Wednesday, May 31, 2017

This Sheep Knows How To Bleat

The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the jackals,
And the wild goat shall bleat to its companion;
Also the night creature shall rest there,
And find for herself a place of rest. Isaiah 34:14

This sheep knows how to bleat ...but perhaps a dose of forgiveness would be better. Our normally reliable Internet and phone service had its fourth outage in two weeks yesterday, right in the middle of my explanation to an upset customer. Of course it would happen at that time. Could Job tell us about the timing of the Adversary? Certainly the man could and did in the book he left for us as part of the Lord's word. The Lord Himself could give us some tips on the strength and tactics of the Enemy, and He did as well through the writers of His gospel. Four times is no coincidence, but I would rather foil the plans of the Adversary by forgiveness to those around me.

Many is the time I have made mistakes in this life, and those who suffered by my mistakes have at times ran bleating to higher authority; gotten me in trouble as it were. This sheep knows how to bleat too, but this may be that time where the Spirit rises up to suggest a different course, a course of love and forgiveness. But, I did nothing wrong in this case; am I not allowed a little bleating? Job did nothing wrong too, even God said so, but he kept running his mouth with his friends until he was in trouble... with God. I don't want to go there, so that path suggested by the Spirit looks pretty good to me.

Perhaps the wisdom we learn from the Lord in this life is to learn to listen to Him more quickly than we did back in the day. This time is a good time to leave the bleating to the wild goats. Have a complaint-free day in Christ,


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Let's Pitch Out The Past

“Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Matt 26:13

I hope you were properly memorialized yesterday. If not, go back and die again, let's get that memorializing done right! Yes, Memorial Day was yesterday, that day when we as a nation memorialize those who gave their lives in the service of this nation.

Why do we keep a memory of the past by observing a holy day? Well, it may well be because our Lord commanded it. In 25 verses of the Bible, memorial comes up as something for us to solemnly remember. Holidays, offerings, lamps, and the memory of acts done in service to our Lord are all memorialized in the Bible. Of course, the Bible itself is a memorial to lives and actions gone by in the Lord's service. Memorials are important to the Lord; therefore, no, we will not just pitch out the past!

Christmas and Easter are two of our most important memorials. One for our Lord's birth and one for His death and resurrection. One day, we are going to have another memorial to celebrate for all the ages - the day of our Lord's return! Right now we can recall in fond memory the anointing of our Lord's body by the lovely woman who gave so much to prepare Him for burial. Right now, all of our good works done in the Lord's service are being memorialized in Heaven. There are great works of the Lord to remember, so let us not pitch out the past just yet.

Have a great day in Christ Jesus!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Things I Cannot Say

"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."

Ow, I just tossed a corner of hot egg white on my thumb. I feel like making some of those little dog in pain sounds. But I didn't drop my plate, so it may not be a fatal burn.

This morning I looked at a photograph of a truck part, seeking to find my pesky leak, and said something along the lines of how that other bit there had to be the crankcase. Now, when it comes to the hidden part of a vehicle under the hood, I know better than to say 'gotta' or 'has to be' and things like that, but sometimes it sneaks out anyway. I'm not totally inept in an engine compartment, but I'm far from professional mechanic status. There are just things that go on in there that I cannot say.

I searched the Bible for a master list of things I cannot say, but I didn't find one. However, there is much in the way of guidance. You can easily recognize the one about not using the Lord's name without meaning to call on Him or refer to Him. Okay, you could recognize it before I mashed it all up. There is also the one where I cannot say a date for the Son's return; no good attempting that one because the Son Himself said that no man knows that date. Probably shouldn't say words that would ask God to condemn my vehicle to a dark and hot place either. Gratitude for having a truck is a better response, even if the thing does leak a bit where it shouldn't. A religious person could take care of all that though; no doubt the Pharisees were safe there, but Jesus came down on them pretty hard. So, what should I watch out for?

Speaking out of turn or out of school, or whatever is your favorite version of that action. Jesus had things to say to the disciples, which they would have recorded for us in the gospels, but they could not bear them. Have you ever had something buzzing around in your skull that you just wanted to speak out loud? Me too. The Son really was tempted in all ways like we are! In my case it is usually things that I should not say, but with our Lord it was things that He could not speak at that time. We know how tough it is to shut up when that thing is wanting out so badly; He just resisted those temptations successfully where we do not always manage so well. The good news for all of us was: the Spirit of truth was coming!

Although Jesus could not speak those important things at that time, He did not leave us out in the cold. Paul, John, Peter, Jude, James, and others extending even to this age received the words from the Spirit of truth to bring us all back to our Lord Jesus. Every sheep lost in this present darkness will be saved before the end. Great is His name!


Friday, May 26, 2017

Who Is Watching Me?

In my distress I called upon the LORD,
​​And cried out to my God;
​​He heard my voice from His temple,
​​And my cry came before Him, even to His ears. Psalm 18:6

Folks coming out here to the high plains from the east might just feel a bit exposed. Mostly its their guilty conscience, we think, but it might have something to do with the lack of trees also. Inside even the little towns there seems to be plenty of trees, but this is a recent illusion. Trees just don't grow very well out here without some protection from what were until about the 1920's or so normal conditions for the area. It doesn't take but a few steps though in our little town to see the plains more like what they were - relatively empty from horizon to horizon, at least by eastern standards.

So, with all this exposure, who is watching me? We don't know who all may be watching us. Who are these principalities and powers of the present darkness that Paul told us to armor ourselves against? How far can they see? Where do they hang out? What do they have against me? Of course we may not know all about the dark powers, but we do have some knowledge that David had: The Almighty hears us!

Be warned! you powers of this present darkness, my distress calls out to the Lord of hosts, my cry is heard on Heaven's throne. There may be nothing about me for the powers to fear, but the Lord our shepherd is a different matter. Little distressed sheep make a noise straight to the ears of the Almighty One!

And knowing our weakness through the illumination of His dear Holy Spirit, we're not afraid to call out.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Terror of Bad News

​​As often as it goes out it will take you;
​​For morning by morning it will pass over,
​​And by day and by night;
​​It will be a terror just to understand the report.” Isaiah 28:19

I've grabbed an interesting prophecy out of context, but there is a great deal to be learned here. Someone is getting some bad news, and it will cause this person or being terror just to understand the report.

We've lived under the threat of terror for quite some time. Some days it is closer, and other days further away, but it is always there. If this report is coming to us it will be old news, not terror at all for we have lived in the promise of our Redeemer for years. So who could this bad news be directed toward?

If this is to the unbelievers, then I shall pray for them. As we know already, it is tough to live with the threat of terror, either immediate or more 'out there'. So prayers for those who may one day receive this. It seems unlikely that it would be our Lord Jesus, because I do not believe that He can be terrorized. So, maybe we have a prophecy directed at the Adversary or that Antichrist fellow?

If the Enemy is to receive bad news that will cause him terror, then bring it on! And indeed the context speaks of a covenant with death, a refuge of lies, and an agreement with Sheol. This bad news is going to the place where it is most deserved. Praise God! And what is this terror-able news?

Therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
​​“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
​​A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
​​Whoever believes will not act hastily. (v16)

Yes! We know who this is, and we are overjoyed to welcome the Lord Jesus into the heart and life of all who believe in Him.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Step Into God's Love

Better is a dinner of vegetables where love is,
Than a fatted calf with hatred. Prov 15:17

Powerful stuff that love! In my younger years, a meal without meat, especially a dinner, would have been something to gripe about. I am much more likely to not have meat in my more advanced years, but an all vegetable meal is still not common. How 'bout all vegetables followed by a hot fudge sundae? That might be easier to take. Speaking to a man's stomach is one way to get his attention, and this proverb does exactly that.

Perhaps that is what Daniel knew when he asked that he and his three friends dine on vegetables and water in place of the king's delicacies. It may be that among the competition for the king's scraps there was hatred. And Daniel with God's wisdom in his heart knew that was no place for four young men to grow strong. For the 'good' stuff from the royal table there was striving and bitterness, while at Daniel's table there was the love of the Lord and the four friends for each other. Is it any wonder they grew strong and healthy?

I have heard sermons where one focused on the vegetable diet - and then said everyone must go this way. I have heard others say to avoid the spiced meats that were the royal fare - and everyone must go this way. This proverb seems to me a more likely explanation, and one that agrees with our Lord's statement that it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of it. Love dined with Daniel and his friends, and they grew strong and fair. The other table had mouth-watering food, but there was something there that stunted growth. We would like to blame the food, but it was the separation from the way of the world and a step into God's love that gave Daniel and his friends the advantage over the other young men.

The love of God is greater than any food; that's my theory and I'm sticking to it! :-)


Monday, May 22, 2017

Heavy With Sleep

Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. Luke 9:32 NIV

Hello! Where did those two come from? Have you ever slept so hard that you woke up and the world had changed suddenly? The three disciples had that happen to them more than once. Peter, James and John may not have slept well on the road, or maybe as fishermen they had developed an ability to sleep anytime the work allowed. It may be that they were just like us.

Look around in your newspaper, get on a website, or watch some television, and we will see the advertisements, advice, and opinions regarding sleep. Mattresses, beds, sleep aids, devices, and all manner of things are offered for the sleep deprived, and they comprise a multi-billion dollar industry. Has any of it worked?

One night. That was the best sleep I got on my new mattress some years ago. Since then I have struggled to recapture that one night. Yes, that does bear some similarity to the way druggies describe their quest to regain that first high. If the master were here giving the prayer as He did for Peter, James and John on a couple of occasions, would I awaken suddenly to find some new folks had arrived? Did the prayers of Jesus offer such a solace in a tough world that the disciples could not but fall asleep in blessed peace? Lots of questions without sure answers; maybe I will sleep on it.

One day, we will awaken in a whole new place. There will be many people there, most especially Jesus Himself. Sleep will never be a problem again! Great is His name!


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Right There With You

I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 1 Corinthians 2:3

Did you never hear the suggestion to apply for a college athletic scholarship? Did no scouts arrive to see you play football? When running onto the field could you almost hear the announcer struggling to find your number? Did you know very well the backside of other runners from those sprints in Phys Ed? Yes, I'm right there with you brother! I know what it was like to be among the last chosen for a team in PE. The only records I could set by my running speed were ones no one would want. Professional caliber was only used as a joke when speaking of my athletic prowess. I could call a race from the back of the pack, run down a fly ball if it stayed up long enough, and score a touchdown with a sufficient head start. Yes, we are the non-athletic and I'm right there with you. Sorry, no fame and fortune for me in the celebrity of athletic endeavor.

Paul knew what it was like to be right there with the Corinthian church in a bad position: weakness, fear and trembling. Paul couldn't step out like Josey Wales and mow down the bad guys. His little church didn't have a secret stash of arms and military ability to overthrow the opposition in a last minute charge to glory before the director yells 'Cut!' The world celebrates its athletes and actors, while somewhere a Christian goes down with a whimper.

Through it all, someone is right there with us. His name is Jesus, and He will never leave us nor forsake us. Weakness is me, but He is my strength and my shield. Great and glorious is His name on the Earth!


Friday, May 19, 2017

Wheels Don't Drive a Jet

And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians.” Exodus 14:25

Having experience with cars and ice on the road, a young person might easily assume that a jet cannot take off on the ice due to a lack of traction. However, as he or she grows older and learns a bit about this and that, physics for one, the child learns that wheels don't drive a jet. The wheels roll along and keep the fuselage off the ground while the turbines do the work. Chariots have wheels in a similar manner. The horse does all the work while the wheels just roll along keeping the chariot off the ground. I notice in our verse for this morning that even after the wheels came off the Egyptian drivers still tried to move it along until some bright bulb made a suggestion. We might say, 'Of course they drove them with difficulty!' But the real inspiration was that one who realized who they were up against.

Driving against the forces of nature may be tough, but we can overcome with great difficulty sometimes for a brief moment. However, driving against the Lord Himself is just impossible at any time. It does not matter how stubborn or determined one might be, forcing a way against the Lord just doesn't work. Even the prince of this world could do nothing against poor Job until the Lord gave him leave. The Egyptian army of Moses' time and the Adversary in our time are strong forces against which we cannot stand alone. Be comforted though, they and all their force can make no headway against the Almighty One. And He loves you and me!

Have a triumphant day in Christ Jesus!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Goodness To The Reborn Fallen

They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
​​And shall sing of Your righteousness. Psalm 145:7

It's Thursday of the week and we are about to undergo a big change at the office. Yes, I am taking over in a move guaranteed to bring shock and awe to our little town. Right, the boss is going on vacation tomorrow. Ah well, everything can be dramatized a little bit. A bit of spice added to the otherwise routine life in the small town brings attention where none belongs, eh?

David wrote many psalms and he was not given to dramatizing anything. He sung it as it was and called out to the Lord who always will be. When David sings of the Lord there is no dramatizing, melodrama, or over-dramatizing, just a lot of praise to our great God. How could he anyway? Everything we say about the Lord our God seems to fall just a little short or spread a little thin. We have an idea of righteousness, but do we really get how righteous our Lord is? He is of course the very definition and standard of the word. Love? Do we fully understand the breadth and depth of the love our Lord bears for us? As our friend Paul said, we see now only darkly, as in a poor mirror or a dirty telescope. One day though, God's goodness will bring us all home to be with Him forever. And it is there the reborn fallen in a multitude too great to count will recall God's great goodness and sing of His righteousness with full understanding.

Have a righteous Thursday, beloved of the Lord!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gratitude By Your Mention

And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. Acts 28:2

How can we help to spread the good news of Jesus Christ? No doubt you have discovered many ways by now, but one way Luke found was to make mention of an unusual act of kindness. That's not quite correct, is it? That should be, an act of unusual kindness. Many people each day will do acts of kindness, good works, and charitable giving, and these are unusual in their reach but not in frequency. Yet, we get news of casualties, crimes, and celebrity each and every day, even several times if you tune in that often.

Yes, we can set an example of the good news by mentioning those acts of unusual kindness. Giving thanks to God for something you had no part in is kindness in itself, but like Luke we can make mention of those acts of unusual kindness done for us. Have you ever gone out and tried to start a fire in a cold rain? I'm glad that Luke mentioned the unusual kindness of the people on Malta in a book that has lasted for almost 2,000 years. But we can do one better: we can make that mention to God in prayer and it will last for as long as the Lord does. I'm thinking that's a really long time!

Thank you for your unusual kindness in reading this little message this morning,


Monday, May 15, 2017

You Faithful Fool!

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Foolishness? No one likes to be called a fool, but then, the one doing the calling may not be correct. When we come to faith in Christ, we will be called the fool by those who are perishing. Our job is to remain faithful. Yes, we may be to the eyes of the world a faithful fool for Christ. The world and its prince may kill us for this.

Martyrdom may seem like something that happens far away to us, but those with the murderous eyes are striving daily to extend their reach to our land as well, and they have done so several times. As faithful fools for our Lord, what can we do about this?

At all times we can pray, often and in love. We can pray for an awakening in America, an awakening such as only God can do in receptive hearts. We can pray to remain faithful.

May God bless America with an awakening,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Our Dear Mother

And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Genesis 3:20

Along with the less than flattering position of being the first to fall for the serpent's deceit, Eve had a better title: Mother of all living. We don't really know much about Eve; and yet we do, for I believe that Eve is represented in all those mothers down through the centuries who have loved us when we were unlovable. Our dear mothers get this trait from Eve who of course got it from God.

Eve probably loaded up Cain with all manner of things to help him get started away from home. My mother did the same for me when I left for college. Even as Eve mourned Abel, she could not help but love the unlovable murderer Cain, who was still her firstborn son. Do I know this for sure? No, but like you, I have seen mother in action.

Cain wailed to the Lord that his punishment was too great for him to bear; that anyone would kill him given the chance. Could it be that Cain said this because he caught a glimpse of Adam striding toward him with rage in his eyes? In this case, God stood between Cain and the anger of all those men who would murder the murderer. God gave this trait to mothers because many is the time that a mother has stood in the breach between father and son. It may be years later that we learn how the wrath of father was deflected, the lowering boom stopped in the nick of time by our dear mother who put her love in the path of terrible retribution. Like with Cain, the wrath of father was probably well deserved, but it wasn't going to happen with mother standing there.

Mothers, wives, and grandmothers: many a man has been saved by the quiet wisdom of mother. Sometimes with us action comes before thought, and it is the quiet words of warning from mother that at times stop a man from really screwing up. Those other times cause the quiet reflection, "I should have listened to mother." Look with your eyes and see, some of God's best He put into mother.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom, and to all the mothers out there in this world.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Strength Spent: Collapse Imminent

It is God who arms me with strength,
​​And makes my way perfect. Psalm 18:32

As I grow olderly, I have noticed that the Lord does not put quite as much strength in my purse to spend as I had in my youth. This is nothing new: I join billions of people who have noticed this thing throughout our history since the fall of Adam and Eve. Middle age hurts more and lasts longer than youth it seems. I just removed the second of the root balls leftover from last year's bushwhacking, and, oh my, do I hurt in the hands. Unfortunately for you, I can still type for now.

We might tend toward a grumbly sort of thinking wherein after an expenditure of strength we gripe to the Lord that it hurts. However, as David points out in his psalm, we have God to thank for having the strength to do a task in the first place. Yes, we could be without the pain of exertion, but the price may be having no strength or ability to do the thing at all. The same goes for that righteousness and perfection that we must have to enter God's Heaven.

How did Peter, Paul, and those other saints who passed before us make it into Heaven? It wasn't through their accomplishments performed in their own strength or righteousness. Self-righteousness never saved anyone. Not one of the saints of old had the strength to save himself much less all of us too. We needed, and received, strength and righteousness in our Lord Jesus. It is Christ alone who perfects us for our entry into the court of the King of kings.

Amen. Tomorrow: Mother's Day!

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Freedom to Speak

​​May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
​​And the tongue that speaks proud things,
​Who have said,
​​“With our tongue we will prevail;
​​Our lips are our own;
​​Who is lord over us?” Psalm 12:3-4

Like other freedoms we enjoy, David points out the many who will abuse the privilege. In this age we can see that has not changed. There are still many who believe that the freedom to speak is the freedom to abuse others. What must we who believe in Christ do differently than those loose lips?

In Christ Jesus we gain the freedom to speak words of encouragement, comfort, peace, and love. We speak to the Lord words of faith, trust, obedience, and more love. With our speech we can obey the two greatest commandments, fulfill the great commission, and be a part of the Church. We acknowledge and rejoice that there is a lord over us, and He is the LORD!

Peace and love to you on this great day of the Lord,


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pure Words

The words of the LORD are pure words,
​​Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
​​Purified seven times. Psalm 12:6

Is it not great that the Lord loves us so much that only pure words come forth from Him? Perhaps that is the reason the gospels are not each 4,000 pages long. Pure words do not require further explanation to avoid dozens of different interpretations. Although, it may be that we could not handle any more of the pure words of Jesus than what He gave us. What are the pure words of our Lord?

Let us say that you like eggs. You recall from your childhood two eggs cooked to as near perfection as mom could get them, but you haven't been served two eggs like that since. You order two eggs and your spouse cooks up some waffles with butter and syrup. "There's two eggs in there," he or she says. You are away from home for whatever reason and try a restaurant. You order two eggs and wait for that moment of dimly recalled bliss. The waiter sets before you a skillet with scrambled eggs cooked with onions, hash browns, cheese, and bacon. It is delicious, but it isn't quite the two eggs you asked for. "There's two eggs in there," the cook says. And so it goes at home and from place to place as you travel. All you want is the purity of two eggs cooked in that special way, but all you can get is two eggs mixed up with something else.

The story takes much on assumption, such as your mysterious inability to go into the kitchen and cook 'em yourself, but that is what we face in this world. The pure word of the Lord we long for comes to us in translations in a language that has become diluted with many impure words. Think of the many uses and abuses of the word 'love' for example in this present darkness. And then think of how often love is an important part of the Word of the Lord. How are we to understand the purity of His word when ours is so messed up? Rest in the assurance that the Spirit of God will make His pure Word understood in us!

Want eggs for breakfast yet? Have a day in our great Lord!


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Company Coming Over!

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10

Some like a bit of company for dinner, but imagine a great multitude which no one could number arriving at your house just in time for the meal! This is the promise of our Lord: Heaven and a multitude. Loneliness will not be a problem in the hereafter.

When it seems that your efforts to spread the good news of Jesus are going nowhere, think on this passage of scripture. It is not just a great crowd of great people saved by the Lamb, but they are from all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues. No doubt there were missionaries who despaired of anyone being saved from a particular tribe who seemed to hate anyone and everyone. Some Christians may think Peter and Paul did all the saving, or maybe it was Billy Graham, but even those great preachers of the word didn't reach all nations. We all have a part in it, but we also know who does all the saving.

The great multitude has no doubt of the source either: "Salvation belongs to our God...and to the Lamb!"

Rejoice in the Lamb!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Job's Lament

And Job spoke, and said:
​​"May the day perish on which I was born,
​​And the night in which it was said,
​‘​A male child is conceived.’
May that day be darkness;
​​May God above not seek it,
​​Nor the light shine upon it."  Job 3:2-4

The person who thinks that he or she is an eloquent complainer might want to read Job chapter 3 to see how it is done. After seven days and nights of suffering in silence with his three friends, Job cuts loose with a verbal lament heard round the world and all the way up to Heaven. We can know this because God will respond after a bit of argument among the friends. Job is of course you and me.

We suffer tribulations in this life and, maybe not quite so eloquently, we complain to the Lord. Circumstances arise that try our faith right down to the core. Without the strength we felt in our youth, memory failing, and bodies breaking down, we fall into a circumstance of loss. Can we look forward to the restoration of twice our youthful strength in this life? That is up to God. Whatever it is we lose in adversity, health or wealth or both, God has us right where He want us. Whether we are restored in this life or in His kingdom to come, we can trust in the Lord all the way.

Life hurts, but there is new life in Him!


Monday, May 08, 2017

Somebody Out There

Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! When the morning is light, they practice it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Micah 2:1-2

Do you suppose this has all changed by now? Shouldn't we have evolved beyond the snatching of property from families? I guess we all know the answer to that. Last night, somebody out there was plotting to acquire by force a field used by a poor farmer to feed a family. Somewhere a person or corporation plotted to snatch a house from persons with no means to fight back in court. This went on in Micah's time and it hasn't changed today. Where many of us wake up at 3:00 am to fight anxieties and worries, somebody out there wakes up with an idea for taking more property from a neighbor.

We might attempt to elect a government that would try to stop this by its authority, but that does not fix the heart of the problem. Praise God we do know that our Father in Heaven sends out His Holy Spirit to work on those very hearts. You might even say that the cleansing of hearts is His specialty. For that somebody out there who refuses even that love, there is always woe.

There will come a day when the opportunity for repentance is over; a day when those who will be saved belong to the Lord, and those who have refused His salvation for the final time will face His wrath. Woe indeed to those who refuse that free gift purchased by the Son of God with His blood.

Let us pray for somebody out there,

Friday, May 05, 2017

Longing For A Plentiful Rain

You, O God, sent a plentiful rain,
Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance,
When it was weary. Psalm 68:9

This year at the place of my day job we had a dry winter; we long for a plentiful rain. Weariness hardly begins to describe the state of accounts. The land appears dry and broken as after a long drought. How does one hold on when this sort of thing happens?

We tend to be like Job's friends. We analyze and introspect, ponder the state of our ways, and in the halfness of time, we pass judgment on ourselves and call upon the self to repent of some hidden sin. I say the halfness of time because like Job's friends we declare this is that before God is finished with the story. In the fullness of time, God restored all to Job, twice over. Somewhere in that time well before the fullness, we despair and falter in our faith.

Doubts will be flung at us, and we will welcome some of those doubts in for a meal and perhaps an overnight stay. How else could we wake up at 3 a.m. full of anxiety and dread? The Lord desires our company and promises to come in and dine with us if we will only open the door. Too often though, we stand at the back door and let in the doubts while our Lord, as polite company will do, stands patiently at the front door. We know the answer is to bar the back door and go open the other to our Lord Jesus, but perversely we stand with the back door open letting in those things which will ruin our night's sleep.

Time to say, "Come in, Lord Jesus!"

The good news from this is that no matter how many stray and slinking doubts we have let in before His arrival, our Lord is perfect at chasing the doubts out of the dark corners and stompin' em!

Have a great Friday in Christ!

Thursday, May 04, 2017

2017 National Day of Prayer

But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief,
​​To repay it by Your hand.
​​The helpless commits himself to You;
​​You are the helper of the fatherless. Psalm 10:14

The helpless commits himself to You. By this time in life, you may have far more reminders of your inability than you might like. My voice is not likely to be heard in the mass media today. One of us seems to have arrived 16 minutes late for those 15 minutes of fame. Our influence on world events starts and ends with one little vote every four years, and it may be that our first choice didn't even make the final cut. We are the humble, the helpless, washed ashore by the tide of world events without even a sandcastle to claw at before the rip tide sweeps us back out to sea. The world will not hear my prayer today, but God will.

Yes, I too have come to know a great many inabilities in this life by now. Each one though serves as a reminder of my Lord God's ability. If there is no healing touch in this body, let it remind me of that time my Lord Jesus said, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." If my wallet is empty, let it recall that time Jesus told Peter to go catch a fish to pay the temple tax. I may feel like my offering is but one tiny scale of only one fish inside a boy's lunch, but with that lunch the Master fed thousands. My voice may echo off the walls of an empty room, but the voice of my Lord shook the world. I will come to the end of this life having not saved anyone, but John saw in Heaven a multitude which no one could number. I believe in the One who saved them!

Enjoy a prayer today for the sake of our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. We have lots of inability to offer Him; He has lots of ability to save us!


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Slaves Of The Government

When that year had ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is gone; my lord also has our herds of livestock. Genesis 47:18

The farmers of Egypt were in a tough spot. For seven years they had let Joseph prepare for the coming famine while they enjoyed the bounty of the land. Then, Joseph made them wards of the state; he bought them lock, stock, and barrel. From free farmers with land to slaves of the government. How did that happen so quickly? One of those farmers must have wondered to his buddy.

We too may find ourselves enslaved to something with just a bit of inattention. The apostle said that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. (1 Tim 6:10) You will not need to look far to find examples of that sort of love grabbing a hold and not letting go. There are many other lusts of the flesh that enslave any who come into their power too. Some drugs in the news appear to have a particularly tough hold to break. Of course there is also the direct example as people today are becoming more dependent on the government in many ways. I felt the temptation to give myself over to the state not that many years ago. All of these temptations are difficult to fight!

This is why we need a savior and look to our Savior. We can't make it through this life sentence alone as our strength will fail. We can only fight the good fight in the strength of our Lord Jesus. Let us go to Him on this day and every day.


Monday, May 01, 2017


For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21

Welcome to May! A winter weekend at the end of April may have dampened spirits a bit, but the spring weather will return. So, with the big transformation on the horizon, shouldn't we get started? I'm fairly sure that I have the lowly body ready to go, so how do I start this transformation? We think we know, but do we really?

There are in the Bible several stories of Jesus after that first Easter morning. In them we find disciples having trouble recognizing their Lord. Those who had spent three years or more with Him, thought they knew Him by sight but then failed at times to know Him in that way. Mary the Magdalene thought her Lord was a groundskeeper. On the road to Emmaus, two disciples gave the Lord a bit of teasing for not knowing all the things that had happened concerning Himself. So, we think we know a transformation, but do we really?

If I showed up to work this morning transformed in the way we think of it, people would be surprised (no one more than me), but I would be recognized. However, it seems that if I showed up transformed in the way that our Lord was, the question would be: "Who are you?" And this question would come from those who had seen me almost daily for the past three years or so. My imagination falls short of what this transformation must be to make someone so familiar into a body that we would struggle to recognize. So maybe we don't know this coming transformation quite so well as we think. No wonder Paul writes that it is all in the Lord's hands according to what He can do.

Stand by for the transformation!