Category Archives: Commentary

Christian Bullies

Attending a large church several years ago I witnessed a sad event involving a badly disabled young man and a group of young prayer people. I was sitting on the front row between two services as people filed in to hear a special speaker. Several young ministers or possibly friends were praying for this man’s healing. It did not appear that he had actually asked for prayer. Unfortunately they forced him to walk up to the altar and back over a period of about 10 minutes. He was exhausted and crying.

Bullies want their own way

They then showed him scriptures, and as he was crying I could see grief over his lack of faith, his frustration, his agonized desire to please his friends and to be healed, and disappointment in God. It was all over his face. But most worrisome is these young ministers apparently did not know the Biblical pattern of the healed man taking his own steps after the word of God has healed him.

Not for one moment do I think these young men meant anything malicious in their actions. We were all young once in the ways of God.

But I reacted and whispered, “Oh no he won’t be healed.” A young woman standing next to me was clearly horrified and started praying against my prayers as though it was my negative confession that prevented him from getting his healing.

Assumptions keep us from truth

This woman assumed my comment prevented the healing, not realizing that faith is the substance of what is hoped for, not my observation that this man was being bullied into being healed. That won’t happen. God does not honor that kind of behavior.

It;s “Christian bullying.” The more they pressured this fellow and the more they forced him to walk on bent stumps of legs the more agonized his face. Everyone here was well meaning – so what went wrong?

God has the way his Kingdom is to be run

God insists that His work be done His way. This is the main flaw in churchianity today. The person who is to be healed is the one whose faith must be activated; the young men probably felt their faith was up to the task of healing the cripple. But that is not faith – it is presumption.

Presumption is not pryer

When I pray for someone to be healed I am fully aware that I have not one medical skill to offer. The only person who does any healing is Jesus. The only person who can receive it is the one for whom you pray, and that person cannot be forced into it any more than Jesus can be forced to answer a prayer the way you want.

Faith gets things done – but it may not be your faith

People often refuse to pray for another person’s healing saying, “But I don’t have enough faith.” True, you don’t, and that is quite right. You don’t have the faith to heal; you can’t in yourself heal anyone. I cannot fail when I pray for you to be healed because I know only Jesus does it. It is not on my back. But neither does 15 minutes of loud scripture reading and vocal pressure do anything either.

We are to use wisdom in praying for all men. Whatever else, this was not the right time, and browbeating this fellow not only did not get him healed, it increased his desperation.

Wisdom, and caution, must precede ministry every time. Ministers need to teach this lesson to their lieutenants because when they wrongly minister they bring grief to the Holy Spirit.

God and Politicians

God doesn’t care whether Obama is a citizen or not – he loves him as he does all his creation. He doesn’t care if Trump blusters and carps.

But the Presidency itself is a totally other matter. We pray on two different levels – 1- for the rectitude of the government which may require the fall of a faux-president and his cronies and 2 – for the fallen man involved in the fraud. We cannot mix the two. God will not destroy Obama because he is a phony, but he certainly will save him if He can as a human. I have less hope for the “wicked” counselors at his side many of whom are being exposed as we speak, and many will face jail time.

The work is done – in other words we have, as a nation, prayed for a major drastic change and we ware getting it at dozens of levels. The church has done its work – now it is time for God to come thru. We can sit in the stands as it were and watch the game continue. We know, of course, in the end our team wins!

We have prayed for decades about the disintegration of our nation and in spite of what appears to be the victory of evil people. But the end is not yet.

In the NT Paul says we are “more than conquerors” –

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

Conquerors march in a parade with their prey and trophies in chains behind them. God sits in the reviewing stand. As “more than conquerors” we are now sitting in the stands, comfortable. The Conquerors are in the parade. I like the picture. I am sitting back and relaxing but I continue to work for the spiritual reformation of my nation knowing that when America is moral and strong the world will have a mentor to follow.

How to Get to the Truth

Within just the past few weeks the Presidential election of 2012 in the USA became international – or at least exposed as international. Like cynical Pontius Pilate we may ask, “What is truth?” and to explain the mass of verbiage let’s go to John 4.

Jesus has deliberately walked many miles out of his way to Samaria and he begins a conversation with a Samaritan woman. It reeks of political campaign language. John 4 follows an incident where the Pharisees have lied, knowingly or not we can’t be sure, about Jesus’ behavior. And that is what political campaigns have increasingly become, lying contests, denial contests, or change-the-subject contests.

I don’t expect anyone to accept God’s invitation because of this protracted political campaign but I do want voters to recognize when they are manipulated by pols, polls, and diversionary tactics. God expects more from a free people than that. As voters we must learn how to extract the truth.

I’m quoting the Phillips version because he doesn’t mince words. And the conflict of good vs. evil, truth vs. fiction and carnal vs. spiritual is all contained in this seemingly innocuous passage.

John 4:7 a Samaritan woman arrived to draw some water. 8-9 “Please give me a drink,” Jesus said to her, for his disciples had gone away to the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

Argument number 1: Justification by hate.

If anything defines the 2012 campaign it is hate. The pundits believe and promote, “If you disagree with me that is hate speech.” Check the newspaper – and you will see increasing hatred everywhere, such as letters to the editor. To-be-pitied Sarah Palin, not even a candidate, is condemned because she affirms some Bible principles and it is called hate speech. The word used was “vitriol.” Really? Is God’s word vitriol?

All men resist change

The woman at the well does not realize this but she is resisting change by affirming a generations–long animosity between Samaritans and Jews. Without common ground, she also is saying, in effect, you cannot speak to me, because of your attitude. At the foundation of any discussion, and especially possibly about God, is the assumption that the sinner does not want any sin exposed.

Presumably if we can get Jesus talking about differences between old enemies or even taking some blame himself we can then take sides with the people we hate less. If we can divert the argument to someone else’s sins, esp. those from history, we will not be talking about the woman’s sin (which will come up soon enough.) If I hear one more time about how I am not accountable because of George Bush’s I will (you fill in the blank,) And maybe too, God is at fault for allowing George Bush to become President. You can see where this is going.

The hate movement of 2012 is now world-wide, the burning of American flags all over the Muslim globe and not condemned elsewhere, the hatred in Sudan, the blossoming Antisemitism in Germany (we thought this was dead, right?) the hatred between China and Japan which has deep roots, and is, like the woman, a subtle attempt for the leaders in Beijing to get Chinese attention to an old enemy and off the increasing protests of the common man against a fat-cat government.

China’s public image of “celestial harmony” is in reality a cacophony of off-key voices – the coolie who is supposed to man-up and obey every whim of a morally-challenged bureaucracy. The root of bitterness is always available to the alert and frequently opportunistic Statist appealing to the baser emotions of fear, envy, bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness and greed.

Even the Amish, whose 1st principle is to keep oneself untainted by the world, {Romans 12:2} went to court over hate speech, i.e. cutting beards. When the Amish fall from grace, we should pay attention.

Jesus refuses to answer on the level of emotion. An emotion-based campaign is bound for failure as the issues before the voters are based not on feelings but on the reality of governance. An ever-alert media certainly does not want anyone looking at issues since their lazy reporting standards are part of the problem. But I digress. Under conviction of sin…

Argument 1: people will change the subject

Jesus does not allow her to change the subject. His point is not what culture says, but what God says. He is asking individuals to make a stand.

10 “If you knew what God can give,” Jesus replied, “and if you knew who it is that said to you, ‘Give me a drink’, I think you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water!”

Jesus shifts the focus. “Living water” is a free-flowing stream. Well-water is not necessarily contaminated but it is not flowing. He is saying, I am not going to talk politics, history, or emotion but about the position and accountability of God.

Argument 2: Process

11-12 “Sir,” said the woman, “you have nothing to draw water with and this well is deep—where can you get your living water? Are you a greater man than our ancestor, Jacob, who gave us this well, and drank here himself with his family, and his cattle?”

Who owns the well is immaterial. It is the water you drink not the plat plan.

As you might suspect, she reverts to type – let’s talk about process, about how you are going to get living water from a well. For a month newsmen want Mitt Romney to talk about specifics. He doesn’t; he sticks to principles. There is something here more important than policy. Jesus is challenging her to increase her information and understanding. In today’s lazy politics, thinking is exhausting. And she throws in culture too.

Argument 3: Culture

Besides, the woman continues; her well is superior because of her ancestor. Like the campaign of 2012 this should not be about genealogy. Black, Hispanic, white, Indian, straight or gay, this is not about one’s superior genes, or the entitlements you anticipate from that connection. The incessant dividing people into groups, positions, ethnics, and labels has been a problem in American politics for generations. But it does not affect the quality of the water in the well, or in fact, its relevance to the issues.

Argument 4: Religion

Jesus won’t let her avoid the issues.

13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring in the man himself, welling up into eternal life.”

Truth is a person and His words

Jesus now makes claim for Himself. We are no longer talking politics or religion.

15 The woman said, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may stop being thirsty—and not have to come here to draw water any more!”

Jesus has from her a plea, an un-met need, something He requires from man.

Zechariah 4:10 the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth

Seeking someone wanting God.

16 “Go and call your husband and then come back here,” said Jesus to her.

Now, exposed sin

Oh Oh, we hit pay dirt. The bottom line for Jesus is always sin, not the government, not the parties, not the issues, but sin. All the pre-talk has been about skirting the facts. Jesus knew all along, but let her talk.

17-18 “I haven’t got a husband!” the woman answered. “You are quite right in saying, ‘I haven’t got a husband’,” replied Jesus, “for you have had five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband at all. Yes, you spoke the simple truth when you said that.”

We thought this would nail the deal. But no –she calls him a prophet. Yes, she is saying, He has superior information but no, my religion is about something else.

Isn’t it interesting how when we start talking about sin, someone changes the subject and lights into religion. Religion, as defined by the Bible, is mercies to widows and orphans and staying pure. No church, synagogue or mosque is involved.

Being threatened, someone will compliment

19-20 “Sir,” said the woman again, “I can see that you are a prophet! Now our ancestors worshiped on this hill-side, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship—”

This is classic avoidance. It reminds me of the fellow who called Jesus good, thinking perhaps he was getting in His best graces, and then being rebuked for it. Jesus always went right to the heart.

Have you noticed how politicians can change the subject at will, or worse yet, spend five minutes talking about something else and then saying, “What is your next question?” Do they need to be trained in this? Of course not. It is natural for sinful man to change the subject when uncomfortable truth is called for. Perhaps a compliment will keep this person from stinging you again.

21-24 “Believe me,” returned Jesus, “the time is coming when worshiping the Father will not be a matter of ‘on this hill-side’ or ‘in Jerusalem’. Nowadays you are worshiping with your eyes shut. We Jews are worshiping with our eyes open, for the salvation of mankind is to come from our race. Yet the time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshipers will worship in spirit and in reality. Indeed, the Father looks for men who will worship him like that. God is spirit, and those who worship him can only worship in spirit and in reality.”

Jesus did not fall into the politically correct trap of saying every religion eventually leads to God. It doesn’t. He does not endorse a religion as being essentially ”peaceful” or true. Jews do know more, He claims, but they don’t know everything because I am the Messiah and the Messiah himself is truth.

25 “Of course I know that Messiah is coming,” returned the woman, “you know, the one who is called Christ. When he comes he will make everything plain to us.”

When someone is backed into a wall, they agree, but she is saying to Him, I like what you are saying but I am looking elsewhere. This is good theology.

Agree with your adversary when you are in the way with him. {Matthew 5:25}

But her hopes that this will put him off fail.

26 “I am Christ speaking to you now,” said Jesus.

Finally, confrontation.

The woman may not be all that taught about who the Messiah is; after all she has been isolated from teaching for possibly a long while, and certainly her morally-flawed lifestyle has not been addressed by any group, just the shunning of her peers. But she sees the potential in this man. That is where we are, or so many of us were – not knowing everything but at least seeing a glimmer of truth.

The disciples return and fall back into old patterns. (It’s a good thing they weren’t there to hear this exchange. I can visualize them piping up with something wrong, as they do often enough.)

27-30 At this point his disciples arrived, and were surprised to find him talking to a woman, but none of them asked, “What do you want?” or “What are you talking to her about?”

Why didn’t the disciples question Jesus? They did often enough on other occasions. Possibly, like the woman they were afraid of what they might hear.

The woman returns with the townspeople. Yes, they don’t know much, but they have believed and are now on the path to truth. For those of you who think Islam is hopeless, this is a lesson. The most religiously-demented can be changed, or make a change. Somewhere there is a woman who will say, “This man is the one.” The messenger is the one with the testimony. All else is theory.

31 So the woman left her water-pot behind and went into the town and began to say to the people, “Come out and see the man who told me everything I’ve ever done! Can this be ‘Christ’?” So they left the town and started to come to Jesus.

Jesus has given us a blueprint for reaching people, facing all their arguments and dodges. He is quite skillful, but the word of God says all men are the same. To present the truth this offers us a plan for presenting salvation.

Blood Sacrifice and the Symbolism of the Death of Seal Team 6 (revised)

Dream interpretation, symbolism and visions are all forms of non-verbal communication (as are music and movies) but they contain messages none-the-less. Frequently we ignore them or spend a few minutes being puzzled and then give up. They need to be analyzed, identified and understood.

Certain basic rules apply. You don’t match apples with oranges; for example, a dream about an animal will not refer to a building unless that building’s logo is an animal. (Geico as an example.)

Biblical Symbolism goes back thousands of years

The Judeo-Christian Bible is a good start because it is the oldest book on this topic and because the symbolism has been well tested over the years. A notable example which has modern application is the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham 3,500 years ago. (Genesis 22) It is the portrait of the later sacrifice of Jesus and a warning and example of why we are not to sacrifice our children.

Blood Sacrifice for appeasing an angry God

Blood sacrifice is a long-standing principle in all societies. Let us apply this to a modern situation. Soon after Barak Obama ordered the death of Osama Bin Laden a group of terrorists “sacrificed” members of the Seal Team 6 – the group which carried out the assassination. See Deaths of Seal Team 6 Exposed

This was not merely revenge but that they provided Allah, their god, with a blood sacrifice. But who noticed? As far as I can tell, practically no one. But that is the core of any interpretation – the meaning of events. Islamic fundamentalists see this as a sacrifice to Allah since he is the source and destiny of their political religion. It also occurred on August 6, 2011, a Saturday, the high holy day for the Jews. Even though Seal Team members were probably mostly Christian, Muslims still think of their main enemy as Jews. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/aug/9/kuhner-who-betrayed-navy-seal-team-6/ The Taliban took the credit for the hit.

Abortion also is a blood sacrifice

Blood sacrifice, e.g. abortion, is a continuing factor in modern societies from the 13 million per year in modern China to the 4 million a year in the USA, and is a legal or illegal factor in most other nations. It is a practice going all the way back to the Moabites of the Bible who sacrificed to Moloch, the god of child sacrifice. God’s warning to them was that Israel was to wipe them off the face of the earth. Judging by the statistics above that hasn’t happened yet.

Since the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not accept child sacrifice, someone else does – Satan. The practice obligates us to him. By-the-by, he feels no such obligation to reward us. Our ignorance of these matters is of no concern. Like a small child who accidentally eats a chili pepper, the innocent act in no way affects the painful outcome – a burned mouth.

5 Principles of Islam

Obama’s flag (see Symbolism – What does Obama’s new flag mean?? http://wp.me/p1otAF-8M) contains a reference to the blood sacrifice which is a core belief in Islamic fundamentalism. – the voluntary death of the believer to please Allah and reach heaven with its carnal rewards. The horizontal stripes on his flag represent the 5 principles of Islam all won with the blood of martyrs, or of infidels. Islam believes and practices the theology which requires either the conversion or death of the infidels – that is, anyone who disagrees with them. Their martyrs’ deaths are proof of their sincerity.

The Sacrifice for Sins already paid

Judaism and Christianity unqualifiedly reject this theology believing the blood sacrifice has already been made – for the Jews at their High Holy Days, and the Christians in the sacrifice of Jesus. That puts these two groups at the top of the Islamic hit list. Jesus warns (Luke 21:20) But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near” so keep your eyes on Israel.

If all this seems arcane to you it is not to the middle eastern mind which has dominated this generation. For Muslims the year they were thrown out of Spain (1492) is just as real as yesterday. That was the same time that Christopher Columbus headed to the new World as a Christian missionary, a fact not often recognized. https://www.amazon.com/Light-Glory-1492-1793-Gods-America/dp/0800732715/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+light+and+the+glory+peter+marshall&qid=1561718841&s=books&sr=1-1 

Christopher Columbus was a Christian evangelist

Columbus’ first name means in Greek “Christ bearing” and the explorer received permission to take his crew to the “Indies” for the express purpose of evangelism. The fact that he was replaced by Spanish soldiers who brought with them venereal and European diseases does not negate his own better motives.

Islamists believe that they will rule the whole world so of course they want back into Spain. Their theology trumps every other concern. . The fervor of the military mission is enhanced by their 500 year failure to make any appreciable progress. Other than infiltrating many societies they have not managed to establish Sharia Law in any but those nations already committed to Sharia.

A culture that embraces death cannot breathe life into society.

Germany, England, and France originally welcomed Muslims but have changed their minds, seeing the obdurate refusal to accept any of the principles by which these European societies live. That Muslim nose in the tent was a mistake. And where Muslims have infiltrated they have not improved the society. They remain an isolated group, unwilling to change.

Victor David Hanson of the Hoover Institution (http://victorhanson.com/) has good comments on why this failure has motivated them to fight harder.

President Obama set the tone for a Muslim leader

Back to Mr. Obama. Media people were puzzled that his reaction to the death of the ambassador in Libya was so indifferent. He reacted as though it was none of his concern. And truly it is not if he considers himself “resident” of a state, America, which will be subsumed into the Islamic takeover. He flies another flag. The following picture shows a non-verbal verification of this.

But he does pledge the Russian flag. He and his wife do not put their hands over their heart when watching others say the pledge – they do not pledge. Their hands go over their right lung. They are citizens of another country. This is all non-verbal information, hence symbolism.

The America flag does not appear when Obama is speaking from the Oval Office.

With that in mind the “terrorists” who took down the twin towers on 9/11 are actually just helping to bring about the world government of Islam. The terrorists, who attacked the embassy and burned the flag, were not burning Obama’s flag, so why would he stand by America and its employees? If the Terrorists are bringing in the new world government why would Obama, their new leader, condemn them? They are doing Allah’s will.

Candidate Obama told the Media before he was elected that he wanted a society of government control, redistribution of assets, which means rich people will leave and the remaining citizens left will be poor- equally poor. https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-My-Father-Story-Inheritance/

All of his plans are in his autobiography.  Mr. Obama placed environment above the interests of people, poverty has increased, joblessness has increased, all part of the leveling process integral to Islamic fundamentalism. Like Marxist China, none are rich (except the rulers) and all others are poor – that is the meaning of equality: Equally in want. I worked and lived in China and that is what they have – and they don’t like it.

Click here for commentary regarding President Trump moving the US  Embassy controversy.

Click here for information linking Fascism, Islamism and Anti-semitism.

Link between Democratic Socialism and Antisemitism.

Why Americans Must Support Israel

Boycotting Israel – the Ultimate in Antisemitism

#Islam #ShariaLaw #ChristopherColumbus

Peter and Jesus – a Pattern for Reconciliation

In John 18 Peter denied Jesus three times, as in fact Jesus Himself had predicted. (Matthew 26:34) A cocky, self-assured Peter said he would never do this. Sometimes our confidence gets away with itself.

Public denial has consequences

Peter learned what was in his inner most heart. But this denial had cut him off from Jesus. Public denial is quite serious. In fact, the scripture says that if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father. (Matthew 10:30)

After the death of Jesus and prior to His ascension an angel says to Jesus’ group:

Mark 16:7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

Peter’s denial had removed him from being a “disciple.” So Jesus offers him an opportunity for restoration. Here is the passage. It is important for what it says in the Greek language, something impossible to state in English.

God knows what you have said

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

If we do not know the two Greek words here, we can get caught looking at the sheep and their feeding instead of the real lesson.

Greek words for love have different meanings

Here we have two different words for love in Greek. This language has five words for love; four of them appear in the Greek Bible. Two of them are here. Agape (ah-gah-pay) meaning the pure, selfless love of God and phileo, (phi-lay-oh) the love of one person for another, i.e. brotherly love. Now – the same passage with the Greek words inserted.

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[a] do you love [agape] Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love [agape] Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love [phileo] Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.

Why did Jesus abandon His “agape” term and revert to Peter’s “phileo” verb?

The rules for speech are for Christian workers too

We can answer this several ways. First, Peter and the rest of the disciples/apostles had yet to receive the Holy Spirit in the upper room on Pentecost. Without the infilling of God’s spirit how can we truly know the pure love of God in our lives.

The natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God, neither does he know them, for they are foolishness unto him” 1 Corinthians 2:14

Second, Peter has been chastened, that is a fancy word for discipline. Discipline to be effective and honorable must always seek restoration. Discipline that is simply violent correction or evil doing, and there is plenty of that in this world, is non-redemptive and leads to more evil. Peter has seen his lack; he is embarrassed and he knows that he must grow in the knowledge of God and His love. In this respect we are all ‘Peters.’

God disciplines His people; he judges the lost

Peter list his position as a disciple after he denied Jesus three times on the day of crucifixion.  We know this because Jesus said the following to the women at the tomb:

“But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee.” Mark 16:7.

Jesus offered Peter an opportunity to undo all the denials he had initiated. By using the Greek word for Godly love, the Lord was telling Peter there was something he had yet to learn. Peter’s repeating that he loved Jesus three times restored him to disciple status.

Restortation through your words

Jesus does that for all of us; we are given space to be corrected and to understand ourselves so we can be effective doing our assigned tasks for the promotion of the Kingdom of God.

Open Letter to Baptist Pastors

It was peculiar blessing to have graduated Meredith College many years ago. It was a fluke. I went to the local state university but I was wearing a campaign button. The head of the department said to me, “Don’t expect to come here if that is your political persuasion.”

That tells you the sorry state of public education does it not. So I drove four miles west to Meredith. And it was the best place for me. I didn’t know the gospel and I learned it there.

Today, many decades later, I returned to the mountains to write having spent the intervening years getting my MA in Christian missions, working on a PhD, and serving in the Philippines, China and home missions as well. Then I joined a Baptist church for the first time.

I learned there the sad state of Baptist believers. So many were unhappy, or bored, or stale. I found Baptist friends struggling with sin and unexpected hopelessness, loss of family, divorce, loss of friends, health and employment. In every case I discovered one symptom – they all believed as a Baptist they knew everything they needed to know.

Well, not even Jesus’ disciples had that luxury.

Christians do not know everything

John 16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

Yes, God said His word was perfect; he never said the Bible was the last word. On the contrary He said He would send new information as it was needed. The whole book of Revelation is about just that – the continuing revelation of His will and His words.

He scolded the Jews for not accepting new truth. Jeremiah 25:4And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear.”

He even kept his mouth shut for 400 years so that when he finally spoke again they would listen. They didn’t. The Apostle Paul got so weary with the Jews of his day he said he would go to the gentiles. Jesus originally said he was sent first to the house of Israel. But they didn’t listen.

Why listen if you already know everything

Baptists are not the only people living on assumptions. My good friend Jack is obese. He gets constant comments over his weight. He does not bother to tell them that an operation turned his colon kappyjaw; he is in pain much of the time. I found so many people living in the world of untested, unproven assumptions that I entitled my first book Immaculate Assumptions. And if they are about God that is what makes them immaculate; you can’t touch them.

Assumptions remove our hope

As a counselor for seven years I heard the gamut of assumptons.

  • I assumed my husband would be faithful.
  • I just assumed I would stay married all my life.
  • I assumed that when I voted for him he would do as he said. But he has supported everything I do not believe in.
  • I assumed I’d never have trouble finding a job, but now I am disabled.
  • I assumed my boss was Christian. He said so. But I learn he is into child porn and going to jail and taking my job with him.

There are people whose lives are so shattered they make the opposite kind of assumptions.

  • I assumed I could never get an education because I grew up in the projects.
  • I assumed because I had a drug problem I’d never be free.
  • I assumed that because my dad was in jail I wouldn’t amount to anything. He told me so.

There are so many problems in Baptist teaching I won’t even start. But first to save people from their assumptions we must show them teachableness. They can’t learn if they don’t want to or they fear what will happen to them if they change their mind. The Bible says ‘we have the mind of Christ.’ But have you seen that recently?

He has something new every morning.

If we did have the mind of Christ we wouldn’t be here, now, thinking the same things. God is moving on. The new churches may have some error, but they have something else – worshipers. They know God is open ended. He has some basic teachings…original sin, salvation through the blood, obedience to the Old Testament moral law and continuing education. Discipleship is not the same ‘ole, same ‘ole.

Baptists, and others will find freedom and happiness when they give up the love of the law and start loving their lawyer.

Why China’s Billions Cannot Take Over the World

Communist China fully believes that given its intense work ethic and one and a half billion citizens in addition to dominating the Pacific Rim the Chinese can also take over the economy of the entire world. This is a pipe dream. And millions of Christians love worrying about it as well. The devil always has us panicky about something doesn’t he? God tells us what to pray and when and sometimes why.

Rule by Fear

Let me explain. Communism is a self-defeating system because it is based on the principle of Rule by Fear. The Chinese people have a great deal of freedom in their own homes but beyond that, society is controlled at virtually every level. And fearful people cannot act as they would like.

Most importantly, opinion is monitored, free speech and freedom of movement are highly valued but not available. These are things we Americans hold so dear:

  • the freedom to own guns
  • a secret ballot
  • freedom to move around the country and change jobs
  • the ability to elect people and even more urgently
  • to also un-elect them when needed
  • a free press, and our press is free to lie, which it does a lot
  • freedom to go to church believing no one will enter your worship service to do you harm.

Freedom rules even if there have been limitations on public actions, such as during wartime. This freedom of choice allows individuals to meet economic and personal goals without interruption from the government.

China has none of these basic freedoms.

In contrast China spends a large amount of money watching its citizens and taking quick action to stop anyone who challenges the total authority of the Communist Party, or in anyway criticizes it. https://epochtimes.today/hong-kong-plans-second-mass-protest-against-extradition-amendments/

This is Rule by Fear, but what the outside observer does not realize is that those who rule by fear are themselves also ruled by fear.

Try to imagine that you are sitting at your computer doing your office work and you decide to send an email to a friend suggesting a particular program because it exposes government corruption. Within a short period of time you learn that someone “out there” has read your email and is coming to your office to question your interest in government corruption.

Yes, this might happen in the USA but the censor would not be the government but your boss, who wants to know why you are using company time for personal email, not that corruption is a problem. Your boss may want to watch that program too.

Censorship is everywhere and uses human capital unwisely

The level of censorship shows the rest of the world the level of fear. You do not monitor speech and emails, or the television and press if you are not covering something up. That means you feel guilt.

Recently President Xi of China (pronounced Shee) said he would remain in charge of the nation until he dies. We westerners call this a dictatorship. Someone should tell Mr. Xi that no person in history has been able to be a total ruler, successfully – that all have come to ruin.

https://epochtimes-ny.newsmemory.com/clip_article.php?token=1MTUxtbV39bGs3GTopOenp2ghZTI0srq0tCuoZPRlpukxt3Nysjik6aamnB4kqPDlZ%252FG0sHezp2aqpaYcW%252BUopOSo5iog5U%253D

The Chinese do not really believe the rules apply to them. Natural law, by which the western world has lived for 2+ millennia, says “you reap only what you sow,” that “arrogance leads to ruin.”

The Greeks understood government

The Greeks called this hubris and their plays are profiles of individuals whose heads got too big and their own flaws defeated them. Mao ZeDong, the cruel master who nearly destroyed China during the Cultural Revolution, once said that the God of America did not like the Chinese, that he liked the westerners. Mao spoke of going to heaven where a Chinese God, not The Most High God, would be in charge. Mao’s god was geographical, not universal. So Chinese people believe their nation can live by different rules than the rest of us.

Fear of loss of power, prestige and resources

If you are a ruler whose authority is dictatorial and not the product of a free people, of course you are afraid of losing your position, the power, the money and all the ego perks of ruling a society. Each element of censorship and control demonstrates to the observer that you have multiple fears, not just of fear, but of guilt. No one fears except at the point of guilt. The leadership fears the public simply because it already knows at a deep personal level that it is illegitimate.

Guilt causes additional fear

For your fun and enjoyment here is a list of words that if you put them in your speech or letters, emails, etc. you would find the Mind Control People at your door. No matter that you called your brother a Big Head, here they come!

Chinese people are smart and trained scholars. They show their distaste for communism with these code words:

  • shameless (不要脸)
  • go against the tide (倒行逆施)
  • drive backwards (倒车)
  • I oppose (我反对)
  • long live the emperor (吾皇万岁)
  • throughout the ages (千秋万代)
  • rule the world (一统江湖) — The line “throughout the ages, unify and rule the world” (千秋万代, 一统江湖) appears in Jin Yong’s martial arts novels, notably in “The Smiling, Proud Wanderer” (笑傲江湖), a story that has been widely adapted into television series and films. It is often used in adaptations of Jin’s stories as a slogan chanted by followers to show their loyalty to a cult-like leader.
  • incapable ruler (昏君)
  • ascend the throne (登基)
  • named emperor (称帝)
  • lifelong (终身)
  • reign title (年号)
  • recover one’s authority (复辟)
  • first year of an emperor’s reign (元年)
  • urge a power figure to formally seize the thrown (the writer means throne here) (劝进)
  • fengchan (封禅)  — Ceremony used to ensure dynastic fortune in a new era.
  • Yuan Big Head (袁大头)
  • crooked-neck tree (歪脖子树) — The tree which the Chongzhen Emperor is believed to have hanged himself from.
  • immortality (长生不老)
  • 1984
  • 500 years (五百年
  • great men sent from heaven (天降伟人)
  • slavery (奴隶制)
  • thousands of years (千秋万载)

That list is a small portion of what the Chinese leaders fear as they monitor their own emails and public speech. Leaders are guilty of slavery and their leaders are big heads. 1984 refers to mind control in the novel by that name. They fear being called Emperor because China has suffered under Emperors. And due to the Asian fear of “losing face” they fear being called shameless; they fear the public going against the tide; they fear being called incapable. And that fear filters down throughout the Communist Party to its workers and managers.

Chairman Mao was a generational failure.

Mao’s disastrous policies cost the Chinese people 50 years of progress; they might well be ahead of America today if things had not been so badly mismanaged. Is this what will happen to Emperor Xi?  Will he forget the lessons of history, that absolute power corrupts absolutely? Will he face decades of underlings in the power structure seeking to do him in, jockeying for position when their career ladder is taken away?

Xi and his comrades will spend a great deal of time and money trying to maintain his own personal safety and the swirl of insurrection around him.  Like Caesar, he may be stabbed in the back in public. And the general public will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to avoid the authorities, covering their tracks, watching what they say and do in public and if things get very bad, also in private.  All this energy takes away from the production of goods and service on which a prosperous economic base rests.  There is no peace in China except for small children.

But as the rule book of life says, “Peace. Peace. And there is no peace for the wicked.”

#Quora #Chinesethreat #controlbyfear #losingface

#ImmaculateAssumptions

#WouldYouConsider.net

What about the People who Never Hear about God

What about the People who never hear the Gospel?  That is a common question religious teachers hear. Most of the time I believe we hear the wrong answer.

Different Levels of Faith

God’s playing field is made level by Him asking us to live at the level of faith given to us.  And it is different for everyone.

Romans 12:3 CEV I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you.

Yes, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  That is a given for the sweep of humanity.  But we are not judged on every point – only on those we learn about.  It means that the woman living in a harem somewhere in Egypt, protected and kept from the world and information is a person judged by an entirely different standard than the college student in New York City, or the farm worker in Yemen.

Not everything God ever said applies to you and your life. He made new eyeballs for the blind man, but not for the rich man. He required a statement of faith from the Syrophoenician woman but not from the centurion. Lazarus he raised from the dead, but not the rest of the dead at that time.  Jesus has different strokes for different folks.

Obedience is the Standard

Obedience to the revealed will of God is the standard by which each of us is ultimately judged. How can He do this? God is not unfair. If you have little information and little faith that is what you are expected to utilize in your search for God. To whom more is given, more is expected.

Luke 12:48 TLB “But anyone who is not aware that he is doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.

Some guy on radio said that God does not put people in categories, so I, being challenged, went to the Bible.

God has a large group of categories.
called disciples
chosen friends
faithful servants
little children virgins with oil
fathers virgins without oil
young men bride
wicked born again
willfully ignorant royal priesthood
covenanters chosen generation
cursed men pleasers
beloved crucified with Christ
mother in Israel reconcilers
counselors prophets
overcomers slaves
nursing fathers deluded
poor fools
apostles helpers
evangelists watchmen
teachers lost
masters chosen people
Why do we need to know this?

God has called us to grow.  Paul said we are to move from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) There is no static position for the Christian, or for that matter the non-Christian as well.  Life is a test, and where we go after we die, and how we exist now depends entirely on the progress we make in this life towards understanding ourselves and our relationship to God.

For example, the book of 1st John speaks of little children, young men and fathers.  These are three groups of warriors …  those who have been called to fight the good fight against their own sinful nature and then as missionaries of the Kingdom taking on the devil and ever present evil in the world. It does not necessarily apply to you right now – although that may be your later call.

Christianity is not passive.

Christianity is proactive and risk-taking. There is no prolonged languishing in church to sit, soak and sour while the preacher does all your spiritual work for you.  No wonder ministers break down. 1,500 leave the ministry every week. http://www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics

Good mental health requires you to change as time and circumstance change. The rigid and stubborn die first.

#Christianpsychology #Christiangrowth #Godsays #Life is a test

Read more essays at https://www.WouldYouConsider.net

The Sick One is Lord of the Home

We bemoan divorce statistics which do not appear to improve. But divorce is not the cause but the result of family dysfunction, and  what ruins the home ruins society. The problem always goes back to whoever is ruling the family.  Where one person is sick that person dominates family life.

Who is Lord of the Home

It never starts out that way. Newly-weds are the most positive, hopeful group of all, filled with the best expectations for a happy home, prosperous and stable, even when they themselves are neither.

But then circumstances change. And God does not change circumstances; He changes people who then deal with circumstances.  We may pray for different circumstances- more money, more power, a better location, more education – whatever – but when we are in His will He changes us.

God’s purpose is to bring us individually into conformity to His will and His plans. God is smarter than we are. (You’d be surprised how many do not believe this.)

What is the Will of God

Christian counselors will tell you the most common need people desire is “to know the will of God.” Well – here it is: 1 Thessalonians 4:3  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification… In street language that means “clean up your act.”

Bad attitudes and behavior must go.  This passage mentions specifically fornication, i.e. sex outside of marriage, as being the first step for coming into conformity with God. It is routinely violated these days and the results are everywhere.

But the rest must go too – unforgiveness, selfishness, passive aggressive behavior, and aggressiveness as well, control freakishness, greed, envy, jealousy, self-will and refusal to change. The list is long.

To our newlyweds everything for a while is fine and then – loss of a job, a miscarriage, an accident, a car breaks down, the untimely death of a relative, a house fire. You name it.

This is the fallen world we live in. We do not have Utopia here, nor will we get it. What will we do? How do we react? God wants us to seek Him in this situation.

Reactions to Evil

And here is the awful truth. We become depressed, we blame others … the president, our parents, our teachers, our church. We drink to excess or seek an affair, or change jobs.  Allowed to continue we become the Sick Man of the home and our problem becomes the lifestyle of everyone else. The children stay away or play basketball outdoors til midnight to avoid contact with the sick. Or they lock their bedroom door and play music on headphones or watch TV to block out reality. I know literally a dozen people who married right out of high school to escape the sick home. 100 years ago the Poor Man’s Divorce – just leaving town – was common.  With social security numbers and DNA you can’t do that anymore. Some people leave the country if they can afford it.

Psychologists learned that  family members can become physically ill when the Sick Lord rules – stomach cramps, depression, suicide, asthma, migraines, truancy, drugs.  Children blame themselves for divorce. “If I had been a good child, this would not have happened.”  So the kid pours the booze down the sink. It’s an expensive drain cleaner  – don’t bother. Removing an inanimate object cures nothing.

Frustration, despair ensures and finally separation and divorce. Yes, things are better, the Sick Lord is no longer in charge but new problems develop – mainly financial. And society suffers another small breakdown.

Intervention

What is the answer? A child must inform a trusted adult. Adults can try intervention which is a practical means of going back to the original problem and solving it.  Even if it is years ago we can do that because God is in eternity and time is no problem to Him if the participants are alive.

My friend and her two adult daughters packed daddy’s bag, put it in the trunk and Daddy in the car.  They drove to the airport, handed him a ticket to the Mayo Clinic and said, “Quit alcohol and remain sober or don’t come home.” This kind of intervention takes a group of people, not just one.

It worked. He never again touched alcohol, but his heart was not changed.  His whole body showed the grief he had over giving up his beloved Brandy and he died a few years later. To quit your problem does not necessarily change your heart.  But it is the first step.

God intervened in the life of a teenager whose mother planned to kill her. A neighbor by accident discovered the plot and called authorities. When I say “by accident” I really mean that someone prayed. You can always intervene with prayer – and it is legal and silent.

If someone brandishes a loaded gun at you, call the police. You need a public record of this event.  You do not say, “Oh, he’ll get over it.” Evil allowed to fester eventually takes over and becomes uncontrollable.

Decide to Resist Evil

Every event and change in your life calls for a response or a reaction. God is giving you the option to do it His Way or your way. The answers are all in the book – the Bible.  Churches may or may not help.  They are people driven and people are flawed.

Blessed is He who does God’s will first.

#Godswords #Godsays

When is “The Tribulation”?

If you live in Yemen, Syria, or fire ravaged California, the Tribulation is now. If you are sold into slavery in Libya as a black man, what could be worse. If you are an infant in Indonesia used for sex by an adult male and tossed into a ditch afterwards to die, this is not the promised land. If you live in China and are forced to marry someone you do not care for because children are supposed to obey their parents, you just might be one of the 500,000 rural Chinese women each year who commit suicide by drinking fertilizer.

Perhaps you are a Venezuelan whose Communist nation threw money into a sinkhole and now you are scrounging through the garbage dump for a piece of rotten bread. You might live in Germany and be one of the blue-eyed, blonde white women raped by Muslim immigrants.  Angela Merkel lost her post because of her open door policy, but you are still traumatized, and perhaps pregnant. Or you live in Central America and some guy in the USA gave you money to travel to the US border where he guaranteed you that the Democrats would let you in – but there are armed guards there?  Where will you go?

Maybe you are the unlucky girl friend whose fiance Maniskumar slipped her poison to kill off her unborn child? Maybe he thought the Republicans would not be funding abortions anymore. Maybe he thought the Democrats were too weak in Washington to keep abortion funding in the budget? Maybe if you are pregnant you should think twice about this man you want to marry?  This sounds like tribulation to me.

Perhaps you live on the coast of North Carolina where 8 trillion gallons of water was dumped in one hurricane, ruining the crops, killing the swine and sweet potatoes and making life and a future impossible for decades to come. Or you could live on the street in the Philippines; 1.2 million kids plus mom and dad and 2 or 3 other children. Fortunately it is the tropics so it never gets cold – just wet.

Perhaps you’d prefer Nigeria where one Sunday the Boko Haram may find the Christians in church, lock the doors from the outside and set the church on fire. Eight of the ten largest nations persecute Christians … death, imprisonment, denial of jury trails, or any trial at all, separation from children and economic deprivation. In Michigan as a female you may suffer genital mutilation which can led to life long disease and pain. It’s child abuse of the worst kind, and, as usual, females are the victims.

From my comfy perch in the mountains of North Carolina I can blandly believe that I am living in a sane and protected world.  I am not.  All around me there is tribulation for my peers in the Christians faith. Yes, we are facing the end; it is now, and it is creeping towards us day by day.

#tribulation #tribulations

The Kingdom of Heaven (God) vs. Heaven

Defining Heaven vs. the Kingdom of Heaven or God

The gospels frequently mention both the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God.  Reading the King James Version, one might think these are two separate places, but there is a reason for the difference in language.

Matthew uses the term kingdom of heaven exclusively.  This is to be expected of a Jew who dares not mention the name of God.  Even today you will read statements from Jews who carefully put a hyphen or underline between G and D (G_d or G-d) as to not breathe the name of the Almighty.  On only five occasions in Matthew the Kingdom of God is used. Luke and Mark use the term Kingdom of God exclusively. The book of John uses the Kingdom of God only twice.

Kingdom of Heaven & Kingdom of God the Same

So what is it?  The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God refer to the same place but Heaven is a separate place. In heaven, God is in charge.  Jesus prayed for this version of heaven, that is where God is in charge come to earth so we can enjoy it here and now, not wait until after we die. From the Lord’s prayer:

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. We are to seek it first so we can enjoy it here.

Jesus’ parables about the kingdom emphasized that with the proper attitude you could enjoy the kingdom right now.

Matthew 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

What is The Kingdom

The Kingdom of God is defined in Romans 14:17.  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

No, we do not need to wait until we die to have righteousness, peace and joy or any part thereof.

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

The Kingdom is Won by Our Spiritual Warfare

Having sought the kingdom, how do you know you have a portion of it? You know you are a kingdom person by your warfare against the demonic world.

Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  I feel sure the Pharisees and Sadducees in Jesus’ time scratched their heads over this one. In fact they called him names!

The kingdoms of heaven (God) are distinct from Heaven, a place distinct from planet earth, our final reward.  While we have the demonic to deal with here and now, in heaven Satan and his henchmen are conquered.  In fact, because there is no evil in heaven, there is no reason for them to be there.  Evil is God’s way of requiring us to make a decision – on earth – of whom we are to worship and obey.

Today’s Victory is Over the Demonic World

The victory of the kingdom of God (heaven) is the victory over the demonic world.  This is shown in the scripture about Peter being given the keys to death and hell.

Matthew 16:  18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Read Peter 1 and 2

Now that I know that Peter was given the keys to handling the demonic world, I think I shall read the two books of Peter again.  I do not want to miss the Kingdom if it is so close by.

Antisemitism Brings a Curse

We talk of the trouble we bring on ourselves – drugs and alcohol, laziness, going with the wrong crowd, thinking we can get away with something, cheating. Mamma said this was bad and Dad whopped you good if he caught you, but there is something worse.

And that is to be cursed by God. Genesis 12:3 in a Christian Bible says this:

And I will bless (do good for, benefit) those who bless you,
And I will curse [that is, subject to My wrath and judgment] the one who curses (despises, dishonors, has contempt for) you.
And in you all the families (nations) of the earth will be blessed.”

I quoted the Amplified Version just in case there was any doubt about how serious this is. When you go after God’s people you bring His wrath down upon you.  Of course you do not recognize it. You call it bad luck. Or maybe you’re in a mess because of your parents, or the lousy school system, or where you live, with drug dealers all around.

The Bible was written for everyone to read. It is in hundreds of languages; you can even find it free on the internet, in Vietnamese! No one is going to point a finger at God someday and say -Why didn’t you tell me that these Jews were special to you?

Most people know that if you mess with a man’s family you can expect trouble. Time was not so long ago that a fellow would come to the house to date a girl and Daddy would be sitting on the porch with a shotgun across his knees.  Some guys turned tail and ran.

If a natural father can do that, how much angrier will God be when you mess with His People?  And his Family is very large.  They live all over the world, and they don’t have name tags that say, My Daddy is God.

They tell me that antisemitism is on the rise. Well, let’s just check the TV weather man and the newspaper for floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, famine and drought.  This is one quick way God can get His message out.  (See the book of Amos for details.) And look what happened to Germany in the 1940s!

But, you complain, “I don’t do that; other people in my community do that. ”

Here’s the reason we face the music together.  Jesus said, “The rain falls on the just and the unjust.” If you are part of a community that tolerates this you suffer along with everyone else.

You can’t change hearts and minds; that is a tough job. But you can warn people – as I have done here.

Click here for commentary regarding President Trump moving the US  Embassy controversy.

Click here for information linking Fascism, Islamism and Anti-semitism.

Link between Democratic Socialism and Antisemitism.

Why Americans Must Support Israel

Boycotting Israel – the Ultimate in Antisemitism

What Bible should I Buy

A Bible these days is a major expense, unless you want one with such tiny typeface one can barely read it. Over the past 50 years I collected a whole book case shelf of them and I can give you some experienced advice. If you are serious about Bible study you will eventually want more than one.

King James Version:  There is a good reason people fall back on this translation in spite of the “thees and thous and hath and believeth” and other old-timey words. King James followed the turbulent times of Queen Elizabeth and there was wrangling among the religious groups about which Bible was the real word of God. The King brought together all the leaders of these factions and said, translate this Bible and we will make it the law of the land as far as religious reading is concerned. The result was that, for its generation, it is  accurate.  It is the most quoted for the following 400 years, for example Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address.

Amplified Version: The Lockman Foundation printed this many years ago and it makes a good study Bible. It is much larger because each line contains synonyms for many of the key words.  For example,

Matthew 6:33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Passages fleshed out like this make for good places to meditate on his word.  Because it is so much larger you should consider a leather binding because the hardcover makes it bulky to handle.  The same is true of The Message.

New American Standard Bible: This version too is from the Lockman Foundation and is my Go-To version. For example, consider this verse from the King James.

1 Corinthians 15:33    Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Now from the NASB. 1 Corinthians 15:33 New American Standard Bible   33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Isn’t that what you just told your teenager?

The Message: This is a modern translation by Eugene Peterson, who translated the American Bible society version that limits the English language to a high school educated person. Given its use of slang, people think it is a paraphrase.  It is not.  I prefer it myself for all the historical parts of the old Testament. Here is an example.

Matthew 6:33 “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

This is like having the Lord sitting at your side in an easy chair and speaking to you directly. This Bible too should have a leather cover as it is heavy.

New International Version: This is popular in some places.  I put it last because I found some areas where it is not translated from the Greek as closely or as properly as I would prefer.

This passage in Romans is mistranslated in the NIV.

Romans 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death
NIV What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?

In the King James the adjectives properly modify the nouns; in the NIV they do not. (I am pretty good with Greek.) But that is personal and it is after all God’s word. If someone gave you that version do not throw it out.

JB Phillips New Testament translation: Phillips was a contemporary of both JRR Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, Bible students together. JB is down to earth.

Here is an example from the King James, Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

JB said:  No man can justify himself before God by a perfect performance of the Law’s demands—indeed it is the straight-edge of the Law that shows us how crooked we are.

Phillip died before finishing his translation of the Old Testament. Wags at the time referred to it as “Phillips’ 66.”

Jerusalem Bible: This is a Catholic edition. I especially like its version of Deuteronomy which as you know is not light reading.

Common English Bible: This is in wide use because it is plain, clear and not far from the King James.  The New King James Bible modernizes the words and is also in wide use. As you might suspect the Jewish Bible is a version translated by a Messianic Jewish believer and is appropriate to that audience.  With so many foreigners coming to the faith, it is an option for many people, especially Muslims who will appreciate the history.

The point of having a Bible for your children is this – will they read it  If it is too arcane or difficult of course they won’t. A Bible purchase should be appropriate to the age and background of the reader.  As we change, so should our Bible reading habits.

Getting through the Bible in one year is approximately three chapters  day. Now that’s not all that hard, is it?

Fake News Drives Good News off the Stage i.e. Muslim Conversions

After the “Arab Spring” and the Islamic terrorism of 2011, the people saw the “real Islam without its mask” Arabs will turn to the Lord, wrote Asher Intrater, a Jewish writer in Jerusalem in his book, Alignment, (available free download online.)

“Despite the horrendous bloodshed of the past few years (over half a million people brutally murdered and ten million people losing their homes), their prediction of a wave of evangelism has proved true. Millions of Muslims are turning to faith in Yeshua (Christ) all over the world. At the time of this writing (2017) , one very trustworthy estimate speaks of over 3 million Muslims coming to faith in Egypt alone.”

“We often hear Arab Christians say, “The best evangelists for Christianity have been ISIS. They are turning people away from Islam in multitudes.”

900 American bankers commit suicide in the past three years. Did you know that? Of course not.

In Venezuela coroners and doctors are not permitted to list starvation as a cause of death for fear people will find out communism (socialism) is a failure. Did you know that? Of course not.

Truthful news reporting will return to print and media when the public demands it and refuses to be duped any more. Yes, that’s you.

Apologies – Hoping for Forgiveness

The past 12 months have been one death, disease, accident, surgery one after another. Car totaled, cat to vet ($600), new car battery died, phone died, internet died.

BUT now all is resurrected. I’ve not been able to keep up with my readers but all these tribulations hopefully are at an end and I can resume more regular posts.

Thank you for your patience.

Cornelia Scott Cree, Essayist

God is Not a Tight Wad

For many years I’ve watched every slice of bread and cringed if there was ever a need to throw away food.  It was a sure sign I had been neglectful and sloppy.  Furthermore I couldn’t afford it. No eggs ever magically appeared in my refrigerator; no butter regenerated in a dish. So this summer when I was frequently forced to discard food, I blamed myself and tried to reform.  But it happened again and again.

When you have a repetition of something God has a lesson in mind. It had never occurred to me before, but He has quite enough food available for the human race, myself included, and perhaps I need to believe him for generous servings instead of 40 years of penny pinching.

I have a friend who never eats leftovers; that seems to me to be a conceit of ego rather than of food safety.  It must be nice to think that you do not need to lower yourself to the level of eating yesterday’s cold steak.  But the opposite is true. My anguish over food loss was just another form of faithlessness.

I am not supposed to be spending my life chasing every toast crumb, but neither am I to assume God can’t provide.  He certainly has on many occasions.  I can remember one year where I had fewer than 3000 dollars income. Looking back I cannot imagine how I lived at all.  In fact, when I made out my income tax, I added 2,000 dollars because I thought the IRS might believe I had lied.  Well yes, but I did not want them asking me any questions because I don’t know to this day how I survived.

Just as I once learned to live on little now I must adapt myself to the knowledge that God can be generous to a fault – that He can lavish attention on me and provide not just enough to get by, but more than enough, not just for me but for others as well.

I got so excited about the prospect of excess I paid out 20% in tithe!  Of course I can’t do that forever, or at least I don’t think I can, but when He said give to those people who needed it I did not say to myself, “That is not tax deductible.”

God is not interested in my tax deductible status – He’s interested in my obedience. And not doing His will when he makes His will clear simply because I don’t think He can replace the money or the food.  That makes me no better than the “wicked” servant to buried the talent in the ground. And I have enough faults without being called wicked.