Wednesday, December 31, 2014


I Was Just Thinking About - - - 

When reference about a person indicates he or she is tone-deaf, it is used to describe one who is “unable to distinguish differences in pitch in musical sounds when producing or hearing them.” Such an individual is sometimes referred to as a Johnny-One-Note or being a person who possesses the unique gift of being consistently monotone (a single tone without harmony or variance in pitch). Monotone is a noun form but when used as an adjective it references one who is monotonous. Most people would find it difficult to give a person  his or her attention to a musical selection or a speech if it was given in this manner. It would generate discomfort and restlessness being subjected to the monotone presentation over a period of time.

In is interesting to observe the application that is being made regarding those in political office and in public speeches who are being “tone-deaf” when it comes to body action, discourse and the dynamic of words that are used. Those who have spoken about racism in the nation have done so without measuring the impact their words can have upon people. When a person of dubious repute calls for people to demonstrate, especially when he knows he is perpetrating that which is false, underscores the entire problem that has now emerged in cities across this nation. When people holding elected office embrace the person of dubious repute as a consultant on racial tensions and legal ramifications, it has inflamed the mob-mentality to a point where police personal have now become targets for assassination. 

Meanwhile, how are the Police Officers responding to the political-speak and the personal threat that has ensued? In a silent protest, the Police in New York City have turned their backs to the Mayor when he appears and speaks. Furthermore, the New York Post reported and City Officials confirmed: “…for the week starting Dec. 22 — two days after two officers were shot and killed on a Brooklyn street — traffic citations had fallen by 94 percent over the same period last year, summonses for offenses like public drinking and urination were down 94 percent, parking violations were down 92 percent, and drug arrests by the Organized Crime Control Bureau were down 84 percent. The data cover only a week, and the reasons for the plunge are not entirely clear. But it is so steep and sudden as to suggest a dangerous, deplorable escalation of the police confrontation…” with the Mayor and his administration.

Question: Has the President of the United States, the Attorney General of the United States, the Mayor of New York City, the Governor of the State of Missouri been the wisest in their use of words and the embrace of a person of dubious reputation and behavior? The answer should be “No!” There is a Biblical application for the quagmire of the moment. James 3:5-10 (NLT) indicates: “…the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A tiny spark can set a great forest on fire…It can turn the entire course of your life into a blazing flame of destruction, for it is set on fire by hell itself…no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison…” James 1:19-20 (NIV) expresses: “But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” It is apparent that the Word of God is not having a place in the public discourse or within the unfolding events of our day. Words that serve as an indictment are Proverbs 17:27,“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.” Similarly, Proverbs 29:20 concludes, “Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” 

There are those who see the need for reconciliation but it is couched in terms of racial justice and healing. The call for reconciliation will only be validated if and when II Corinthians 5:18-21 (NLT) is enacted: “God has given us the task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself…This is the message he has given us to tell others…Be reconciled to God!” Consider these things with me.

Monday, December 29, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was first published on December 19, 1843. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge is well-known. One of the phrases uttered by Ebenezer Scrooge that is sometimes used in human discourse is “Bah, Humbug.” Scrooge would use it in a dismissive and pejorative (disparaging, derogatory, or belittling) way. That’s the way he was and he cared little about how it impacted anyone else. A descriptive summary of his life and manner states that he was: “A mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who sits in his counting-house on a frigid Christmas Eve. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in the anteroom because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire. Scrooge's nephew, Fred, pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party. Two portly gentlemen also drop by and ask Scrooge for a contribution to their charity. Scrooge reacts to the holiday visitors with bitterness and venom, spitting out an angry ‘Bah! Humbug!’ in response to his nephew's ‘Merry Christmas!’”

Rather than rehearse the transforming process that occurs in the life and behavior of Ebenezer Scrooge as he encounters the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley, and the vivid dreams that ensue regarding Christmas past, present and yet to come, the focus will be upon Scrooge’s name. It is fascinating to reflect upon his name Ebenezer. The name or term means: “A Stone of Help!” Rather than being a person of warmth and benevolence, Scrooge is calloused, cold, niggardly and miserly. He is totally lacking when it comes to empathy or sympathy regarding the plight of his loyal employee or his needy child, Tiny Tim. Scrooge growls at those who try to reach out to him. His growling characteristic is even more pronounced when he is asked for a charitable contribution to relieve the need of someone else. The British Dictionary defines the word “Scrooge” as one who is “a mean or miserly person.”

The use of “Ebenezer” occurs in the Bible in I Samuel 7 where it is demonstrated to be more of a monument of stone inscribed to convey a basic message: “a stone of help.” The Encyclopedia of the Bible states the following regarding Ebenezer: “The scene of two defeats of the Israelites by the Philistines. In the first battle, the Israelites lost 4,000 men and in the second, 30,000. In the second battle, the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the Philistines; also Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed (I Samuel 4:1-11). The precise location of Ebenezer is uncertain.” The Philistines taking of the Ark resulted in negative consequences such as an infestation of mice/rats; people breaking out with tumors; and their temple idols falling down before the presence of the Ark. Ultimately, the Philistines decide they should return the Ark to the Israelites. Someone observed: “Although roughly 1,000 years before the first Christmas, this is one of the first Biblical accounts of a tasteless gift exchange. But they put the Ark, five gold mice and five gold tumors on a cart, hitched it to a couple of cows, and sent it on its way.” Samuel uses this occasion to convince the people of Israel to turn away from their other gods, and to focus their hearts on the Lord. It is at this point that Samuel erects Ebenezer, the name given by him to the stone set up by him between Mizpah and Jeshanah, to commemorate an Israelite victory over the Philistines. The text is: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said: Till now the Lord has helped us” (I Samuel 7:12).

Ebenezer is a word that also occurs in a Hymn of the Church, “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The second stanza of the Hymn contains these words: “Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.” As you come to the conclusion of the year 2014, ask yourself: How seriously have I taken a serious God and His Word this past year? As you stand on the threshold of the year 2015, ask yourself a similar question: How seriously will I take a serious God and His Word in this coming year? Forget about resolutions! Instead, make a new commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ that you’ll be more serious in your application of His Word and purpose to be holy as He is holy. Consider these things with me!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

There are many cliches that in a few words gave sound advice, such as: “Look before you leap!” This would prove to very practical for one on a Diving Board so that he would be certain there was water in the swimming pool before launching himself downward. Another practical cliche is: “Think before you speak!” Many of us could probably identify with this sage advice as we remind ourselves of the words spoken in haste that were regretted later. The current events that have been unfolding within our nation represent a lack of perspicacity and any consideration of ensuing unintended consequences. Throughout the world, we are observing evil and wickedness dominating the culture and subsequent behavioral trends - everything from beheading of innocent people to misrepresentations that have resulted in rioting, looting and murder.

The societal trends are quickly linking culture to chaos. The spiritual is avoided and deemed to be an intrusion that is unneeded and unwanted. When I was a boy in Grammar School, there would be regular Assemblies held and they included readings from the Book of Proverbs. Just suppose there was a cultural shift back in time so that Biblical Readings were sought and desired. If we isolate ourselves to The Book of Proverbs, some of the sage counsel would be: “The proverbs of Solomon…: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, To receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity; To give prudence to the naive, To the youth knowledge and discretion, A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, To understand…The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” (Proverbs 1:1-7, NASB). This is the Biblical concept for one who has embraced Perspicacity: “keenness of mental perception and understanding; discernment.” The Synonyms expand Perspicacity to include: shrewdness, astuteness, insight. The Synonyms also include is acuity (sharpness) and acumen (keen insight).

A Perspicacious Person would also purpose to heed the sage counsel and sound words of Proverbs 3:3-7, “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” When evil is tolerated or embraced, it is always identified with darkness. There are two statements about the coming of Jesus Christ into a world that allowed itself to be saturated with darkness. one statement is in John 1:5, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” The other is John 3:19-20, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” 

An additional instruction for the wise and perspicacious person is Proverbs 4:19-27, “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.” There is an obvious choice that needs to be addressed by the culture. Will the culture insist on its right and prerogative to stumble in the darkness (evil and wickedness) or turn to Him who is The Light, Jesus Christ, and walk in truth and righteousness? Isaiah 59:9-17 is an apt description of the world culture at the present time. For those who have been stumbling and groping in the darkness, there is hope, light and righteousness in Jesus Christ. Turn to Him and find His perfect peace!  Consider these things with me! 

Friday, December 19, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

Once upon a time, based upon a governmental decree, there were thousands of people who were inconvenienced because they were required to find their way to the place of their personal birth and heritage. There were no protests in the streets, nor would they have been tolerated, as thousands of people, regardless of their personal situation and status in life, had to comply. The singular secular purpose was to enable the government of Syria to conduct a census so that the known people of that day could be taxed accordingly. It was a day when the mode of transportation was to walk, ride upon an animal of join a caravan that was headed in one’s required direction. One of the people having to make an 80 mile journey happened to be near full-term pregnancy. She would have to travel at a slower pace to avoid a miscarriage and a donkey was secured to enable her to ride rather than walk the 80 miles from where she was living to the place of her betrothed’s ancestral home town. When arriving at that place, other people had gotten there days earlier and there was no place for her and her betrothed to stay. An Inn-Keeper condescended to let them stay in the common stable for the night.

This account finds a place of special mention in the Bible and the reason for its inclusion is also stated. If one reads Luke 2:1-8 NLT, this account is given: “Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah (at least, 80 miles), David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancé, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel (Inn)…” 

In the secular culture, the people of this day are not required to travel to the place of their birth for the purpose of a census and taxation. People may travel but it is a personal choice rather than a requirement. A primary purpose that occurs at this time of the year is almost entirely secular and commercial. Businesses love this time of the year because of the amounts of money people spend in the hope that family members will enjoy and appreciate the gifts that are given and exchanged.The purpose of the activity at this time of the year is far different from that which should be observed. The narrative of Luke 2:9-16 NLT continues, “There were shepherds camping in the neighborhood.They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were startled and terrified. The angel said, Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is The Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger. At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the shepherds talked it over. Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger…”

The Fabrication In Life today is that the secular world disparages this event and celebration. There has been a growing trend to remove Manger Scenes and Christmas Carols from the public scene. The focus is on Santa Claus rather than Jesus Christ; on the secular rather than the spiritual; on material gain rather than the free Gift of God’s grace. In a day of Global Terrorism and Economic Uncertainty, it would be a good time to return to the True Purpose and Focus for this season - the Birth of Jesus Christ the Savior - The One Who will save His people from their sins. May your observances include Him - Jesus - and may your household echo the song of the Angel Choirs - Glory to God in the Highest! Consider these things with me.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

A television program, To Tell The Truth, aired from 1956-1968. The object of the program was to have a Panel determine who was telling the truth in one’s presentation. The promotional for the program stated: “Classic game show in which a person of some notoriety and two impostors try to match wits with a panel of four celebrities. The object of the game is to try to fool the celebrities into voting for the two impostors. Each wrong vote would be worth $250 ($100 in the daytime version).” The program was designed to allow for 30 minutes of fun and good humor. 

Today, we live in a culture where it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine and measure Truth. It seems obvious that there is a disconnect between political speech and and dictionary definition of terms and words used or spoken. In public discourse and in the public squares, it appears that truth is not longer viewed as an asset or priority. Words and statements are bandied about as though they have no consequence at all. However, for whatever reason, be it naiveté or gullibility, people become easily deceived and believe the rhetoric rather than discernible facts. Sadly, this is one of the reasons why there is rioting in several cities at the present time.

A Blog is incapable of dealing with this subject in a detailed manner. There are some Scriptural references that address the times in which we live. The first is Psalm 11:3, the Psalmist David wrote: “In the Lord I take refuge; How can you say to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain; For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, They make ready their arrow upon the string To shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?” David is doing two things in this Psalm. He notes his place of safety and refuge in the Lord. However, he also is aware of the perils of his day, when he wrote about the wicked bending the bow to shoot their arrows in the darkness at the upright in heart. He also note that the foundations have begun to erode and are ready to be destroyed. He then asks: “What can the righteous do?” The obvious answer is to maintain his focus in the Lord and to abide in His refuge and sure defense.

There is another situation in which a prophet of God observes and writes. One gets the sense of the times by reading Isaiah 59:13-15 (one should read the entire chapter), “Transgressing and denying the Lord, and turning away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the street, and uprightness cannot enter. Yes, truth is lacking; and he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey. Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice.” The MSG paraphrases verse 14-15, “Truth staggers down the street, Honesty is nowhere to be found, Good is missing in action. Anyone renouncing evil is beaten and robbed.” This could almost be a description in the daily news reports across America and elsewhere in the world.

Isaiah 59 also addresses the fact that the Incarnation will be necessitated in order for Truth, Justice, Civility and Righteousness can and will be restored. In the life of Jesus Christ, Truth was at the center of His message. Because it was, the negative reaction of various people-groups surfaced. They were content with their version of events and lifestyle. It is ironic that John 14:6 records the words of Jesus, “I am the way the Truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” This issue arises once again when Jesus is standing before Pilate. John 18:37-38 records this exchange: Jesus said, “Everyone who cares for truth, who has any feeling for the truth, recognizes my voice. Pilate said, What is truth?” Pilate asked the incorrect question. It should’ve been: Who is the truth? If he had done so, he might have discovered the truth that would provide him with everlasting life. Consider these things with me!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

In a day of cultural demise, where is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ? How is the Gospel being validated in our day? What religion does the secular society speak of more than any other? Why has the Church of Jesus Christ allowed itself to become marginalized by the culture? Has the message of the Church become compromised by societal niceties and desire for community acceptance? During the Advent Season, how resounding is the message of the Church? Is the trumpet giving a clear and precise sound? As a retired Pastor, one of the areas that I miss most is preaching during Advent through the Lenten Season. Some of that which is deemed necessary and acceptable for observance of Advent in the churches entails decorating the Church; appropriate Choir Cantatas; and Children’s Programs and Plays. Many Churches include the Lighting of the Advent Wreath where they have different families within the Church do a Biblically based reading about the coming of Jesus Christ. The question is: How much of this is Orthodoxy versus Orthopraxy? Does it matter in terms of True Worship? Wikipedia states the distinction between these two areas: “In the study of religion, Orthopraxy is correct conduct, both ethical and liturgical, as opposed to faith or grace. This contrasts with Orthodoxy, which emphasizes correct belief, and ritualism, the use of rituals. The word is a classical compound ὀρθοπραξία (orthopraxia) meaning correct practice.” In a more simple way, Orthodoxy is what one believes and states. Orthopraxy is what one knows and does.

The Advent observance utilizes some of the historic Christmas Carols. One of the favorites was written by Charles Wesley, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the newborn King.” Linked closely with that is Adeste Fideles, written in 1744 by an English layman named John Wade. The Christian Broadcasting Network Devotional contains these thoughts by Kenneth W. Osbeck. “The original Latin text consisted of four stanzas. The first calls us to visualize anew the infant Jesus in Bethlehem's stable. O come, all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant; come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold Him, born the King of angels. The second stanza is usually omitted in most hymnals, but it reminds us that the Christ child is very God Himself: God of God and Light of Light begotten, Lo, He abhors not the Virgin's womb; Very God, begotten, not created-O come, let us adore Him. The next stanza pictures for us the exalted song of the angelic choir heard by the lowly shepherds. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; sing all ye bright hosts of heaven above; glory to God, all glory in the highest. Then the final verse offers praise and adoration to the Word, our Lord, who was with the Father from the beginning of time: Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be all glory given; Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. The Chorus for each stanza is: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.”

How one practices the Worship of God is vital. At the very least, it would include the Words of the Lord recorded in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Jesus was abundantly clear regarding the necessity for True Worship when He said: “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). How much of what we do at and in the “Worship Service” is Orthodoxy? With the “Order of Worship” that is generally followed, does that represent Orthodoxy or Orthopraxy? 

There is an interesting discussion by Paul as he gives a sermon on Mars Hill and then debates some of the questions raised by those who heard the sermon. The words are recorded in Acts 17:29-31, “Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." How did the people respond to this portion of the sermon? Were they in agreement with it? Their response is recorded in Acts 17:32-34, “Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said: We shall hear you again concerning this. So Paul went out of their midst. But some men joined him and believed.” Orthopraxy by religious people brought sneers! Orthodoxy by some resulted in Belief. At the Christmas Season, do you spend more time in purchasing gifts than you do in worship of God Who so loved the world that He gave us His Son, that whoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life? O Come, let us adore Him - Christ, the Lord!  Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

The Broadway Play, Man of La Mancha, opened in 1965. The play tells the story of the mad"knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by Cervantes and his fellow prisoners as he awaits a hearing with the Spanish Inquisition. The principal song emerging from the play is The Impossible Dream (Lyrics by Joe Darion). In this song, Quixote explains his quest and the reasons behind it. Some of the Lyric expresses the thoughts and desires of Quixote: “To dream the impossible dream; To fight the unbeatable foe; To bear with unbearable sorrow; To run where the brave dare not go; To right the un-rightable wrong…This is my quest…No matter how hopeless…To fight for the right without question or pause; To be willing to march into Hell for a heavenly cause…And the world will be better for this; That one man, scorned and covered with scars; Still strove with his last ounce of courage; To reach the unreachable star.”

Fast forward from the Spanish Inquisition to the political campaign of 2008 and the quest of the candidate Barack Obama: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Can it be said with this quest, that “the world will be better for this; That one man, scorned and covered with scars; Still strove with his last ounce of courage; To reach the unreachable…?” Who would have thought the unthinkable that the United States would become entrenched in an 18 Trillion Dollar Deficit; disrespect and apprehension internationally by friend and foe alike; renewed racial divide internally and openly being expressed; ignoring of the United States Constitution; the undermining of law enforcement; departure from moral values and foundational principles? Is the nation and world “better for this”? 

From a Biblical and eternal perspective, how does the Creator view the world? Does He see it as being “better for this” by the things the nation and world has embraced? How would He view the behaviors that are legally endorsed - behaviors such as abortion; same gender marriage; euthanasia; homosexuality; and the general quest of mankind? In a different historical time, where there were similar activities and behaviors, the Bible states what God saw and what God did. Genesis 6 gives us the summary of God’s thoughts versus man’s thoughts (Verses 5 and 6): “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart…” This resulted in God’s cleansing of the earth with a flood. Only Noah and his family, secured in the Ark, was spared. 

How does God view His world today? Matthew 24:37-39 indicates, “…For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” How is the overall behavior of the human race being seen and observed by a Holy God? Matthew 15:18-19 allows us this insight: “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man…” It seems as though we have rapidly become a world that allows itself to think the unthinkable as it ignores God and His righteousness. Consider once again the words of Genesis 6:5-6 (NLT), “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.” The horror of the consequence for a world that had squeezed God and His Word out of their culture: “…everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” (MSG): “God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil - evil from morning to night. God was sorry that he had made the human race…it broke his heart.” A world that deliberately allows itself to think the unthinkable and do the undoable grieves the heart of God and will result in irreversible condemnation. Consider these things with me.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

The world in which we live today is marked by sharp division among people! Historically, this has been a reality throughout world since time began. Conflict occurred within the first family when Cain became envious of his brother Abel - and killed him. As Biblical History unfolded, there was hostility between Israel and Egypt; Israel and Assyria; Israel and Babylon; the Jewish and Samaritan tensions; and the Christians with Rome. Why does this occur and how is it described. A Cultural Definition for Xenophobia is: “An unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign or different.” 

As a youth being reared during World War II, there was a national disdain for Germany, Italy and Japan because of their reported atrocities and the manner in which our nation was being impacted. Few today can relate to food and gasoline rationing; waiting in lines to get sugar, coffee, meat, etc. Rubber and Leather was in short supply and shoe fashions were not a priority. The need for ration stamps and tokens that limited how much could be purchased within a set time. Automobiles were not manufactured during the years of the War. The factories had been converted over to making Tanks, Jeeps, Armaments and Munitions, Ships of every type and class, etc. All of this was based upon a sense of Patriotism, the War effort and ultimate Victory in Europe and the Far East. During those days, this country seemed to be more “religious” and prayer for the troops and nation were frequent. On the eve of D-Day, June 4, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation, and said: “…in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer: Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity…They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war. For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return…And for us at home - fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them, help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice…With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy…Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen!”

In the past 70 years, we have come a long way and changed drastically as a world and nation of people. In our land, it would be difficult for a President to lead the nation in Prayer. There would be protests from all kinds of people and groups. God is viewed with contempt and disdain. The term “God” is generalized, redefined  and marginalized. Prayers cannot be ended with “In Jesus’ Name” because some groups would be offended. As a people, we have been heading toward the slippery slope of destruction. Few seem to care and the philosophy of life is to live for today and not to be concerned with obligations of the future. Not only are we becoming fiscally bankrupt, we have been in a prolonged spiritual decline and almost bankrupt in terms of any submission to God and God Alone. Paul wrote in a very direct manner in I Corinthians 1:18-24,“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” Peter echoes these words when he wrote (I Peter 2:6-8), “For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame. So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.They stumble because they disobey the word…” This is our world that we are to engage with God’s Truth regardless of any personal cost or sacrifice. Are you doing what you can and should in this worthy cause? Don’t allow yourself to become xenophobic and marginalized. Consider these things with me!

Monday, December 1, 2014


From My Perspective - - - 

The Religion News Service ( on November 20, 2014 authored an article regarding “The Ten Non-Commandments For Atheists.” Interestingly, one of the authors of the non-commandments is the Humanist Chaplain at Stanford University. It is an interesting article inasmuch as it takes one back to the scene in the Garden of Eden and the serpent’s efforts to influence Eve to relate to a false premise that there is no God. If the serpent can induce Eve to violate the only prohibition in the Garden - eating fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2 and 3) - then she can be the same as any devised God. The subtlety is that the serpent did not approach Eve on the basis that there was no God. His craftiness was in the suggestion that she could be the just like any pre-conceived or imagined God.

The Gospel of John, Chapter 1, contains these words about the reality of God. In Verses 1 through 4, there is this pronouncement: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” These words are establishing that Jesus Christ was “In the beginning” and “He was the Creator of all things.” In terms of The Incarnation, verse 14 declares: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” In verse 9 through 13, we read: “There was the true Light (Jesus Christ) which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

In these words, we find the tension between the Advent reality and the Atheist rejection. Some of the “commandments” of the atheists include the following: #2: “We can perceive the world only through our human senses.” #5: “There is no God.” #7: “There is no universal moral truth. Our experiences and preferences shape our sense of how to behave.” #10: All our beliefs are subject to change in the face of new evidence, including these (10 Non-Commandments).” Dudley Rose, Associate Dean for ministry studies at Harvard Divinity School wrote: “Living rightly with one another is at the heart of these non-commandments…That is very similar to the way in which I view how those of us in religious communities think of our commandments and our lives with one another and everyone else in the world.” When one considers this approach by the Secularists, Humanists and Atheists, it becomes obvious why the culture of our day is in disarray and in a state of denial and demise. This tension begun in the Garden of Eden has prevailed throughout Biblical History and remains with us today. 

When Jesus addressed the skeptics and non-believers of His day, He stated: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me…He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God"  (John 8:44-47). Jesus is making clear that a religion of man will never supplant the true religion of God. Additionally, there is the very blunt statement in Psalm 14:1,”The fool has said in his heart: There is no God.” The NLT states it: “Only fools say in their hearts: There is no God. They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; no one does good!” This is expanded upon in Romans 3:10-23. Advent is all about Jesus Who came to save His people from their sins. Do you know Him? Have you received Him? Consider these things with me!