Category Archives: Commentary

Fuzzy Thinking – our enemy

Helping Kids Develop Critical Thinking Skills

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

What is the “Will of God”

There are Three Wills of God
For the Human Race
  • The will of God for all human beings. That includes the demand  (1) that the human race believe in Him as Creator (2) He wishes all men to be saved and none perish, which depends on the action of the individual.  (3) that all repent of their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness based on their forgiveness of those who have wronged them (4) that all confess sins.  Confess means to “speak with” or simply to agree with God’s assessment of your situation before him.  If God says you have larceny in your heart,  He wants your knowledge of your inner self so when you agree with Him about your real condition, you are on the road to change.

I taught a Bible study years ago where the only thing they seemed to learn was how to confess someone else’s sin. So I quit!

For an Individual
  • The second will of God is what He desires for you personally, and all 7 billion individuals of planet earth. God has a plan for every human life. (Jeremiah 29:11) New believers often ask this question when they are eager to grow in Christian knowledge and power. Telling them that the will of God is given in the 32,000+ verses of the Bible is a little overwhelming, even though it is true.  The Bible is the will of God, but individual verses do not apply equally to all individuals at once.  To the rich man he did not say,  Your daughter is healed this very hour, or to the blind man He did not say, sell all you  have an give the money to the poor. God’s commands are individually specific. Expect to hear from Him.
For Nations (Ethnos) (Acts 17:26)
  • The third will of God is His desire for individual nations to fulfill their destiny on earth. One of these caveats is that nations are to keep their hands off other nations. God is not a globalist; He repeatedly refers to “ethnos” in the Bible as being His way of having a variety of cultures, individuality and responsibility for nations. Many nations are so badly governed the people have little control over their nation’s destiny. In democracies however, we have both the option and the accountability for what our government does as a unit and how it handles international affairs.

One scripture simplifies what God wants for every person: “This is the will of God, even your sanctification.”  That’s a word we rarely hear; it means there is something in your heart or mind or body that needs to be cleaned up. To sanctify means to make holy, and to make holy means you have access to the presence of God in a great way than you did before. If you fail to go through the cleansing process, your life is marred and you do not enjoy the fullness of God’s promises.

Some people wander around the desert of personal sin, guilt, blame and error and never get anywhere near the promised land. But if you persist, you’ll find the plans of God.

The happiest human beings are those who live in the plans God has for them.  God knows better than you do what you are called to do. Many non-Christians find that place anyway, or live on the edge.

God is in the Details

After you learn what God wants you to do in life, then the next part is living in the sure revelation that your decisions about that life are on target. This is the hardest part of all. It involves the detail of a life – how to spend money, where to live and work, how to use your time comfortably. More often than not it is just “being led.”

Obedience brings Blessings

One of the  greatest blessings in my  life was when I decided to sit in the middle seat in the plane which is usually the most uncomfortable.  The man next to me and I talked for an hour. I felt as those I had entered the kingdom of God and was in heaven with another believer. As  a writer isolated in a town of 1,000 in the high mountains, I see and talk to very few people that know anything about the Kingdom of God, much less actually live in it. God gave me that blessing out of the blue.

 

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.