be pursued relentlessly, right?

hmmmm…..

Proverbs 3:5-8

 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
            And do not lean on your own understanding.

      In all your ways acknowledge Him,
            And He will make your paths straight.

      Do not be wise in your own eyes;
            Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

      It will be healing to your body
            And refreshment to your bones.

Do you need pampering today?

Where will you go? To whom will you turn?

Pamper

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That’s Beside The Point

irrelevant

According to Vocabulary.com, “if a rock star becomes irrelevant, it means people are not relating – or even listening – to his music anymore.”  Such can be said for the current irrelevant conversations regarding Planet X, Nibiru, and the Annannaki on one hand; and David Meade, along with many other biblical prognosticators, who proclaim in their loudest voice to date: “The END is NEAR!”  People who are caught up in all this chaotic nonsense are not listening to the voice of truth, or they are completely ignoring what the Bible says in such a way as to completely misinterpret the concepts they hold in such high esteem.  It’s like they are shouting, “don’t confuse me with the facts, those things are irrelevant!”  It even seems to me that many people want these things to be true, so they can usher in the Kingdom of God.  They act as if wishing it true, would make it true.  Then, being true, they would have the last laugh on all those unfortunate souls on earth who don’t have their eternal destination as heaven.

Is that what Jesus meant by telling us to go make disciples?

Did He give His life on the cross, demonstrating in the most relevant way possible how much He loves us, only to have us be judgers and haters of the world?

In fact, for arguments sake let’s assume September 23rd, (today), is the day that marks the beginning of the end.  Imagine the catastrophic events actually do begin in 9 hours and 39 minutes (as I write this).  According to Slooh.com, it all begins at 8:00 pm EDT.  You can go to this website and watch it happen live, like those would-be revelers who stood at the top of the building when the aliens came to town in the 1996 movie Independence Day.  The truly relevant question here might be:

“Who would you want to convince to trust in Jesus as Savior before the end comes?”

My question to you is: “If this is the end, shouldn’t you be working on that?”

Christians around this globe who are living as God want them to live, see the “end of the world” as irrelevant.  Whether near or far, that is not the focus of my daily life goal.  The daily goal is to live in such a way, every day, that those seeking to know God may find Him or know Him through me, or my life.  We seek to experience God’s grace every single day, and extend God’s glory to the end’s of the earth, until it is the end of the earth.

We really do need to listen to the voice of reason, the biblical voice, interpreted clearly through the apostle Paul, because everything else is irrelevant.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.  For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.  While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.  For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.  Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

 

Irrelevant

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As in turning over a new…

leaf

A new start, a reformation, behaving in more responsible ways… is this ever entirely possible?  As humans, on our own, do we really have the wherewithal to accomplish such a thing?  Some would argue with me until they are blue in the face, that “yes” of course humans can change.  But really, how many have you known who have done so, as I said, on their own, without any external help?  I am human and have tried most of my life to overcome some nagging negative traits or characteristics that seem hard-wired into my own DNA.  Just about when I think I’ve got things under control, I either slip up, slide back, or just quit trying for awhile.  Then I realize, I can’t do this on my own.  I need help.

A tried and true, non-invasive way to control one’s vulgar speech habits, is to wear a rubber band on the wrist.  Every time you speak without thinking, falling into the old habit of using selected words not suitable for little ears (or old ears for that matter), you pull back the band on your wrist and feel pain associated with that language.  While over time your language may change for horrible to not-so-bad most of the time, the outside action of snapping a rubber band against your wrist was the external source causing an internal change.  It’s basic re-programming, not necessarily change at the core of who you are.  That’s the real problem isn’t it?  How to really “turn over a new leaf.”

The prophet Jeremiah asks Jeremiah 13:23

Can the Ethiopian change his skin
            Or the leopard his spots?
            Then you also can do good
            Who are accustomed to doing evil.

See?  God knows us better than we know ourselves.  And He knows we are not capable of doing the very thing we want to do… turn over a new leaf.

So, how to accomplish such an enormous task?  What’s really required if we want to commit to the process of starting over, and changing our behavior, to less volatile and damaging activities?  How do we curb these vitriolic attitudes spoken freely every day in a world divided by condescension and hatred?

David of the Old Testament was only too aware of his sinfulness, and rebellion against God’s ways.  Basically, he said (over and over and over), “I need help!”

Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
            And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

David also wrote…

Psalm 121:1-2
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
            From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

Even David in the Old Testament, declared that if we are ever to turn over a new leaf, it will come from the outside supernatural forces we invite into our lives, that remake us from the inside out.  We cannot do it alone.  We need help.

Jesus was talking to Nicodemus late one night because ole Nick knew he needed help, and sought out the only One who could help him.  Nick says to Jesus,  “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”  To which Jesus replies, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Nick’s response:  “Huh?”

For the whole narrative read John 3:1-21.  But for the point I’m making here, Nick new only too well that he couldn’t change on his own.  He went to Jesus to find the answers, and Jesus gave him the instruction needed to make a real change, to turn over that new leaf.  You must be born again.

Those who believe in Jesus to transform them into a human who glorifies God, will be completely satisfied with their metamorphosis.  This faith/trust doesn’t just change your speech, or your behavior, but your desires and attitudes as well.  Every person who every locked eyeballs with Jesus (in the New Testament) went away changed.  Either for better… or worse.

If they understood and believed who Jesus claimed to be, trusting in His salvation by stepping over the line of faith, their whole lives took on new meaning and purpose.  Those who listened to his teachings, saw him act in miraculous ways, and still weren’t convinced they needed “His brand” of teaching or salvation… they walked away unchanged… or saved.

We all make the choice to believe or not, to be changed or not.  But we cannot change ourselves into what God wants us to be.  That requires the outside spiritual grace offered only in Jesus.

Want to turn over a new leaf?  Run to the One who made the leaves!  He will transform you’re life.

Leaf

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Who is this King of Glory?

mighty

Earthly kings, if you believe the writers of Game of Thrones, is the male ruler of a realm, or monarchy.  Each of these men usually have this position because they inherited it by their position in the family at birth.  Each rules as king until they die, or they abdicate their right to be king.  Aegon the Conqueror and Robert Baratheon became kings through conquest.  The consort of the king is a queen, but a queen can also mean one who rules in her own right.  Daenerys Targaryen claims to be Queen Regnant of the Iron Throne as her own right as the daughter of King Aerys II Targaryen.

If none of these names mean anything to you at all, that’s ok.  It’s just a book series now turned into a TV show.  The books were written by George R.R. Martin with book one (Game of Thrones) published in 1996, with the Winds of Winter (#6), and A Dream of Spring (#7), yet to be released. The headline from TheVerge stated that 16 million people watched the premier of the seventh season, 10.1 million viewed the live broadcast, and another 6 millions on streaming services.  So, maybe you do know who all these kings are.

But, do you know the King of Glory?

No, He doesn’t star in an upcoming episode of GOT.

Let me give you a clue.

Psalm 24:1-10,  A Psalm of David.

The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains
the world, and those who dwell in it. 
For He has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
 
Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood
and has not sworn deceitfully. 
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 
This is the generation of those who seek Him,
who seek Your face– even Jacob.        Selah. 

Lift up your heads, O gates,
and be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in! 

Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O gates,
and lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in! 

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

Selah.

Mighty has to do with holding great power or strength, and possessing colossal or mammoth proportions of influence.  Mighty men in the history of mankind have been powerful, violent, and relentless at times to seize their power and hold on to it.  Some were glorified for their efforts, others were known in infamy.

The Bible speaks of a coming ruler, one who arises from nowhere to great power and influence.  He will be loved by all at first.  He will conquer nations not by military power but with cunning language and negotiating peace.  He will have kings, presidents, and despots all scrambling to seek his favor, as the world falls prey to his deceptive powers.  Hitler, Stalin or Conan the Barbarian are all meek and mild children compared to the mighty influence of this coming Son of Destruction.  Here is how Paul describes him.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

The man described here as “the son of destruction” will only do these things after he has come to power all over the world.

But is this the end?  … The end of all things good and right and holy?  Not so much.  For this man is only a prince of darkness, a son of destruction, he is not a king.

The King of glory, the King who is coming, is holy, righteous, and full of grace and mercy for those who take His name.  He is not a mythical king of old like King Aerys II Targaryen, or no!  This is none other than the Christ of Heaven, the Living God, the Creator of all things.

John 1:3
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

This mighty King is coming, soon, but don’t get tied down by that.  It’s not the timing He would have us focus on.  It is the fact of it.  The truth of it, that is important here.  So listen to the King of Heaven’s own words we should hear and heed:

Revelation 22:12-13
Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

These words were not written for entertainment.  These words were written so that those who read them should understand them, and act in ways that line up with the truth held in them.

Are you ready for the coming King?

Who is the King of glory?
The LORD strong and MIGHTY,
The LORD mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O gates,
and lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in! 

Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.

Selah.

Mighty

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Life Giving Breadcrumbs

crumb

Bread is my weakness.  Rhodes Dinner Rolls are my favorite, for several reasons.

First, the dough making part of making rolls is time consuming, and I really don’t want to do it.  If I get in the mood to make bread I have a bread maker which will make the dough and bake it if I want.  All I have to do is make precise measurements and dump the ingredients into the mixer/baker.  Or it will just make the dough, and I can cut and shape it how I desire.  But if I want rolls, why would I go to all that trouble, when Rhodes has labored so hard to provide me these delicious morsels ready to bake?

Second, these rolls remind me of my mom’s cooking.  She made dinner rolls that tasted as good as these or better, and I loved ’em.  Each time I take the time to bake some of these goodies, I think of her, and it’s like life-giving breadcrumbs to me.  I miss her still.  I’m hungry for her bread, and thirsty for her sweet iced tea, but she’s no longer here to make these for me.

When the hunger and thirst for such things as these rages into cravings, nothing else will do.  This truth is why Jesus taught:

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

John 6:27
Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.

John 6:35
I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

I freely testify to you today, it is not my mother’s sweet iced tea that quenches my soul’s thirst, nor her succulent bread rolls which feeds my soulful longing for satisfaction in this life.  Only the LORD of heaven – the bread of life, the living water – can do this for me… and for you.

People struggle along in this life on the crumbs of the world’s offerings, and they are starving and thirsting to death spiritually.  However, today, you can know true satisfaction deep in your soul.  You can experience the answer for hungering and thirsting after the fulness of life, and be satisfied.  But only if you look in the right place.  Don’t settle for the crumbs when you can have the whole roll.

Psalm 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Crumb

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Hollywood: You’re Not So Glorious

glorious

I suppose the illustrious and celebrated, those famous for being in front of a camera spouting other people’s words, believe they have every right to foster hate, and further divide our nation, while they hand out little statues that mean nothing.  I wonder sometimes if in their spectacularly blind way of engaging their 1st Amendment right, to say whatever they want on public television, if they would defend my right to write these words?

We didn’t watch the Emmys.  My wife and I spent the evening reading together and talking.  You know… that interpersonal engagement skill that few seem to pursue today.  We didn’t text, or snapchat, or look at our mobile devices.  We didn’t have any music playing, and the background noise was the a/c unit modulating on and off.  It was just the two of us, and our little lap-dog, Sugar, spending close to three hours enjoying life and each other. And I’m pretty sure my life is not diminished in any aspect, having not tuned in to the “bash President Donald Trump” show.

Here’s one brief quote from Alec Baldwin, noted Donald Trump impersonator/basher:

“When you die, you don’t remember a bill that Congress passed or a decision the Supreme Court made or an address made by the president. You remember a song, you remember a line from a movie, you remember a play, you remember a book, a painting, a poem. What we do is important and for all of you out there in motion pictures and television, don’t stop doing what you’re doing, the audience is counting on you.”

It’s sad though, isn’t it?  That what was once a celebration of “craft” has turned into a political machine.  Every Hollywood, or Broadway, or media award ceremony is now really only so much cannon fodder for the elitist Alt-left to stir the pot of condescension, all the while behaving like two-year-old children, rather than full-grown adults.  Using sly and carefully crafted words, the “attitude” behind their tiny-minded speeches comes through in their faces, and posture.  How would I know this if I didn’t watch, you ask?  This morning, two of the three web-sites I read were inundated with material in video clips about this so-not-newsworthy event.  I viewed a couple and had enough.

At times like these, I think on the words of God as He looked down at the human race and the mess that was made by them of His creation.

Genesis 6:3,5
Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years… Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Perhaps one of the saddest verses in the whole Bible is what follows in verse 6.

Genesis 6:6
The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Perhaps it’s audacious of me to say, but I think God may have wept last night as well, as those blind, dark minds, used the only platform available, to continue to spread seeds of hate.

What to do?  What to do?

Today, approach God’s Word with an open heart and mind, and search for truth regarding what is ahead.  What is ahead?  The promise of the Spirit, and the Day of the LORD.

And now, a final word to Hollywood, or for those who want to see the GLORIOUS Truth, from the ONE who is in control, has the authority, and is ever present with us.

Spend some time reading the second chapter of Joel, which ends with this verse…

Joel 2:32
And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

Glorious

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Recreate or Re-create?

recreate

Like so many other human beings in the world, I find many different ways to amuse myself when I have down-time. This is the very definition of “recreate”: to amuse oneself in some activity.  Anyone who’s been reading this blog for awhile knows that my primary recreational activity is golf.  So when I read the “Daily Post” word of the day, from which I get my springboard for writing, naturally I was confused about which word I was supposed to write about. Recreate or re-create?

To re-create means “to create again,” which may indeed be a recreational activity for artists and such, but the two words do not mean the same thing.  You can see my dilemma, right?

I really like the picture above, and the implications of new life coming out of old dead things, in this case a tree stump.  The vivid green plant life juxtaposed against the cracked, old dead wood, was a great creative idea by the photographer.  I wonder if as he shot this graphic whether he was amused with the activity.  I did it again didn’t I? I re-created the dilemma.

David captured the idea of being re-created from the inside out, in response to his own sinfulness, which was killing his spirit on the inside.

Psalm 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

David’s desire was for God to re-create, not recreate.  David saw it as his only option to sustain a purpose for his own existence.

Paul captures the same idea for the church in Corinth, and for us today.

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

When a person steps over the line of faith into Jesus, then God does what only HE can.  He re-creates us once again in His image, placing inside of us His own Holy Spirit, which results in a complete metamorphosis in our existence.  We are still human, but now we are saved, redeemed, and delivered from darkness – people.  We are His children.

We are re-created.

Recreate

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Ambrosial Acts

flavorful

My Weber grill and I have had a good time this summer.  Between the ambrosial aroma of steaks being seared, and the bouquet of smells proffered by grilling corn on the cob, asparagus, carrots, and other assorted vegetables, we’ve had quite a flavorful time.  The combination of smells and tastes complement the sheer joy in cooking for friends and family, and sharing life together.  In Greek mythology, “ambrosial” pertained to something worthy of the gods.  No, I’m not saying my skills on the grills are god-like, far from it.  Sometimes I over-use the spices (too heavy on the lemon-pepper last time).  Sometimes I over-cook the whatever… I’m not perfect in any sense of the word.  Still, I love to keep trying and experiment with new techniques and new recipes.  I also believe this is the key to life.

See, I learned a long time ago, you just have to not be afraid to fail.  Because you will.  Whether it’s golf, or grilling, or going all-in with a full house in Texas Hold-em’, there are going to be those times you’re going to be beat by a “flush.”  You’re going to fail to make the putt.  The grilled chicken is going to be dry and overcooked.

Do you really want to know what an “Ambrosial Act” is?  We’ve seen the stories over and over for a couple of weeks now.  People who act in self-less ways to help those who are ravaged by life, perform ambrosial acts… they act in ways that are pleasing to God.

And folks, let me assure you, there are many more opportunities for God to use you in this recovery process.

Did you know there is a whole group of people both in Texas and in Florida which will receive no help at all from FEMA?  Churches will not be eligible for recovery money from FEMA (either for their own damage, or for the costs of being a shelter for those fleeing for their lives from the storm).  FEMA categorically “excludes houses of worship from equal access to disaster relief grants because of their religious status,” citing buildings that provide “critical service” or “essential government services”; if over half their space is used for religious programming cannot participate in the federal aid program.

Were it not for all the religious institutions and churches that have offered aid, and which will continue to do so, FEMA would fail miserably to provide all that’s needed in the recovery process. We need a new recipe, a new technique to solve this problem.

The clear reality is, churches were lost in this storm too.  People who attended these churches lost their homes and possessions.  Pastors and staff members who served these congregations, lost their homes and possessions.  Harvey is gone and the weather is clear in Texas along the coast again.  However, it is anything but business-as-usual.  It will take months and years to get it all back in place.

How will it happen? It takes all of us folks.  It takes being willing to fail.  My Uncle Wylie used to say, “Don’t just stand there, do something!  If it doesn’t work, try again!”  I feel like God is looking down on us, saying, “See the marvelous opportunity you have?  Do something!”

Last week in worship our Pastor presented the idea that our church “partner” with another decimated church in South Texas and stand with them in the rebuilding process.  This really resonates with me as an ambrosial act.  It’s full of flavor and sweet smelling aroma in the palate of God, as He views His people doing what He called them to do.

After the flood, Noah built an altar and made an offering to God, for God’s provision and salvation.  It was an ambrosial act.

Genesis 8:21
The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.”

God recognizes we are going to fail.  Isn’t it about time we recognize it too?  And in this understanding, should we not simply do what we can do to help in the rebuilding and recovery of life, for those less fortunate than ourselves?

Don’t forget, this isn’t done yet.

Flavorful

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Like Wrestling With A Porcupine

thorny

The long, sharp quills that cover a porcupine’s body can sometimes reach up to a foot long.  The animal uses the quills as a defense by shaking their bodies to make the quills rattle.  They can charge backward against their predators.  Some mistakenly think the quills can be projected into their attacker, but according to Animal Diversity Web, that isn’t true.  The quills release from their bodies, and have scales or barbs which make them difficult to remove.  Once a quill is lost it regenerates over time.  Some porcupines have 30,000 or more quills, and grow up to 3-feet long.  Porcupines are herbivores, and live in pretty much all different terrains, including deserts, mountains, forests, and grasslands, some living in trees, and others on the ground. To look at them, they aren’t really cozy and cuddly animals.

Being on social media today is a lot like wrestling with a porcupine.  There is so much nonsense and fake news that gets perpetrated from maladjusted individuals who tend to come at their problems by charging backward with their pointed quills.  In so doing they are a perfect image of our current political systems where barbs are bristled and rattled, and posturing is everything.  I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of tired of all the thorny rhetoric and attitudes.

I’m looking forward to a new world.  I’m ready for some relief.  I need the healing that only comes from a restoration of the soul, and the balm that soothes the pain inflicted by those who only hate.

Today I need direction, guidance, and wisdom in how to charge ahead.  Do You?

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

Thorny

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Kind Compassion and Commiserations

sympathy

It’s wired into all of us, the capability to demonstrate sympathy for those who have suffered misfortune and loss.  It’s in our DNA.  Some have just suppressed the emotional stimulus of sympathy for others for so long, their “sympathy” seems re-routed to include only themselves.  Case in point, what would possess dozens of looters in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and other cities to break into stores in these evacuated towns and just take whatever they want?  A complete abandonment of moral thought and sympathy for their fellow man.  There is no other explanation.  The darkness invading the minds of men have increased lawlessness, and their hearts have grown cold… just as Jesus said they would. (Matthew 24:12)

But it’s hard isn’t it?  To be so bombarded with tragedy in the news week after week and not become a little de-sensitized to the present crisis.  It’s clear that those who’ve lost their homes and possessions in the fires in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana are just as devastated as those affected by Harvey and Irma.  But we’ve lost sight of them, because we focus on what is right in front of us at the time.  Right now it’s Irma and the southern United States.  Most of us haven’t given more than a second thought to the folks to our south affected by an earthquake in Mexico.

Sometimes it’s not even about focus, sometimes it’s about remembering.  Today is a good example.  Today is September 11, 2017.  16 years ago our lives we’re changed forever.  We watched in horror as thousands of lives were lost when the twin towers came crashing into the earth in rubble.  Terrorism became real for everyone around the world in an instant, and it hasn’t let up since.  Here’s a question for you though.  I wonder how many people in the world today would even have thoughts of this tragedy, or those who were lost, except that a commemorative event was planned, specifically so that we don’t forget?

Too often it is all too true:  out of sight, out of mind… and out of our memory.

I’m convinced some folks have the spiritual gift of sympathy.  It seems they have an unlimited supply, and regardless of how many tragedies occur, they are instantly capable of recognizing needs and organizing aid.  I recognize this as a special gift from God, because while I’m not unfeeling or uncaring, I find myself stretched these days to have enough sympathy to go around.  I would like to think I’m a kind man, who cares, who demonstrates compassion, and will commiserate with those in need.

Yet, when in the ensuing chaos of one tragedy, after another, after another, in a seemingly endless list of tragedies, both my heart and my mind become numb.  I end up asking myself, “How can our world survive much more?”  Then I think about those in the crisis itself, while I watch the incessant video streams of death, damage, looting; it’s hard to balance all that with the fewer stories of strong willed people who drive from another state to demonstrate their sympathy in tangible ways.

Perhaps the answer is simple: pick a battle, don’t try to win the war on your own.

By becoming pro-active and choosing a place where you personally want to go, help and make a difference in the recovery process, you set aside those paralyzing thoughts and in action begin to make a real difference to those who do need our sympathy.  Sympathy won’t cut it though, if that’s all we have.  We must act.

And you can’t get bogged down by whatever else might be coming our way in the next few weeks or months.  Just focus on the choice you made, the people or group you’ve decided to support and keep on.  Pray for all the others certainly, this is something we all can do.  But engage somewhere.  Demonstrate your own kind compassion and sympathetic commiserations by actually doing something to help someone in the middle of these tragic days of misery and loss.

It’s not just about sympathy.  It’s also about action.

Jesus also said, [John 13:34]
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

 

Daily Post: Sympathy

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Strange and Unexpected

Daily Post: Peculiar

peculiar

Could I ask you to pray for me?  Would it seem peculiar to you if I did?  Allow me to briefly share my need.  I don’t need money, food, water, shelter, clothes, or donations of any kind… so please, please keep reading.

It was a strange, peculiar feeling for me as the reality of how the message was getting out around the world finally settled in my mind.  According to a simple Google search, there are 193 countries in the world today, or 195 if you count the Holy See and the State of Palestine [United Nations classification].  Depending on the criteria used, “Stratfor” in their June 2017 article  suggests there are 204-207 de facto sovereign states.  The total of IOC-recognized Olympic nations is 206, and FIFA countries eligible for the World Cup Soccer trophy numbers 211.

What was the strange and peculiar feeling I had, and what was the reality I discovered?  Using the United Nations criteria of 195 nations, this blog has almost reached the half-way point around the world.  As of yesterday, September 9th, 2017, there were readers from 80 different countries, the most recent being Guatemala. The map above shows the origination point of readers around the world, the clear countries have no readers.  I was ecstatic to learn that the message of the gospel was being delivered to these highlighted countries through this blog.

Technology is a wonderful thing.  It has allowed me to continue to have a voice even now, while not being associated as a staff member/pastor of any particular church or denomination.  This means I can write and the message of God’s Word can be used around the world in ways that I will never see or know.  It is the true meaning of several different Scriptures.  Here are just a few that keep me going every day.

Hebrews 6:10
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.

Isaiah 55:11
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Acts 1:8
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.

So here is my prayer request:

Would you please pray for me as I write?  Pray that I would write with wisdom to reach people with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Pray that I would be a true witness of the faith in Flower Mound, in Texas and the United States, and to the remotest part of the earth.

I’m not sharing this map with you, or my stats with you for you to praise me, or for any regard in any way.  Please don’t do this.  Instead, I’m sharing this to hopefully inspire you to just be you.  Be the you God designed you to be, and you too can reach your world with the truth.  Be the witness for faith that makes a difference in someone’s life who really needs to see it, hear it, and experience it for themselves.

One last thing.

If you will pray for me in my endeavor to reach the world with the message of truth please consider this final request.

On any given day you may not relate to my topic, the thoughts I convey, or the image that I use as a platform for my message.  That’s ok, it’s a broad-spectrum blog.  But please keep reading.  Then, when you find that one article that touches you, that you relate to in ways I’ll never know about, would you do me the great honor of sharing it with your friends, or reposting it with a link to my blog, or on your Facebook page with all those hundreds of other readers…?

Above all, if you don’t feel like sharing, then don’t.  But please, please pray for me as I write, that God would send out His message in these words, and they would not return to His throne void, but will accomplish all that He sends them to accomplish.

Thanks for reading!

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An Overwhelmed Conqueror

Daily Post:  Overcome

Roman Soldier

Hours away now, folks in Florida, and folks from Florida who have found a way to safe haven somewhere out of the path of Irma, might best be described as an overwhelmed conqueror.  Some are staying behind to face the brunt of whatever this hurricane has to offer.  In some ways, I feel overwhelmed for them, and for those broadcast journalists who will give their hourly, or “minute-by-minute” updates when Irma’s fury is unleashed. Those who stayed are still grappling with their emotions, fighting to overcome the urge to flee.  The rest, traveling North to shelter, have overcome the danger to themselves, but have placed all their earthly possessions in the hands of the Creator in charge of the storm.  In this way, they too have overcome.

We watch from a distance, mesmerized or paralyzed by the streaming video feeds on our computers and mobile devices, or from the large screen displays hanging on the wall, detached from the pain, still not knowing what the final outcome will be.  We’ve had a glimpse, as Harvey spread devastation, pain, and loss across the gulf coast area.  So we know what to expect, it’s all too fresh in our short-term memories. Nevertheless, even that story isn’t finished yet.  Like a mystery novel where the solution is not revealed until the final chapter, we don’t know just how bad Irma will be for folks along the Florida coast line.  Regardless of East or West, all will be affected in some greater or lesser degree.

Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

When Paul wrote to the Christ-followers in Rome, he knew they would face persecution and some of them death, yet his words were still filled with encouragement to remain strong and focused.  The word overcome here, when literally translated from the Greek, is “I conquer” or “I overcome.”  It is the greek verb nikao (nik-ah-o) from which we get our English word “Nike.”  So, here’s the thing…

Irma is not inherently evil.  It’s a hurricane.  It’s fueled by water and wind, both of which are natural elements designed by God for specific purposes.  Scientists believe they understand what causes hurricanes, but they don’t portray them as “evil,” because they aren’t.  Powerful, yes.  Evil, no.  So let’s not confuse the issue.  To conquer, sometimes you do have to turn and flee the coming storm.

1 John 5:4-5
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world– our faith.  Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

As men are poised to blow each other’s brains out, as fire spreads across the fruited plains and majestic mountain ranges, as the earth moves literally under our feet, as the wind and waves crash unmercifully into our land… how will we ever overcome?

We will suit up, just like the warrior in the image above and stand strong against the forces which would destroy us.

Folks it’s time.  Time to get busy.

It’s not time to whine or moan or be sidetracked by “I can’t do this,” thoughts.

It’s time to be a NIKE.  It’s time to battle back.

It’s time to overcome.

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Crescendo Happens

Daily Post:  Crescendo

cresccendo

First, hurricanes Harvey and Irma (and maybe Jose), and now this morning an 8.1-magnitude earthquake in southern Mexico, has rocked our world.  When tectonic plates collide, one riding up and over another, orogeny, volcanoes and earthquakes happen.  When earthquakes, volcanoes, and hurricanes happen in rapid succession, this may be the very definition of crescendo.

Does it have to mean the end of the world?  Not for the whole world perhaps, but it does for some.  Some human beings in the wrong place at the wrong time through no fault of their own lose their lives and it is the end of the world.  Other’s whose homes or businesses are destroyed, literally wiping out their previous life from existence, have to start over, and the world is changed forever.  For those looking in from the outside, whose lives may have been affected negatively by these disasters, each makes a choice to join the fray of helpers, or in the ultimate act of self-indulgence, turn a blind eye.

Texas has survived, and lives will go on.  But Irma is almost upon us, and it is not time for us to stand down saying “we did our best.”  It is time to kneel down, and declare, “God we need you still!”  Then, after we’ve once again declared our dependence on Him, we need to beat the drums and blow the horns, and rally once again for the coming need which will be felt in our neighboring states when Irma finally hits.

The president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto says there hasn’t been an earthquake this size in Mexico in over a century.  You know what this means.  The death count today may be 5, but it’s just the early hours of discovering what lies beneath the rubble.  So we beat the drums and blow the horns again, we send out the rally call to all the world, “help!”

Remember, this is not the end.  It is only the birth pangs.

Matthew 24:6
You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Oh no, my friends, this is not the end.  It is the crescendo that builds to a roar in our ears that helps us understand in unique and startling clarity, we are human, and subject to the God of Heaven.  As the crescendo builds in your heart, trust Him not just with your soul, but with your very life.

We pray today for those in recovery, for those in depression, for those who’ve lost it all.

We pray for those who are hunkering down.

We pray for those who dig through the rubble.

Pray!

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A Limited Understanding

Daily Post: Finite

finite

No, this is not the latest image of Hurricane Irma.  While it may have a similar look, two notable differences are obvious.  First, the rotation of this body (if it is indeed moving) is clockwise.  Hurricane Irma’s rotation is counter-clockwise.  Second, the image above is a photo of the Milky Way Galaxy taken from space.  Our tiny home, the Planet Earth, would be virtually impossible to locate in this image since our Sun is represented by only a tiny dot just north of the second band away from the center of the image.  These are known facts, representing limited or finite human knowledge.

Regarding Irma, every meteorologist in the western hemisphere is trying to predict Irma’s course, strength, and what will happen along the way.  But none of them have infinite knowledge or understanding which would enable them to be perfect in their predictions.   This storm is governed by the hand of God, and will yield only to, and in accord with, the commands of God.  In just the same way, the Milky Way Galaxy has been in place, and will stay in place because of God’s command.

Psalm 147:4
He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.

Psalm 8:3-4
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? 

Think of it this way, “creation” is God’s act of bringing everything into existence, described for us in the Genesis 1 narrative. Scripture says God made the world “out of nothing,” ex nihilo.  So, before “the beginning” of Genesis 1, there was nothing but God himself.  There was no Milky Way Galaxy, there was no light to separate from the darkness, there was nothing but God.  He is infinite.  We are finite.

Our knowledge is finite.  Our understanding is finite.  We challenge the limitations of our knowledge and understanding daily, but we will never attain infinite wisdom and knowledge.  Those are attributes of the Creator, not the creature.

Why is it so important to yield to this awareness of exactly how finite our existence really is?  Because in the depraved darkness of an unyielding mind, there are those who see themselves as gods.  As though they had the ability to speak and sun, moon, stars, and planets would come into existence.  Or worse, that they can understand how these heavenly bodies came into existence without the help of a Creator, and tend to wax eloquent regarding the ignorance of those who believe the Genesis narrative.

It’s important to understand our finite understanding, knowledge, and abilities in order to recognize our need for a Savior.  If we think we are not lost, we have no need to be saved.  If we think we can save ourselves, we have no need for a Savior.  If we think we have all knowledge and understanding, we are infinitely out of touch with reality.

Today, we should pray to the Creator of the Universe to spare those in the path of Irma, even as we pray for His providential care for those who have suffered through Harvey.

Today, we should pray for enlightenment to come to those who think they need no saving grace, that they would come to know they do.

Today, in our finite understanding, we should give glory to the Infinite Creator who loves us, and gave Himself to save us.

 

 

 

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Predicting the Future

Daily Post: Anticipate

Businessman holding a glass ball

Crystal balls, 9-23-2017 conspiracy theories, sooth-sayers, shamans, the Anunnaki, and the Bible all compete for prominence in terms of which of these can accurately predict the future.  Even now, as the next Category 5 hurricane (Irma) bears down on the state of Florida, it is impossible to know which way she will turn, which route will bear the brunt of her angry winds and tirades of rain.  One thing we can be sure of, Irma will be just as deadly and devastating as Harvey, if not more so.  What are we to do?  And how many more tropical storms are out there somewhere, just waiting for that perfect wind which stirs the ocean waters in a special way spinning up into another hurricane.  Can Jose be far behind?

Then we also have the doomsday scenarios from which science fiction has made a fortune.  Armageddon was the 1998 movie starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thorton, and Ben Affleck who are sent to space to destroy an asteroid the size of Texas, before it can impact the earth.  Today there are those who are suggesting that in just a few weeks, we might be experiencing the destruction of the world by asteroids at least this size or larger.

Beyond that we have well-educated folks like Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google, who say things like, “Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity – change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.”

Humans have always been enamored with predicting the future, and anticipate what will come next for them.  It wasn’t any different in the first century when Jesus said he was the Messiah, not just to the Jews, but to all the world.  His closest followers thought that meant He would set up an earthly kingdom, ousting the Roman Empire, and establishing God’s kingdom on earth.  They believed this so completely that right before Jesus ascended back to heaven, they asked Him, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” [Acts 1:6].  The answer He provides should also be heeded today.

Acts 1:7
It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority.

Like it or not, it has never been easy to predict the future.  We can make intelligent guesses, and anticipate certain results of events if their status doesn’t change, but that really is the gist of it.  Scientists use MODELS to anticipate the path of the storm.  Christ-followers use the Bible as their MODEL for anticipating when God might act from Heaven in a final and conclusively redemptive way.  But can we know the when and the how?  Can we anticipate a certain day, month, or year?  Not hardly.

Since there are multiple options for self-destruction in our world today that wreak havoc on our senses, our emotions, and our spiritual existence, one has to wonder “… is it at this time?”  But hear me clearly.  Wondering is one thing.  Becoming completely paralyzed from any and all normal activity of life is another thing altogether.  I know only too well how easy it is to be consumed by dreading and anticipating what awful thing might happen, and the chaos ensuing after that event.  Since we cannot see or know the future, we must balance our thoughts with something other than paralyzing fear.

So, here’s an idea.  Don’t be scared, be prepared.

John 14:1-3
Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 

Translation:  Don’t be scared, be prepared.

The chaos in your life can be turned into patient watching and waiting, if only you are prepared to believe these simple words, this simple promise of Jesus.  In these words “time” or any concept of time is irrelevant.  Either you believe the promise is true, or you don’t.  Either you accept that this life experience on earth is a temporary stop-over to an eternal dwelling place, or you don’t.

If you do, don’t be scared by those wielding crystal balls, anyone shouting 9-23-2017 conspiracy theories, sooth-sayers, shamans, or the Anunnaki.

Instead, be prepared by submitting yourself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and doing His work that He commanded us to do, with however much time you have left.

A good form of anticipation would be:

Revelation 22:20
He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Enlightenment or Indoctrination?

Daily Post: Educate

englightenment

During the 17th and 18th centuries humanity began to celebrate the powers of human reasoning, took a more direct interest in science, accepted and embraced religious tolerance, and desired to develop governments free from tyranny.  These are historical facts based in actual events.  It is referred to as “the Age of Reason,” or “the Enlightenment.”

On the other hand, indoctrination is primarily about control.  Indoctrination is the “process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.” (according to https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indoctrinate)  The clearest example historically, might be  how Hitler believed the German youth could be raised in such a way, indoctrinated through education practices, that they wholeheartedly supported Hitler’s ideals and agendas.  So Hitler set out to achieve these beliefs by transforming the school curriculum, and create organizations like Hitler Youth.  In 1932 the membership was 107,956.  By 1933, when the Nazis came to power the membership had gown to 2,300,000 in one year. By choice or by force?  History dictates, mostly by force.

Today across America, and around the world, we continue to see movements or shifts in how people think.  Some might say, we’re not thinking at all.  When a reporter shows up at a demonstration and asks the demonstrators to give reasons for their participation, and they can’t respond in a reasoned or rational way, I suggest it’s indoctrination not enlightenment that sent them there.  It’s a sad state of affairs, in light of the really important issues that our world faces today, that people simply quit thinking and start blindly following their favorite actor’s, or favorite politician’s opinions.

Freedom of belief, and free expression of those beliefs, has been twisted and perverted. Perverted to such an extent, that even as a conservative if I say, “I believe you have the right to have a different belief,” the alt left more likely responds, “fine, but you don’t! because your’s is just wrong!”  When I disagree, I’m painted as fascist, supremacist, insane, or religious fanatic.

What our world needs is another enlightenment.  The one the world, along with true Christ-followers, has been waiting for.  And by the “world” I mean the Earth itself, because clearly humanity as a whole has not pursued or desired the enlightenment only God can give.

Matthew 24:9-14
Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

The voice of reason is being drowned out by the tyrannical insanity of mindless followers indoctrinated in the paradigm of hate.  Revising history to suit a political agenda, our land suffers at the threat of annihilation from within.  The words of Jesus give us pause, because we must continue to ask, “at what point will God’s own word become a fulfilled prophetic word?”  To be more clear,  when is “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world,” going to be completed?  Because, according to Jesus, it seems this is a trigger point which starts the beginning of the end.

I’m not now, nor have I ever been one to set timetables for the return of our King.  I’m just saying the streets and paths of our nation have become filled with lawlessness, and people have grown cold and contemptuous toward each other.  I’m not trying to indoctrinate you, I’m actually just inviting you to open your eyes, and reason with your own mind, regarding the things you see in our world today.

If you don’t know the facts, then educate yourself.  Find out the truth.  Read some history for yourself, not someone else’s interpretation of those events.  Discover, reason, and look for the enlightenment that comes from truth, not fake news.

You’re still breathing, you’re still here, that means there is still time.

Start now.

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