Thursday, June 30, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About - - -

Perfidy is a word that is employed to point out when a deliberate breach of faith or trust has occurred. It is sometimes used to reference some form of treachery.

Historically, this was the bedrock of Marxism. It persists today in trends such as postmodernity where the thesis is the idea that there is no such thing as truth. There is only power. The focal point is advocated by its proponents whose motivation is to establish the way they want things to be. The philosophy behind this motivation and trend has little to do with truth or freedom. Truth is bandied about and used as a mask or disguise so that the proponents can gain power and control. Their political slogans are designed to convey a believable concept that will gain a voter’s confidence and support in a Primary and/or Election. These concepts were championed for a passing moment but after they have achieved the desired result, the concepts and those who voted for them are too soon forgotten. The narrative espoused does not care about truth or falsehood per se. For the proponents, all that matters is that people believe what is being represented.

In political discourse, as well as in religious advocacy, there is a designed duplicity present (deceitfulness; narrative that is false; double-dealing). Do people care politically? Their commitment and blind loyalty is to a political entity – Democrat or Republican. Examples of this are the recent reports on the Benghazi events. The Investigative Committee Democrats issued a minority report that is contrary to the Republican majority report. Truth had little or nothing to do with a factual report to the nation. Note that some of the additional possible meanings for designed duplicity are: dishonesty, fraud, deception and subterfuge.

During the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, Truth was one of the core values that was championed. John 8:31-32 records, “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him: If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” He would later expand upon this, John 14:6, where “Jesus answered (Thomas), I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” 

The idea of Truth was an issue when Jesus was standing before Pilate. John 18:37-38 records this exchange: Jesus said, “For this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice. What is truth? Pilate asked.”

In the cultural maze of today, truth is being blurred and obscured whereas perfidy and duplicity is being embraced. Despite the cultural trends, Jesus Christ remains as the only way, the only truth and the only one who can provide eternal life for all who believe and come to Him.

Prayerfully – Consider these things with me!

Friday, June 24, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About – DISMISSIVENESS.

Dismissiveness occurs and the pain of rejection is real. Should this ever occur within the Biblical Church and community of God’s redeemed people? No! Does it happen among the clergy and other religious professionals? Yes! What focus and Biblical point of view is lacking as and when this occurs? We are reminded in Romans 15:7, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring glory to God.” Do we always do this? No!

There are certain words on our vocabulary that are thought or used in reference to other people and what we think of them. The words include – egotist, blowhard, blunderbuss, exaggerator, or one who bloviates most of the time. Sometimes this occurs because a person is seeking attention or acceptance. At other times, it is caused by envy of another person who is being recognized even though he may not be as capable or proficient as the one who is regularly dismissed. Do we live in an unfair and unjust culture? Yes! Are people within the Church also unfair and unjust in their assessment and/or acceptance of certain people? Yes! An adage stated: “If you don’t toot your own horn, no one else will toot it for you.” Is that often the case within the Church and among professing Christians? Yes!

People deal with dismissiveness situations differently. If one senses that he is in a group of those who are dismissive of him, he may drop out and become detached from the group. He will isolate and insulate himself away from the dismissive group as he tries to avoid the pain of rejection.

An alternative behavior would find one being filled with envy. The Word of God addresses envy in James 3:13-16 (NIV), “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

It is conceivable that the prophet Jeremiah was subjected to and encountered dismissiveness often. This can be gleaned from excerpts in Jeremiah 9:4-6, 23-24 where the Lord is speaking and summarizes  (ESV), “Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the Lord…Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Prayerfully – consider these things with me!

Sunday, June 5, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About - - -

In 1873, Horatio Gates Spafford received news that the ship his wife and four daughters were travelling on had collided with another vessel and sunk. His wife was one of twenty-eight survivors. Her telegram to her husband stated, “Saved Alone.” Horatio Spafford had already experienced the death of a son as well as the loss of many of his investments in the Chicago fire of 1871. As he sailed to be united with his wife, he asked the Captain to inform him when they approached the place where his four daughters had drowned. It was at this time he penned the words to the well-known and often sung Hymn, It Is Well With My Soul. Several phrases of his poem give cause for in-depth reflection. One of them is, “When sorrows like sea-billows roll.” The words that stirred his soul and ours are, “Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.”

It seems as though our associations include individuals who range from very young to the more elderly that are coping with various life-threatening maladies not the least of which is Cancer. As we pray for these various ones, we realize that cancer is one of the most challenging diseases for which there is no present or definitive cure. We pray for a six-year old who has spent two-thirds of his young life being treated for Cancer. We prayed for a son-in-law who suddenly was diagnosed with cancer and who died shortly after his thirtieth birthday. One of our long-standing contemporary friends with whom there had been a kindred-spirit for more than sixty-years was diagnosed with Cancer a short time ago. Word was received that she died yesterday morning.

There is something very unique in the words of Paul recorded in II Corinthians 1:3-7, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God…our comfort abounds through Christ…For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.” In I Thessalonians 4:13-18, Paul’s concern was threefold. First, “That you will not grieve like the rest who are without hope.” Second, that there is an understanding regarding those who have preceded us in death. When the Lord returns, “The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.” Third, he adds words that should endure throughout all generations,  Encourage one another with these words.”

Horatio Spafford wrote two stanzas that are not contained in most contemporary Hymnals. They are additional words of his hope and peace,
   For me be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live;
   If Jordan above me should roll,
   No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
   Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

   But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for thy coming we wait,
   The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
   Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
   Blessed hope! blessed rest of my soul!

Death is a reality but so also is the peace, comfort and encouragement of the Lord! He knows your sorrows. He knows your needs. In 1914, Oswald J. Smith wrote the Hymn, Deeper and Deeper. For those who grieve and are sorrowful, one stanza contains these comforting and encouraging words,
   Joy in the place of sorrow,
   Peace in the midst of pain,
   Jesus will give, Jesus will give;
   He will uphold and sustain.

Prayerfully – consider these things with me!

Saturday, June 4, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About - - -

A Biblical Christian, in addition to the requirements of one who wishes to meet the cost of  a disciple of Jesus Christ (Luke 14:25-33), must determine whether there is the willingness to Collide with the Culture or to be one who is known by his/her Collusion with the Culture.

The proposal of Jesus Christ for anyone who follows Him is Total Surrender to Him. On a day when an expert in the Law confronted Jesus (Luke 10:25-28) and asked: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” The response of Jesus was, “How do you read what is written in The Law?” The expert answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus responded, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:21-24), Jesus declared, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters: Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

In the Strength for the Journey Devotional for Saturday, June 4, 2016, Joseph Stowell makes this comment and observation: “Betrayal often comes from those we would least suspect. And—here’s a news flash—the person you might least suspect could even be you. The seeds of betrayal are sown in the unseen world of our hearts. And while the seeds may be unnoticed for a time, left unchecked they will inevitably begin to pop up to the surface of our lives in tragic ways. Some of us have already betrayed Jesus at the heart-level. Often it is a slow, subtle shift from being fully devoted to Him, to following the seductive lure of personal pleasure or gain. Hearts dedicated to cash and comfort are quick to bail when Jesus calls us to sacrifice and suffer for Him. But, whether the betrayal is “big” or seemingly small, it is always in the face of His love. That’s what makes it so wrong, so brazen. When we lose the wonder of His amazing love for us, when we fail to look at His nail-scarred hands, when we start taking His daily provision for granted, we run the risk of cultivating a compromised heart.”

In 1898, Eliza E. Hewitt wrote some very succinct words in the Hymn Lyric,
Give Me thy heart, says the Savior of men,
Calling in mercy again and again;
Trust in Me only, I’ll never depart—
Have I not died for thee? Give Me thy heart.

Give Me thy heart, says the Spirit divine;
All that thou hast to My keeping resign;
Grace more abounding is Mine to impart—
Make full surrender and give Me thy heart.

Are you ready, willing and committed to a Collision course with the Culture or are you trying to play it safe by your Collusion with the Culture? Prayerfully – Consider these things with me!