Saturday, June 30, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
From My Perspective - -
The news gives and shows vivid examples of the devastation in Florida with rain measuring upwards of 30 inches and the resulting flooding – while in the Western States – raging fires are destroying forests, wildlife, homes. The upheaval in the lives of people is incalculable and the overwhelming cost in terms of possessions and property is immeasurable. One’s heart goes out to those who are facing such challenging and devastating days and moments. While it would be presumptive to speculate regarding “why” some of these tragic events are occurring, there can be some lessons learned during and from Nature Upheavals.
There was a time when a people who had been enslaved for a long time were about to be delivered from their bondage. How can an indentured people know and find freedom from their oppression – deliverance from their enslavement. The government that had held them captive and was benefitting from their forced labor would not voluntarily set them free. How could they be delivered? How would deliverance occur? Who would intervene to help them? One gets the sense that divine Intervention is the only way and means for the impossible to become possible. It is not surprising that the Lord would clearly state His Plan and His Purpose for His People – Exodus 6:6-7 - "Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” Will Pharaoh be willing and enthused and respond immediately? The answer is: “No!” It would require ten plagues of increasing intensity before he would release the people – but even then – he had second thoughts and sent his army after them to prevent their access and deliverance into Canaan.
There is a very stern warning issued by the Lord in Jeremiah 6:9-19 – “This is what the Lord Almighty says…To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. But I am full of the wrath of the Lord, and I cannot hold it in…their houses will be turned over to others, together with their fields and their wives, when I stretch out my hand against those who live in the land…From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush…This is what the Lord says: Stand at the crossroads and look…ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, We will not walk in it. I appointed watchmen over you and said, Listen to the sound of the trumpet! But you said, We will not listen. Therefore hear, O nations…Hear, O earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law…”
Could it be that Nature Upheavals in our day – drought in the Southwest, raging fires in the Northwest, floods in the Southeast – are intended as the Lord’s means to regain the attention of a society and culture that has ignored Him and His Word and His Purpose? Could it be that the Lord is speaking to our nation and world today in a similar way as in the day of Jeremiah? Does this word spoken by Jeremiah – “Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush” – describe our nation and culture today? The answer should be – “YES!” As real people in real time are suffering catastrophes and as they flee to safety - one will often hear the utterance of the phrase – “Oh, my God!” If only, the “Oh, my God” would translate over to repentance and a return to the Lord – the losses could become victories, and the disasters could become blessings. The other “if only” – why does it have to take calamity for one to call on God? Consider these things with me!
Friday, June 22, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Friday, June 8, 2012
From My Perspective - - -
During one’s life, there are times when one will hear the question asked: “What’s up?” There are sometimes trite answers given, such as: The sky is up; or The price of Gasoline is up; or Inflation is so bad that even the price of duck-down is up; etc.” The lingering question is – what exactly is meant by “up” when we use the term so frequently?It is said: “UP - This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP.’ It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].”
In June 1994, someone wrote to Dear Abby and asked the following: “…Some time ago, you published an item on the word "up"-how frequently it is used, and how comical it sometimes sounds. Will you please publish it again?”One can find similar posts to her answer, She posted:"We've got a two-letter word we use constantly that may have more meanings than any other. The word is UP. It is easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or toward the top of a list. But when we waken, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? And why are participants said to speak UP? Why are officers UP for election? And why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? The little word is really not needed, but we use it anyway. We brighten UP a room, light UP a cigar, polish UP the silver, lock UP the house and fix UP the old car. At other times, it has special meanings. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, think UP excuses and get tied UP in traffic. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special. It may be confusing, but a drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning, and close it UP in the evening. We seem to be all mixed UP about UP. In order to be UP on the proper use of UP, look UP the word in the dictionary. In one desk-sized dictionary, UP takes UP half a column; and the listed definitions add UP to about 40. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways in which UP is used. It may take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a thousand."
The way one uses our language can cause some misunderstanding – We refer to some people as being “Uppity” whereas we say other people are “Down to Earth”. The “Uppity” person is seen as one who considered himself/herself as being superior to others, whereas “Down to Earth” generally means (a) a normal…easy to get along with person, or (b) a “gutter-snipe” who is viewed as a lower-class type individual (not too far removed from the “white Trash” designation). In the physical realm, most people know what is meant when they use the word “up” or “down” (or use some other directional term). When the spiritual realm is being considered, Heaven is usually seen as being “Up” (the future home of the Saved) whereas Hell is usually viewed as being “Down” (the place reserved for the Devil and the Lost)!
If the spiritual approach is to be meaningful, How should one put into practice the basic truth that Heaven is the dwelling-place of God and the final-destination for those who are “saved.”? A basic commitment must include: Psalm 121:1-2,7-8 - “I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth…The Lord will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life;the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Isaiah 40:25-31 (Selected) - "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens…Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Look Up to The Lord and be renewed in strength for the journey. Consider these things with me.