Bible

A Third Invitation to Pray

The Bible says in Proverbs 1:2-7, “To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth. Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. 

The Lord looks upon the heart, not the outward appearance. In fact, “God looks down from heaven at the human race, to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God” (Psalm 53:2). No one, not one person, not rich or poor, not male or female, not popular or unknown…nobody, none, nil…zip, zero, zilch…not her, not him, not they, not you, not me…he overlooks nada. Please pray for them, one and all.

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Bible, Culture, Hate speech

A Second Invitation to Pray

The Bible says in Psalm 2:10-12, “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

Everyone in the heart, mind, eyes, and hands of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is sought after. It is the Lord’s desire that none should perish, but that all should reach repentance. Please pray for them, one and all.

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Bible

An Invitation to Pray

The Bible says, in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Everyone. Every man, woman, and child…the Lord loves each and every one…without limits…unconditional…fully…completely…sacrificially. Pray for them, one and all…

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Bible, Culture, identity

My Wrinkles In Time

Life is such a great teacher. Just this morning, during a simple conversation through which a few people reveled and celebrated the life of a babe who broke into this world under duress, one of those life lessons occurred to me.
 
The little one will enjoy her first birthday soon. We’ve watched slack-jawed as she and the Lord chip away at markers everyone feared might lie beyond reach. In a text, one person then said, “Is she already a year old…goodness where does the time go?” What a great question.
 
In a flash, I knew my answer…
 
I see the passage of time in my wrinkles. I peer intently into the mirror…
 
“Yup, that one and that one, uh-huh, those are year three. “
 
“Whew, that one, good night Irene, when did that show up? Oh right, that was year sixteen…please, Lord, don’t remind me about that one.”
 
“And that little one right next to the big one between my eyes? Yeah, I remember…I smiled so long the night she said yes to my proposal, it just decided to hang around forever.”
 
“And that one…and that one…and that one…and “Criminently, Trigger” that little batch next to my eyes, oh please…”
 
“And, hey wait a minute, that one’s new. Oh right, it popped up last week. I think I’ll call it my virus wrinkle.”
 
The time flows ever forward. It comes. It goes. And the lessons are wrinkles sketched in time. Warnings. Celebrations. Hopes. Dreams. Prayers. Relationships. The time wrinkles of life…for better or worse, in sickness or health…reminders of this: have we redeemed the time, have we made the most of every opportunity, have we seized each day, have we given life, or…well, I’ll leave the contrast up to you.
 
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16
 
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

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Bible, Culture

Standing

4/12/2020

The question isn’t should I hold a church service in the parking lot. The question is, “Can I preach the gospel?” Presently, I still can. Going forward, I ever shall…regardless of consequences.

While I lean in the direction of Ron Paul’s perspective on what’s presently going on in my country and around the world, the truth is I cannot be certain.* Why? Simply this: the left and right in both DC and state governments, along with academia and think-tanks, have stripped the public’s ability to distinguish between fiction and truth, propaganda and news, duplicity and honesty, dishonor and honor. Our world is flooded with words and images gushing from institutions once considered trustworthy. Who can really know with certainty whether or not their vomit is true when flip-flopping, social agenda relativism is practiced on both sides? Read some C.S. Lewis, or even George Orwell for that matter, (no, not their stories, their essays) and you will see that the hideous strength of propaganda is the art of making lies seem like truth and truth seem like lies. Does that remind you of someone? It should if you believe in evil.

So, what can we do? We can look to that which has been confirmed before the word-mongers seized the airwaves and popular press. We sang about it in Sunday School, we can still sing about it in our comings and goings…”I stand alone on the word of God, the B I B L E.” Right now, you may not be trusting it, but you should. Both its reliability and veracity are chart toppers of the highest order.

My decisions today and tomorrow cannot be small. They cannot be held captive to the “tyranny of the urgent.” They must be faithful to the “truth of the important.” Jesus said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” When he went to the cross, he was a man of his words. His disciples, when in the face of extreme danger and when commanded not to preach in his name, were also men of his word when they said, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Today, across the globe, folks will celebrate this Jesus and memorialize his resurrection. They will do so under many diverse conditions. Some freely. Some through bondage. Some in a new kind of DMZ…standing while culture around them sways back and forth betwixt freedom and bondage. If you and I stand with eyes fixed beyond earthly things to things eternal, then, like Paul the Apostle, we can say, “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (1 Corinthians 16-19).

So stand…because “God so loved the world he gave his one and only Son that whoever would believe in him will not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

*Ron Paul. End the Shutdown: It’s Time for Resurrection! https://bit.ly/2UZUL7h

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