Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

Here's a policy for responding to ideological terrorists who make war.

"You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival." Winston Churchill, 1940

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A reunion

The newly reunited couple stood in the small clearing among the trees chatting with a group of men and women their same age. A small stream ran through the clearing, and if you stood by the water and looked up stream you could see in the distance a much larger tree which spanned both sides of the river that fed this brook.

The couple was still lost in the excitement of being together again, and did not immediately notice the young man who emerged from the trees and came in their direction. When they saw him they stifled the impulse to bow down. However, they remembered their instructions and simply stood and waited expectantly as he approached

"I know I welcomed you individually when you came," he said, "but I've been saving something to say to you together when you had both arrived. When I found you together."

"Thank you. What's that elder brother?" the man replied.

"Let me repeat what your brother Paul already said to you. He was quite right, but I want to say it myself."

"Please." the couple responded.

"You have fought the good fight... you have finished the race... you have kept the faith.
You will receive the crown of glory I promised," the young man declared in a loud voice that brought cheers and applause from those standing by.

He extended a scarred right hand. "Enter into the joy of your Master! Also, remember this: there is more and better coming."

The couple thanked him with tears of joy, and as he walked away they returned to the embraces of their excited brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Prayer for persecutors - Spurgeon

What a wonder of grace it is when fierce persecutors are converted, for then the wolf dwells with the lamb, and men of cruel ungovernable dispositions become gentle and teachable. O Lord, convert many such: for such we will pray to-night.  Morning and Evening, Charles Spurgeon, September 10

Sunday, September 7, 2014

This is a test ...

Jesus told His disciples,

"I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you ..."
 Matthew chapter 5, verse 44

I have come to a testing: Do I, can I, love and pray for the zealots who are oppressing, killing, and enslaving people, Christian and non-Christian, worldwide?

The kind of love and prayer that Jesus commands would be for me an act of will and a choice made purely in obedience to Him, because every fiber of my being cries instead: "God, send these oppressors and killers straight to hell!" To a fate infinitely worse than the horrors they are inflicting.

Yet I can imagine why Jesus in His compassion would have me pray for these oppressors. He knows what hell is. I don't. Jesus asks all to repent and turn to Him and avoid it. He cried out on the cross, "Father forgive them for they don't know what they are doing!" Can I do less?

So I have prayed this: "Father, please turn these oppressors from evil, to You. Also, please destroy those of them who refuse to turn. May we who are blessed with freedom do our best to protect and defend their intended victims and provide them safe haven."

God may give me a better prayer, but this is the best I have right now.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A prayer for The Lord to crush the oppressers of His people ...

2 Kings 19:14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD.
15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: "O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.
16 Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God.
17 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands
18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed.
19 So now, O LORD our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O LORD, are God alone."

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Good government by the angry

Today's angry stewards of American government - especially those in Washington - seem willing to break our country apart, or to let it come apart by neglect, if they cannot get their own way. For many politicians, expressing blame and anger seems as far as they will go toward fixing things. 

Moving forward in small steps by compromise seems out of the question. A winning party takes everything it can grasp and will not collaborate with the others.

Or, a party will not try to conquer a hill if they cannot be assured of immediate victory in the whole political war. So events take a twisted course.

Whether the issues are war and peace, or immigration, or even government budgets, the national government offers American voters high-handed decrees, partisan battling, and half measures in place of real constitutional government. The smell of anger is everywhere.

Angry partisans should answer two questions before acting on that anger in an issue of government: "Do we have good reason to be angry over this issue?" And, "Are we dealing with our anger in a way that is likely to produce concrete benefits for the country?" 

If our elected representatives and leaders are not willing to be guided by honest answers to these questions, we must replace them at the next election - and at every election.

Let's move our gaze beyond our personal interests and onto the well being of our country!

o The Lord said, “Do you have good reason to be angry?” Jonah 4:4

o Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger ... Ephesians 4:26

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Are we really salt?

Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." Matthew 5:13, ESV

Most people of Jesus' time probably thought of salt in terms of its preservative characteristic. As people have studied salt over the years we have learned it is both a preservative and much more.

Royal Society of Chemistry, London, says:

"Why do we need salt? It is the sodium (ions) present in salt that the body requires in order to perform a variety of essential functions. Salt helps maintain the fluid in our blood cells and is used to transmit information in our nerves and muscles. It is also used in the uptake of certain nutrients from our small intestines. The body cannot make salt and so we are reliant on food to ensure that we get the required intake." http://www.rsc.org/get-involved/hot-topics/Salt/do-we-need-salt.asp

If the the world needs feeding with spiritual salt the same way that the human body needs physical salt, what answer comes back when we Christians ask ourselves:

"How does my life, how does the church's life measure up to the Lord's description of us as salt?"

Friday, May 30, 2014

Christ will bury wickedness

He hated wickedness, so much that He bled to wound it to the heart; He died that it might die; He was buried that He might bury it in His tomb; and He rose that He might for ever trample it beneath His feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape.
(Psalm 45:7, Thou hatest wickedness., Spurgeon's Morning & Evening, Morning, May 29)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How should the world behave?

 A thought struck me while reading my morning devotion. As we Christians see the world depart swiftly from what the Bible teaches to be good, are we more concerned that the world is not as nice as we would have it, or that the world seldom glorifies God?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

That Sabbath Morning

It was Sabbath morning. The young man woke up and rolled over to look at his older brother who was sitting up, already awake. I feel bad, said the young man, I feel bad about what we did yesterday.

What do you mean? said the brother.

I mean following that crowd and shouting crucify him at that man. I was mad when he claimed to be Messiah and wasnt. I wanted to show how I felt. But the Roman soldiers beat him bloody and then made him carry that cross. He was a stumbling mess! Today I'm not angry anymore; I feel like I did something very wrong. The man probably was just crazy, and I should not have shouted for the Romans to kill him.

Well, said the older  brother with a laugh, he said he would rise again in three days. If he does that, you can go ask him to forgive you.

If he does what he said, I will, replied the young man. I surely will ask him to forgive me.