Saturday, November 30, 2013

Jesus math

I have been listening to a taped reading of R.C.Sproul's book called, Are We Together?
It's a book that goes into a lot of detail about the differences between protestant and catholic
theology from the standpoint of a protestant analysis. Again, admitting that I am certainly
not someone with the ability to think too deeply about a lot of issues like these, I have
simplified all of this into an equation:

Jesus + and Jesus - = JESUS

The overlying question in all of this is about what it is that justifies us, makes us acceptable,
somehow, as sinners, to a just and Holy God. The concept of Sola fide, the belief that justification is by faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone, is the breaking point between the
Roman Catholic church and the reformed church. Simply speaking after listening to this
book, it seems that while both protestants and R Catholics accept the basic need for
faith, the R catholic view is that there must be additional factors for man to be in a state
of acceptance: things like penance, baptism, the whole idea of Purgatory, etc. I will
call all of this, in a simplistic way, Jesus +. 

It is the idea that the imputation of righteousness into man, making full payment for sins
committed, by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is somehow not sufficient for God
to consider man saved. Here, it seems to me, is basic doctrine that does not support scripture. It is part of the idea that faith must be accompanied by works, not as a 
result of justification, but as a prerequisite of acceptance to God. Even if one ignores concepts
like Papal infallibility and the concept of Mary as Queen of Heaven, Mary without sin and
Mary as able to forgive sin, it just seems a stretch.

Jesus - is my way of believing that if one attaches more requirements to the saving
grace of the work Jesus performed on the cross, it is taking away from the importance
and magnificence of what He did, accepting death as a way to save sinful mankind and
honor and obey His Father. The debt was paid, the ledger was balanced, the work
was finished.

The answer, it seems to me, or the balance to the question is that Jesus did not need
additional steps or requirements added to what He was gloriously able to accomplish!
His work was complete, His work was fulfillment of prophesy, His work was Holy and
full of Grace! His work was the miracle that will allow those who believe upon Him and
accept Him as King and Savior to walk in the presence of God, eternally, made just
through the righteousness of Christ and only through the righteousness of Christ!

Praise Jesus!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I give you, Maestro Jehovah

Always thought conductors were just silly people waving wands in the air with their
musicians pretty much ignoring them; sort of crowd pleasers, if you will. Well, thanks
to my wonderful son-in-law, and looking at the whole thing outside of the cartoon of Bugs
Bunny conducting, I have a new-found appreciation for what these wand-wavers do!

Turns out that the orchestra musicians actually are very much tuned in to the movements
of both the baton and the maestro's body language, and music is placed so that they
can see both music and conductor simultaneously. Pretty cool. Helps, I understand, to
have a big-name orchestra leader because it adds to the fame of the orchestra and, hopefully,
to the quality of the music.

So, now I would like to present, humbly, the ultimate maestro, Jehovah, my God, who
is the grand conductor of them all! He, in His glorious sovereignty, is in charge of all the
unique and complicated movements that allow this universe that He created to function!
Truly amazing!

Well, I would just like to use my bloggish creativity to wonder what it would be like for
God to create a musical score to the Bible; that's right, music to mirror and teach the story
of Jesus Christ, which, as you know, is what the books of the Bible accomplish.

Can you imagine the first magnificent chord? The orchestra completes their tune-ups,
followed by silence, and then the Conductor raises His wand and WOW! I'm not one to
give much credence to "The Big  Bang," but it works to imagine a magnificent beginning
to this Whole Symphony. 

How about the crossing of the Red Sea? The musical accompaniment to the walls of water
suddenly rising up and then crashing down upon the hapless Egyptians. 

The calming of the waters of the Sea of Galilee; Jesus changing the raging elements into
sheer calm, picture that musically.

How about the back-and-forth of the rulers of Israel; one good king followed by one really
evil one. Back and forth, back and forth.

Then there is the birth of the Son of God with some beautiful melodies. The many
miraculous moments of His three-year walk, the tragedy of His Crucifixion. the glory
of His Resurrection and His Ascension!  Wow! 

I could go on; but, here is the part we all are waiting for...the Finale. The return on
clouds of Glory of the triumphant King,  Jesus Christ. I hear a crescendo, growing
in strength and then, the final, unimaginably beautiful final grouping of sound. The
maestro now turns, amid Bravos and Joyous Hallelujah to receive the appreciation of
all His saints. Well done, Jehovah! Very Well Done!

Praise God Almighty!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Could use some help, Mr. Einstein

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.  Psalm 139

The average weight of the human brain is 3 pounds. There are 100 billion neurons in
the brain and there are 1 quadrillion connections in the average brain. (I think that's a lot!)
It seems to be common knowledge that Einstein's brain was taken from the rest of his
body; it's whereabouts seem uncertain and the conclusions resulting from autopsies
vary. It is probably a safe assumption that Einstein was a brilliant man with a highly
functioning brain, indeed. (Did I mention that brains, themselves, are not the most
pleasant things to look at!)

Nevertheless, I'm certain that even Einstein could not explain some of the wonders
one discovers and questions one encounters when we look at our wondrous God. 
Take, for instance, the whole idea of the Triune God. That's one God in three persons.
All three persons are fully and wholly God, yet God is one and Christianity is a
monotheistic religion. After listening, recently, to Wayne Grudem discuss this whole
issue of the Trinity and conclude that he did not know how to explain it, that was good
enough for me to realize that such things are not going to be understood by folks
like me. Scripture is clear that there is a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit so, even
though I can't understand that concept, I am fully confident in believing it. In fact,
I am in awe of the concept.

The above scripture from Psalm 139 is another amazing concept; God knows as
completely. Now, there are a bunch of us He has to know! He doesn't just know
us by our white rock name, He knows us completely, down to each and every hair
on our heads. He's probably not working with a Rolodex, He doesn't need a
complex system for recall of information on His people...He just knows us. Amazing,
isn't it. Mind boggling, comes to mind. 

It just shows that we, as humans, were never meant to be able to understand the
ways of God. I see it as comforting. We aren't, in so many ways, on a need to know
basis. He, God, can handle things. We just need to sit back, listen quietly, pray
fervently and praise Him continuously for His grace and His being. He created us
and we are His! Praise God Almighty!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Home Sweetest Home

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you John 14:2

"Home" has a connotation of comfort and welcome. It's usually a place we think of
in a very positive sense; it'a a place where we feel we have roots. I can remember,
vividly, sitting on the back screened-in porch at my parents' home, crying, because
they were about to move out. I didn't even live there, any more; yet, there were
so many memories associated with the place that a great sense of loss came over me.
It's also disconcerting to re-visit an old neighborhood only to find that your old "home"
is either in disrepair or possibly even torn down.

A House Is Made Of Walls And Beams..A Home Is Built With Love And Dreams

So it is important not to confuse house and home, even though they may be one
and the same. "Home" may very well be whatever location one finds himself in,
as long as it is occupied by those he loves.

The one problem with our earthly homes is that they are temporary, not
permanent. The people who make up our earthly homes are temporary, as well.
That old home where parents and family resided will eventually become the
place where a different set of people reside. Our loved ones and family members,
our friends and close associates all will pass away. We are temporary; mortality
will end us all. 

So the Bible verse above is super important and super comforting to those who
are solidly in Jesus. The home He speaks of is not temporary. It is eternal. Even
though we know more about what will not be in heaven than what will, we have
been assured by one who is Truth that we are bound for a place where God is
present, and we are bound for a home where there will be no transition. Until we
get there, we do not know what the floor-plan is like, don't know what the
accommodations and furnishings will be like. We do know that this final, glorious
home will be in the presence of the Holy God that we praise and honor. I have
the feeling that this home and its inhabitants will be more glorious than we can
even imagine. Aren't you a bit anxious? I certainly am! Praise God!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Seeking a "degree" of Thank-ology

Love to mess with the titles. No..I won't be going back to my beloved Ohio State
University to earn a new degree. Been there and done that. No need to return to worrying about mid-terms, finals, papers, being on time, etc. No dissertation or oral exams
to contemplate. 

By degree, I mean amount, in this instance. I am looking to increase, exponentially, my
conscious appreciation for the blessings given to me by my God. They are so many,
it's difficult to imagine the number. They are magnanimous, unearned, gracious
loving examples of the generosity and love that I receive, daily, from the God of the

The problem, and I am sure I share this with many who may be readers, is taking
the time to remember to be thankful. I am in the real retirement mode, at this point.
I have stopped working part-time and am not actively seeking employ. My career
has long been a thing of the past so I am left with exercise, taking care of my cat, trying
to avoid over stretching my relationship with the daughter I love: translation... I have a
lot of time. So no real excuses; I have the time to concentrate on thanking Him for
everything. It's a conscious decision, one that I am making more frequently, but, still,
I have to remind myself to speak these thanks to Him.

One thing I have done is to take the thanks down to the basic level. I am thankful
for each and every heartbeat, each and every breath I am blessed to be able to take.
I am thankful for each day spent out of hospital, each day filled with the realization
that life is tenuous, fleeting and temporary. 

I use my walking time to remind me to thank Him for this beautiful created world I
live in. Sure, it is broken, but it still is a representation of the greatest creative force
in the universe. 

Believe it or not, I thank Him for my brokenness. It helps me to keep humble when I
realize that I am sinful and very much in need of a savior. It keeps me grounded in
the knowledge that I need to use the awareness of my rebellion to seek to repent
in earnest and turn, with the Spirit's help, away from temptations and sinfulness.

Then there is the Gospel; what a blessed reason to give thanks. Thanks to the
Lamb of God who became corporal and walked toward death, the only thing that
would establish a way for me to be forgiven and seen as acceptable to God.

Finally, I am thankful for a future of hope. A future complete with the upcoming
residence in the presence of God, Jesus and all others who will live in an eternity
of blessing. THANK YOU, GOD! (Did I remember to say, "THANK YOU?")

Friday, November 22, 2013

We have His Covenant on it!

A covenant is a strong thing! It's, essentially, an agreement where two parties
agree on something with promises from each as part of the agreement. When God
is a part of a covenant, that's saying something very very powerful!

There were several noteworthy covenants in the old testament including covenants
between God and Noah, the rainbow comes to mind, here. A covenant with
Abraham promising a nation of descendants, which, was of course, improbable
considering his age. The Mosaic covenant between God and the people of Israel
brings to mind the ten commandments and the covenant with Kind David
establishes the lineage for the birth of Jesus Christ. 

 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Cor. 11:25

This last covenant, established through the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus
was a fulfillment of prophecy where God promised to write the law on the hearts of
men, not just men of Israel but of Judah, as well. In other words, the covenant opens
the way for all peoples to be in an acceptable relationship with God. The sacrifice
needed to establish this covenant, by a great High Priest, Jesus, was the key to making
this agreement.

Now, it's amazing, is it not, that a Holy, Just, Righteous, Sovereign God would be willing
to make such an agreement with His creation that has fallen short on all accounts. A
creation that has been rebellious, has been in sin and one that turns away from God is
far from deserving of an agreement that promises eternal habitation and acceptance,
promises the opportunity to live in the presence of the Holy God who created it.

So what's our part? We, in my way of thinking, need to be down our knees, even if
they are old and hurt like mine do, praising and thanking Him for His loving-kindness
and Grace. Did He need to enter into this type of agreement? Absolutely not. Did we
earn or merit such an agreement. Nope. Our job is to accept, love and cherish Jesus
Christ as our savior and King. Calling that a job is really a misnomer. It's a privilege..
with a capital P! Praise God!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

You Need To Come To Your Senses!

Always have fun with the titles. I am really thanking our Holy God for our senses
and the world we live in, broken but beautiful. He created a way for us to experience
this world through the senses and I love to use them thankfully!

Just love to look at the sky, always have. Sunsets and sunrises, cloud formations
and reflections, rainbows, I could go on and on. WE have "Big Skies" here in Texas,
partly because the trees are so short..seems, sometimes, like you can see forever!

Oh gosh, the list is so long. the smell of leaves fallen from the trees, something cooking
in the oven when hungry, pine and fir trees in the forest, the air just before a rain. 
Pipe tobacco...don't smoke it but love to sniff it! A fire in the fireplace.

I like the birds early in the morning just before dawn. The sounds of rain or the wind
blowing through the trees. I like to put my ear on my cat's side and listen to her purr!
Laughter. Silence.. now that's a wonderful sound, sometimes! Good classical music. A
fire in the fireplace.

Might just be my favorite, which has caused some trouble along the way. Pizza!
A banana split with three flavors of ice cream and three toppings. Salt. A root beer
float. A good spicy chili. Tea or coffee just poured into the cup.

Hugs. Kisses. Things that are very soft (my feminine side). Babies. 

Common Sense
So here's another point. We do live in this broken, beautiful world, created by our
Father in Heaven. While we are appreciating and thanking Him for the beauty we
find, here, we should also be opening ourselves to His voice. He speaks to us through
His word, through the natural things that we observe. He speaks quietly and wishes
us to hush and listen for Him. We are not in charge; He is. We are dependent upon
His sustaining grace and blessed by His gospel. We are loved and should return that
through praise and love for our God and King. Praise Him! It's a totally sensible
thing to do!!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gospel 1.0 God's Operating System

There won't be a 2.0! No need for tweaking or updating this operating system. Won't
need the Geek Squad, no problems with viruses. No need to call to talk to a representative
in Calcutta. Won't even need to turn it off and on again- it is quite simply an ingenious, 
perfect system of Grace.

It works on the following bases:

-God is Holy and cannot accept sin; it is an abomination to Him.
-We aren't so holy! We are sinful and, on our own, cannot stop sinning and are,
therefore, in rebellion against God.
-Long before God spoke things into creation and breathed life into Adam, He
created the plan for salvation. One plan only. Atonement through the blood sacrifice
of His only, beloved Son, Jesus
-Through His grace, He sent Jesus to live on earth, a God-man, who was to
live a perfect sinless life so that He could be the great high priest necessary for the
forgiveness of sin
-In exchange for this gift, God requires those saved to believe in Jesus, accept Him
as their savior and Lord and trust Him, totally.
-This gospel of grace is not earned nor is it deserved; it is a glorious redemptive gift

This gift isn't and never was FREE. It came at a great cost; the torture, humiliation and
Crucifixion of He who was sacrificed for the very ones who were slaying Him. It is
also priceless; the greatest gift ever given for any reason to anyone!

Christ died for those who would be His people. The Bible suggests that this does
not mean everyone, which is the whole discussion that centers around election
or predestination.

Our jobs? We need to be wholly appreciative, loving God with all our being, making
it our goal to live a life centered on God and driven by the Holy Spirit to become
more Christ-like.  We need to turn over our lives in trust to be used by God for His
own good. 

We won't need any on-line classes to operate this system. It actually uses us to bring
about its work. It's truly user-friendly! Log me on and keep me there, oh God. Thank
you for your Grace!

Monday, November 18, 2013

The on-going ferocious struggle for your soul

There are titanic struggles occurring in the universe at almost every level. Galaxies
are closing in on other galaxies (that's a slow struggle). On a much smaller level, within
each person's cells, virus are struggling against the body's immune system. We are
healthy when the body wins out. 

It's good vs. evil, darkness vs. light, truth vs. lies... yet the single most important
struggle is the one being engaged over the eternal existence of our souls. In a small,
but significant way, each of us plays a part, but the major combatants are ones 
who have been at odds since before the creation of the universe: Jehovah and 
the fallen angel, Satan. The prize, here, is the very soul within your body.

God is sovereign, completely so! He is in control of our lives, our path and our
future. We, and here is the crucial component, have to TRUST Him. The very
essence of faith is the complete trust that God is with us, not apart from us; that
He is engaged, even when it may seem that there is only silence when we struggle,
face hardships,  that he is with us,even when we pray and seem to have no response. 

Satan is already a loser. Christ's resurrection completed the defeat of both death
and Satan. He had been tossed out of heaven, having been the most beautiful angel,
yet rebelling against God. He will, upon Christ's glorious return, be cast forever into
a very hot locale. But for now, he strives to create doubt, impatience...sin, which by
its very definition is rebellion against God. Not only does the devil work at our
weaknesses, he also attacks in areas that we may perceive as being strengths. He
tells is that God is too busy, doesn't care, isn't listening. Because we are born into
sin, continue to sin even when we wish not to and are in rebellion against God,
we are weak and prone to fall away, we decide to take matters into our own
hands, we think we can be in charge. We can be prideful, stubborn and very
impatient. We want quick fixes and it's very hard to just become quiet and wait
on God to lead.

Our part? We had better be more than observers in this struggle for our eternal
destination! We have to depend on God's Spirit within us to strengthen us each day,
we need to put on the armor of God, we need to quiet down and wait with the 
understanding that God is in control...always....forever. Praise God our Father!!

Friday, November 15, 2013

We have to be reminded to remember!

It is my belief that deep within us is the knowledge of God's existence. I have called it
the God spot; yet the concept is certainly not mine. Add to this inner knowledge the fact that
we deeply wish to have a relationship with God. Agnostics and Atheists alike, in my
opinion, are just fooling themselves, or trying to fool us. The search for meaning in
our lives and answers about why we even exist, all point back to that realization that we
are creations of God.

So how does all that apply to the Christmas mess? Have you noticed that Christmas is
upon us? It's in the stores, on the tele, on Al Gore's internet, in the mail...  Halloween ended
and, "boom," Christmas materialized. Tiz the season, but what's the reason? I spent
several day-after Thanksgiving mornings going into work at 4am so that the shoppers who
lined up for gifts after midnight would have breakfast options. Those were folks standing
in line for Kiss Me Elmo's or Cabbage Patch Kids or Beanie Babies, etc. 

Joy to the World, the Lord is Come..

It is a season for joy, yet statistics suggest that it is also a season when depression and
angst show up, big time. There are financial pressures, there are the pressures of preparing
for family, etc. But I believe that there is something missing in all this Christmas hustle and
bustle: Jesus Christ. 

We need to be reminded to remember that this is not Tiny Tim's Christmas. not the Grinch's
Christmas, not Santa Claus's Christmas.. it's Christ's Christmas. 

Had you visited me any time in the first 60 years of my life during the holiday season, you
would have seen the traditional secular items. There would have been some decorations,
presents under the tree (with the star, on top, of course), Christmas carols in the air...maybe
even a cute manger scene. What there would not have been is the underlying recognition that the greatest gift ever given to anyone, at any time, for any reason
was the real reason for celebration... the glorious birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

I was in need of a reminder to remember. 

So do we wring our hands, gnash our teeth and shake our heads over this secularization
and materialization of Christmas? No, I'd rather we take that energy and reach out
to remind those around us to remember the real reason for Christmas joy. One person
at a time; one heart at a time.

Let Earth receive her King!  Her King, indeed. Something we should remember and
rejoice over Every Single Day! Praise God!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

By all means, please eat from that tree!

As usual, I am having some fun with the title and topic. It would be less than smart to
question anything that God does! Scripture assures us that God challenges but never
tempts; that's Satan's area of expertise! 

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 6:23

So, it would be less than fair to criticize Eve or Adam for falling into Satan's trap, for
doing that which God forbade them. On one of the CD's I have listened to recently, the
speaker commented that ALL of us, we humans, would have fallen for the same guise. 
The result of that fall into temptation set in motion events that God, himself, envisioned
before the beginning of creation, events personified in the life of Jesus, the Son of God
who came into this world to free sinners into atonement with God through the cross
and resurrection.

Now having been a teacher for oh so many years, and knowing a bit about the nature of
human beings, children and adult, it may have been better, in retrospect, to not tell
those original humans what NOT to do. It's crazy how telling folks what they cannot do
seems, frequently, to result in them doing that very thing against which they have been
warned. I actually, purposely, set up situations where I "tested' the ability of my students
to avoid what I had asked them not to do. Well, they failed... miserably. I "left the lid off
the cookie jar, and they, despite my warning, went right ahead and gobbled!" "Read
the entire quiz before you answer any of the questions...!" I could go on with a bunch of
examples. Reverse psychology? No, just the habit of folks to respond when someone tells
them not to "touch the stove!"

No one knows people better than He who created them. He knows them and loves them.
He knew that we would fail the test, that sin would enter this world and leave us
helplessly unable to measure up to His Holiness. He knew that eventual judgement
would render us "undone" before His hatred of sin. He brought into existence a plan
for the ransom to be paid by the perfect, spotless, sinless Jesus Christ, His only and
beloved Son. Propitiation through the blood of Christ hanging on a tree. He wouldn't
let Abraham sacrifice his son; yet, He gave His beloved to wear the sins of all of us
so that we could be brought into the presence of God and seen as righteous.

Want to know why He is our Lord and Savior? The gospel! Praise God!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Most Excellent Christmas Present

What would I really like this Christmas? That's quite easy, actually. I would like for someone who reads, or has read, any of my blog entries to reach out to God and accept the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. One person who responds to the woos of the Holy, Majestic God of the universe and turns his or her life over to He who created them; that would be glorious.

A lot of folks choose to deny God. It's different, I believe, than not being aware of God, although I have argued that all of His creation is indwelled  by the knowledge that there is a God by the fact that they are created in his image. A great metaphor was shared by R.C.Sproul Jr. in a talk at this year's Ligonier Ministry Conference, when he spoke of denial of God as people covering their ears and yelling, "La, la, la...I can't hear you!" God, after all, has given us free will; we're are not part of a puppet show.  But he has also given us ample evidence in this world around us, His word as written down and in His Holy Book and, what
I call the little nudges that, if we are listening carefully and fully aware, are happening
during our lives that point unmistakably to the presence and participation of God in our

Those who deny God may be people who are unaware, dangerously, that all will be
called before a Holy God and judged, their entire lives brought forth and compared to
the Holiness of God. The chances of being accepted by this kind of Holy God based upon
the sinful lives we lead each and every day, are zero. Not going to happen! Yet God,
in his wisdom and loving-kindness has provided a ransom. This ransom was paid by
the very Jesus whose birth we celebrate at Christmas time; the most wonderful,
glorious gift ever given to mankind. Through His ministry, His walk, His death
upon the cross, His resurrection and eventual Ascension to the right hand of God
to intercede on behalf of those who have given their lives over to believe and trust
in Him, we have been given the chance to stand before this God of Holiness justified,
forgiven of all sins and accepted as His adopted children.

So, that's a gift I would cherish. Wouldn't even mind if several folks ended up giving me
the same gift. No return policy needed. It will already be wrapped in the most glorious
gift wrap ever created... the glorious light of Jesus Christ. 

Praise God for the birth of his precious son, the lamb who takes away the sins of the

Monday, November 4, 2013

Alistair Begg

"All the deepest longings of the human heart are answered in the gospel." 

 Isn't that a phenomenal set of words? They were spoken by Alistair Begg in a talk
given at a Ligonier Ministry conference this year. I'm not sure if these are his original words  or if they are ones spoken by another, but I am sure that they are profound. 

Had I known that Mr. Begg was the pastor at Parkside Church in the Cleveland area
while I was living and teaching in a suburb of Columbus, I would gladly have made the
100 mile drive to Bainbridge to be among his congregation. I just love the man and his
teaching. (I also must admit that I love the much so that I have to be careful
not to lose the important stuff just listening to the way he forms the words)

The quote above was a part of a talk he was giving about mercy. Luke 6:27-36 was the
scripture base for his talk, and these are verses that represent great challenges in
our lives. There is no question that living a life that honors the words of Jesus and
seeks to be like Him is a monumental goal for humans who sin. Showing mercy
as the words from these verses suggests, loving those who mistreat us, giving to others
without the expectation of the gift being returned, doing to others as we would 
have them treat us are easy to read and digest and very very difficult to fulfill. Left
to our own devices, our own pride, our own self-contentedness; living in this sinful
world, a world that seems to emphasize getting ahead and taking care of ourselves,
we are definitely in need of the Holy Counselor to help us try to live up to His
directions. God is merciful. Jesus is merciful. We need to strive to show mercy
to others through prayer and guidance.

As for the quote above, those words seem so very very truthful. We all, in the depths
of our hearts, have a desire to see meaning and good in our lives. We all long for
a future and, I believe, whether admitted or not, we ALL long to know God. It's
a part of our creation, a part of our humanity to be united with He who created us,
indeed, He who loves us and has forgiven us through the justifying blood of the
Lord, Jesus Christ. The gospel is the Good news, the news that answers our hopes,
our fears and our needs. Praise God for His loving-kindness and mercy!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

G. P. S. coming down from Heaven

Jeremiah 29:11 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  

God's Provision System. We are all on a journey, of sorts. We're not really sure where
this journey will take us; yet, we have, with Christ Jesus as our savior and lord, a special
GPS built in to get us to the eventual destination. You don't need to plug this GPS into the
port of the car because it's automatic and thoroughly dependable. It doesn't need to
depend on satellites to determine where you are, and you don't need to plug in parameters.
You simply have to turn the steering wheel over to God; let Jesus take the wheel.

The journey, itself, will surely have some detours. There will be delays, traffic jams,
fender benders, moments of uncertainty. This GPS doesn't promise smooth sailing. It
promises that God knows the way. He has a plan mapped out for you, a trip-tik, if you 
will, designed to lead you in His ways for His good and glory. He knows how to get
the very best mileage out of those feet and that engine. He is, after all, the master
mechanic, the designer and creator of the creation that is you. 

The key is giving Him the keys. We need to allow Him to be our driver, to give up
the driver's seat and be His passenger. We have a tendency to want to be the driver,
to be in charge of the travels. We can, God forbid, just turn off this GPS, turn away from
He who knows what is best for us, design our own journey and provide our own
guidance. We can ignore the signs, if you will. We can just set out on our own
without accepting the realization that left to our own devices, we are headed toward
the eternal traffic accident, train wreck, catastrophe. If we turn away, there will
be no re-calibration. We will be lost and will not find our way, alone. 

So sit back and depend upon God for this journey you are on. Set your sights on
the prize ahead, the end of the trip, the entrance to Heaven and a great reunion
with Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Take the wheel, Jesus. It's all yours. I am all

Friday, November 1, 2013

TRUTH or Consequences

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.

Well , I will admit, up front, that I am small-brained. I have taken Philosophy courses
that dealt with the concept of truth and that didn't go so well. I have listened to tapes,
read books and engaged in discussion with those smarter that I, and I always come away
shaking my head, trying to clear the fog.

So don't read on if you expect anything other than my feelings. 

I believe there has to be A TRUTH. For there to be a whole bunch of truths, I think
that fits into the relativism category, each one real because it is what that person
thinks is true, sounds like mental anarchy. Truths aren't the same as feelings,
opinions, preferences, etc. Truths aren't grey areas somewhere between black
and white. I guess I am saying that for anything to make sense there has to be some
absolute truth. 

It is my belief that God is truth because I do not believe that he is capable of being
untruthful. I believe that the Bible is the true word of God. If He is truth then His word
is truth. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He, is therefore, also the truth.

My concern, here, is the consequence of not accepting God, rejecting Him and His truth.
God did a very brave thing, a loving thing. He created us with free will; the right to choose

to accept Him or reject Him. We all meet people who decide to believe in their own truth;
people who, in a real sense, are "being their own God."

Wow, I think that is eternally dangerous. Rejecting the truth, rejecting Jesus, rejecting
the unearned gift of salvation  through the grace of God, means that there is an eternity
facing that person. An eternity in the absence of God. I'm not the hell fire and damnation
sort, but it is a fact that Jesus did not skirt the concept of Hell. he spoke often and
clearly about those who would choose not to believe in Him. There's no attempt to sugar
coat things; it's gonna be eternal, and that's a long, long time. That's why I pray
daily and work daily to try and reach those I love who haven't accepted Jesus. He is
the way and the truth and the life. It's an eternally important thing...the truth. God.
Praise Him!!