Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“Letting God Be God…”

I love Dr Dennis Kinlaw’s devotional, This Day With the Master. I frequently put some quotes from it up on Face Book. He has a way of saying things that strike a note in my heart, and I trust in yours also. This blog is mostly from the last few days of reading from his book. I trust you will enjoy!

The Ten Commandments…if you give them some thoughts, they are all encompassing. Take the FIRST…” Thou shalt have no other gods before me” literally means to let God be God! He is telling us nothing else really matters, just Him and our relationship to/with Him. The others all seem to have a sort of commentary on the first. If any of us would honestly contemplate what God has done for us and continues to do on a day to day basis, allowing Him to be our all is not too much for Him to ask or expect. However, how many people do you know that think and act, “God first and foremost?” I dare say not many since when you do, people tend to think you strange and keep their distance. They really think you go overboard, but would never tell you that. I read on another page, “I live and breathe God.” same idea…the SECOND is very similar, “thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,” and is talking about our relationship to anything that is NOT God. So, the first concerns our relationship to Him, the second our relationship to    everything/everyone else. The THIRD has to do with language…how is yours? Do you exhibit Christ when you speak? The FOURTH has to do with time…do you use yours wisely or do you fritter it away? The thing closest to us, our speech, and the thing farthest away, our time, both come under God’s law. The FIFTH, SIXTH AND SEVENTH are connected, sanctity of the home, life and sex, since we all come from a home, have life and a gender, God wants to ensure that all of us order our lives correctly so as to be a blessing and not a curse. The last THREE also tell us God wants to ensure that we measure all of our lives to be a blessing and to bless him…possessions, truth and desires are all compelling character traits and need to be under His control. So how do you sum up? Are you compliant to the will and Word of God? Or…are you more about yourself? Remember, He ALWAYS knows and does what is best for us, whether we acknowledge it or not.

Monday, September 26, 2011



Last weekend my grandson was married in a beautiful ceremony, family and friends in attendance to wish the couple God’s blessing. The bride was absolutely stunning and of course, my grandson the groom was dashing and handsome. The reception was fun and a good time was had by all.

So…….what is my problem? Let me first say my thots and concerns are not necessarily directed at the newly-weds, but some thots can apply, which one’s I won’t tell, lol. Naturally we begin with qualifications according to the Word. God’s expressed instruction is both must be His, Amos 3:3 says,”can two walk together unless they be   agreed?” 2 Cor 6:14 is equally good, “be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” It seems to me that the only true requirement is that both be true believers, primarily because if God is in the union, He can work with them in their difficulties…if they will let them.

The Jews have a few traditions that go back centuries and I think are good ones. The Rapture is a picture of the completion of preparation for the marriage…the marriage of Christ and His church, all the elements are there. Let me explain. In tradition, the parents made the “match” based on compatibility of individuals and families. Usually they knew each other well, lived close to each other so a marriage was “arranged” called a betrothal. This most times was when the couple was very young. Then each party went home to prepare for the marriage. The boy and his dad and brothers built a home on the back part of dad’s land. The girl and her mom and sisters began making the trousseau, the clothing the bride would need plus all the household items she would use to make a home. When the parents thot the time right, the boy and his dad and brothers came to collect the bride and invite her family to come and witness the wedding. After the ceremony, the newlyweds went to their own home, he was instructed to stay at home for one year, he did not work the fields, go to war, he stayed with his bride “to comfort her…? why? Because she was no longer as closely connected to her mother and sisters and maybe girlfriends. They were both to stay in their home, learn about each other…the “leave and cleave” aspect. And, a good one at that! ` They were to learn how to depend on each other and not other family members because they were now their own family unit. This ‘learning” process was to happen before a baby came. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Today we see none of this, our culture is such that each one does what seems right to them…there is no getting to know each other, no learning to compromise and no “setting up’ of the male to become the head of the household. And that is God’s intent from Eden! And I believe our divorce rate proves once again, God knows best.

For 30 years I have taught and counseled prisoners for the Chaplains office. My main class is always a well attended one because the men learn from each other that if they attend and take part, they will learn a lot about themselves, life and marriage. We have gotten into many good discussions over the years, mainly because most of them have no idea what God intended for a couple. All they knew was, if you saw someone you liked, you hopped in the sack with her asap, and if it went anywhere, so be it. Most had multiple children by multiple women, no sense of family, no idea how to be  husband or dad…they knew how to “father” but being a dad…that’s another story!I never met one that knew the significance of the father of the bride, putting the hand of his daughter, his little girl that he probably loved more than anything in life, into the hand of this “boy” and saying to the question, “who gives this woman to be married to this man,” I do…not realizing that dad was transferring his care and protection of his daughter to this “boy.” Many dad’s don’t realize the significance either, and that’s a pity because it is important and significant. God gave headship/authority to Adam/men. He had his reasons…the woman was led astray by the evil one, the man sinned with open eyes. God wanted the woman protected. He made the man more logical and less emotional than the woman. He had a purpose for that, she would be the nurturer and comforter, and He made her that way on purpose, Each had a role to play to create a harmonious home for the children to grow up in…look at what we have done to it. Girls who convince their intended husband to stay close to her family are walking a very dangerous path. Number one they are out of God’s order…both of them, since he should know better and stand his ground. But many are afraid of looking the one they love, so they compromise. Number two, she will NOT leave and cleave, she will turn to her mother and sisters whenever she has a disagreement with her new partner. Bad deal…a barrier will arise that MAY cause him to engage in thot and activity he should not even think about because he feels betrayed and rejected. You can use your imagination as to what sort of things I am referring to.

You may believe I am being alittle overboard here…but let me say again, I have heard this exact scenario time and time again. It causes years of pain and suffering, the children suffer as well…because you cannot break God’s order of things and expect them to go well. Yes, He will be there to help you but you have greatly handicapped Him by poor choices. Please, if you are thinking of marriage, pray on these things and do as God says, you will never be sorry you obeyed Him!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thinking of THAT day, 9/11/01

On Monday, I had an invasive breast biopsy and wasn’t feeling particularly good on Tuesday. I got a call from my pastor asking if he could come by for a visit, bring coffee and donuts from Dunkin. I said sure. We were sitting in my living room with the TV on, tuned to Fox when they announced and then showed the first tower being hit. Pastor John and I looked at each other incredulous…what in the world was going on???? Pastor came for a short visit, stayed most of the day, glued to what was going on. It was almost too much to grasp. How could anyone plan and carry out such a terrible plan? How can anyone contemplate the murder of thousands of people? How can anyone hate that much?

Pastor and I both knew the Scripture, all the areas that speak to the conflict between the Arabs and the Jews, where and when it began. They started talking on the TV about Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and who else may be behind it. They certainly seemed the most likely candidates.

As you think about the horror of the incidents and the days that followed, do you like me TRY to grasp the depth of hatred and rage it takes to commit a deed like that, especially in “God’s” name??? I really cannot, but it tells me in the Scripture that it’s so and that they, would always be at odds with their brothers. Now, the question becomes, who are they and who are their brothers. For lots of background and details as well as Scripture verses to back these statements up in previous blogs. If you scroll up you can read the details in the blogs about Israel.

The story goes like this: God wanted a people of His own, to love, care for and fellowship with. He called Abram out of Ur of the Chaldea's, took him to another place to settle, Canaan. There was a famine and Abram took his family to Egypt for food. When they returned to Canaan they brought with them a maid for Sarai, Abram’s wife. Her name was Hagar. God promised Abram a land, and a posterity but he and Sarai were childless and getting quite old. So they decided to “help God out.” Culturally, it was ok if a servant had a child by the master, it was considered his and his wife’s. Hagar conceived, bore a son, named him Ishmael. Later, Sarai, now renamed Sara, conceived at the age of 90 and Abram, now renamed Abraham was 100. She bore a son, the son of promise and gift of God, and named him Isaac. Years later as conflict between the women and the boys grew, Abraham had to send Hagar and Ishmael  away, back toward Egypt, Hagar’s place of birth. Genesis tells us that God told Hagar that He would bless Ishmael because he was Abraham’s son, make 12 tribes from him and bless him. But…he would always be at odds with his brethren, the descendants of Isaac. He would be a wild man, live in tents. Ishmael lived this out along with Esau who was born later but also was not inclined toward Abraham’s God. Basically, if you read carefully through the Old Testament, you find they always worshipped pagan gods, always. This goes on even today, almost all Arabs and Muslim’s worship Allah, who is not the same god as Jehovah God. So you can see, over the years, the hatred grew and grew and today, the world is calling the Israeli’s  “occupier’s”. Not so, not only does the Bible give the area outline of what God gave the Jews, but history records the declarations of legal ownership granted Israel by the League of Nations and later the United Nations in 1948. Incidentally, the “Palestinians were offered equal territory in ‘48 but refused it. This is what we have today, in 2011, but it will soon end, God’s way.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

ISRAEL, con’t part six

You may wonder why I am so intent on writing about Israel…mainly because God loves them and tells us to, then because since 1948 they have been in the right about their land. Yes, God gave it to them, it’s boundaries are laid out in many places in the Scripture, also Jews have lived in that area for 6,000 years along with Arabs. Their main dispersal was in 70 AD, but remnants have always been there. In 1948 the newly formed UN (previously was called the League of Nations) “partitioned” the land and offered the Arabs a section as well as the Jews. The Jews accepted, the Arabs said no! Now you tell me who are the “occupiers?” All of this recent history has gotten lost someplace…NO ONE in the general public seems to know the true story. God will not hold those guiltless who believe the lie!

Today I would like to talk about what is written in Ezekiel 37-39. God tells the prophet to write about Gog and Magog. He starts off with an oratory on bones…He asks the prophet is these dry bones can live? As Ezekiel watched the bones began to come together. God told the prophet He would put meat on their dry bones, cause them to stand up, a mighty army, and breathe life into them again. They stood up but were disheartened, hopeless. His answer is wonderful…” I will dig up your graves and bring you out alive O My people. Then I’ll take you straight to the land of Israel, and you will come to realize I am your God. I have said it, and I’ll do it!” ™

He told Ezekiel to cut two sticks and write on them, one for Joseph’s people and one for Judah’s. Then tie them together and make one stick. Tell the people I am making them one people and am calling them out of the nations to which I have exiled them.They shall be one people living in the land of Israel, their home, and they will live and thrive in the land and mountains of Israel and all the world will know that they are mine. Their land will bloom and be prosperous, and they will be free and they will be Mine!

Then God told Ezekiel to prophecy a time when a country from the far north will desire what they have and will invade them…the land of Gog and Magog…present day Russia. Joining with her will be Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Syria. But…God will deal with them Himself and they will be defeated in the mountains of Israel. He will send an earthquake that will split the area, torrential rains, hail, lava flowing from the eruptions,..” I God will call for all out war against you O Gog, and you will know how great and holy I am …I will make myself known all over the world and never again will I let my  holy name be dragged in the mud!”

More next time…

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Israel, con’t part five…reading Revelation

I don’t wish to comment on the early chapters of Revelation dealing with John’s letters to the various churches, at least not a this time. But I have been intrigued this time reading through, about the things God will bring about during the Tribulation. It’s only been a year since I read the entire book through but my goodness, how things have changed in a year and the happenings of the rest of the book are that much more probable. so here goes…

Chapter Five  gives us a beautiful picture of the Throne Room of God, we can only imagine! One is seated on the Throne and holding a scroll, thought to be the title deed to the earth. All around are Angels, various and unusual animals, 24 thrones circling the main Throne, with 24 white-robed Elders wearing golden crowns. There were thunders and lightening's, all sorts of gorgeous colors, the colors of precious jewels. The angels were of many differing sorts and would cry out,”Glory, Glory, Glory” and “Holy. Holy, Holy.” The Elders would respond by throwing their crowns before the Throne crying, “Worthy, Worthy, Worthy…”  The scroll in the hand of the One on the Throne was written on both sides and sealed with seven seals. But no one was present,worthy  to open the scroll, and John wept. Suddenly there appeared a Lamb, slaughtered but standing tall. The Lamb took the scroll from the One on the Throne and all those in the throne room fell down and worshipped and sang a new song to the Lamb and the One on the Throne. There were thousands times ten thousands all praising and glorifying the Lamb and the One. Then John says, “everyone” in Heaven, on Earth, in the Sea and under the Sea sang, “Worthy, Worthy, Worthy.” We can only imagine!!!!!

The Lamb took the scroll and tore open the first seal. One of the animals called out, “come out…” and out came a rider on a white horse carrying a bow, (no arrows) was given a victory garland and rode off conquering! A second animal cried, “come out…” out came a red horse to make war with the people of the earth, taking peace, and he was given a huge sword. A third animal cried, “come out…” out came a black horse carrying scales, to weigh the food, little for the poor and more than enough for the rich. A fourth animal cried, “come out…” and a colorless, sickly, pale horse came out, it’s rider was Death and Hades close behind. They were given the power to take 1/4th of the population by war, famine, and disease. A fifth animal cried, “come out…” I saw the souls of those killed for holding fast to their witness to the Word of God. They were under the altar and cried out to God, “How long O Lord until we are avenged???” They were each given a white robe and asked to be patient until their number was complete. The sixth seal brought forth a terrible earthquake, sun turning black as ink, moon all bloody, stars falling out of the sky, everyone running for cover, EVERYONE! All sought cover crying, “save us from the One who sits on the Throne and the Lamb for the day of their wrath has come!

What does all this mean???? It means all is in readiness for the playing out of this scenario. Think about the individual seals…peace…a treaty between Israel and the Palestinians would create a sense of peace would it not? But it wouldn’t last and there would be war, thus the red horse. The famine is here already, but it would get worse if there was a widespread war. Enough of a famine and deaths could reach extremely high levels.  In present third world countries there are people dying all the time, these tragedies would exaserbate the situation. More next time…