Monthly Archives: February 2014

Myth Busters!

God works in mysterious ways. Well, I don’t know. It must have been God’s will. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

These three commonly used myths sadden me because they are used at a time when people need to be comforted, but they do not comfort. When tragedy strikes and people have experienced a loss, the last thing they need to hear is how helpless they are. Telling someone that they are at the mercy of an unpredictable deity who does whatever he wants without any rhyme or reason does not bring comfort.

Does God work in mysterious ways? Is it possible to know how God works? In the Old Testament we read that God told Adam what he could and could not do. No mystery there – all this is yours just do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Later, when the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah caused Gods’ judgement to fall upon it, God appeared to Abraham and told him His plans. God reveled Himself to Moses and told Moses of His plan to save His people.   Let’s look at Jesus – He said that He does not do what He wants but instead does only what He (God the Father) tells Him to do (John 9:4a).  Jesus said that he that has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14: 9d).  So it’s fair to say that Jesus personified God thus erasing any mystery as to how He works.  Finally, the Apostles tell us that God is Love (1John 4: 8, 16) and that Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (1 Cor 13: 4-7 NIV)

So much for the “mysteriousness” of our God. But, what about His will for us? The famously quoted verse of the Bible – John 3:16 tells us that – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  We also see how much love He has for us in 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. Gods’ will for us is to trust Him and love Him and take Him at His Word. When you read the Bible you will see Him clearly – a loving Father Who is Faithful to love us and care for us even when we aren’t aware that He is there.

But, wait! What about that verse in the Bible that says the Lord gives and the Lord takes away? True, these words are recorded in Job 1: 20 – “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job said these words while mourning the loss of his children. He was upset, to say the least. Even though these words are recorded in the Bible it doesn’t mean that they are true concerning the character of God. NOW, before you go thinking I am discrediting the Bible or changing the Word of God, consider what I said. The Word of God is true and infallible for sure, but not everything that everyone said about God is true about God. Satan told Eve that God lied to her – And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Gen 3:4-5  Satan once said –  I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;  I will make myself like the Most High (Isa 14:13-14), But he did not (vs 15).  Solomon said that there is no purpose to life – that it’s all vanity! (see Ecclesiastes). This is not in keeping with what the Word teaches about how precious life is and how we are to live each day to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). But, Solomon said these things after he allowed his many wives and concubines to lead him far from God. Peter even told Jesus that he would keep Jesus from suffering when they got to Jerusalem and the Lord rebuked him (Matt 16:23; Luke 4:8; Mark 8:33).


I am not trying to rewrite the Word of God but rather provoke YOU to open the Word and see for yourself just what it does and more importantly what it does not say. I believe that if you take the time to do this God Himself will meet you there and you will see Him clearly. Terrible things happen everyday to people and when they search for answers we believers should be able to encourage them with the truth of Gods love and not bewilder them with misguided platitudes.

Jesus left us with this encouraging word found in John 16: 33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

PS –

Basic Bible study rules tell us that at the mouth of two or three witnesses let every word be established (2 Cor 13:1). So if anyone can find three verses, in context, that support any of these myths I would be happy to discuss this further. I have tried to present a number of verses to support my opposition to these upsetting and misleading concepts. I hope I have done a good job of it.

Really? Seriously?!?

Just what are we becoming??

A man shoots another in a movie theater for texting during the previews! Another man kills his girlfriend during an argument over a TV show! Road rage incidents abound and young children are harming their parents! These aren’t television show story lines – they are news items. These are things which continual get broadcast at dinnertime each night and we say “Oh My!, pass the potatoes.” We live in a violent society. We accept it as entertainment in our television shows, music videos and movies. We are only slightly shocked when we hear about it on the evening news. And, we accept it because, well, these things happen. Really? Seriously?!

I can still remember my reaction to a gory scene in a movie even though I don’t remember the movie. I recall seeing a mangled mess of a person presented in a crime scene and how it made me feel sick in my stomach. I don’t get that feeling any more. Some would say I have grown up. Others might say I have become tougher, more manly, and thus able to see these things. I say that I have been desensitized. Brain-washed by our society to accept such unacceptable things as the norm. The truth is that the blatant disregard for human life and civility has caused us all to slide down a slippery slope of inhumanity.

In the late sixties and early seventies if I had a problem with another classmate we might get into a fist fight. If I had a problem with a teacher I would talk about it at home or maybe with the Principal. We all know too well how many of these scenarios play out today – with gun shots and bloodshed. Many times innocent bystanders are harmed as vengeance is being exacted. Driving on some roads becomes a completion with terrible outcomes. Unborn children are ripped from their mothers womb and discarded. Newborns are found in trash cans. Amber alerts are sounded when children are snatched from the safety of their own homes. Metal scanners attempt to keep our schools safe and millions of people get searched daily just to take a plane to work or vacation.  Technological and scientific advancements may give us many new and exciting things that previous generations did not enjoy but they haven’t halted the downward spiral that we as people are in. There really isn’t anything scared any longer. It’s truly all about – ME! Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!

The Apostle Paul tells us that in the last days –

 For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad. They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good.They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. 2 Timothy 3:2-5 Living Bible

All I can say to that quote is – IF these aren’t the last days (considering what we are seeing done around us each day) then God help us as we go forward into the last days. Either way – all of us who believe in the Lord Jesus should pray daily that the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit guide us and protect us while we walk in a world that is getting darker and more dangerous day by day. Amen? Amen.

Darkness 1

ps – Jesus said I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4 KJV

Let The Games Begin!!!

2014 Winter Olympics logo.svg

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, are being held in Sochi, Russia and all eyes were on the opening ceremony last night. The teams entered the stadium proudly lead by their nations flag with broad smiles as they waved – they have arrived. Years upon years of hard work inspired by the dream of being an Olympian have brought all of them here. Today. For this, and now they are here! From the veteran members who have taken this walk before, to the newcomers who can hardly contain themselves, the faces can not hide the excitement of the moment. Tomorrow they will compete. Some will fall. Some will cry. All will strive and give their best but ONE will win. OK, Three will win (Gold Silver and Bronze) but you know what I meant.

I can appreciate the level of commitment and hard work these athletes have endured to get to Sochi. They set aside the better part of each day to train. They worked through the pain, self-doubt, discouragement, fatigue and distractions. They had a goal in sight and their gaze was unwavering. Day after day and year after year. What commitment! What determination! What devotion! To reach the Olympics and WIN the prize!

Jesus was such an athlete. He knew what He needed to do and set His face towards winning the Prize. He endured so much on His way to win the prize. For 3 1/2 years He traveled teaching and preaching to both the eager and the skeptic. His Haters tried to trip him up and bring Him to shame. Even His followers disowned Him when the road got rough. Yet, He endured. Who knows which was worse for Him to bear. The rejection and hatred from the people He loved or the lash across His back? The pain of being spat in the face or having His skin pulled off with fistfuls of His beard? The hanging on the cross like a common criminal or the separation from His Father as the sky turned black? Yet, He endured. For the Prize.

 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 Living Bible

We are the prize! We are the Joy that He endure it all to reach! We are the Gold medal around His neck! We are! The Word of God tells us the He would come and that in coming He would be the Lamb Who would take away the sins of the world. John the Baptist announced this while standing in the Jordan River. Jesus knew what course of action He must take to win the prize as He walked from the Jordan River that day.

 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3:21,22 KJV

In Thee I am well pleased! – Before Jesus healed a single person, preached a single sermon, raised anyone from the dead, opened any blind eyes or deaf ears. Before Jesus did any of the things we hear the most about – God the Father said He was well pleased with Jesus. Why or what was His Father so pleased with? I believe He was pleased with Jesus’ decision to take the first steps towards the goal of winning the Prize even though He would have to walk down a road that would be hard, painful and discouraging. In spite of the years it would take. No matter how hard or lonely. Even when self-doubt and temptations came. Jesus’ resolve was firm. His eye was on the prize and no one and nothing would stop Him.

We are that prize. Our freedom was WON for us by Him on the cross. No Olympic grandstand holds the glory of the Cross of Jesus Christ because He won something more precious then Gold or Silver or Bronze. He WON YOU!…….. and now its your turn to run the race and win the prize. This short life we live is our race and the prize is Eternity with Him in Heaven. He secured it for us on the cross but we have to claim it for ourselves and reach the goal…….. Paul encouraged all of us with theses words….Let it become our anthem…..

….. In a race everyone runs, but only one person gets first prize. So run your race to win. To win the contest you must deny yourselves many things that would keep you from doing your best. An athlete goes to all this trouble just to win a blue ribbon or a silver cup, but we do it for a heavenly reward that never disappears. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not just shadow-boxing or playing around. Like an athlete I punish my body, treating it roughly, training it to do what it should, not what it wants to. Otherwise I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I myself might be declared unfit and ordered to stand aside. 1 Cor 9:24-27 Living Bible