Sunday, December 28, 2014

Evidences of the “Anthropic Principle” 514 - 6 - 4

From an article in Science Daily, Quantum Theory Demonstrated: Observation Affects Reality:
"Rehovot, Israel, February 26, 1998--One of the most bizarre premises of quantum theory, which has long fascinated philosophers and physicists alike, states that by the very act of watching, the observer affects the observed reality."
My "outside the box" thinking; If the about is true at the quantum level, what of macro level, is the universe influenced by our being able to observe it?
And as Job was/ is schooled by God; Job:4-6, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? hereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof”
To quote better minds then mine but lesser than that of God:
In their book “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery”, Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards point out that our little blue planet is:
• Uniquely positioned for life
• Uniquely positioned to discover:
– Positioned in the galaxy
– Positioned for total eclipses
– Positioned within the visible spectrum…etc.
• Implies teleology: A purposeful design
Dr. Missler’s teaching, “Technology and the Bible" has a listing of Critical Factors, well worth the read.
British-born theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and best-selling author Paul Davies was quoted as saying, “It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe… The impression of design is overwhelming.”
The late astrophysicist and atheist Fred Hoyle admitted. "A commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superlntellect has monkeyed with physics. as well as chemistry and biology. and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about In nature."
But I digress, back to the original question of what evidences have you observed about the “Anthropic Principle”? I’ve written on this subject before and more than ever “I am in awe of the indisputable proof of design in this planet we call home. Statically we are unique and blessed to have our God designed home. Given what an awesome planet Earth is, one can only imagine the home Jesus has been working on for us these nearly two thousand years.”
From the smallest quarks to the immensity of the universe, we are indeed living on a “Privileged Planet.”

The Creation is fundamental to Christian apologetics 514 - 6 - 5

In my opinion, too often the Bible is treated as a vast buffet whereby one picks and chooses what he or she is willing to believe. As for me, it is Sola Scriptura, you either believe God’s Word or you flat-out don’t.
As for the properties of the universe as listed in the Bible, to quote just a few:
Isaiah 64:1 says space can be torn
Psalm 102 says space can be worn out like a garment
Job 9:8 says He alone spreads out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea
The book “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery” by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards is a rather challenging read. The video “The Privileged Planet” was gentler on my brain while being very informative. Our Earth is located in a habitable zone in our solar system. A little closer to sun or a little further away from the sun and no complex life would be possible. Our solar system also has a habitable zone within our galaxy, as does our galaxy.
The above are just a few of the observations that speak to the very uniqueness of our privileged planet. It appears that we are located in the perfect position to observe the universe, like we have a window to the world. From the smallest quarks to the immensity of the universe, we are indeed living on a “Privileged Planet.”  
Why the resistance to Creation? Why do I think the Creation is fundamental to Christian apologetics? If the universe were created then there would be a Creator to whom we would be accountable, an inconvenient truth to many.
Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
The six days of creation was a time of negative entropy. With the exception of these six days, by the laws of entropy the universe truly had a beginning and will have an ending. I agree with those who attribute the beginning of the universe to the Big Bang theory. However, and in my opinion, what they’re missing is an understanding of just Who caused the Big Bang. Sadly the very famous “Stephen Hawking Says 'There Is No God,' Confirms He's An Atheist”
As I understand it, Mr. Hocking attributes the creation to gravitational forces. My question to Mr. Hocking would be who created those forces?
If the Christian apologist can open the unbeliever to the possibility of a Creator based on Genesis 1:1, time to consider the human incarnation of that creator.
John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Unfortunately it seems that many, including those who refer to themselves as Christians, have little desire to really dig into the Word. If one doesn't truly internalize the validity of the Word can one truly be an effective Christian apologist?

An after thought:

Whenever I hear an unbeliever’s bloviate about creation being due to the fad thinking of the day rather than the Creator I reflect on Romans 1:18-21 “and their foolish heart was darkened.” Then there is Job 40:2 “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The silence of God 514 - 5 - 4

The silence of God reminded me of Paul Simon's song, "Sounds Of Silence Lyrics" that he so often performed with his partner Garfunkel.
First a little background. After 102 Years my mother's life is ebbing away. I'm past praying for her recovery and only for her release from her failing body. With family and friends visiting plus the required and rather intensive care giving, it is difficult for me to find the silence to hear God. So I can only imagine what it's like for my mom. I've read of the dying waiting until family and friends leave before they finally allow their soul to leave the body. Perhaps they (the dying) are seeking that quiet time with God as they pass over.
Last night when I was alone with mom I played a few of her favorites, Lynda Randle’s gospel CDs. Mom’s hearing is nearly gone but I think (hope) she heard Lynda’s inspiring singing such as "God on the Mountain" and many more.
Again from From Simon's "Sounds Of Silence Lyrics"
“And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence”
In the many times over the years that I have helped with my mother care-giving I heard many empty platitudes, like clouds without rain. “People talking without speaking” and “People hearing without listening.”
Should mom still be with us tonight it’ll be more Lynda Randle. The effect I will be hoping for Simon expresses so well:
“Hear my words that I might teach you”
Take my arms that I might reach you"
I’m praying that mom will take Jesus’ hand and let Him lift her in His arms.
Added Later:
My mom maintained a very clear mind until about 2 months ago. Always a conservative we had nightly telephone conversations about politics and she stayed very much up on the news. She was hospitalized about 6 weeks ago and it's like the spark that was mom was being extinguished. She became incoherent. 
Family is gone for the night and I am sitting close to mom and listening to gospel music and of course spending time Online. My cousin and hospice do most of the hygiene care with some help from me. Her care is pretty much beyond the ability of one person as she is dead weight. My mom raised 3 kids on her own and we all turned out pretty well. I remember mom always saying when I die I hope people will say isn't it a shame not what a blessing. Unfortunately she didn't get her wish. But she is in the hands of God and it's in his timing. And it's getting to be my bedtime.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New Age redaction of the trials of Job 514 - 5 - 8

In his book “Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Church” Warren B. Smith demonstrates how passages from the Bible have been hijacked to promote a near New Age message. Mr. Smith quotes the following from Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? “ Both Job and Isaiah are used as an examples of “The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.”

“Rick Warren wrote: Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope. In the Bible, many different people expressed this hopelessness. Isaiah complained, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.” Job said, “My life drags by—day after hopeless day” and “I give up; I am tired of living. Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.” The greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose.”

Smith, Warren B. (2011-06-21). Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose Driven Church (p. 49). BookMasters. Kindle Edition.

To be certain that Mr. Smith quoted Mr. Warren correctly I read the same passage in this best-seller. Ref: Warren, Rick. The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Kindle Locations 430-435). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Years ago The Purpose Driven Life became a runaway bestseller. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church is an evangelical Christian megachurch located in Lake Forest, CA. Mr. Warren has become a celebrity and facilitated one of the presidential debates in 2008. He is currently involved with Pope Francis in creating one huge body of Christianity. Pope Francis is courting the Eastern Orthodox Church trying to bring them under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic Church. Mr. Warren is promoting something called Chrislam, can you say the coming One World Religion?

Mr. Warren quoted numerous Bibles in his bestseller and often uses “The Message” by Eugene Peterson. This redacted version of biblical truth has been criticized. A quick Google Search provided this article. "What kind of message is THE MESSAGE?”

What both Mr. Peterson and Mr. Warren fail to point out is that Isaiah was rather frustrated as he was finding the prophetic role that God had assigned to him was being ignored by the very people he was trying to warn. This I can identify with!

As for Job, his despair was due to great loss of family, wealth and health which were temporary. Job never lost either his commitment or devotion to God. Job gives the believer one of the greatest testament in the Bible, Job 19:25, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:” (KJV)

The same verse in The Message goes, “Still, I know that God lives—the One who gives me back my life—and eventually he’ll take his stand on earth.” So Mr. Pearson has exchanged the concept of my Redeemer for God and the latter-day for eventually. 

“Christ esteem and God confidence” vs “self esteem and self confidence” Personal Effects from "The Way of Agape" 503s - 11 - 4

With thanks to Nancy and het book "The Way of Agape", four steps in building a healthy identity/ healthy self-image:

1) Knowing and believing that God loves us unconditionally.

2) If we know and accept that God loves us, then we’ll have the confidence and trust to lay down our wills and our lives to Him and love Him in return.

3) Since we are loving Him, becoming open and cleansed vessels, God’s Life can come forth from our hearts and be made manifest through our lives

4) Because God’s Life is coming forth from us, we will begin to like (storge) who we are, what we say, and what we do.

Christ esteem:

Christ esteem/ Liking self with God’s Love and Wisdom enabling us to like ourselves.


Self-esteem. Liking what we say, what we do, and how we do it.
I remember in college studying "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." This link has very insightful information:

Maslow theorized that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on. His hierarchy of needs are usually depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. Lowest on the pyramid is psychological needs followed by safety. As one works up the scale in theory they achieve self-actualization. While this is all good information, in my opinion, left out in this equation is the primary component, God.

Maslow's work goes back to the 1940s. Each generation seems to become more self-centered and self-absorbed. While self-esteem is very important it's become somewhat of an altar at which many worship.


I agree with Nancy that “God-confidence and proper self-liking come only from being what God meant us to be: open vessels receiving His Love for ourselves and then passing it on to others. Loving them rather than ourselves.”

With thanks to Wiktionary, Self-confidence:

The state of being self-confident

A measure of one's belief in one's own abilities
So once again the main component is left out, God.

Any identity changed, as a result of this course:

My sense of identity has not really changed as a result of this course. Perhaps if I don’t know my own identity at 73 it truly is too late for me. What is been very changing to my sense of identity of late has been watching and helping to care for my 102 year old mother as her life seems to be ebbing away. Always a very strong woman, I’m still amazed at her tenacity and reluctance to leave. Perhaps at some level she is waiting for Christmas, in any event it’s all in God’s timing. I’ll miss her very much in this world but will eventually spend an eternity with mom in our new and blessed home with God.

God’s Love, What of the Flip Side? The Wrath of God? 503s - 11 - 8

According to Nancy Missler in her book "The Way of Agape", Agape is God’s Love. It’s a love that is supernatural and totally different from human love. Nancy goes on to say that she had no idea that Agape was God Himself working through her and could only do so if she presented God with “a cleansed and unclogged vessel to use.”

Next Nancy says that to agapao something means to “totally give ourselves over to something; to be totally consumed with it; totally committed to it.” What we choose to agapao is up to us. We can choose what to give ourselves over to; something that will allow us to do God’s work or something that can become obsessive. All one has to do to witness what so many agapao is to turn on his or her television. Many are obsessed with looking younger, losing weight, having a bigger house, a better car, more money and so on and so forth.

Earlier I wrote about a video produced by Dennis Prager with his Prager University; “The One Thought You Should Never Have.”

Mr. Prager states that there is only one Commandment that prohibits a thought, and it is this: "Do not covet." When one covets is that the same as to agapao what belongs to someone else? Coveting often leads to the proceeding four commandments and can lead to murders, thief, lies, and/or committing adultery.

Deuteronomy 5:21, “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet (H183) thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.”

H183 - A primitive root; to wish for: - covet, (greatly) desire, be desirous, long, lust (after).

While I've enjoyed "The Way of Agape:, I’m sorry to say that it struck me as too much "Kumbaya” and too little about having a fear of the Lord.

2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” Recently my BAC friends and I were discussing the fact that many are treating God in a casual way; almost as a genie in a bottle. People argue that we serve of God of love so He would not possibly send people to hell. While it is true that we serve a loving God, we also serve a righteous God.

The justice of our righteous God often results in judgment. Ultimately, all will be judged; some at the Bema Seat judgment and some of the White throne judgment. Philippians 2:10, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Satan, the father of lies, tries to get us to blame God and accuse Him of being unfair and unjust 514 - 4 - 5

Lucifer in his pride articulated his infamous five I will:

I will ascend into heaven

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God

I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds

I will be like the most High.

Lucifer started his campaign in the garden by attempting to destroy God’s creation, the human race. Lucifer started his subtle campaign by causing Eve to question the word of God.

Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Then Lucifer appealed to Eve’s pride by claiming that taking that fateful bite she would not die, rather her eyes would be opened and she would be as God.

Genesis 3:4-5, “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

The lie of Lucifer that humans can be as God bore great fruit with Joseph Smith who wrote as a follow-up to the Book of Mormon, “As man is God once was, as God is man can become.” This also seems to be part of the doctrine of the high priestess of the New Age, Oprah Winfrey.

Lucifer has done his best throughout the centuries to undermine God by convincing people that God is a vengeful and cruel God rather than is being a righteous God. That said, many have bought into the lie that all roads lead to God. This is a repudiation of Jesus as the Way, the truth and the life. Then there is the lie that good works will earn our salvation.

Peter said it well in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
Isaiah ended the above five I will of Lucifer with the following, Isaiah 14:15, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” In these last days it seems that Satan truly is in overdrive trying to assure plenty of company in hell.

Did you say “the fear of the Lord"? 514 - 4 - 8

My original intention was to respond to DQ#6, “the fear of the Lord.” In my rather convoluted way of thinking this DQ brought to mind the famous sermon by the fire and brimstone preacher from the 1700s Jonathan Edwards; “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” In today’s Church of the Laodiceans, this sermon would likely be considered unacceptable and certainly not PC.

I've listened to this very visual sermon which is more than 40 minutes in length. It should “Put the fear of the Lord” into anyone hearing it. Rev. Edwards reminds us that we are held by a fine thread above Hell. Only the hand of God holds us securely if it is His desire. Just this one paragraph gives the favor of his sermon.

“The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke 11:12. The devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back. If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.”

Also when considering the expression "the fear of the Lord" two other terms come to mind, “The Day is Near” and “The Day of the Lord.” Throughout the Old Testament warnings of this day is given by a number of the prophets including Mican, Amos, Jeremiah. Often the prophecies were for the latter days. It would seem that we are definitely in those latter days when there seems to be little to no fear of the Lord. While our awesome God is a loving God he is also a righteous God.

Chapter one of Zephaniah told of a Judgment on the whole earth in the Day of the Lord. Zephaniah 1:14, “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. Ezekiel 7:7, “The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains.”

The book of Proverbs has numerous verses that refer to the fear of the Lord including Proverbs 2:5, 3:7, 9:10, 10:27, 14:26 and several more.

There are warnings of coming judgment in the Books of Isaiah, Joel, Ezekiel, Job and more. For those of us who have ears to hear, it is certainly time to be in fear of our righteous God and to share that fear with unbelievers. For some reason God has put it on my heart to be like the man standing on the corner carrying the sign that says “Repent the end is near.”

Getting into the Word and Giving God the Praise - 503s - 10 - 7

Nancy recommends that we “Get into the Word” read a few favorite passages, so that “His soothing truth could go back into the hidden chambers where the lies have been.” Then Nancy would praise God “for being my God and for doing all these things for me.”

Nancy referred to several relevant Scriptures:

Luke 11:24-26 speaks to cleaning/ clearing out our hidden places and not filling the resulting vacuum with something else such as the Word. This leaves one vulnerable to replaying old scripts which can increase their negative impact.  

Paul offers great assurance both in Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” and Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

The above cleaning/clearing out of the hidden places and filling them with the Word is easier said than done. I find it all too often these hidden places are filled with deep-seated hurts, some decades old, which resurface.

As a six-year-old I had to climb out of the deep valley of paralytic polio. I, like most polio survivors, felt a responsibility to act and look normal. I had excellent follow-up care and a number of corrective surgeries to my hand and arm, however, polio just was not a subject discussed. So I buried it in those secret chambers.

Polio is an interesting disease in that it causes damage to the brainstem which may or may not be the reason most polio survivors are Type A personalities. A cruel twist of fate is that after decades of recovery many polio survivors develop post-polio syndrome. Even muscles that did not seem to be effected during the initial onset actually were damaged. Joint pain, weakening muscles and sleeping difficulties often get worse with each year. The stress typical of a Type A personality exasperates these conditions. Family members don’t seem to have a clue as to what happening and no one seems to want to acknowledge it.
So decades later I’m cleaning out those hidden chambers and giving it to God. I rest in the sure knowledge that I am right with God. Immersing myself in the Bible helps to fill these hidden chambers.
Interestingly enough the more engrossed I am in my studies the more I’m aware that other than my church family most friends and family have little to no interest in a study of the Bible. So just as polio wasn’t discussed, biblical truth seldom is. As their argument goes, being a good person is all-important and all roads lead to God. Rather than burying this rejection of Truth in my hidden chambers, I have given my family and friends over to God. To God goes the glory.

Why is it so important to "take every thought captive?” What do we do with those captive thoughts? 503s - 10 - 3

According to Nancy, “Our thoughts stir up our emotions; our emotions then influence our desires; and our desires produce our actions. This is why it’s so important to take every thought captive, because then we can stop the chain reaction before it even begins.”

2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” Great words to live by

So first is our thoughts that stir up emotions which leads to our desires and ultimately our actions. In my opinion, there is one step proceeding our thoughts, what we allow ourselves to take in visually. The eye is the portal used by Satan and often a visual will serve as a stimulus for thought. Satan and his minions must be giving at the epidemic of online pornography a standing ovation.

Dennis Prager with his Prager University produces many very informative and pithy videos that are approximately five minutes long. This video, “The One Thought You Should Never Have, ” is very applicable to this discussion question.      

“There is only one Commandment that prohibits a thought, and it is this: "Do not covet." Why does the Bible, which is preoccupied with behavior, legislate a thought? Because to covet, to want what belongs to someone else, is the root of the preceding four commandments and often leads to evil. Before someone murders, steals, lies, or commits adultery, the desire to take what is rightly someone else's usually comes first.”

Deuteronomy 5:21, “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet (H183) thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.”

H183 - A primitive root; to wish for: - covet, (greatly) desire, be desirous, long, lust (after).

I have often stated that we have control over two things, who we choose to associate with and our thoughts. One disclaimer, it is far easier to control our thoughts when we are awake then when asleep, at least in my case. One method I use to keep my thoughts stayed on God is to listen to praise and worship music throughout the night. When negative and/or disruptive thoughts penetrate my mental filer, I give them to God. 

. What are our “weapons of warfare”? Where is the battle waged? Explain why our thoughts are so important. 503s - 9 - 5

What are our “weapons of warfare”?

2 Corinthians 10:4, “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds)”

Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

2 Corinthians 6:7, “By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,”

Ephesians 6:13, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
“Armour of God” including:
Loins girt about with truth;
Breastplate of righteousness;
Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Shield of faith, quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;
Helmet of salvation;
Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Praying always;

Where is the battle waged?

Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Why our thoughts are so important:

If God is not in our thoughts, weapons of spiritual warfare are nonexistent. Staying in the Word and keeping our mind stayed on God protects us from drifting into evil thoughts.

Psalm 10:4, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Having a “Shield of faith” will protect us from the fiery darts of the wicked.

Isaiah 59:7, “Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.” Here we counter with “Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace”

Jeremiah 6:19, “Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.” Perhaps the “Breastplate of righteousness” would be our best protection.

Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:” Depend on the “Word of God”

Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” Praying always!

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God helps to keep our thoughts focused on God.

Romans 2:15 “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” Loins girt about with truth is an antidote.

Again, why our thoughts are so important? Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Describing the justice of God with Scripture 514 - 2 - 5

2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

Twice in the last week I’ve been in Bible studies where we discussed the fact that many are treating God in a casual way; almost as a genie in a bottle. The name it and claim it prosperity tele-evangelists pervert Bible passages to generate income; Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” 

What many seem to ignore is that while we may have a loving God we also have a righteous God.

The justice of our righteous God often results in judgment. Ultimately, all will be judged; some at the Bema Seat judgment and some of the White throne judgment. Philippians 2:10, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"

The book of Isaiah contains many warnings of coming judgments including:

Isaiah 2:6, “Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers.”

Isaiah 3:1, “For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,”

There is the terror of the Lord's judgment:

Exodus 15:16, “Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.”

Exodus 23:27, “’I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.”

Job 9:34, “Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:”

Job 9:35, “Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.”in

There is the Day of the Lord:

Joel 1:15, “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.”

Greater minds then mine concerning "Why all Christians have trials and seasons of adversity in their lives" 514 - 3 - 5

With thanks to Hal Lindsey and Nancy Missler for the list and scriptural references; “Why Do Christians Have Trials?”

To glorify God:
Daniel 3:17, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.”

Discipline for known sin:
Romans 14:23, “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

To prevent us from falling into sin:
1 Peter 4:2, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”

To keep us from pride as Paul was by his “thorn in the flesh:”
2 Corinthians 12:7, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”

To build faith:
1 Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

To cause growth:
Romans 5:3, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;”

To teach obedience and discipline:
Act 9:15-16, “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.”

To equip us to comfort others:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

To prove the reality of Christ in us:
2 Corinthians 4:7-11, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”

For testimony to the angels:
Job 1:8, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”

Part 2 to be added as a reply time allowing….

Friday, December 5, 2014

About those three friends of Job, clouds without rain... 514 - 3 - 5

Job had three friends who, in my opinion, personified Proverbs 25:14, “Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.”
First was Eliphaz referred to as the Eloquent. Eliphaz, as many often do, observed Job’s trails through the lens of his (Eliphaz’s) reality. As Eliphaz bloviated that Job’s suffering was due to his (Job’s) sins was Eliphaz providing us with an insight into own his sins?
Next was Bildad who apparently was less then diplomatic as he was referred to as the Brutal. Bildad called Job a hypocrite based on his (Bildad’s) rigid adherence to tradition.
Last was Zophar the Zealous who appears to be driven by orthodox dogma referred to Job as a wicked man. Eliphaz brings to mind a bumper sticker, “My dogma was just run over by my karma.”
As an aside, Zophar the Zealous brings to mind those who adhere to the dogmatic religion of Islam. Bildad the Brutal could be likened to the Roman Catholic Church with its strict adherence to the traditions of men rather than the Word of God. Perhaps Eliphaz the Eloquent could be an equivalency to the apostate church.
In my opinion, what Job needed was compassion and not criticism or speculation of shortcomings. When his friends sat with him in silence it would seem they were more supportive of him. An example of the comfort of silence would be a family friend, Mary, now long gone. Mary had the gift of having a very comforting presence in a room. Mary had a little to say but just seemed to leak warmth.
Over the last several years I have spent extended periods of time living in my mother’s home and helping to care for her while my own health declined. My often critical family members occasionally gave me an “Atta girl” but didn't walk the talk by helping with my mother; praise, empty platitudes. Interestingly enough it was two family friends who did walk the talk as well as treating me with the compassion I so needed at that time.
Bildad brings to mind family tradition as it seems to hold that the burden of care falls on the daughter and the son, in this case my older brother, got/ gets a free pass. Family, clouds without rain, go figure.
After critiquing my family I would like to add that there is an exception, my cousin Jaqy.  She truly walks the talk as for about a year she has taken over most of the care-giving for my 102 year old mom. Last fall except for visits with my mom I was finally able to return to my very neglected home and much missed church family.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Turn those negative thoughts and past experiences over to God 503s - 9 - 4

Liz, a family friend was caring for my dog Phoebe In 2007 while I was recovering from knee replacement surgery. I was barely out from under the joy juice that the anesthesiologist had given me along with a spinal block when a family friend, Ed, gleefully gave me bad news. Ed said my Phoebe had destroyed a $300 screen door. It goes without saying I was very upset and called my friend Liz and offered to pay for any and all damage done by my fur baby. “What damage” she asked? It turned out it was a minor repair and that she and her gardener had already completed it. Further I was not to worry because Phoebe was behaving herself and having a good time. Not only had Ed blown a simple incidence way out of proportion, he did when I was helpless to really do anything about it.  

I still cut my time in rehab by a week so my dog could come home. The first night home when I had to get my own ice pack I had less that kind thoughts concerning Ed. And the next morning as I fixed my breakfast rather than having it brought to me in rehab… seems almost humorous now.

In all the many years that I knew Ed he was a constant thorn in my side and this was just one example. Sharing the above still brings a twinge of annoyance. Now a twinge only.  Ed has been gone for several years so thorn in my side or not, I hope Ed came to faith while he still had the time.

I've often said that we can only really control two things in our lives, our thoughts and who we choose to hang with. Add to that we can pick our friends but we can’t pick our family. Family dynamics are interesting and often the most hurtful.

God wants us to give our negative thoughts and past experiences over to His healing power rather than reinforcing then by reliving them again and again. Negativity feeds on itself. As for pain caused by family, Psalm 69 provides insight to the suffering of our Savior growing up as he was rejection by His brothers and sisters. Rather puts it into proper prospective.

Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”