Friday, January 31, 2014

Banished from the Class

When I was in the first grade, oh so long ago, there was a boy named Dallas who acted up a bit. He was independant really. In that early age of "group think" that was a way to really get into trouble.

I remember the teacher asking us questions, usually of a negative nature, about how we should act and think. The question was one word. She would say, "Class?" And then we, in unison, would say, "No!" It was a way to form us into an obedient little bloc. Who would ever want to be outside the consensus of that group of little parrots?

One day when Dallas had shown a bit too much free spiritedness, the teacher blew up. "All right young man, you're no longer in this class!" She escorted him to the door leading to the playground and told him he would have to stay there for some terribly long time, maybe a whole hour. We were shocked. Imagine being banished from the group--isolated.

We expected to see a sobbing, repentant little boy, drenched in shame. When I found the nerve to peek out at him, there was Dallas, bending tree limbs over and inspecting the leaves. He seemed totally absorbed and quite content. Perhaps he was looking for insects?

No matter. He turned out to be a little woodsman in his off time away from school. I remember he told me about the "Quaking Aspen" whose leaves seemed always in motion, even on a windless day. "That's because the tree's wood was once used for the cross of Jesus," he told me.

Oh, Dallas, I should have followed your lead at an early age. It took me years to learn how desirable it is to be "banished from the class".

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Precious Words From Long Ago

According to my start-up page, Justin Bieber may retire. I also see that blond starlets keep changing their hair dos. These overwhelming items are too much for me to take in, important as they are. I prefer to get totally absorbed in the writings of God's misunderstood and often lonely prophets.

By now I hope you have seen videos of the discovery of Noah's Ark in Turkey and Mount Sinai in Arabia. If so, what were your impressions? Do these scenes not make the Biblical accounts of them seem so much more real and, if I may say, more "recent". I am so thankful that I have lived to see them.

It has been my experience that when I immerse myself in the writings of the ancient ones, and become familiar with their style of writing, they become more and more "up to date". It is the moderns who seem quirky and out of place.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Old, Dying Man Seeks Words

How about that for pathetic! I imagine such a newspaper ad. It would probably bring 'em out of the wood work. But I don't care. Anything to elicit a response. I have no more shame.

I was very egocentricly reading an account about the qualities, good and bad, of Geminis. No, I don't follow astrology, but I do believe in planetary influences on babies in this electric universe.

Anyway, Gemini is mentioned in the Bible. Remember where?

So, this lady really nailed me, especially on one score. She said Geminis must have words. "They are like oxygen to him."

You've no doubt heard men complain about how women talk to much? Well, I have a complaint too. I don't think they talk enough!

So many treasures are stored inside us, that could be revealed simply by talking. Turn off the electronics, baby. Tell me what you have to say.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Even Though it Was Really Dark!

A little boy in a second grade class was demonstrating a flashlight he had been given. He told us it was so bright that it was visible all the way to his friend's house. "And it was really dark that night," he said. We smiled that he thought the darkness was an obstacle to his light.

There is a universal tendency to try to mitigate the terrible things contained in the Bible, by denying them. A denial of the plagues in Revelation is made by calling them symbolic events of the past, or just not reading about them at all. Denial of terrible truth begins in Eden, when God said that Adam would die and return to the dust from which he was made. The Devil, the first denier of truth in the Bible, led the way when he said, "Thou will not surely die."

Death is such an obvious and universal experience that to deny it, we have created a two-part person. The physical, and the invisible or "soulish state". Is there a pagan that does not believe this? So God was wrong when he said we would die.

Now why do I insist that this denial is not true? Am I a sadist who enjoys destroying peoples' hopes? If you knew me, though you might not like me, I do not believe you would think me so cruel. So why do I "push" for the reality of total death? It is because to deny it cheapens and detracts from the glorious resurrection God has promised us.

I talked to a very nice lady who maintained that the physically dead's souls were already in heaven. I asked her, "Then what is the purpose of the resurrection if we go to heaven right after we die?" She said, "Well, in the soulish state we can't fully enjoy the wonders of heaven as much as when we have bodies."

I do not wish to interfere in peoples' freedom to believe anything or nothing. It is only when they claim that such scenarios are based on the Bible that I will object.

Soon my faith in the resurrection will be fully tested. I will sleep the sleep of death. In this undeniably helpless state, I will await the call of my Savior to come up to join him in the clouds. My dark night will not prevent the shining of that wonderful light.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Those Who Travel Light

Those who travel light, travel fast.

One of my first jobs was as a messenger for a soybean processing company. I had a new company station wagon and drove about 70 miles a day. I really enjoyed the job. I loved to drive and went to all kinds of interesting places.

Soon the nice car was covered with soybean meal, soot, and dust. I used the wipers and fluid so I could see okay, but one day a boss told me, "Why don't you get the car washed? Just go to the car wash, get a receipt, and we'll pay you back." So I took the now crusty car to my favorite car wash spot. They cleaned the insides of the windows too. Such a deal.

Soon I was on the road again. But I noticed a very interesting thing. The car seemed to run better. You didn't need to push as hard on the accelerator to go at the same speed as before. Now obviously this was an illusion, but others have had the same experience.

I feel getting the old religious dust and dirt off has the same effect. Only this is not an illusion. Once freed from pagan myth, custom, and denominations, of the corporate church, you really do proceed more rapidly. Not in mph but in being closer to God and his truth.

In case you feel I am trying to start a cult of some kind, (we have plenty of those) I will give you my statement of faith. I didn't write it, Paul did.

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1 Corinthians 15:3,4

So why more Bible study and why more books? A roll of string is a simple thing. But untying all the knots and tangles that occur can get a little complicated. And in his book, God has so many treasures to learn about.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Joy of a Naive Literalist

My spell checker just rejected my use of "literalist". But that's ok. I'm used to such rejections. Better men than I have been so scorned--many highly educated men who saw a far better way than their university accreditation. It is very much like a child growing up and leaving its mother.

I once shook the hand of Dr. Morris, co-author of The Genesis Flood, a book that still torments college professors as they try to teach Faulty Geology 101, 102, and 103. I say torment, because Dr. Morris was a noted hydraulogist, who wrote textbooks on the subject. Morris and Whitcomb tore a patch off of those who totally misinterpret the flood.

Misinterpret? They deny it, as the Apostle Peter said they would.

This amazing book, approximately one third scholarly footnotes, devastates critics of the Biblical account of the flood. He sweeps away the so-called geologic record of millions of years. He maintains the flood strata was laid down in a matter of hours, not millions of years. His arguments and evidence are overpowering.

So, what about the naive literalists? The good Dr. now considers himself one. He became a licensed Baptist preacher. His naive literalism was of the Bible. So is mine.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Not Worth a Drone

They were useless eaters. Some of the more able bodied might serve in a work camp, but most would be fodder for the incinerators. While this was the thinking of the FEMA people, these so-called non-elite, worthless underlings were well aware of their status in the eyes of their overlords.

Overlords? Yes that is who they were now subject to. Representation of the people by responsible government had long ago disappeared. It had disappeared while the Entertainment People spent over $10,000,000,000 a year on video games. Far from the playground for children, the industry occupied much of the lives of adults averaging 37 years of age. A time when citizens should have had knowledge and maturity. It was, rather, the time when people sought diversion and escape.

Escape was just what a party of escapees sought as they left their former lives to ply some of their nation's rivers. They sought the most obscure places practical, where, encamped they would wait for the soon return of their real Lord, Jesus Christ.

"But satellites will see us," the young cried out. "They will send a drone. There's no escaping them."

An elder reassured them. "We're just a tiny band, living in isolation. We're not worth a drone."

Friday, January 24, 2014

How We Started

One of the last rides with my mother was down a country road. We came to a basic, country scene. An older woman, with a stick in her hand was leading a herd of milk cows from their pasture, across the road to their barn.

My mother told how she had made a big mistake in her life, by working for all the modern improvements she had wanted. "I would have been happier living like that," she said. Too late, soon she was dead. But I thought often of what she said.

Have we gone too far in modernization? But this is not to be a diatribe about modernity and its downside. Rather I would like to think how the so-called primitive people of the Bible and their modes of life speak to us so touchingly.

C.S. Lewis described a theme for a ballet scene. It involves a shepherd boy with his pipes of Pan. Now contrast this with a ballet of lawyers dancing with their brief cases. I suppose a modern performance could be made of it, but somehow the basic appeal would not be there.

David, going out to meet Goliath with an AK-47, has the same problem. Jesus dying in an electric chair or gas chamber would rob us a the great emblem of the cross. He stumbled under the weight of it, he was nailed to it, and he died for us on it.

So, when you read of shepherds, and those sowing and reaping grain, does this beautiful simplicity not touch your heart? Ruth, in her poverty, gleaning grain in her apron, rather than applying for welfare, makes the story all work out.

We have gained much through technology, but we have lost so much.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Let's Not Talk to One Another, Let's Just Watch TV

Some of us are so ancient that we remember when there was no TV. As it got more popular, many said it would help to "bring us together". In a way it did. Whole families gathered to watch the shows. Some were even pretty good. But when it was all over, we had learned nothing about ourselves.

In no way am I suggesting a family pow wow. Meal time is good for that. but what I would dream of is beautifully portrayed in The Chosen, by Chaim Potock.

The story tells of a very fervent, activist father who would come home, and after supper, would sit with his son, drink tea, and talk. Years later, the son remembered those times of sharing and closeness. Though much of what his father spoke of was over his head, the boy was thrilled. His father treated him like a man.

Silly, sentimental me--it's an impossible dream--But imagine, that instead of electronics, we talked. Mothers to daughters, fathers to sons, mix and match, but children would be the "stars". I missed this entirely in my kidhood. There are more electronic devices than family members, by far. But how wonderful to just talk and listen.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Black Orpheus, Babylon, Death, and the Descent Into Hell

Last night I watched "Black Orpheus" again. I first watched it in 1958 with a friend who died early. He wanted to stay and watch the newsreel, but I was so near to tears, I had to leave the theater.

Only Europeans would have the nerve and the imagination to tell the classic myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the setting of Carnival Time in Rio. The Greek legend is blended into this setting, the story told in Portuguese, with English subtitles, and it repeats the tragic tale of doomed lovers. A guitar takes the place of the lyre, but it's all there, even the guardian dog of hell. Some of the songs have become bossa nova classics, but the film has almost disappeared.

The film, but not the myth. Churches today are drenched in it. Orpheus has reappeared as a type of Christ descending into the underworld in the "harrowing of hell" modern myth. If Christians only knew how pagan are their beliefs and practices, they would repent of them.

I cried last night at the end of this beautiful movie, even more tragic than its producers knew. The Pride of Life is ended by death, as always in this world. The story of Orpheus will not go away, neither will its sadness.

Watch the full movie Orfeu Negro (Black Orpheus).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Help Me, My Engrams Are Closing In!

I stole some bricks
When I was six
And I'm afraid to die.

- "The Seven Dreams," by Gordon Jenkins

According to Dianetics (it sounds like an exercise program to me), and later, Scientology, engrams are painful memories which remain submerged until brought to the conscious mind by therapy. I must have a lot of engrams then.

The big trouble is that mine are not submerged at all. When I turn out the light, and try to sleep they seem to come out of the woodwork to torment me. At times I give up trying to sleep and get up again. All kinds of things torture me--dead ones I loved, pets that I lost, and all kinds of horrible, stupid things I have done. How I wish such thoughts would leave me.

But there is a cure, and I am not far from it. It is death, then resurrection in a new body. The Great Erasure is near, and I welcome it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Half Way Through the Bible, In One Book

A lady asked me where she should start reading the Bible. Naturally, I suggested Genesis. When she quickly read through this wonderful book, she said she now could understand the rest of the Bible so much better. Could anything be simpler?

Now this will illustrate just how "cranky" I am. I really don't like people who over-examine simple narratives. Quite often they are like drivers speeding through the fog, over driving their headlights. Could we just read about the cast of characters and what they did? Who was in love with whom, and who took a long journey and met God? This is plain vanilla reading.

Certainly, we can just plunge in and read, and take it all in. Later, the experts can "draw lessons" from it, and show us how much they know. Just you and the book God wrote for you. Wouldn't that be wonderful? When Genesis closes, chronologically speaking, we are half way through the Sacred Sixty Six. And we did it all on our own.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Theology Expert--You!

A man who had spent some time at sea said that someone who could "box the compass" or recite the points on a compass dial was considered an expert. Now, many people do not think they are theologians. There is absolutely way too much humility around.

For the person who knows nothing about the Bible, you are perhaps the only one who can tell them about it. To them you are their personal theologian. You may work with such a person. Just the fact that you share your joy of the Word can have a powerful effect.

A friend of mine took a course in business law. When the prof quoted a Latin phrase for a simple legal term, my friend asked why Latin was used instead of English. The teacher smiled and said that it just had a "nice ring to it". Yes, and also it made such a term sound as if it were the sole province of the experts, the pros. Instead of helping people understand the meaning of the law, it helped to conceal it.

A lady told me once that she had taken a course on the book of Romans. "Our preacher sure straightened us out on one thing," she said. "We've got to keep the law to be saved." All I had to do was open my Bible to Romans and show her where Paul says just the opposite. Layman versus Preacher--the one with the scripture won.

I think of all the would-be legalists giving up bacon as they tried to "good their way" to salvation. This is just to say that those who get their truth on Sunday only, could really use some help. Quite often you will be their only help, their expert. Such a precious thing it is to give whatever you have. A cup of water to someone dying of thirst.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mrs. Annual

Strange name, isn't it? But that's what she called herself. She said she loved annual plants that much. I asked her why, since perennials like peonies and roses, for instance, are such wonderful flowers.

"Sure they are," she said, "but who said anything about flowers? I mean annual PLANTS."

"But they only live one season, then they die. How good is that?"

She looked at me with pity in her eyes. "That's the whole point! Somehow annuals know there is no 'next year.' This one is it. As for the fragrance thing, obviously, the perennial flowers win the day. You can sniff their fragrance as you starve."

"Starve? I've heard of people who survived in the wilderness by eating rose hips," I told her.

"Sure, they give you vitamin C as you use up body fat, but you'll still starve."

"I suppose I won't starve if I'm depending on annuals?"

"Now, you're getting it," she said, in mock relief. "Look, annuals are our food plants, or plants that are grown as annuals. Think of the grains, like millet for instance. There's something you can really feed on. Ever tried a peony pancake?"

I am sensitive to sarcasm, and I didn't like her tone of voice.

She raved on. "Annuals are like racers when the gun goes off. They live to grow fast and produce lots and lots of seeds. In as little as 60 days many of them are giving you food, not just a bunch of flowers."

She had me there, but I said, "Some of us like beauty, instead of just a bunch of seeds."

"So, I'll send a bouquet of perennial flowers when you die of starvation. I'm sure you'll like them very much!"

Then she invited me to an upcoming flower show where she was to show off her Love Lies Bleeding flowers. "There's stunning beauty," she said. "They grow like perennials because they self seed. You only need to sow them one time. AND the seeds are very good food. They make tons of them."

"About this flower show? I've lived around here all my life, and I've never heard of it."

"How could you miss it?" she said with exasperation. "It's an ANNUAL event."

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Loving Tour Guide

Going to the Great Canyon? There are two guides there. They are of two very different types though. One is a very loving guide. Oh, sure, he loses a lot of people, but see, the thing is, he's loving. Also, I forgot to tell you, he is kind of money hungry. He charges a lot, but, once again, he is, oh so loving.

What about the other guide, you say? Forget him! All he cares about is a safe trip for his people, and of course, to tell them a bunch of facts about the canyon. Money? Strangely he doesn't charge anything at all, All he seems to care about is showing off the wonders of the canyon, and the safety of his people. Also, I hear this one doesn't have a degree!

My favorite guide, the loving one, has a PhD in False Geology. I could listen to him all day talk about the theories he learned in college. He even claims the Great Canyon is man-made. Isn't that fascinating?

I advise you to avoid the "Mr. Truth and Safety" guide. He shows his ignorance by saying his canyon was formed by the run off of a thing he calls The Great Flood of Noah's Day. Can you get any dumber than that?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What Time is the Next Swan?

An operatic singer (I believe it was Lauritz Melchior) was about to make a dramatic stage entrance riding a huge prop swan. But before he could get into it, two stage hands began to pull it across the stage. The scene was ruined of course, but the singer took it all in stride. He turned to another worker and said, "What time is the next swan?"

Now here I go again ranting about the sequence of events in prophecy. But I just watched a video where an earnest young man was warning about the rise of antichrist and the events of the latter days. All of this is important, of course, but these are not the times nor the people who will be involved in those happenings. If only we could apply scripture to the right people, and at the right time.

The revelation of the man of sin occurs after the revised Roman empire divides into ten nations, or toes, of Daniel's chapter two image. The people involved are the Jews and Gentiles who will be living at that time. After the revelation of this Man of Sin, and the great apostasy of the church, all Gehenna breaks loose.

For you and me it will be rapture time. For Israel, it is to be the time of Jacob's Trouble. We will exit "stage up" and be saved from this terrible time. So prophecy "hands", don't pull the ropes until the swan is occupied.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to Think, Act, and Feel

There is a cartoon of a man standing before a big vending machine. A sign says, "How to Think, Act, and Feel-50 cents."

A friend of mine has just suffered the loss of her best friend. Her friend, who she had known for over fifty years is now just ashes in an urn. In her crushing grief, she also must endure those who tell her how she should conduct herself, as if she was a child.

I feel we are able to feel and think for ourselves, starting from the time we can go to the bathroom alone. But we do need a source of help that we can turn to, voluntarily, if we choose.

My friend says she hates God, has no hope of heaven, and is no longer a believer. What an opportunity for a know it all to tell her otherwise. I pledge not to be the one that tries to do this.

There is a wonderful story, told by Ruth Stout, a Quaker. As a girl, she looked out a window at her brother burying her pet dog. As she cried, her grandfather said, "Thee are looking out the wrong window." He led her to a window with a view of her rose bush that was beginning to bloom.

What can I do for my friend? Just stand by her, as she would do for me, until she is ready to look out the other window.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The "Invention" of Monotheism

What an awful title. Sounds like a so-called scholarly article written by a highly educated dumb ass. As if Adam and Eve were not monotheists.

Lewis Sperry Chaffer said that "The only thing wrong with this theory is the complete lack of evidence in its support." Wish I had said that. What a put down.

The theory taught everywhere is just the opposite of the truth. So called early man, the knuckle dragging "caveman" with a club, is supposed to have had many gods. Eventually, with Tutankhamun's help, he came to believe in just one god. Tut had a problem though. His god was the sun.

Remember the (original) Star Trek episode of the discovery of a group who worshipped the sun god. Eventually it was discovered that they worshipped the Son of God. How this got past the censors I will never understand, especially acted by two Jewish stars. I felt they did a great job though.

It is true that we began with belief in the only God, and picked up gods after we fell. Like a kid who goes out with shiny shoes, but comes home with muddy ones.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Maylasian Fruit Market

I certainly am not qualified to talk about Maylasia, but I want to anyway, with your indulgence. I have no historical, cultural, or political knowledge, other than that gained by watching videos.

So what is it that draws me? A very humble desire. I would like to visit a fruit market like the ones I see portrayed.

I would need a guide, a kind soul who would explain what each item is. I would like to taste them all, and with guidance, converse with the sellers. What is this spiked fruit that is chopped open to get to its delicious looking interior?

Maybe because my father was once a market gardener, I admire those that do it so much. Do you have a stand, a blanket on the ground, heaped high with fruit or vegetables? Could we visit the folks with the blenders? Do you know how blessed you are? At least once, I would visit such a place, the nearest thing on Earth to the Garden of Eden.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Last Enemy

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
I Corinthians 15:36

Maybe I told you of the following experience. I was teaching a class of really nice people, when I read these words. You could hear them gasp. They were shocked. What, death an enemy! I thought it was understood that death was an enemy. But maybe a kind of spiritual miasma had clouded their minds.

Animals sure know it is, and when an animal gives up its life, say for their young, it means a great sacrifice. It is an awful thing to say, but so many, many, Christians live in a fog of unreality, that it makes an old believer like myself want to take an "atheist break"--maybe reach out to someone who digs reality, wrong as they are.

Of course, death is an enemy. And why do I say so? First of all, because the Bible says it is. Isn't it awful that one has to even offer proof?

In my case,which is like a candle about to sputter out, I think of all the people I wish to go up with to meet Jesus when he comes. But seeing all the death that I have seen, and anticipating my own, I fervently long for the death of our last enemy, death, and the grave. Such a wonderful promise God has given us.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Washing the Bloody Baby

Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!" Ezekiel 16:6, NIV

What could be so pathetic as a baby cast out and despised? He is neglected and despised, but God takes pity on him. Israel is God's child, both chosen and disciplined.

Our Old Testament is basically the story of Israel. A nothing nation, not a good or great people, but chosen none the less. The least of nations, but chosen by God.

For us in the church this teaches that there is nothing in us. But by the grace of God we prevail.

Are you a seemingly insignificant person, to the world that is? No matter. I can testify to this, setting an example that God chooses and loves nobodies. One can be like an infant, his cord not cut, kicking in its blood. But God will see you, and say, "Live!"

Friday, January 10, 2014

Asking King Agrippa the Big One

Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead? Acts 26:8

Ever notice how Christian apologists are so often on the defensive? Instead of confronting the world with God's truth, we are the ones being asked the questions.

I saw a little chipmunk far from his home in a pile of concrete blocks, being pursued by a cat. It sure looked like he didn't have a chance of survival. But, as the cat closed in, the chipmunk turned and leaped at the cat's head. He was suddenly on the defensive, being "attacked" by his tiny prey. When the cat backed off, the chipmunk began to run again. These tiny charges kept the cat at bay until the little guy reached his pile of blocks safely.

If a chipmunk can stop a cat in its tracks, surely the least of us, armed with the Word of God, can cause the world to pause and ponder. It is both a war and sports axiom, that you don't win by being on the defense.

Is it not appealing that Paul, the prisoner, asks King Agrippa a question that he cannot answer. It is so simple. "Do you believe? Yes, why don't you?"

There was a very clever Jewish lady at college who befriended the younger kids. While she was talking to a young Christian girl she mentioned that she was an atheist. She was a Zionist and a humanist. The young lady asked, "Toni, why don't you believe in God?" Toni, an experienced sophist could only reply, "Because I don't believe in a supreme being." As if restating her position in other terms was an answer. I knew the lady and it was the first time I had heard her mumble such a feeble reply.

It has been said that the armor of God has only one offensive weapon, the sword of the Word.

May I suggest that Jewish unbelievers explain Daniel 9:21 through 24. The only interpretation is that it is about their Messiah. In it, He and his identity are plainly revealed. Answer their questions, with questions that they cannot answer.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dr. Crane's Smiling Portrait of Jesus

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
Matthew 19:14, NIV

This is a familiar passage to us, but perhaps not as thoroughly appreciated as it should be. We seldom hear that Jesus was indignant with those who would hinder these little ones. A wise man reminded me that these were little children, tender ones who could not yet respond to anything but the face of one they saw.

When I was a little boy, I would sit on the front porch waiting for the newspaper to be delivered. After I read the comics, I turned to the column of Dr.Crane, a Christian psychiatrist (Freudian). He dealt with this passage so beautifully, and explained that little children do not approach someone with a harsh demeanor, but rather are charmed by a smiling face. Dr. Crane had a portrait of Jesus in his home, showing just such an expression. Years later, I saw it in a magazine.

How many people grow up being frightened by images of an angry God, used as a "control device" to make them behave. I read biographies of those whose parents were referred to as strict, cheerless, "religious" people. Later, these children rebelled at such an upbringing and rejected the idea of their God. It can take a lifetime to repair such damage. It seems that Pharisees are still with us.

I was in a home where there was a little boy, in diapers, in a play pen next to my chair. I looked at him and smiled. He smiled back and waved his arm up and down."I believe he likes you," said his mother.

Such a simple thing, expressing love with a smile. Don't you wish that all children could think of God in that way?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

To Anyone "Afraid" of Me

A very dear friend told me that the reason people do not comment on my little posts, is that they are afraid of me. I respect her and what she tells me very much. She understands such things. So while I am still "available for comment", let me say there is absolutely nothing about me, or what I write, that anyone should fear.

I hope I don't ever come across as angry or sad, or anything like that. I am like the Scrooge that has seen the light. I have been given so much to rejoice over and I wish we all had it, or rather, knew about it.

Here is where anger, or just plain crabbiness, comes in. We have been robbed or misinformed about the great things God has in store for those who love him. I am not angry at God's people, but at systems or religious "hacks" who would keep us from peace and joy, by imposing regulations and conditions as barriers to us. I am a nobody, certainly no one to cause fear of any kind.

Jesus was very angry as he cleansed the temple with a whip. In my small way I try to do the same kind of thing. If I could have my heart's desire, it would be that people would have no fear, but could feel the love of God as expressed in His "love letter" to us, the Bible.

Let no one, or any system, come between you and God. That is my wish for you.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Elect Angels

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels,... I Timothy 5:21

You know, how many people hate the doctrine of election. They are really upset that God chooses some people for salvation and others for destruction. How dare He! Yet this is plainly revealed in both Old and New Testaments. I wrote a little about it in "The Doll That Flunked".

Paul explains it so well in Romans chapter nine, where God, like a potter, makes some vessels for one purpose, and others for destruction (not for torture in a fiery hell). A faithful Bible student will come to agree with this doctrine, though I know a lady who says she always believed she was made like a doomed vessel.

So we learn of elect people. But elect angels? Were they chosen before they were created?

Let me say that all who are elect were chosen before the world was made. Is this so painful that we cannot believe it? Because there is another side to election--those who were elected to damnation. Why it's almost like God, and not us, is in charge.

Rather than anyone getting angry, or accusing God of "not being fair", let us all rejoice in being among His chosen. He is the potter and we are the clay.

As we near the end times, one third of the angels, who participated in Satan's rebellion, will be cast to the Earth (Rev. 12:4). The elect of the church and of the angels have a place in heaven. What a blessed prospect to look forward to!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shake Yer Head!

Two men are in a razor fight. One slices the other's head off. The man laughs. "Ha, you missed me." The first man says, "Shake yer head!"

I finally realize how much evidence it will take to make people, including some in the church, to understand the state of the world. No amount will suffice.

Think of the names applied to those who warn of our coming disasters. When fighting irresistible truth, those who cannot argue back, resort to name calling. Should I live long enough to see those in the church, at least, see how bad things are, I will rejoice. But I do not expect to.

As far as getting everyone to work together (obese chance), to reverse things, they would need to clean up the ocean of spilled radiation. Further, they would have to remove the radioactive particles already ingested. Write your congressman on that one.

How pitiful and deluded are those who say, "You need a positive attitude." The Power of Positive Thinking does not apply here. Particles from Fukushima cannot be neutralized. Hopefully, soon they cannot be ignored. They are merely one threat that tells us the world's tent is collapsing.

For many, those who dare to mention these things are criticized for their "bad attitude". Sports, entertainment, and buying and selling rule the day. Soon "Shop until you drop" will come literally true.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Church for a Little Boy

This is how we started our day, when I was a child. Church was something to endure, to get over. My father would get ready first and wait for my mother and I to get with it.

I had a little suit and child sized neckties. Who invented neckties? A ridiculous item that men torment themselves with. My white shirt's top button was always too tight. I had a regular sized head but a rather large neck. I felt like my eyes would bulge as it strangled me. Worst of all my Sunday shoes. We walked quite a ways to church and I often got a blister.

Here are my memories of what, to me, was a boring ordeal. A bulletin had the following items "Please rise and sing hymn #____, Offering...Sermon...

Early on we had a preacher who did not like white bread. He preferred corn bread. "Eating white bread is like standing under the Moon and letting it shine into your mouth." Come to think of it, I did learn something at church--cornbread is good.

To continue, when the offering plate was passed, my father would put in his envelope with serial number attached. It had a stub like a bank check for a record. My father gave so much that he got audited by the IRS. His preacher testified on his behalf.

Offerings were quickly tallied and the amount, with the day's attendance, was posted on a bulletin board. I sat, bored, folding down my bulletin. Only two more lines to go!

After the sermon, there were "responsive readings" which we intoned together. To me, they were meaningless. As I remember, then we had a "processional", where the robed choir filed out of the loft and down the aisle. Maybe a man in a "frock" and lace curtain, swinging a censer, would have made it more "holy".

Soon it was time for me to run ahead home, grab the Sunday paper off the porch, take off the horrible clothes and put on my everyday cruddy clothes. Now I could forget the hard bench and lie on the floor and read my beloved comics.

Dwight Long in Seven Seas on a Shoestring tells of going to church on a Pacific island in his tennis shoes and shorts. The locals thanked him for not dressing up as "the white men do".

What a day for a little boy--ceremony, absent content. My father never read the Bible with me, not once. No one did.

Once he passed a letter to me at breakfast. He was so proud. A boy in India was thanking his church for the help they had given him. I handed it back without reading it. "What about me, Dad?" Missions were more important than a son.

We never had a Bible study or even a talk. That was for the experts, far too deep for common folk.

Soon it was time for the baseball game, maybe a nap. I came to despise Sunday-only religion.

How did I become a Christian, learn to love Jesus and his wonderful Word? It took a miracle. But then, it always does.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Setting Standards for God

There was a time, long ago, when people strove to meet the standards of God. Paul talks about his own efforts.

We're far beyond that now, at least many are. In our progress towards becoming gods, there is a common theme--whether or not God meets our standards. Often he does not.

Haven't you heard some say, "I couldn't believe in a God who ______"? You may fill in the blank. Perhaps it might be, a God who elects certain people to be his children, before they are born! In extreme cases, as in the Bible, he even chooses them before the world was made. This is horrible to many, too horrible to even think of, much less to believe.

Then there is a God who not only has certain people that he chooses, but by default, certain people who he does not choose. It gets worse. Some say he even hates certain people. Of course Esau is an exception--certainly a mistranslation. I know, the original text says "hated", but modern people say, "loves less". That's a lot more like the God we want to believe in.

The flood was a huge misunderstanding. I'm sure God won't make that mistake again, although Peter talks about "a fervent heat" melting the elements. This also needs working on. Maybe just ignore it.

The first chapter of John, Ephesians, and (especially) Romans nine are skipped over to avoid conflicts. Who wants conflicts?

So, the God we can believe in is taking shape, and soon he will be just the God we CAN believe in.

Note. I have been advised to take certain pills (they're available everywhere) to cure sarcasm. How am I doing?

Friday, January 3, 2014

No Condemnation, No Separation, Romans Chapter 8

Who doesn't know this? I fear many do not know the heart of this wonderful book and the comfort it gives. For some, reading it would be pulling the plug on the religion industry. Because Paul's reassurance, though a joy to many, is bad business for others. Keeping people scared or doubting--millions of them--is at the heart of major religions.

Remember Ivan Tors, who was behind the "Flipper" series? He was a believer and practitioner in kindness versus pain in the training of animals. A cynic might say that this is just another way to control people, but I know it as a way to give assurance to those who fear the Bible, and especially, the Old Testament.

It is really sad how many Christians do not know that they have a guaranteed "Salvation Insurance" policy that cannot be cancelled, paid for by Jesus. When you mention this in many circles, there are cries of "easy believerism". To them, working for their own salvation is why they strive for perfection. Like the laborers in the parable, who worked longer hours, they resent the equal reward of those who worked fewer. It is the right of the Owner to give out equal salvation to all who believe.

If there is one person you know of who has not read chapter 8 of the Book of Romans, invite them to--urge them to. I'm sure they will rest in the wonderful peace of God if they do.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Persnickety Colonel

A huge bomber has been all shot up. The tail gunner comes into the cockpit screaming, "The rest of the crew is dead, the hydraulics are out, the plane is on fire. We've had it! We've had it!"

The colonel, still in the pilot's seat of the doomed aircraft, snaps back, "We've had it, SIR!"

This old joke about military courtesy tells us of a certain kind of person who insists on "getting it right". Of course such an idea as "right" is as old as the time of the story. Yet there are a few concerned with just this concept.

A pharmacist told of filling a prescription for an old man who said, "These pills are red. They're usually yellow. Guess they're a different brand." It was then that the pharmacist realized to his horror, that he had made a mistake, and the old man had caught it.

My father taught me to be persnickety too, by his example. He checked every door twice just to be sure it was locked. He set our home clock five minutes ahead to help keep us from being late. My mother was just the opposite, she would arrive at a wedding late, resisting all efforts to urge her to hurry. "I'll get there when I get there," she would say.

I agreed with my father in this. Maybe he got his concern for timing from working on the railroad, where punctuality is so vital.

Though the clock no longer rules my life, there is a concern I do have--getting my beloved Bible understanding as right as I can. And to me, this is not a minor thing, of some kind of legalistic perfection. So much depends on getting it right--our relationship with God himself, and the peace that a proper understanding of the Word gives.

I have seen my family--so proper and conscientious in every other way--suffer from a fear of rules and regulations, from the fear of hell itself, because the church failed them. That is why I want to "get it right".

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Stretchable Mind

I've been watching a number of videos on "Night Crawlers". The fact that American Natives have a tradition concerning them, with figures representing them--and we now have them on video--reminds me that Christians should be open to EVERYTHING.

Seems like many people feel that "A closed mind is a pure mind". It troubles me. So many times I have heard people say, "I guess you wouldn't know about that, you being a Christian." Since we have the ultimate Book and the Creator of the universe to guide us, what knowledge could be beyond our reach?

Personally, I don't want anyone to get "the drop" on me. That is, to let fear or ignorance to shut me out because of my faith. There is a common belief that knowledge is "of the flesh", and to be avoided. To contrast this, I say, know more than the world, so you know how to talk to them.

Instead of being known as people who cling to our faith because we know nothing else, I follow the opposite course. It is to say, I know the alternatives, but find them lacking. What if Christians were known as "know it alls" in every field, but found the ultimate understanding through the Bible?

As you look at these "stick figures", what is your reaction? This is a mere sample of course, of what we could be aware of, if we opened our minds. I like to surprise the world when I can. After all we're not the ones hiding from the truth. They are.

Watch Strange Alien Night Crawlers Cloaked Stick-like Creatures From Yosemite Park.