January 25, 2019

 How to be Truth Tellers Living in the Land of the Liars

It is an unhappy truth that over the past months we have been witnessing an increase in lying. The infamous Justice Kavanaugh hearings - more like a trial or witch hunt- made it abundantly clear that truth has become a casualty in our Congress and much of our country.

Every day stories are produced in the media that are patently dishonest, disingenuous, devious and duplicitous. In a word, one cannot help but conclude that the authors have been lying. A mistake is one thing, but knowing that the facts are different than what is written constitutes a lie. It is deception. (Just reflect on the news this past week and how some of the stories have been retracted or altered.)

We are living in the age of information conveyed within a vortex of zealousness. But zeal does not equal truth. It is often passionate noise at best, superfluous drivel at worst. But truth is frequently hard to find.

As Charles Lindbergh reminds us; "In times of war truth is always replaced with propaganda." The fact is we are living in a time of war. Our war is of a spiritual nature according to the Apostle Paul:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
(Eph. 6:12)

The devil has been a liar from the beginning and his strategy and schemes involve deception and dishonesty. He is after all - the deceiver!  (John 8:44)

We are people of the truth. We are to speak the truth in love. Christians are to call out the darkness and let our light shine bright. We are not to be gullible or beguiled and believe every voice in the news or on Facebook or Twitter, whether it be secular or sacred in its source.

It is time for us to be tough minded and critical in our thinking. We must "not be tossed around by every wind of doctrine" or editorial. The church is the Pillar of Truth (I Tim. 3:15) for the word of Jesus is Truth. (John 17:17)

As Thomas Sowell reminds us:
"It is usually futile to try to talk facts and analysis to people who are enjoying the sense of moral superiority in their ignorance."
However it's even more difficult with those who lie.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

January 18, 2019

Life Under the Sun

I know the old proverb:
"Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change. Prayer is a conversation you have with God about things He can change."

True...but I sometimes entertain and experience anxiety, worry, doubt, dread, trepidation and fear. Trust me - I do know what the Bible says about these emotions and expressions of them. But I also realize that sometimes life can overwhelm us.
I know that some of you who are reading this have some big issues that could lead you from mild concern to gut wrenching fear as you pass through levels of anxiety, doubt and dread.

I know of those who have just buried a spouse, endured a stillbirth, been hospitalized with a port to receive medicine that might kill them, only to hope that it saves their life. Others are providing care for a loved one with no end in sight, while others are waiting for the next thing to go wrong. And then there are those who are rejoicing today being in remission and hoping and praying it stays that way.
These are not lighthearted issues.
Many are or will become life and death issues. Sometimes we feel that we are sentenced to death and sometimes we feel we are sentenced to "life." All of this is what comes upon us as we live out our lives "under the sun" and experience what the author of Ecclesiastes calls "life" which amounts to - "vanity, vanity...all is vanity."
How do we live under these circumstances?
We are to see life and live life under a different viewpoint-- a different perspective. (See James 1:2-5) It is a faith perspective with a view that sees God in all His glorious splendor and His sovereign and providential control, in spite of the difficulties and the fears that surround us in this life. For as it has been said before and must be remembered each day;
Faith is not about everything turning out OK. Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

January 11, 2019

The Shallow Saint

One of the most insulting and impertinent assertions that can be said of a person is that they are shallow. Shallow-minded usually means that a person doesn't think much beyond superficialities and surface meaning. The term symbolizes a person who lacks intellectual depth and curiosity. Unfortunately, these descriptors can pertain to the spiritual maturity of many Christians. This is because the church seems to be interested more in sociological entertainment than spiritual enlightenment. Our goal is saintly development.
I Thessalonians 4:1 - Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that, as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you may excel still more.
II Peter 3:18 - ...but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...

The year is still new. It is a new day with a new chance to excel. How will you seek to develop your spiritual life this year? Might I make a few suggestions without you thinking I am being legalistic or meddlesome?
Here is what I am trying to do in 2019 --- R.A.P.
      Read:   I am trying to read the Bible more each morning.
      Apply:  I also am trying to set aside time to meditate on what I read and apply a major principle to my life each day.
      Pray: I also try to pray about the truth I have read and create a principle for how the Lord will use or might use it in my life that day.

 R.A.P.  Try it.

For those who would respond with, "At least my shallowness is only skin deep."
Enough said. I rest my case.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

January 4, 2019

              Count the Days and Make the Days Count 

One of the interesting activities that takes place with the beginning of a new year is to list the famous people who died the previous year There were many in 2018 including presidents, entertainers, literary giants, scientists and a variety of sports celebrities.
But the fact is there were many others who were neither rich and famous nor powerful in this world who have had an abundant entrance into the world of the future - the Kingdom of God.

My kids laugh at me because they accuse me of being able to interject the topic of death within five minutes of a conversation. (I guess the fact that I read the obituaries first thing in the morning doesn't help their view of me.) And yet the Bible reminds us that it is good to have a realistic picture of the brevity of life and the certainty of death.

"A good name is better than a good ointment, and the day of one's death is better than the day of one's birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting: because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter; for when a face is sad a heart may be happy. The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning; while the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure."  (Ecclesiastes 7:1-4)

Please do not think that I am trying to ruin your new year. I hope you had a great New Year celebration and that 2019 will be a great year for you and for me. I also hope that as we take a clearheaded look at our life and understand the wisdom from the Lord that we will invest the days of the year wisely.

The ancient wisdom of Moses offers us a biblical perspective which we would do well to dwell upon.

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone, and we fly away.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:10 & 12)

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,