Missing Something

Have you ever looked at the truth over and over again, and no matter how hard you look, you just can’t figure out how the truth is the truth?  What it boils down to is that you are missing something.  As many of you know, I hold God’s Word to be the ultimate truth.  So, given that, you can understand that when I read something that just doesn’t make sense no matter how many times I read it, you can understand my question.  “What am I missing?”

Well, I think I finally found what I was missing.  I hate to admit how much time I spent reading, and reading again.  I hate to admit how many times I asked God to reveal it to me.  I hate to admit that all the time my answer was staring me in the face.  The answer, and what I was missing was the passage of time.

Have you ever read a novel, and, even though you just ate, all of a sudden you feel incredibly hungry, as if you haven’t eaten for days?  As novels flow, you become aware of the passage of time.  Days are compressed into minutes of reading, and months compressed into hours.  So, why didn’t I realize that was happening in the retelling of the plagues Egypt endured in the Exodus recounting of the events?  I guess it comes from being so familiar with the story, and erroneously looking at it through the lens of our instant society.

Where I think I’ve gone wrong is in thinking it was 10 plagues in 10 days.  In the natural course of things these plagues had to have taken place over a much longer period of time.  Remember, I believe God’s Word is true, and when it doesn’t make sense to me, I just don’t understand the truth.  When you add the passage of much more time to the story, all of a sudden the things that were not making logical sense, begin to make sense.

So, what is the lesson to be learned here?  When you believe something is true, don’t give up on that truth simply because facts seem to contradict the truth.  And, don’t give up on the truth even if everyone around you thinks you for a fool.  Don’t be afraid to stand up for God’s truth, because in the end God’s truth and his Word are going to be the only thing left standing.  Do you think that takes more faith than you’ve got?  Consider this.

See if you can find the line in this worship song that I used to think would not happen in my lifetime.

Everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me

Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

(Chorus:)
Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever
Author of Salvation
He rose & conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

So take me as You find me
All my fears & failures
Fill my life again

I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
Now I surrender (I surrender)
(Chorus:) (2x)
Savior
He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever
Author of Salvation
He rose & conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

(Bridge:) (2x)
Shine Your light &
Let the whole world see
We’re singing
For the glory
Of the risen King
Jesus

(Chorus)
You’re the Savior
You can move the mountains
Lord You are mighty to save
You are mighty to save
Forever
Author of Salvation
You rose & conquered the grave
Yes You conquered the grave

(Bridge:)

[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/h/hillsong_united/mighty_to_save.html ]

If you picked the line, “He can move the mountains”, you are right.  Who would have thought that the entire Island nation of Japan could move 13-20 feet closer to the United States?  Is it really hard to believe that God can move the mountains anymore?

The bottom line is this.  Don’t miss the truth that God is mighty to save, and don’t miss the Truth because the facts as you see them don’t seem to support the Truth.  God is trustworthy, even when circumstances seem bleak.  Remember that Jesus was in fact crucified.  He died, and was buried.  Things seemed pretty bleak for Jesus’ followers, don’t you think?  And, after three days passed, he was raised to life again.  What seemed devastating, in an unforgettable moment became the story that has been told for generations.  That is the story of Easter, which we will celebrate in a few weeks.  It is the story that our Redeemer lives.   And as the hymn states, “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone.”

If Easter isn’t true, then everything I believe is a lie, and the entire world is without hope.  Since it is irrefutably true, it requires that I live my life with hope.  Not because the government will support me from cradle to grave, but because God has a plan for my life.  And that plan includes a life beyond what we can see and touch today.  If that realization doesn’t help give me hope in spite of what life dishes out, then nothing will.

Don’t miss it!

 

World Wide Wisdom – NOT

It should not surprise me, or anyone else, honestly.  Chaos, violence, death, and rape in the middle-east.  Then drawing parallels to those events in Madison, Wisconsin, should not surprise me either.  The problem is that there are no parallels.  Wisconsin’s governor was elected by the voters of Wisconsin.  The senators who fled to Illinois, were elected to the Wisconsin Senate to represent the people from their senate districts.  What a terrible example of responsibility that is.

I believe the things I’ve talked about on blog posts, and shared on Facebook.  I will not run away from them, even if the World Wide Wisdom says I’m wrong.  The human problem of sin clouds World Wide Wisdom, and ultimately required the death of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice demanded by a holy God.  Ironically, World Wide Wisdom and a sham of a trial resulted in Jesus’ execution at the hands of the Romans, and the behest of his own people, the Jews.  And it was that seminal event that provides atonement for all of my sin, and the sin of the world.

To add further irony, there is a huge push to secularize society, and the more that push occurs, the more we are reminded by the violence in Egypt and the middle-east, that the God of the Bible will not be thwarted or dismissed.

Deny God at your own peril.  I urge you to abandon World Wide Wisdom, and seek instead Wisdom from above.

Lessons Learned, and Applied!

In order for this to make any sense at all, I need to explain a few things relating to technology.  Sprint has a device called a MiFi that creates a personal wireless hotspot for laptop computers.  It bridges the gap between the cellular network, and computers and allows you to check e-mail and surf the web from anywhere you can get a cell signal.  Sprint’s new 4G phone, the HTC EVO does the same thing, on top of being a phone.  This 4G phone is about as popular in the Sprint world as the iPhone 4 is for AT&T.  When I went to get one to replace something that wasn’t working, I was 14th on a waiting list for the device.

Now I need to warn you, technology is about to turn into theology.  Yes, surprise surprise theology has something to say through technology if you’re looking for the application, and don’t dismiss life’s events as pure coincidence.

While it seems like just yesterday, it was probably more like several months ago now, Pastor Steve DeWitt spoke about hanging on to our possessions with a loose grip.  I remember thinking that this was one area of my life where I did a fairly decent job.  After all, what do I have that isn’t ultimately from God?  And, I won’t be able to take any of it with me when I die.

Time passed.  Then, Thursday I had the opportunity to give up “my” Sprint MiFi so the Coldstream team could take it with them.  Granted it wasn’t a very big sacrifice, because WiFi is in so many places.  But as is often the case, my thoughts turned to “what if we need it in the next couple of weeks?”  I chose the loose grip, but honestly it really wasn’t as easy as it should have been.  I resigned to trust God… novel thought, eh?

Then, Friday, I got a call from Sprint that the EVO phones had come in, and they had gotten to my name on the list.  How fortuitous was that?  If I was the only one involved, fortuitous indeed.  But I wasn’t.  God had a hand in it, and I got to have a front row seat for the show, namely, that he will provide in his way in his time.  Now, all I need to remember is to apply the “loose grip” to everything!  It really boils down to “who do you trust?”

How hard is it for you to hold on to the things God has given you with a loose grip?

Speaking Out For Life

I believe that all life was created in the image of God, and therefore is valuable and precious.  George Tiller, clearly did not share my view, as he was willing to kill the most early form of human life before it has a chance.  Yet, George Tiller was created in the image of God.

I strongly condemn the unlawful taking of his life for that reason.  Had George Tiller been convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the government, then he would have properly received what he deserved by the authority that God has put in place to deal with those who break the law.

As it is, the person or persons responsible for this killing are guilty of the very same thing that so many believe George Tiller was guilty of.  Ultimately, George Tiller will have to answer to God for his actions.  Sadly, it would appear that he will now have to do that without the benefit of being able to repent.

This should be a warning to those of us who are still living.  None of us knows when we will draw our last breath.  I plead with you if you haven’t considered where you stand before God, to consider it today!

Watch this, and see if you still think you’re ready to face God.

“Enough”

“The leech has two daughters.
‘Give! Give!’ they cry.
“There are three things that are never satisfied,
four that never say, ‘Enough!’:

the grave, the barren womb,
land, which is never satisfied with water,
and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’

There is no doubt that this was not intended to be an exhaustive list.  God is not surprised by our government.  And he is aware of our problems.  The question I have is this.  Are we crying out to the right person to bring about change?  I know I am vocal about my desire to have our government live within its means, and begin paying down the debt instead of simply servicing it as so many have done with the homes they cannot now afford.

But at the core, is it likely that enough (there’s that word again) people will band together to elect men and women who will begin making tough choices, and reduce the largess of government?

It is more likely that God will hear, and we should cry out to him?  The people of the early Jewish nation were enslaved in Egypt.  The situation looked bleak.  Yet, God heard their cries, and brought about a change of heart, where the people of Egypt were glad to see the people of Israel leave.

So is it possible for something similar to happen in the United States?  Do you trust that God is able?  I say it is possible, and God is able.  I just pray he is willing.  Why would I think that he might not be?  For that I’ll leave you with another Proverb.

Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes
will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword!

The TEA Party on April 15th brought to mind some interesting things.  It took an e-mail I received today to remind me of one of the complaints that was raised as people were sharing at the TEA Party.  Someone spoke about churches and prayer, and being involved in community.  All things I agree with.  But, then the comment was made from the audience that the church is largely silent on the issues and voting.

STOP!

Why?  Why is the church largely silent on the issues of the day?  Do people really think that it is because churches do not care?  Or, more importantly that God does not care?

I submit that it is fear of men, more than the fear of God that keeps churches from speaking to culture today.  “How so?” you ask.  Well, with the threat of having the tax exempt status revoked for being politically active, and having the donations of members of the church being invalidated as deductible contributions, it becomes easier to see how there is a reluctance to speak out on any issue that appears to be political in nature.

As it stands now, Congress is proposing “hate crimes” legislation that would criminalize the Biblical view of homosexuality.  Make no mistake about it, homosexuality is a sin!  However, so is lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, gluttony, drunkenness, and more.  I haven’t even mentioned the “big one”, murder.

Should I be surprised that in a country that legalizes the murder of the innocent unborn, that we would try to rewrite other areas of God’s law?

So it is that I am hoping that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.  I am hoping that the message of repentance that the one crying in the wilderness some 2000 years ago is adopted today.  John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus Christ.  Are you prepared for the return of Jesus Christ?  The last time Jesus Christ came to earth, he was born to die.  It was his death, and subsequent resurrection celebrated these past two weekends by millions of believers, that makes it possible for any of us to stand a chance before a holy and just God.  Jesus paid the price my sin deserved.  Has he taken care of that for you? or are you unprepared for his return??

Why am I so concerned?  Well, this time when Jesus returns to earth, it will not be to redeem–it will be to judge.  Most people I suspect think they are good enough.  Watch this, and then see what you think…

Do Not Be Deceived!

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow.  Galatians 6:7

For too long I was more concerned with what people will think about me.  As a result I was not willing to share God’s truth, since it seemed as if the country was turning its collective back on God.  As a country, we no longer fear God.  We hardly even fear government.  We thumb our nose at the law.  Our law is what we can get away with.  I say this, as I live it.

Case in point: speeding.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve slowed down, but I still routinely exceed the speed limit.  Instead of exceeding it by 20 to 40 mph, it is now 5-10 mph.  It becomes even more difficult on highways where the speed limit is still 55.  Nobody who wants to live actually drives 55, and 70 is the norm.  But this makes my point, namely that when we think a law is silly, or doesn’t apply to us, we break it.

And speeding is a simple law.  Then, when corporations engage in practices that break the law, we become irate.  We, who are lawbreakers ourselves.  Did you catch that?  It’s subtle.  We are only upset when somebody else breaks the law–not when we do.  We have become a nation of hypocrites.  Is it any wonder that we are represented by people who will say or do anything to win election after election?

We no longer do what is right by law, we do what is right in our own eyes.  It is said of Warren Buffett, that he doesn’t invest in something he doesn’t understand.  I wish I could apply the same principle to paying any form of taxes.  I don’t understand the tax system, and I don’t know how the government thinks spending more than it takes in will work.

We should not be deceived.  God is not mocked.  We are reaping what we sow.  And we are surprised?  Oh, I’m sorry, perhaps it is because so few of us are actually reading what God has to say.