Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: May 2013

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Right Side Up

Today’s message was fun because in trying to find a good way to introduce the idea, I did some Googling:

Remember the clip of Fred Astaire dancing up the walls (and ceiling) of a room? The website I found showed me the title of the movie “ Royal Wedding” and also referenced other movies that featured scenes with rotating sets such as Poltergeist, The Fly and Inception. Like many of you, I grew up watching cartoon characters defy the law of gravity but these movies are getting better and better at making the apparent reality of gravity look more like an illusion than an irrefutable law.

This idea of illusion taking the place of law is at the center of the point I want to make. Last week the media reported how Pope Francis said that even an Atheist could make it into Heaven as long as he did good works. I’m not about to start a petition or anything but I don’t know what’s more bothersome; the idea that people are redefining what we've always known to be true OR the idea that they don’t seem to know any better. Well, The Word of God knows best and It doesn't back down from Its stance, even when that stance is unapologetically exclusive. It seems that we’re seeing the emergence of a new kind of “Christianity” – one where as long as you’re nice to people and aren't offensive in any way, then anything goes, “You’re IN”. To me it’s like changing all of the walls in a room; gluing furniture to the walls and wallpapering the ceiling so although everything has been shifted, it still appears normal.

Normal until God walks in the door….but First things first;

Here’s The Word;

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Galatians 1:6-8 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Okay, so now imagine you’ve grown accustomed to your “new” gravity and God walks in. Before you notice anything else, you notice HE is standing right side up, which means by association that you can’t possibly be. It reminds me of a verse in Scripture that I’ve really never seen this way until now – When we change the rules to fit us, we don’t realize how even though we may get very used to it, it doesn’t change the reality that God still has the last word. Even when we think ourselves “good” – the first thing we notice when God walks in the room;

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

Not saying that Isaiah assumed he was “worthy” but I think that seeing The King of Glory in His Splendor has a way of putting everything else in its proper orientation. In closing, I pray that we not only keep a firm footing in the Word of God, but that He would keep us careful and sensitive to anything that would begin to shift our sense of Spiritual gravity. I may look like I’m sitting on the ceiling clinging to the chandelier, but as this world goes topsy turvy with its relative “truth”, I’m trusting God to keep me right side up!

In Him,

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Most

Isn’t it peculiar and kinda funny - we all seem to have this flaw
Whenever we walk and trip a bit, we all look to see who saw
Of course it’s our embarrassment, but is there a telling link
That we care a little bit too much of what other people think?

I wonder ‘cause sometimes I think I see it go too far
Seeking approval from most of them who aren’t headed where we are
We don’t want to seem too radical, while sharing what we know
We “dumb it down” and laugh it off to keep the status quo

Only knowing “enough” of Scripture, not a Biblical book worm
Trying so hard not to be uncool, we risk being lukewarm
THEY might say that we’ve gone too far and it doesn’t take all that
Have we become pleasers of men? Is that where our heart is at?

Lest we forget that fateful day when we first bowed the knee
The thoughts of others eclipsed by “Just as I am without on plea”.
No second thought to those standing by as we approached The Throne
We stood before an audience of One. It was Him and Him alone.

Seems somehow that we forget, seeking approval from the crowd.
When truthfully, MOST don’t choose this way, “in hope they do not plow”.
So you be strong and don’t shrink back when they look discontent
They’re not your judge, so don’t you budge – for you were saved and sent.

Don’t let the most dictate your way – for Most don’t have a clue.
Fact of the matter it won’t be most, “the saved” are surprisingly few.
You preach the word, and pray for sight that most of them may see
And seek to labor in the field, just like you and me.

It’s truly a sad realization; “Yes, so many CAN be so wrong”.
Don’t seek affirmation in the looks they give. To this world you don’t belong.
You give an account to God alone, “THEY” won’t be anywhere close.
It matters not what others say, press on to please God the most.

Here’s The Word;

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Ephesians 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.

In Him,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Musical Chairs

Remember kid’s parties and musical chairs?
Circling about til just one seat is there.
The excitement and fun as the music begins
And the last person seated is the person who wins.

Now imagine your life as an ongoing song
Through starts and stops we struggle along.
There’s only one chair and it’s your choice to say
Who will be seated and who’s kept away.

Here YOU pick the winner and who plays the part
Of who’s in control, for THIS chair is your heart.
By nature, we’re enticed by objects of pleasure
Forgetting our affinity to exalt them as treasure.

Depending on the nature of the childhood we’ve had
The treasure seated first, is our mom or our dad.
But if all goes well, they’ll introduce us to Christ
We may wait to commit, but the direction is right.

That’s no longer the norm as such horrors are faced
by children who are traumatized, their innocence erased
And this has the effect of distorting their view
Of who should be seated, “Now what do we do?”

But later in life, we lean to our “OWN” mind
And the treasures we seat become whatever we find.
Things that make us feel safe, or celebrities we “love”
These icons and idols are not from above.

We must surely be careful with treasures of this world
For you girls it’s some guy, and for guys it’s some girl.
Or it’s either your job or the money you make
You must keep in mind that your soul is at stake.

We honor our efforts and laud our own strength
Dismissing the mission, we seek to be content.
And even our religion can wear a sinister mask
Because we seat our own piety, too blinded to ask.

So as the music keeps playing, keep checking the chair
God is not honored unless He’s seated there.
Sadly, worldly success may come as you reach for the top
But who will be seated when the music finally does stop?

Here’s The Word:

Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;

Proverbs 10:2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

In Him,

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Temptations

Hello All,

Ever listened to the temptations? Not the Motown singing group, I mean those “whispers” that influence us either away from the right we know to do or towards the wrong we know we shouldn’t do. This question only served as rhetorical opener…because the fact of the matter is - we all have.

What comes to mind when we think of the temptations? Going 12mph over the speed limit, a second helping of chocolate cake, saying “aw heck with it! “ and buying the darn shoes anyway? Hey! You only live once right? I would suppose that these few I’ve listed only qualify as the “guilty pleasures” that we entertain but don’t think of as detrimental to our lives in Christ. There are deeper temptations. Some compromise us so severely as to find us doubled-over weeping in repentance, but at the more subtle end, they find us gradually drifting off the path of Righteousness.

On the Sermon of the Mount, Christ tells us to pray that we not be lead into temptation: Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: BUT in James 1:2 says we should count it all joy when we fall into various temptations. Is this a contradiction? Can they both be right?

Well, I’m glad you asked. The Bible is consistent in its presentation of the messages by which we conduct our lives.

We are to pray our desires to God, and we have a desire for increasing righteousness and decreasing sin. This is a request in that direction; “Lord, keep me from sinning and becoming stained that I may worship you with clean hands and a pure heart.” This in no way takes away from the full understanding of the good purposes served by the trials of life. So when Christ, while praying in the garden on the night He was betrayed told the disciples “Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” The focus there would be the word “enter”. We don’t pray that testing never come, but that when tested, we prove faithful, and having done all, to stand.

This message is more understood when you see it in Christ’s prayer for Peter.

Here’s The Word;

Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

Christ knew that Peter’s faith was going to be tested, so He didn’t pray for a way around the temptation but rather strength to respond appropriately. Now some would debate the point “But Peter denied Christ 3 times, isn’t that a failure of faith?” – to which I would answer “No”

Look at it this way; Peter and Judas were told they were going to either deny or betray Christ. Both did exactly what Christ said that they would do. But how did each respond?

Peter’s faith – even though damaged through denial was still strong enough to drive Peter to repentance. Judas faith “or lack of it”(it’s debatable if Judas ever had “saving” faith) on drove him to remorse but not repentance…there’s the difference. We pray for strong faith that will endure being tempted; that we will have deep roots during a time of temptation whereby we stand firm and not end up falling away. Because the fact of the matter is that although the Lord’s prayer says “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” we still ALL come upon trying times and we need to realize that these temptation times serve a purpose of testing our faith (James 1:2).

If you don’t see yourself as in a fight against the temptations, you’d best be careful that they’re not already winning

In Him,

Thursday, May 02, 2013

David Did It

Hello All,

I’m on sort of a theme here: Last week I talked about how we enjoy the comfort of our privacy. To add to that, we also go along about our lives with no real desire to upset that apple cart. We know that “going through things” is the way of the world but we don’t press to help bear one another’s burdens. Actually, unless we’re at a point of really NEEDING help, we’re not inclined to bring it up at all.
Today I would like to challenge our thinking by making much of a portion of Scripture that we often skip over. As much of a treasure trove of wealth & wisdom contained Psalms, I wonder how often do we notice the 'contextual clue’ at the beginning of many them. These clues set the stage and really give you a feel for the situation and David's motivation when pouring his heart out in song.

Here’s The Word;

Psalm 51 For the Leader. A Psalm of David; When Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba

Psalm 52 when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him: 'David is come to the house of Ahimelech.'

Psalm 57 For the Leader; Al-tashheth. [A Psalm] of David; Michtam; when he fled from Saul, in the cave

Most online Bibles do not have these contextual clues. I have a few printed Bibles and I can’t recall if they all have them or not – I can't imagine that this is something that will eventually be eliminated altogether. I sure hope not.

The main point is this; Here is King David, a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) who is not being silent or private about his issues – He’s just as willing to cry out to God in the midst of his sin as he is willing to cry out when he’s on the receiving end of “going through things” and there’s no reservation about the names of those involved. How many of us would write a song like this today (and give the context)? Normally, I can’t even imagine who a king goes to share his issues with, but we as the people of God don’t see our brothers and sisters in Christ as a help to us and we would for the most part rather let things go the way they continue to go; the way we’ve become most comfortable with….privately.

Well, this is where I get off. I, like all of us, have to decide that if things are ever going to be different, then they’ll have to start being different beginning with me. I know that there will be some who’s been in the old way of thinking for so long that I may come off looking like a complainer – I’ve considered how to share things without turning it into a pity party and I will basically pray that God be glorified and we be “built up” in the effort and expression to embrace and be embraced by The Body as we rejoice with those who rejoice AND also bear one another’s burdens.

So If I can encourage any to follow a good example for sharing and growing in the highs and lows of life; I can only think to point to King David...David did it.

In Him,