The events of this week led me to change what I was going to speak on Wednesday evening. I hope you will take the time to hear what God put on my heart.
As an added bonus, my sister plays the piano and sings an original piece to start things off.
The events of this week led me to change what I was going to speak on Wednesday evening. I hope you will take the time to hear what God put on my heart.
As an added bonus, my sister plays the piano and sings an original piece to start things off.
Glad it’s over, but at least I’m better prepared for the next catastrophe. Amen?
Thank you, everyone. All of you who have read any of my posts, all of you are appreciated, even Stephen in Canada 😉
Tonight, at 6pm our time, we are going to be having a New Year’s Eve service. It won’t be a long one, nor will it be a traditional-like service. All I plan to do is read a verse or two from the Bible and ask if anyone would like to share a word or two about the past year. Then, as Jesus and his disciples did right before He was taken to be tried, we will have our version of the Passover meal: the Lord’s Supper.
Jesus said of the Passover meal, and by extension the celebration of that last supper we observe today, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Paul said that as often as we partake in the communion meal, we “proclaim His death” until He returns. I want to offer it tonight for both those reasons.
Remember Jesus. If that is one thing we probably did not do enough of is think of Jesus during the last year. On the other hand, it is very possible that many people who never thought about God at all had their minds on things eternal. Did we as Christians take advantage of that opportunity? Did we think about life and death as much as those who were without hope?
I can’t help but think that the Church has been given a rare opportunity, at least a once-in-a-lifetime chance to offer Christ during a time of great uncertainty and questioning. For most of the past year we have seen something comparative to the Ethiopian reading a scroll he barely understood and we as Phillip being sent to answer his questions. How many of us have even considered the answers?
Proclaim His death until He comes. The second thing about communion is that by partaking in it we show that we have put our faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. We believe that His blood was shed and His body was broken on our behalf, and that Jesus was buried only to rise again. And we believe, as He promised to rise again, He also promised to return. Therefore, we partake with a grateful and expectant heart as we proclaim to the watching world where our faith lies.
Before I go, I want to clue you in to the subject matter of my next substantive post. As some of you may have read, a man named Stephen has been leaving some pretty harsh and antagonistic comments here on the blog. I have honestly come close a time or two to blocking him. However, I’ve not been able to do that.
So, in a previous comment to Stephen, I said that I would like to take his accusations and false charges and answer them one-by-one. Unfortunately, a lot has happened over the last couple of months and I forgot to do so. However, I am in the process of compiling ALL Stephens comments going back to January of this year. From these comments I am going to pull specific issues and questions that I will attempt to address. Please pray that the Lord will use the material I post to open the eyes of blind and allow the hard-of-hearing to hear His voice.
May the joy of the Lord be your strength in 2021.
Put Jesus first in all you do.
In my last post about the possibility of Biden listening to and acting upon questionable or sinister science, I might have given the wrong impression. I say that based on a comment I received from a friend, Joel Ziegenmier.
If Joel was correct, then I do apologize for the confusion or spurious impression. Please allow me to clarify my stance on science and faith.
I believe that science and faith are completely compatible and non-exclusionary. Both can exist side-by-side without conflict. Why do I believe that?
First of all, we must understand what faith and science are. Once we do that, everything will become a little more clear.
Science, unlike what it’s made out to be in the news media, is a process of acquiring knowledge. It is not dogma, doctrine, philosophy, or religion. All it is – or what it is supposed to be – is a process through which knowledge and understanding can be acquired through theorizing, testing, observing, repeating and replicating, and so on. The scientific method is not a Truth in itself, but a process by which we discover and make application.
Faith is trusting in something. Blind faith is putting one’s trust in something without any evidence that the thing is trustworthy. On the contrary, orthodox Christianity is not a religion or set of beliefs based on a blind faith, but on tangible, historical, and verifiable evidence and Truth claims.
Science and faith are not opposites, but complimentary. Where faith can be tested, it should welcome it. Where science yields information, faith is placed in the interpretation of the evidence obtained.
Certain things, however, are beyond the realm of the scientific method. Those things that are supernatural (outside of the realm of what is considered naturally possible) cannot be observed, tested, and repeated, especially if the supernatural event is beyond natural capability.
Science, too, is limited in its ability. A prime example is the question of the origin of the universe. Although observable and repeatable theories can be applied to current natural processes, science in and of itself cannot observe and test the origin of the universe, nor account for where natural law may have been broken. Ironically, it takes faith for both the Christian and the naturalist or atheist to make dogmatic claims about the origin of all that is.
But for the Christian, science is not an enemy; it is only a tool. Thanks to a quick Google search, I was easily able to find a list of famous scientist whose works contributed to the way we live today, and each one was a Christian. They include the likes of Robert Boyle, Michael Faraday, Arthur Compton, Gregor Mendel, Isaac Newton, George Washington Carver, Francis Collins, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine John Eccles.
So therefore, it’s not a matter of whether or not Joe Biden listens to the scientists, for that’s a fine and noble thing to do. The problem is which scientists he’s listening to. Every scientist has presuppositions and assumptions. Every scientist has a personal worldview. Are the scientists that Biden trusts knowledge seekers or agenda pushers? Are they rabid naturalists who deny their own presuppositions and assumptions, or simply honest men and women who simply go where the facts lead them?
I’m not trying to be hyperbolic, but just keep in mind that it was the “scientists” of the 1930s and 1940s who concluded that a perfect and superior race was achievable through the elimination of all who were sick, retarded, deformed, homosexual, and Jewish.
It’s when “science” determines that faith is a detriment to society, a scourge on humanity, or a drug from which society must be weened for its own sake, that we have a problem.
It’s happened before. It’s been observed. It can be repeated.
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.James 4:2 (KJV)
I’m Just Asking
Maybe you’ve done all your shopping. Maybe you only plan to purchase a few small gifts for your dearest loved ones. Maybe it’s just you and your significant other – no kids, no relatives, nobody you like at work – and you’re only getting a single gift for each other.
Whatever your situation may be, unless you are out of work and broke, I am going to ask you to consider how you can gift me with some items I would like to have.
In the above verse, James said, “You have not, because you ask not.” Evidently, people will literally start wars and kill people over “stuff” they want. I don’t want that! I want peace! That’s why I’m asking 🙂
Let’s avoid that whole global conflict nonsense, shall we?
So, if you have been looking for somebody to buy for, or if you have extra money in your investment accounts that you need to burn, please allow me to share with you some options. The following are items I would like for YOU to purchase and give to ME.
There ya’ go! Now you have your choice of several things you could give me because I asked. I feel better, don’t you?
Just give me a call if you have any questions about color, size, make, model, or brand. It could be like I ask, then you ask, then we both get stuff!
Cool, isn’t it?
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.James 4:3 (KJV)
Let’s Begin With a Comment
A reader named Stephen decided to throw in his two cents in response to a recent post called “He Will Be My President.” Before we go any further, I’d like to share it with you.
Talk is cheap and you got a website dedicated to it.
I get the feeling it won’t take long for the hypocrite in you to come out, but you’ll justify yourself in your hypocrisy. It’s what religious people do.
Reeds in the wind, flailing about trying hard to show the world just how saved you are.
Keep working at it, your salvation is near.
If you would like to read my follow-up to Mr. Stephen’s comment, you can go to the comment section of that post. For now, I want to direct you to the video below.
It’s not that often I preach a classic three-point sermon, but this is one I would ask you watch. The subject of the sermon this past Sunday morning was how to move forward in “such a time as this.”
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments, even if they are like the one above.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane – it’s four years long.
However, REGARDLESS who is finally confirmed as President when this whole debacle of over, He will be . . . MY PRESIDENT!
And because he will be my President, I will do what I’ve been commanded to do by an even higher Authority:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:1-4 KJV
This is what I teach and preach, and this is what I will practice. I will NOT be a hypocrite; I will do exactly what I implore the rest of the country to do, nothing less.
It doesn’t mean I have to agree with him, like him, support his policies, or remain silent. However, when he walks in the room he will be my President. When he addresses my country, he will be my President. When he makes foreign policy or takes the stage on foreign soil, he will be MY President, for there will be no other at that time.
If he’s gonna be my President, then I’m going to pray that he performs his duties with honor and integrity; that he will be surrounded by wise, godly counsel; and that he will not be influenced by the interest of those who would destroy our republic and steal our freedom.
At the same time, however, I will not refrain from preaching truth: that sin is sin, that God is God, and that though we pray for him, our final Authority was never elected and will never cede His throne.
Now, more than ever, the Church must be the Church.
Bonus: Please click on the link below and listen to the brand new release from As Isaac. I’ve never heard a song that was more timely than this one.
As I woke this morning, names started coming to mind.
I would like to share them with you.
Of the following names, try to think what is common among them all.
Joseph (the one with the coat of many colors)
Cory Ten Boom
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Casey Jones (the railroad engineer)
Todd Beamer (flight 93)
William Wilberforce (member of Parliament)
Sir Winston Churchill
Horatio G. Spafford (It Is Well With My Soul)
Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Col. William Travis
If you haven’t figured it out, there may be other similarities, but all of these names have at least one thing in common: You would have never known them had it not been for their moments of adversity, the challenges forced on them, or the stands they took in the face of injustice.
Consider the words of Mordecai to a fearful and hesitant Esther:
Mordecai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” – Esther 4:13-14 NLT
Dear friends, whatever the future of this country, God has us here “for just such a time as this.”
I watched it, the first shouting and arguing match between to grown males. It wasn’t a “presidential” debate because there was little if nothing presidential about it.
But I sat through the whole thing. I sat through every interruption by Donald Trump and every name-calling response from Joe Robinette (that’s his middle name, if you didn’t know). And because I sat through the whole thing, like eating too many greasy hamburgers the night before, I woke up nauseated.
Simply put, there were no clear winners last night, except maybe the demonic forces whose leathery, flapping wings fanned the flames. POTUS was consistent with his message and policies, never wavering on his mission; VP Biden was present and accounted for, maybe even on a little meth (just kidding).
Frankly, I can’t blame Trump for coming out of his corner like a bat out of hades (that’s a figure of speech because, as far as I’ve read, there are no bats in Hell). For the last four years he has had to put up with attack after attack after attack from the likes of Biden, and so the one made famous for saying “You’re fired!” fired salvo after salvo at the USS Sleepy.
But as for “Come’on, man!” Biden, the bar had been set so low for him that just being able to complete a sentence after an hour was a shock to Republicans and Democrats alike. No one I spoke with thought Biden would be able to survive 3 minutes in the ring with Trump. Yet, even after multiple haymakers to the jaw, Biden was still standing at the end and it was Trump who was flustered.
However, the real losers were the two parties, the American people, and every parent who’s tried to instill in their children a sense of decorum and grace under pressure.
Sure, I suppose there are many lessons we could learn from last nights fiasco. Once could be: Never ask Chris Wallace to babysit your pit bulls. Another might be: What did you expect? Shakespeare? Milton? This was Reality Trump and Plagiarizing Biden.
But the big lesson is one that every voter should remember, especially since last night exposed the raw humanity of these two men can be found in the following verse from Psalm 20:
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” – Psalm 20:7
Whether chariots or horses, elephants or jackasses (sorry, donkeys), only God can get us out of the mess we are in right now.
Just think about where we are right now… It’s controversial for a white man, a Caucasian, a human with less melanin in his skin to speak out about almost anything, especially issues revolving around the very color that makes him controversial.
It’s controversial to say that “all lives matter.” It’s controversial to ask why there’s no “white national anthem” to be played at professional ball games. It’s controversial to even suggest that law and order should be maintained instead of rioting being the common response to anything … well, … controversial.
But even the word “controversial” is controversial, now that I think about it. It carries with it the idea of public disagreement and disputation. Yet, what is the common reaction to anything disagreeable or worthy of dispute? Conversation? Deliberation? Compromise? Debate?
No. If you dislike something or someone, the new normal is to riot, burn and break things, and kill cops in cold blood.
But I guess just suggesting that is controversial is controversial. Welcome to “Controversial Tuesday”!
So, now that we’ve open the floodgates of controversialness, let me dive into the rushing tide and try to stay alive amidst the foaming white (no offense) waves (because there aren’t black waves, even if I wanted to be politically correct).
As you are aware, the wisest people in the world act and play games for a living. One such game player, LeBron James, recently made a statement that was shared on ESPN’s Twitter feed.
If you can’t see the words in the link I shared above, Mr. James said: “We are scared as Black people in America. … Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified.”
OK, so let’s discuss it (like sane people are supposed to do).
Why are people of color, specifically “Black” people, scared? From what I understand, the men, women, and kids are afraid of the police, right? Because all police are racists and can’t get enough of black men’s blood, right? That is the narrative the media is telling us, correct?
But here’s a bit of a news flash to which the African-American community should pay attention: A lot of white people are afraid of black people! Oh, and here’s something else…. because of the regular reinforcement of “black power” stereotypes, they have every logical reason to be! Add to that the senseless violence that has been perpetrated on white people and police in the name of “Black Lives Matter,” and what are white people supposed to think?
As a matter of fact, let’s look at where we are when considering the potential for incurring personal, bodily harm.
So, who’s afraid, LeBron?
What’s the answer to all this? How do we step back from all the violence on the streets? How do we restore a sense of peace that doesn’t assume danger anytime someone of a different skin color approaches us?
Well, random violence and killing police officers in cold blood is not the way to win an argument. Face it, people … black lives matter, but that’s because ALL lives have inherent value being that we are made in the image of God. Killing non-black lives in order to raise awareness that black lives matter is a failed strategy doomed to reap the opposite result.
But the real answer to the violence will probably require more than many are willing to sacrifice. It will require vulnerability, humility, and love. That’s terrifying.
If you truly want peace, no profiling, no baseless assumptions, and our children growing up colorblind (like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted), then we are going to have to forget vengeance and seeking reparations; we are going to have to start with a new baseline: FORGIVENESS.
Right now we are headed in the direction of chaos, lawlessness, and a never-ending cycle of revenge and death. Ultimately, it will end, but how that will happen should be what truly scares us.
On the one hand, the very thing that the political Left accuses President Trump of wanting will actually come to fruition: tyranny. You see, at some point those in power will have to do what Rome did in order to stamp down insurrections… kill on sight. There will be no more trial by jury, just peace at the edge of the sword.
Think Tiananmen Square, or Russian “peacekeepers.” For example, when the Spetsnaz rolled into Moldova to restore peace after protests had broken out (I was 90 miles away when this happened), they didn’t use rubber bullets.
On the other hand, there is the example of the Waorani tribe in Ecuador (the “Auca” Indians whom Elizabeth Elliot reached with the gospel after they murdered her husband). At one point it was determined that every single man in the tribe who had died had died by the spear. Usually, it was as the result of revenge.
You see, the Waorani culture had been locked in a centuries-old cycle of revenge killing that, according to some, resulted in every death being a homicide, not natural causes or old age. Yet, when they were introduced to the love of Christ, exhibited by the forgiveness Elizabeth Elliot, the cycle was broken!
My advice to LeBron is to clear the court and start a new game: Forgive.
I’ve spoken. I just hope somebody listens.
It was 1984: Michael Jackson and Madonna ruled the charts, cars were pitiful, and I was the photographer for my school’s yearbook. I still remember the camera I used … a Pentax K1000 … or was it a Yaschica? Same difference.
Anyway, because I was on the yearbook staff, I was selected to play the part of the Cowardly Lion in a skit meant to encourage sales. I still remember my lines (I was a lion saying lines – ha!) … “Courage!”
Here’s the thing, and this is the honest truth (unlike what the mainstream news will tell you), playing the part of the Cowardly Lion, when I was given a medal to honor my bravery, actually gave me courage. Yes, even though I was only acting, the costume and the script released the inhibitions deep inside me and led me to do something completely off script.
There on stage, in front of the whole school assembled, I asked one of my stage mates, “Does this mean I have the courage to do anything?” After receiving a “Yes,” I turned to face the auditorium and yelled out to the most beautiful and glamorous girl in the school:
“Lori Gilley! Will you go out with me?!!”
Long story short, she didn’t. …However, I got a standing ovation! Arguably the better of the two.
It’s now 2020, the craziest year in the history of years, and courage is all but gone out of style. Oh, sure, you can find it if you look in the right places, like on patrol with a police officer, with a nurse treating a Corona patient, or with parents trying to make ends meet after being out of work for 4 months.
But let me tell you where you will find the LEAST amount of courage – professional sports.
I’ll be honest with you – as I always am – even though I think a certain large-afro’d professional football player of questionable skill is wrong about almost everything, it was courageous to be the first to take a knee during the national anthem. Yes, I said it – he did show an amount of courage in doing so.
But fast-forward to today and everyone is taking a knee, even if the reason for doing so is continuing a false narrative. Yet, is it courageous to do so? No, it’s not. In today’s social climate, taking a knee and wearing a t-shirt that says “Black Lives Matter” is nothing more than an act of self-preservation, not conviction.
OH! Excuse me! Did I say “everyone” in professional sports is taking a knee? I’m sorry … please forgive me! Because a FEW courageous souls have decided to take a stand (literally) while the rest either cower, show allegiance or sympathy to a manufactured social movement, or simply kneel to keep the endorsements rolling in.
J.W. plays professional soccer (football) for the Savannah Clovers, a team in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA). Even more importantly, he is the son of Tommy and Tammy May (Tommy’s a deacon in our church). One day soon I’m going to drive to Savannah and have coffee with J.W. at Black Rifle Coffee Co.
Not long ago, J.W. and his team played the Georgia Revolution FC in Chattanooga at Finley Stadium (shout out to UTC). When the Star Spangled Banner was played, guess who was the only one to remain standing … from either team?
You guessed it, my future coffee buddy, J.W. May.
When you read this, J.W., I just want you to know I am dang proud of you! I’ll buy the coffee!
How does one define courage? Why don’t we pull an old dictionary off the shelf, one that’s not been affected by modern revisionist culture, and read what it says?
COURAGE: Bravery; intrepidity; that quality of mind which enables men to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear or depression of spirits; valor; boldness; resolution. It is a constituent par of fortitude; but fortitude implies patience to bear continued suffering. (American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828)
Now, let’s look at how this 1828 dictionary defines encourage.
ENCOURAGE: To give courage to; to give or increase confidence of success; to inspire with courage, spirit, or strength of mind; to embolden; to animate; to incite; to inspirit.
Lastly, I would like for you to note how Webster uses the word encouragement in a sentence.
“The praise of good men serves as an encouragement to virtue and heroism.”
For whatever it’s worth, Colin Kaepernick encouraged other African-Americans (primarily youth) to make a social statement against police violence (based on an unfortunate false narrative). Whether or not their cause was justified, one can’t help but admit those kneeling when everyone else was standing and deriding them was, in all fairness, courageous.
Flip the script… Now, with nearly every professional and non-professional athlete, regardless of color, taking a knee — instead of standing in honor of the flag of the very nation that affirms their right to be disrespectful to it — true courage is seen in those few who stand out from the crowd … literally.
In the book of Daniel we read of three Hebrew men who wouldn’t bow before a 90ft. golden statue. Even though God worked a miracle and rescued them, they were thrown into a furnace because of their uncompromising… ummm… stand.
These days the furnace isn’t quite as hot, but it’s still deadly to one’s career and social standing, at least.
Thank you, J.W., for the courage to encourage others… we sure do need it.