Saturday, May 31, 2008

Making Angels Rejoice!

Joy is not quiet. When individuals or groups rejoice, there seems to be music, leaps, and/or shouting involved. When we have joy, we want to share it.

I love David’s admonition: Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. (Psalms 66:1-2 KJV)

Again, he says: Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. (Psalms 81:1 KJV) O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Psalms 95:1-2 KJV) Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. (Psalms 98:4 KJV)

And, my very favorite: Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5 KJV)

Joy isn’t confined to the Psalms of David. The magi were filled, too: When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. (Matthew 2:10 KJV)

For some, joy does not remain: But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (Matthew 13:20-21 KJV)

They were offended because their joy did not remain after they heard: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. (Luke 2:10 KJV)

Even in hard times, times of tribulation: Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (Luke 6:23 KJV)

Was there joy in heaven for you? Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15:10 KJV)

If so, then join in David’s prayer: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; (Psalms 51:12a KJV)

If there hasn’t yet been joy in heaven for you, how about taking a moment with God and making angels rejoice?

Friday, May 30, 2008

Convenient Time?

And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. (Acts 24:25 KJV)

Been to a convenience store? Think of convenience when you travel? Felix didn’t live that way – he made things convenient for himself. Tacitus in his Roman Annals tells us that Felix felt very powerful through his brother in Rome:

“Not equally moderate was his brother, surnamed Felix, who had for some time been governor of Judaea, and thought that he could do any evil act with impunity, backed up as he was by such power.”

This man of power, who later was elevated to Roman judgeship, trembled. But delayed. For two years he held discussions with Paul, but there is no record of Felix accepting Christ. That has changed little in two thousand years.

Today people discuss religion in the abstract. Seldom do people tremble when they consider righteousness, temperance and judgment to come. Often do people respond with “Not now.”

If not now, when? If not now, why? (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV)

Felix didn’t go as far as Agrippa in his response to Paul: Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. (Acts 26:28 KJV)

We’ve all had much more than two years of religious instruction and discussion. Some do tremble, and many are fully persuaded. Others linger in discussions, filled with unanswerable questions. Those questions won’t be answered until “then”:

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV)

Is now almost a convenient time? There will be no time then.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yeshua, ben Elohim

Yeshua has been accepted by only a small number of Jews as the Messiah. Yet He came to them, as was promised by God. Why? We cannot explain why, for: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8 KJV)

There are many resources listing the scriptures prophesying the Messiah. They are complemented by the corresponding scriptures attesting to fulfillment. The greatest testimony is His life and His recorded words.

John states it boldly at the beginning of his gospel: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3 KJV)

Peter testified to the same: He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:15-16 KJV)

Thomas, without touch His hands nor side, proclaimed without doubt: And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. (John 20:28 KJV)

It took Paul longer. As he approached Damascus, with written authority to prosecute those who believed in Jesus, he was questioned: And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:5-6 KJV)

They came to know He who wrote: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6b KJV)

Throughout the gospels, those who followed Him were born as He was – a Jew. Thus the salvation unto the end of the earth came as the Lord promised Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18 KJV)

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (Deuteronomy 6:4 KJV) As a follower of Jesus Christ, I believe this with all my heart. I believe the one here (echod) is that of Exodus 2:24. That the One has shown Himself in three ways, but by no means has He changed His will for mankind.

As He promised Abraham and confirmed to Jacob: And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 28:14 KJV)

So He fulfilled: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:17 KJV)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Need Hope?

Need hope? Paul tells us where to find it:

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4 KJV)

The learning part is fairly easy – study the scriptures and we’ll learn. The patience part is a bit more difficult for me. Yet we’re told: In your patience possess ye your souls. (Luke 21:19 KJV)

The psalmist tells us: Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Psalms 27:14 KJV)

Fortunately, the scriptures are not the only comfort offered to us.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26 KJV)

Opening our hearts to the Holy Ghost provides more of the learning Paul mentions:

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26 KJV)

With the Comforter, we will gain the ability to follow the Great Commission: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:20 KJV)

When we’ve learned, where’s the value of our knowledge unless it is shared, unless it grows? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) Doesn’t hope die if it’s not shared and grown?

Not really. Even Job – a man who lost all he loved, all he owned – acknowledges to us today:

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. (Job 14:7 KJV)

Nourish that tree with patience and learning. Then enjoy the greenery and allow Him to bring all things to your remembrance.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

General Douglas MacArthur’s farewell speech given to the cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point May 12, 1962 was recently brought to my attention.


He spoke to duty, honor and country. According to him, “…unbelievers will say they are but words, but a slogan, but a flamboyant phrase. Every pedant, every demagogue, every cynic, every hypocrite, every troublemaker, and, I am sorry to say, some others of an entirely different character, will try to downgrade them even to the extent of mockery and ridicule.”


And, they have, continuing to do so.


MacArthur continued: “The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training - sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him. However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.”

Christ confirmed this: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV)

MacArthur’s words are as valid today as in 1962: “Civilian voices may argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.

“These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.”

Our soldiers have understood, as “…civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government…”, Plato’s philosophizing “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
Similarly, And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6 KJV)

We offer our soldiers medals for their valor, honor for their courage. Let us always offer them our respect, our thanks and our love, for their sacrifice.


This year, as decades past, we will specifically remember the sacrifice given by Captain John Clarence Blickensderfer, a 20-year-old US Army Air Corps pilot who did not return from a bombing run, shot down over Hoorn, Holland.
His parents faced the blankness of no one to carry their family, and they adopted two brothers. For that we are so very grateful and acknowledge their loss, too.

Please pray for the families who today remain. And for the men and women who continue to stand in harm’s way.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!!

We’re having dinner with Eldest Daughter and her husband. I’ve just finished turning dough into little balls in muffin tins for cloverleaf rolls (and a couple of loaves, too – it made a lot!), checked the macaroni salad she loves to be certain the flavors blended, baked beans are ready and there are two racks of ribs slowly roasting in the oven. Comfort food!! Everything will be ready after church except baking the bread. Whooo hooo – that sweet smell of yeast bread will waft through the house.

Today is our forty-seventh wedding anniversary. I have no idea what the statistics are about reaching that stage of marriage, but in our church they are pretty good. Just last week there was a fifty-fifth anniversary celebrated.

Yesterday I posted some verses regarding marriage: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 KJV) New Testament verses reference this three times: Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7, Ephesians 5:31.

Please note that it doesn’t say:

Until I leave when he/she doesn’t pay attention to me.

Until I meet someone new who really loves me.

Until I finish my degrees and outgrow him/her.

Until he/she doesn’t accept the changes I need.

Until … whatever is said just before a spouse walks out

Weddings are simply the beginning. It’s the celebration of a single event and will not carry a couple through their first month of marriage. Honeymoons last a bit longer, but won’t carry through the first month, either.

There is no single key within two people for a successful marriage. It’s the commitment to each other, and a God centered marriage makes it much easier. It is possible to grow away from each other, but if each is keeping God in the center of their lives, they are always drawn together.

Have we fought? Oh, yes – Olympic gold medal winning arguments. Have we sulked, whined, complained? Yep – all of that, too. We’ve lost jobs and gotten new ones. Bought homes, sold them, moved and bought another. Lived there and moved here.

Have we had fun? Immeasurable, and ongoing. Have we had joy? Three children, their spouses, seven grandchildren, three with their spouses, and four great-grandchildren are so very capable of providing joy just within their smiles!! And, our extended family and friends who share our live and loves just add to the equation.

We know the law: For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:9-10 KJV)

My Beloved Husband is my closest neighbor. I will work him no ill.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Husband and Wife

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 KJV)

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6 KJV)

For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30 KJV)

I first met her in church, but I don’t remember the exact circumstances. I do remember the second time, for that’s when she said:

“They weren’t certain for a long time, but the doctors said it must be Alzheimer’s. I don’t know what to expect.”

She was so calm. The opposite of my own panic thinking of a disease where loss of ‘self’ is inevitable. She remained calm as bits and pieces of her memory and ability slipped into oblivion.

Her taste in clothing was timeless, her suits reminding me of Chanel. It was a painful blessing to visit with her at church as the disease progressed. Every once in a while she would appear concerned as she ceased to understand. She always looked lovely, her husband going the extra mile to achieve her “look” before leaving home.

A teen volunteered to spend time with her, giving her husband a respite each week. As children would, they played dress up, returning a smile to her face as she inappropriately selected a variety of clothing.

One day a simple fall resulted in a broken hip and the hospital care turned into a full-care facility stay that has lasted years. Her husband’s faithful attendance to her there gave new meaning to:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV)

For that is what he has done for this, his best of friends. His years of loving kindness as her husband have not changed as he cares for her daily in their remaining years of marriage. They are (literally) at the top of my prayer list, for the loving faithfulness of a godly man; for strength and support for the care he gives; and for her comfort and rest.

I am grateful to have seen this example, a reflection from God’s love for mankind:

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19 KJV)

Friday, May 23, 2008

"Come Unto Me"

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in hearr: and ye shall find est unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11::28-30 KJV)

Our hymnbooks contain the Charles P. Jones poetry inspired by those verses, Come Unto Me:

Hear the blessed Savior calling the oppressed,

"Oh, ye heavy-laden, come to Me and rest;

Come, no longer tarry, I your load will bear,

Bring Me every burden, bring Me every care."

Refrain:

Come unto Me, I will give you rest;

Take My yoke upon you, hear Me and be blest;

I am meek and lowly, come and trust My might;

Come, My yoke is easy, and My burden's light.

Are you disappointed, wand'ring here and there,

Dragging chains of doubt and loaded down with care?

Do unholy feelings struggle in your breast?

Bring your case to Jesus-He will give you rest.

Stumbling on the mountains dark with sin and shame,

Stumbling toward the pit of hell's consuming flame;

By the pow'rs of sin deluded and oppressed,

Hear the tender Shepherd, "Come to Me and rest."

Have you by temptation often conquered been,

Has a sense of weakness brought distress within?

Christ will sanctify you, if you'll claim His best;

In the Holy Spirit, He will give you rest.

"Come unto me" calls to my soul when I hear it from the voices in our congregation. There are times for each of us when we do labor and are heavy laden. It seems strange to hear Him speak of giving rest while we're taking on a yoke and His burden.

Yet that is the result of trusting in Him. He is meek, yet mighty; we exchange our load for His, and we are lightened. Knowing this, we can pray for each other, fulfilling the law of Christ. Many of you know that I pray specifically for you.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2 KJV)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What's Your Secret?

What’s your secret?

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops. (Luke 12:2-3 KJV)

Whatever it is, it shouldn’t matter to a Christian once it’s been confessed, for then it has been cleansed.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10 KJV)

What should matter is coming to full knowledge that without that cleansing, we are separated from God. He promised life to the righteous:

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46 KJV)

But then we are told no one meets the criteria:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10 KJV); For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 KJV)

Which takes us back to the question given to Peter by the jailor:

And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30 KJV)

Paul and Silas gave him the answer, taught him the story and followed through with baptism:

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. (Acts 16:31-33 KJV)

That’s when cleansing clears your secret. Do you think He does not know? He’s ready where you are.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What's Your Fig Tree?

Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. (John 1:48-50 KJV)

I have been intrigued by Nathanael and the fig tree.

There must have been great significance to Nathanael that Christ knew about the fig tree. As soon as He mentioned it, Nathanael knew this was the Son of God. Was it a simple acknowledgement of omniscience?

Where is your fig tree? What would it take in your life to turn to Christ and say, “Thou art the Son of God.”

Early in Matthew demons acknowledge that He is: And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:29 KJV)

Shipmates did so, too: Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. (Matthew 14:33 KJV)

When asked directly, Simon Peter also acknowledged: And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:16 KJV)

And, Simon Peter also learned the source of this knowledge: And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 16:17 KJV)

Since I believe the Bible to be God’s word, I believe this promise and choose to do so now and forever: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:10-11 KJV)

I have discovered my own fig tree. Tell me about yours.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Behold Love

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1 KJV)

Shout that – BEHOLD – the manner of God’s love. Wow, He loves us so much that He calls us His children. And, there are some who do not know this. There is tremendous opportunity for discussion in this one verse. For those of us who are aware of His love, this holds beautiful promise.

But the following verse is of even greater interest:

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2 KJV)

We have only faint clues from the Bible as to “what we shall be.” Even those who walked with Him – even John who was declared to be “… the disciple standing by, whom he loved …” (John 19:26 KJV) -- did not know what we shall be. Yet we believe His promise:

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11 KJV)

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11:13 KJV)

Why should I give any consideration to the curiosity of what the future holds when I know it is in His hand? And whatever He has in store for me is better than anything I could possibly imagine.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? (John 14:5 KJV)

Thomas’ question rings through so many people who are looking for the way. They simply have to read the following verse to find the answer Christ gave back to Thomas:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

Don’t stop at one verse. Read the preceding and the following. The Bible has much to offer.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Universe

The Bible is not the only book I read. For me, however, it is the most profound and it reveals what God has chosen to give to us.

When I read Richard Dawkins’ musings: “All Sagan's books touch the nerve-endings of transcendent wonder that religion monopolized in past centuries. My own books have the same aspiration,” I feel as though he wishes not only to touch the nerve-endings, but to create them. Thus replacing the Creator with himself. And, it appears a slightly pathetic attempt. Fulfilling the scripture:

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:25 KJV)

Why would I be tempted to replace my wonderment at the awesomeness of God for the limitations of the universe? God is much more than what can be seen in our universe. Yes, I have seen Hubbard’s photos defining the apparent insignificance of mankind. This is not new:

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Psalms 8:3-4 KJV)

As Darwin wrote in closing On The Origin Of Species … “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one;” we agree that the Creator exists.

Yet many atheists look to evolution as being the ‘proof’ that God does not exist. That does not appear to have been Darwin’s intent. Nor is it my intent to attempt to prove to someone else that God does exist. God is quite capable of convincing whom He will. My own intent is to share my personal belief. What is done with it after reading here belongs only to the visitor.

And, I do hope that visitor finds it of interest and returns. It is a pleasure to have your company.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Einstein, too.

I’m not the only person who is not an Einstein (see the previous post) and there are some scientists whose views appear closer to my own understanding than his.


In this article, widely ranging views of a number of scientists are presented. I most liked the one who stated that he “..drew from science to make his argument in favor of God's relevance.”

Others have been those Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:25 KJV)

Eventually all creatures are prophesied to acknowledge Him: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; (Philippians 2:10 KJV)

Science has proven a number of things. Science has hypothesized a number of things based on logical deductions. Science has not proven God does NOT exist, nor has anyone proven that He does. There is no proof – there will not be proof – it is by faith we come to Him.

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26 KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)

Scriptures tell us how to achieve this faith, too:

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

And the Bible is the word of God – so start your Bible reading, right?

Otherwise, we will not be able to be part of the answer to this question from Luke’s gospel:

Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8b KJV)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Einstein

I’m no Einstein. No doubt about that, for a variety of reasons. While I understand a bit about E=mc2, you’ll not find me writing a treatise upon it! I respect and admire the man’s ability to think and reason.
Obviously he did not return the favor. His views on a subject very important to me have been made public, and display his poor opinion of religion. The letter outlining his disrespect was sold this past Thursday, so these views are open to the public.

Einstein’s words include "… the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."

He also wrote “… the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

Thank God we do not judge by one letter toward the end of one’s life. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:2 KJV)

As a Christian, I regret his some of his conclusions, but agree with a couple of sentences regarding good and evil: "I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws."

While disagreeing on the worth of God’s word and its strength, I agree wholeheartedly that there are immutable laws ruling His universe.

For all this I considered in my heart even to declare all this, that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God: no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before them. (Ecclesiastes 9:1 KJV)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Holy Spirit

It’s not a matter of convincing arguments. It’s not even a preponderance of evidence. It certainly is not logical theological deductions. It certainly isn’t the latest fad or the “in” thing.

Those aren’t what caused me to become a Christian. Those things cannot convict anyone of their need for God. That’s a job for the Holy Spirit: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (John 16:8 KJV)

We are introduced to the Holy Spirit early: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2 KJV)

And we enjoy His presence throughout the Bible:

Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. (Psalms 51:11 KJV)

Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. (Acts 1:16 KJV)

And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (Acts 5:32 KJV)

He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. (Acts 19:2 KJV)

Obviously, you don’t fall into that last category, for at least by now you’ve learned just by reading this blog. This is simply an introduction, if you’ve not already met. Once you’ve met, please learn more. Learn why you should … grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30 KJV)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reality Does Show

The Entertainment industry depends on illusion. Reality has been given an entirely new definition when combined with the word Show. The only thing ‘real’ on Survivor is manipulative greed. American Idol depends on the whim of the voyeuristic public who cannot be on stage themselves.

The advent of HDTV will display some of the surface flaws in natural and cosmetic imperfections. Yet many yearn for the bright lights that focus on those in the industry. To allow their “nooks, crannies, crow’s-feet, rashes, pimples, nose hairs or any other natural imperfection that might cause the camera lens to wince”

People we encounter see that in us every day. Ladies attempt to change their reality with makeup, but even that is obvious. We work hard to look or best, not ready for High Definition to focus on our lives.

Count on it. The focus will be there, and not on looks.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36 KJV)

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV)

That’s where our focus should be, on ourselves standing before Christ, being judged. Instead, a great many are taking that task on themselves.

But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10 KJV)

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12 KJV)

There’s a great deal more of this discussion in the fourteenth chapter of Romans. However, it is only a facet of a multiple faceted jewel. Another reflection from that same gem tells us:

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (Matthew 12:33 KJV)

People know us by the fruit of our lives – is it sweet, acceptable, nourishing; or is it sour, bitter, stinging. It grows from within us, with or without God’s help. With His help we will display the fruits of the Spirit:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8-10 KJV)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Commandments

Each day we drive to church we pass a memorial set up in remembrance of three young people who lost their lives early on a Saturday morning. Each time we drive by, I think of:

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12 KJV)

This one commandment is the only one with a promise – that thy days may be long.

If those young people had kept just this one commandment, they would not have died as their speeding truck struck trees. Had they honored just the wishes of their parents, none of them would have been in that truck, at that time. Each of them had broken promises to their parents as to where they would be and what they would be doing.

As adults, even as adult Christians, do not be complacent about breaking commandments. They exist for our protection as much as for God’s glory. We benefit from keeping them, yet how many accomplish the first:

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:2-3 KJV)

Christ affirmed this along with bringing the commandments into perspective:

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)

Of course, love is necessary. God gave it first: We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19 KJV) Recognizing, accepting and enjoying that love gives life.

Please follow Christ’s advice. Take some time to Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. (John 5:39-40 KJV)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers Day

The commandment with a promise: Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12 KJV) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (Ephesians 6:2-3 KJV)

God requires that mothers receive honor. How might we do this?

Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12 KJV) Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old. (Proverbs 23:22 KJV)

This makes a mother’s heart happy!

My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine. (Proverbs 23:15 KJV) Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice. (Proverbs 23:25 KJV)

For many of us, we may think it impossible our honor to our mothers, for they have left this life. We miss them and feel that loss strongly as Mothers Day brings their memories close. How might we honor them now? How can they know that we do? The Bible assures us that when they are with the Lord, they know:

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 8:11 KJV)

… now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12b KJV)

Matthew 7:21-23’s description is specific as to how memories are intact when standing before the judgment seat. We will know, and be known. The greatest honor that a child can give a mother is to live God’s commandments:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

As a mother, I know the greatest honor a child can bestow is to spend eternity with our Lord in heaven. I know many feel these verses apply as they pray for their children, longing that they truly may have God’s grace, and so very grateful when they do:

And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift. (2 Corinthians 9:14-15 KJV)