Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Now I lay me...

down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I awake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

God bless:

It was an every night, on the knees, prayer the preceded being tucked into bed
and sung to by my father. I am sure that the words meant nothing to me even
though I am quite sure that my parents tried to explain things. As I look back
and look at now, I have become aware of the significance of this prayer for
God's provision.

We are never more vulnerable than we are when asleep! We are at the mercy
of a God who has provided for our bodies to somehow be able to arise in the
morning with eyes that would open and joints that would function. We are
also at the mercy of the evil one who probably could care less about our safety
and who would stop at nothing to influence us whether conscious or not.
Even as children we just assume that we will awaken to a new day or a late-
night trip to the fridge. 

It is faith that allows us to drift off; and it is fact that we may, in actuality,
not awaken to a new day; we may awaken from a soul's journey to either be
with the Lord or to Sheol. Regardless, we are not in control of our awakening
outcome. Just as we assume that the sun will rise on a new day, we assume
that we will arise in safety.

I have come to, once again, pray to my Father in heaven each night. I am
asking Him the same basic things that the childhood prayer was asking; for
His provision. I am His creature and He is in charge. My days are as
pages in a book and there will come a final page. I just want Him to know
that I wish for His will to be done. I cherish His sovereignty and loving-
kindness and am fully aware that I am His.

Praise our God!

Monday, December 14, 2015

As to celebrating Christmas.....

Go ahead and enjoy the family, friends, presents, tree, etc. as long as the emphasis
is on Christmas: the birth of Christ!

Listened to a wonderful sermon, yesterday, by Allen Knox, pastor of Crossroad
Christian Church of McKinney, Texas. The basis for the sermon was Isaiah 9-
a wonderful prophetic scripture about the King to come. He suggested that
in Isaiah 9: 6, the world's emphasis tends to be on the birth of a child, not the
arrival of a promised King. I wholeheartedly agree.

Does that mean that we should ignore the secular aspects of Christmas that
the world, and most Christians, partake of? I believe that is not at all necessary;
that the created can enjoy these things within the context of an understanding
that the events surrounding the birth of a child, The Child, God Himself, were
simply the most important event, ever.

Family? God created relationships. His relationship and love for His son, a
relationship that was in effect before the beginnings of time, was a basis for
Him creating in the first place. That love was to be shared with those created
in a plan that took a hit but will eventually play out successfully. God's
institution of marriage, His working out of procreation and, indeed, His love
for those He created make celebration of family perfectly understandable at
this time.

Presents? The most awesome, priceless present ever given was born a
helpless child in the Bethlehem area to Mary. His birth was, by the lack
of accounts, normal; His conception, totally miraculous. Sharing
presents with those we love is simply a reflection of what God did on the
night that bright star shone down.

Food? We are invited to partake, at His request, of the body and blood of
Christ each time we enjoy the sacrament of communion. He is the Bread of
Life, He gives the living waters. He is life and He sustains us. Early church
members centered around sharing of food for fellowship and worship of
He who provides.

Tree? Okay this one's a stretch. Just watch the eyes of young children as
the lights are reflected in their eyes gazing at a Christmas tree. Amazement,
Joy, Excitement.... Christians are supposed to enjoy life; God agrees, I

Christmas means the Birth of Christ. All that is done should be within the
context of that birth, of the arrival, for the first time, of our Lord and King,
Christ Jesus.

I say enjoy a very Merry CHRISTMAS. 

Praise our God!

Monday, November 30, 2015

the ramifications of sin

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1: 9

For those forgiven of sin, there are some things missing: guilt, lack of assurance, innate
rebellion. One thing that isn't missing is sin; it continues in an all-out battle between
worldliness and righteousness, a battle that goes on at many levels and one that will
continue until the return of He who will set all things straight.

In the meantime, the question becomes, do those who have been saved face any
ramifications of continued sin against God? I believe that sin always brings implications
and ramifications to all created by God.

Though Jesus was not 'created' by God, he, nevertheless, walked this earth challenged
by temptations just like the ones that we face; the difference was that He, fully man
and fully God, did not sin. Can you imagine the ramifications had He sinned? All
would remain lost. He was the second Adam, the One sent by the Father to secure
salvation for all.

What about our sins? Alistair Begg, in a sermon given on Psalm 2 entitled, 'Deliverance,'
from April 28, 1991, relates a wonderful story he had heard as a boy. Let me try to
paraphrase it:

The boy has reached the age where he begins to act out against his father. In an effort
to show the boy that there are implications to his behavior, the father begins pounding a 
nail into the woodshed door each time the boy misbehaves. This goes on and the
nails accumulate until the boy comes to his father and asks to be forgiven. His father
agrees to forgive him and to remove the many nails from the door of the woodshed.
The next morning, the father finds his son sitting by the door, now free of nails,
crying. When he asks the boy why he is crying, the boy answers that though the
nails are gone, the holes remain.

I would never doubt the scripture above because it is God's Holy word. I do,
however, believe in my heart, that we continue to be affected by our sins. Take
a moment and remember the risen Christ, entering the upper room and showing
Thomas His hands. The holes remained! In a very real sense, whether or not
you believe that all sins, past, present and future were loaded onto Jesus at the
cross, there is a great motivation, I believe, to not add additional sins. It
is, in the end, a matter of the heart. Our heart and His heart. Ramification.
Implication. One who died with our sins imputed so that we could be His

Praise our God.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In everything give thanks.... 1 Thess. 5: 18

Thanksgiving is once again upon us. I was told this morning by someone who enjoys
history trivia that Thanksgiving became a national holiday celebration during the term of Franklin Roosevelt. So, I guess the original pilgrims did not invent the holiday, which is
the answer that I probably would have given, if asked.

For those of us who have been touched by a gracious God and called to His family, every
single day ought to be a day of giving thanks. Like everything else, when we are busy with
worldly things, and yes, we do get busy in living here on this earth, we can allow
ourselves to postpone, if you will, giving thanks for those things that God has provided.
We may not be of this world, but we sure as sure can be are in it temporarily.

So here goes, and I am sure I will leave many things out:

Dear Gracious Magnanimous God...

Thank You for your sustaining grace. That which allows us to breathe, our hearts to
beat and these bodies to function in such a way that we can face the day ...

Thank You for your church! Thank you for the freedom, in this country, to worship
and love you within a church framework without fear of persecution, as faced by
many, many brace souls in this world ...

Thank You for family, friends, those we love; You invented relationships and have
blessed me with parents who cared, siblings I love, friends I cherish and a daughter
and granddaughter I would die for ...

Thank you for Your creation; it may be spoiled by sin, but it remains breathtakingly
beautiful and originally, creatively magnificent ...

Thank you for Jesus!!!!! His sacrifice, His ministry, His Resurrection, His
teachings, His intercession, His heart and His courage. Without Him, we are
lost ...

Thank you for Your Kingship! Somebody is in charge! Somebody knows us from
before time began! Somebody is with us each moment! Somebody loves us
enough to provide a Gospel of deliverance, unearned yet offered! ...

Thank You for the future! We have something to look forward to beyond this
temporal existence, we can look forward to being your adopted!

Goodness gracious, Praise our God!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Put away those Sunday worship shoes!

If one spends some time in Revelation 4 or 5, it becomes evident that there is a whole
lot of worshiping going on! One can argue about what the creatures  represent, or
who the twenty-four elders are, but there is no doubt that the primary activity therein
is Worship.

I have become a whole lot better at worshiping God on Sunday, and I say that because
I wasn't always anything more than lukewarm about the whole experience. From
not really understanding or caring, I have become someone who looks forward all
week to Sunday so that I can sing, be in the Word and be taught by the Spirit through
the good work of the pastor. 

The title isn't to suggest that I pull out some expensive shoes and clothes to attend,
it is more a confession that I am not doing so very well on the other six days of the
week. One might say that I am in danger of un-Godliness during the rest of the week
because there are big swaths of time when God just doesn't enter my thoughts or my

Obviously worship has multiple elements: prayer, reading the Holy Book, fellowship,
singing and just finding ways to support God's church. It is just that in light of what
this gracious, living God has done for me and continues to do each day of my life, I
think I should find ways to worship Him more frequently and more completely.  I
probably shouldn't need some sort of reminder on the refrigerator or on a note-pad
on some electronic device to get my worship going. 

To me, not worshiping God is More Difficult if one is aware of what God means in
life. Without God, We don't get out of bed, we don't eat, we don't pay our bills, have a family to enjoy, a roof over our heads.... I could certainly go on. His grace lies around every
corner and bend in our walk; how then, can we not worship continuously?

Well I'm working on it because I know that I must. I would like to invite you
to join me. Does it matter to God? I think so! Does it somehow augment our lives?
I really believe so; plus, it looks like we're going to be doing a whole lot of worshiping
when we get to Heaven! No time like the present to get going!

Praise out God!

Friday, November 20, 2015

He was born to die, so that....

We could be re-born to life!

He, of course meaning Jesus, left immortality to become mortal in the hopes
that we, mortals who are born dead to sin, might have the chance to live with God
everlastingly. It's a crazy thought, no matter how one says it. Yet, at Christmas time,
I believe that it is so very important to grasp what has been done in our behalf,
especially when one looks at the price that was paid by God, Himself.

We all come into this world, believers or not, dead to sin. We are sinners in the
womb because mankind fell short and rebelled, sending everything into darkness
and turning upside down the very creation spoken into existence by God. It's
still a broken world and will be so until the Day of the Lord, when judgement comes
upon this world through the powerful Lord Jesus. This won't be the precious child
in the manger, suffering servant who willingly walked to Jerusalem to die on
our behalf. No, this will be a powerful Lord and King who will come at the
correct time to separate and to harvest.

In an instant, this world will be transformed, a new heaven and a new earth, with
a King who will rule forever having been given full authority by the Father over all
creation. It was the plan from before the beginning, a covenant formed by the 
Trinity to reinstate fallen man to a position of family members with their
Creator. Regardless of the way each of us looks at the end times, they will come
to an end; there will be a very end time, and Jesus will come upon this world
in a way that causes all to see Him and know that He has arrived to rule. It is
inevitable, it is triumphant and it is imminent. 

God could have just decided to walk away from His creation when rebellion
came, but God is true, and His plan, from before time as we know it began, will
not be changed. He values His Created, he wants to be in relationship with
those creatures he brought into life, and his plan will offer to all that accept
His son, a life far greater than anything anyone can experience here on earth,
as we know it.

Head His call, won't you? Do not delay if there is any thought that you might
want to know Jesus. There will be a 'too late!' You don't want to go there!

Praise our God!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Come, Jesus...just not on Black Friday!

I'm not a big fan of the so called Black Friday! I've never gotten up rediculously
early to shop for presents, and I don't see it happening in the future. I
understand that it is an economic 'color,' black standing for positive retail
sales, as opposed to being in the 'red.' 

The whole idea of 'Christmas' showing up in stores before Halloween has
even arrived is nauseating to me.  Now I should share that I DO NOT find the
wonderment of Christmas to be a negative in any way. My childhood memories
of family, dinner, ornaments and tree, etc. are very positive; it is a great
time to be a child. My daughter's eyes when she came down the stairs to see
the tree and trappings were wide with joy, and that was wonderful for me.

However, Christ is the reason, and he has been, in many situations, removed
from the very holiday that is supposed to be about his glorious arrival on this
planet. Getting 'Christmas' cards from folks that do not ever mention Him
bothers me greatly and makes me worry about their future! The cards are
placed quickly in the circular file.

Now, horror of horrors, what if our Lord Jesus Christ arrived back, again, on
Black Friday. Maybe He would descend out of the East from the clouds at the
sound of the trumpet into a Walmart parking lot. Realistically, He would be
here on very important business, and I am quite sure that He would, in no way,
care... but I certainly would. He knows the hearts of people; He is aware
that what remains important about His return would not be changed by the
traffic jams, pushing and shoving of those who were battling in the Black
Friday rush.

Here's the bottom line: Jesus needs to be Christmas. His glorious life and
the blessing that he brought to mankind at a terrible cost to Himself need
to be the center of this holiday. Just as the world has gotten turned upside-
down, the birth of our Savior and King has been pushed aside by the need to
get bargains off of the shelves before others do. Upon His arrival, that, and many
other things, will change, forever.

Yes, come Jesus...but if it's possible, wait until Saturday.

Praise God!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Regarding all those deaths.....

...but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." Genesis 2: 17

Death. Nor a topic that most folks want to talk about, think about or do, for that matter, but
the statistics do not lie in this case. Each of us has a 100% probability of dying. Well, we
could pull an Elijah, but that is a stretch.

Woody Allen said that 'He isn't afraid to die...he just doesn't want to be there when it happens.'
That's because we weren't created to die; it is an experience that our bodies were never meant
to have. We fear it, even if we have complete confidence in what will follow, because it is
alien to how we were meant to be.

We ,all of us, are born into this fallen world spiritually dead. Now this isn't a first death,
literally but it follows that we must be 'reborn' to become spiritually alive. At that
moment, we actually die with Jesus... we die to sin. So that would be our first taste of
death. It is a necessity, according to Jesus, as He explained to Nicodemus.

Our lives, saved or not, are a one-way ticket from birth to an end. We age, unless we
die early in terms of years, toward a time when our bodies no longer function and our
souls depart. I have seen cases where the picture painted by some Christians proves to
be a bit ridiculous. Christians do not often die with a smile on their lips and a
countenance of joy as they take that final breath. In fact, I have seen folks battle
ferociously right up to that final moment or two, folks who I truly believe were
destined to be with the Lord moments later.

Our bodies have a built-in survival goal. In the processes of dying, the body shuts
down "unneeded" organs and condenses toward its center to try and remain alive.
Again, we were never created to die.

So the second death, which is inevitable, is there for us all. With Christ a part of
your life, you have every reason to believe that He will be there to walk with you
across the divide.

It's the 'next' death that you will be unable to avoid, should you not be the righteousness
of Christ. It's the Lake of Fire death which will  come to those who have rejected
Him. It's a death that no one wants to experience; unfortunately. many, many will do
so. Please do everything to avoid this third death. Reach out, call out to Jesus.
He is waiting and will answer your heart's desire to be a part of His Kingdom

Praise our God!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

From where we were.. to where we are...

Psalm 19: 1

The Heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands!

Many years ago, with a very close friend, I traveled from Columbus, Ohio were to
Portland, Oregon to visit his sister and family. Having never been west of
Dayton, Ohio, it was an eye-opening experience!

We stopped in South Dakota and camped in the Black Hills area. In the late
hours of the night, I happened to climb out of the tent and happened to look up.
What I saw, for the only time in my life, was are vast array of stars visible when
there is no ambient light. To this day, I  can recall my thoughts as I stood there
gazing upward.

I feel so small!
I am insignificant!

That was it. Even though I was looking at what may be the most awesome display
of God's creative work, He did not even cross my mind. If someone had asked me
about Jesus, I would have had no answers. Who is Jesus? My answers would have
been like those who do not know Him. What has He done for you? What do you
owe this Jesus? I wouldn't have known how to respond.

Now, if I could take a road trip and find the same area, if I could once again look
upward at the heavens and stars, my reaction would be different.

I feel so small!
I am significant.

Jesus is my Lord, my King and my everything. I owe this Jesus everything!
In my life, Jesus has done everything!

Our God is glorious and through the Holy Spirit changes us from within!
Praise God!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

There is no such thing as a free......salvation!

Romans 10: 13
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Being an old, retired English teacher, I can't help but love old sayings, idioms,
expressions that were used in my earlier years but may be unfamiliar to younger
folks. My father always emphasized the need to be very very careful when a deal
came up that was "free." Surely, there had to be a catch, some small, hard-to-read
fine print or some exceptions that made the original "free" anything but.

Often there were vacations promised where one could receive free airfare for
three days and two nights for a nominal fee, or amazing deals on swamp land in 
Florida, etc. Things that were of value simply did not happen for free.

The God of the universe who created a perfect world and placed His creatures
within it valued those He created and wished to walk with them in this garden
in the cool of the evenings. He was and is a God of relationship, having been
in the ultimate relationship with the Son from time eternal. The problem was
that His created could not handle temptation by a wily snake-type creature
and, suddenly, creation was tainted. Sin crept in and creation was fouled.

Now God could have simply thrown up His 'hands' and turned His back on
what He had called Good, or He could have wiped it out and started over
again. God was truly justified in feeling great wrath for the disobeying
ones He had fashioned. Instead, the One who had been wronged, who
deserved to have reconciliation provided a means for those who had fallen
short to be reconciled.

It would be akin to having someone break into your house, steal valuables
and then having you provide them with money to repay you for what had
happened. The difference, and it's a whopping difference, is that we are
talking salvation, here. We are talking the chance to have the barrier created
by sin between God and ourselves, to be ended. We are talking eternal
life with our Creator. We are talking about Saving Grace.

Our end of things....you already know. Call of Jesus to be your Savior,
Repent and believe upon the Son of God. Might want to get that done

Praise our God!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

He cut it from ten to two...and I'm still batting .000

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22: 36-40

Baseball is a sport where failing can be a good thing. If a batter successfully hits the
baseball for a hit, one-third of the time, he stands a very good chance of wining a
batting title! 

The Mosaic Law, ten commandments delivered personally by God to Moses and
then given to the Hebrew people, were not designed for success! When I look at
those Holy commands, then search for my success rate, I fall way short of being
successful. Back before I realized what Christ was saying in His list of "but I tell
you's," I thought I was doing okay in some areas. After all, I hadn't killed
anyone. Then Jesus expanded upon those commands in rebuking the Pharisee
legal attitudes..... example....

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[a] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  Matthew 6

I guess the fact that I had, at one time or another, wished for the demise of another
person sort of qualified me for failure. 

Then, amazingly, I discovered that Jesus answered a question by naming two great
laws or commands that were to be followed. Oh boy, now I stood a much better
chance. No I did not! 

The bottom line, here, is that we, as humans, filled with sin, are unable to
accomplish any of the commands, whether ten or two, that God laid out as
goals for righteous behavior and standing. 

So the point is (was)...

WE NEED JESUS! They were designed to point us to our incapacity and
to the one true Fully man who could and did fulfill the law. Did His success
in keeping full righteousness cancel the law? No. He said that He came to
fulfill it, not to cancel it.

We who are in Christ are being transformed, being sanctified by the work
of God's Holy Spirit toward men and women who are more and more
righteous and more and more like the one true second Adam. We won't
get there, won't stop sinning until we go to be with Jesus in a place
where there will simply be NO sin.

Glorious! Praise our God!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

SETI. Seriously...?

I like listening to Carl Sagan; he had such an interesting voice. I was privileged
to teach his niece, Rachel, many years ago. What a wonderful, bright young

When it comes to SETI, I have to just shake my head and wonder; what in the
world are these people thinking? What would be the motivation for searching
the universe for other intelligent life? What would be proven if such a discovery
actually came to pass? 

Perhaps these folks are feeling lonely. This blue marble seemingly out there in
a vast black void of space might make one feel alone. Perhaps it would be
better to discover that there have been other instances where something crawled
out of the primordial ooze onto a beach and then took millions of years to
randomly change into more complex beings able to communicate with us
on this earth? 

It all fits in with the search for 'black matter,' 'the God particle,' etc. We are
beings that crave answers; we would really like to know the meaning, the reasons,
the answers. It doesn't feel right when we cannot find solutions to issues where we
do not have complete knowledge.

Well, I do know that contacts with aliens in movies and books have really not,
for the most part, been pleasant experiences. We haven't done too well in
these fictional accounts, having to rely on virus or water, etc. to deal the final
hand in repulsing alien invasions.

Look; we aren't alone. We do have answers. Knowing this is as simple as
listening to our hearts and observing the world around us. God created this
world and He did so with magnificent success. He spoke things into creation,
He breathed life into you and me, He is completely sovereign and in control
of where this blue marble of a planet is headed, its future and its eventual
restoration. It's a plain as the nose on our faces; yet, we still cannot
accept the fact that we aren't that smart, that aware and that intelligent
to really understand this vast universe without the assurance that there is
One who can and does.

Go on looking, or look inside yourselves to that spot that needs to be
filled with a loving, sovereign Father God.

Praise Him!

Monday, September 28, 2015

From strength to weakness..and back again!

A good friend fell asleep this past weekend; I will miss him very much. He is with
the Lord and, thus, I have no worries about where he is and how he is! If I am
interpreting scripture correctly, there is a very good chance that his wait to see his
loving wife, Kathie, and friends, which there were many, will be in the blink of an eye.
The whole temporal aspect of our own space-time is God created and not at all
applicable to those who have gone on.

Noel was a very strong individual. He was strong physically, strong in personality
and strong in his views on things. At first, this was a bit of a problem for me in terms
of creating a friendship, but that all passed. I was fortunate to teach and coach with
him at the middle school level for a number of years. This strength that describes
him continued throughout his years, though I did feel that he mellowed a bit from
a 'black or white' sort of soul to one who could see grey areas. His heart was big and
he would do anything for a friend.

Over the past few weeks his health deteriorated very quickly. Though I talked with
him and his wife, I really do not know exactly what was going on inside his body, and
it appeared that doctors also had a very difficult time determining how to help.
That strength of body changed into abject weakness as he told me over the phone that
he really had no strength. In the end, in ICU, his body gave out and shut down and
he went to be with the Lord.

Our strength, our very ability to live in a body wherein all sorts of things have to
be operating efficiently just to put our feet on the floor and stand, is derived from
God. It is imputed to us; we are sustained at all times by Him; otherwise, we
would lose that strength immediately. We also have a shelf-life. There is a  beginning
and an end to our very short time on this earth, and, once again, God is in total
control of that. When the strength of good health, of a body that is functioning
at the necessary levels gives out, our time has come. 

That strength given to us by God is promised to be renewed by the giving of an
nonperishable body, one that does not wither, does not fail, will be
everlasting. Noel is in a place that we simply are not allowed to see in clarity,
but the veil has been teased open enough to realize that it is more wonderful
than words can express. 

So I do not feel sorrow for this friend, in fact I would have to admit a bit of
envy. I will wait to see him and be overjoyed that my days in the place I was
meant to be will be forever. We will have coffee, a few laughs, and will be
joined by other special people that God has placed into our existence. I
am anxious for that time.

Praise our God!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Whole Truth....and nothing but...

'I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree'

That was part of American history back in the days when I learned and
re-learned it. Turns out, George Washington never said it and never did it.
It was an urban legend, a fabrication, a stretching of the truth: a lie! 

We all lie. Sometimes we find reason to try and justify it, but when all
is said and done, a lie is a lie, big or small. It starts early, and if not nipped
in the bud, can become a habitual problem to the point that we may begin to
be unable to tell a lie from the truth!

But there is One that does not lie. He is Holy and telling falsehoods is
absolutely in opposition to who he is: He is God. He cannot not tell the truth!
So when it comes to coming to grips with our spiritual path, it provides
complete assurance to realize that what God has said is what God will do.
He is a promise keeper, a covenant builder. 

Oh it's easy to make promises. It's a different thing when we are called upon
to fulfill them. There are many promises in scripture and many of them
point to the eventual culmination to life on a troubled, broken earth. If
one is to believe the Bible, Jesus Christ will return at a time that has been
chosen by God, Himself. This Jesus Christ will arrive in a very noticeable
fashion, so apparent that all alive on earth will hear and see Him. This will
not be the suffering servant. he has made the sacrifice, been given authority
over the entire universe and is coming again to judge the world. This is
Jesus the conquering King. He will, thus, usher in the new world cleansed
of sin and death.

How can we know all this? Well, because God has revealed it to mankind
through the Bible and prophecy. From the Garden of Eden, through
the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and on into the writings of the
apostles, the story of redemption has been unfolded. It has been promised
by One who cannot lie, whose plan will be completed, whose word is

Can you believe it? Yes. Should you believe it? Oh Yes. If you haven't done
so, take to your knees, ask for forgiveness and a Savior, repent and get
ready, for He will come when not expected at a time that is only known by
the One who tells no lies.

Praise our God!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Einstein and Simpson

I am constantly wondering about things...things related to God, His creation and
His plan for salvation. I want to know why? 

Why did God pluck me from the realm of blindness and non-awareness and fill
me, slowly but carefully, with the desire to belong to Jesus?

Why is my name in the Book of Life while other names are not?

Where was I before I was conceived?

What and how does God wish to use me to His glory?

How can atonement be limited? Why would the Christ die for some and not
for others?

(I guess I added to the 'why's')

How can God be omnipresent and omniscient all of the time? That's a whole
lot of omni!

Will I meet my Lord Jesus moments after I die? What will this glorious
being look like? What can I possibly say in that moment?

I could go on..I believe you get the point. There are a lot of unanswered
questions floating around in my mind. I am not so much troubles by that
reality as much as just very very interested.

God has chosen to reveal what we need to know, He is not
bound by my curiosity to provide answers for what He has chosen not
to reveal. Furthermore, it would be a lot like Albert talking with Homer.
I am not so sure that I could ever be capable of comprehending what God
would say to me. Plus, I may really never need to understand anything
more than the fact that God is in charge, sufficient for my care and future
and I can live, comfortably, with that!

Praise God!

Friday, September 4, 2015

From one to three trillion!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139

The journey from conception to birth is so very mysterious; yet, when that baby
or grand-baby arrives, it all seems so natural, so normal. I am enjoying the
precious little baby Ellen Grace who is rapidly approaching seven months of life
outside the womb. She is, of course, still being 'knit' and 'fashioned' by the very
God of the universe, in whose care she will remain, blessed by two wonderful
parents who love her!

At conception, all of us spend about thirty minutes as ONE cell, a zygote. Getting
to that moment of conception is not a simple process as many would-be parents
can attest. When it happens, and thirty minutes elapse, the wondrous process
of cell division and multiplication begin. God, Himself, takes over and even with
the help of pre-natal evaluations and care for the mother, it is He who sees to it
that things are progressing.

Then, after the promised pain of child birth, if all goes well, a baby is born with
toes, fingers and all the other noticeable parts. It is joy; there is no other word, and
relief and time for big changes. A big change that has preceded this birth moment
is the maturation and differentiation of cells in this new life. Three trillion cells
are at work in harmony and cooperation as that precious baby cries and begins
the hopefully long life that lies ahead.

Did you catch the math, here? One becomes three trillion! There are some who
would refuse to call this a miracle. In my mind, they are wrong. I believe that
if all realized the miraculous process that brought baby Ellen Grace into this world,
realized that a loving, sovereign God was hard at work, perhaps, just perhaps,
abortions would come to a halt. They need to come to a halt. Holding that
small, precious new life, makes the thought of abortion abhorrent and
so sinful. Erasing God's craft, His work, His love....NO WAY! One to three
trillion...enough said.

Praise God!  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Not just a moment in time...the moment!

John 19:30  It Is Finished.

Those words spoken in finality by our Lord Jesus Christ represent both His final words
prior to His Resurrection and the finishing of His work here on earth. At the moment
when these words were spoken, redemption began and the veil separating God from His
creatures was torn. The sins of all had been heaped upon the back of this dying Messiah,
a propitiation had been resolved for sins and defeat was realized, at last, for satan,
death and sin's hold on those who would believe in Christ.

It was, therefore, not just any moment but a moment that changed the world, a broken
world into which Jesus came as servant and savior. It was the birth of a new covenant,
one that would provide the one true means to redemption, an opportunity for creatures
to be born into the light of grace and their sins forgiven. It was the ultimate example of
God's love toward His creatures, unconditional and complete.

It was, at the same time, the most terrible and most wonderful moment in history since,
in addition to all these wondrous benefits, a sinless God-man hung as a curse
on a tree, His body defiled and beaten, His blood flowing as the once and done
sacrifice needed for atonement. God had, in a plan agreed upon even before creation,
sacrificed His own Son as a means of providing righteousness where there was none,
borrowed, as it were, from He who was completely righteous.

I always cringe when I hear it said that this was a 'free gift.' It is a gift that demanded
the death of the Christ, that made it appear that satan had, indeed, been victorious,
left the followers of Christ in despair and confusion only to be finished by the
glorious Resurrection of  the Lamb and the eventual return to His Glory at the
right hand of the Father.

Without this history defining moment, there would simply be no hope, no
joy, no purpose, no completion, no pathway to reconciliation with the God of
the Universe.

It was THE moment. Praise and thank God for his grace!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Unrealsitic Expectations

 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Might as well label these as commandments 11 and 12 because they, like the others, are
goals for which to strive and not reasonable for success, even in the most serious
Christians. I cannot speak for you, but I always let my daily activities, goals, businesses
and pride get in the way of loving God as I have been commanded. It's not that I don't
value that command, not that I would not like to achieve that command, it's just
something that can always be improved upon.

The later command, loving others as Jesus loved, to your neighbor as yourself, is
also a matter of effort..maybe even more so. What about looking out for number one?
What about getting back at those who mistreat us or disappoint us? Revenge? Eye
for an eye? You know.

Perhaps an off-shoot of this consideration is the problem that can come from having
unreasonable expectations of others. This, also, can lead to difficulty not only loving
them, but just getting along with them. Let's face it, people, yes Christians, too, often
don't live up to our expectations. They aren't moral enough, aren't caring enough,
aren't compassionate enough, aren't fair enough... there are a lot of enoughs!
When we expect others to live up to expectations that we, often, cannot achieve
ourselves, it can lead to avoidance, conflict and irritation. 

When it comes to other Christians letting us down, that's a toughie! How can
someone who claims to be Christians, in Christ, behave that way? Not only is it
an issue of letting us down, their behavior does not reflect well upon what it
means to love Jesus, to act like Jesus. We are models of Christ, reflections of His
will and character; yet, we often see ourselves and other Christians fall short.

So, it is important, I believe, to be realistic in our expectations of all the people 
with whom we interact. Wish for the best, but expect non-perfection. Hope to
help weakness, don't become irate or isolate from others. That isolation takes
one out of the very real job of seeking the kingdom for others. Seek to react
in love and compassion. Easy, no way. Important, WAY!

Praise our God! He is worthy!