Monthly Archives: June 2014

The US Mint

Back in April of 1976 my Senior class went to Washington DC. It was a fun trip which required lots of planning and several buses. I remember two things best out of those three days. Lynn broke her leg almost immediately upon arrival in DC (non of the chaperones believed us when we told them she was hurt because it was April 1 or April Fools Day). The other thing that stood out from that weekend was the Mint.

The Mint was a large and impressive building as are many in DC. I don’t recall the tour much but I do remember the presses and the sight of huge sheets of money rolling by. The greatest memory is that of the quality control room. Here stacks of huge sheets of bills would be checked for flaws or errors in printing.

It was the way they checked for errors that stands out all these years later. They would take a fistful of these large sheets of bills and place them on a kind of easel. Then they would take a corner of the stack in one hand pulling it away from the rest and just let them fall back down one at a time – kinda just flipping threw the stack the way one might flip threw a book looking for a certain page. Rarely they would stop and circle a spot or “x” an area. I was amazed at how quickly they were able to spot errors in the printed bills. They didn’t have any example set before them. Just their trained understanding of what the bill was supposed to look like. With that training and understanding any alteration or error stood at even as the pages of bills past very quickly in front of their face.

Oh that we were so well versed in the Word of God! What if we were so educated in the nature of God and familiar with His character that we could spot error in a moments notice! We would be able to spot misquoted Bible verses and doctrinal error in the flip of a page.

When we hear it being said that “The Love of Money is the root of all evil”, we would be able to point out that it is “the Love of Money” not money in and of itself, that “is a root of all kinds of evil” 1Tim 6:10 NKJV

If we are so well-versed in Scripture we will not be deceived as Eve was when the Devil called Gods Word into question and caused her to sin.  “You will not surely die.” Gen 3:4 NKJV

Open Book NYPL B&WStudy to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

I would encourage all of us to read the Word, read the Word,and read the Word. In doing so you will keep yourself from deception and error. Be Blessed!

(Please note that Eve, by misquoting Gods Word regarding “touching” the fruit, showed the Devil that she didn’t know Gods Word very well.)

 

 

Cartoon Character

You know that cartoon where the villain, while chasing the hero, runs off of a cliff and continues to run until he realizes that there isn’t any ground under him and only then does gravity take over and he falls like a rock! Beep Beep!

Well, that was me today!

I was driving home from a long days work in the first real Summer heat to hit us when I looked down to see that my vehicles inspection expired – 3 months ago! Where was I? What was I thinking? Haven’t I been in this van everyday for the past ten years? Obviously, I wasn’t thinking about the vans inspection. So, now, 15 miles away from home, I am certain that I am going to get pulled over and ticketed for not maintaining my van. I was whistling along happy and dumb for 3 months but NOW I am feeling guilty, worried and not just a little bit foolish. I got home safely and will be the first in line at my mechanic tomorrow morning but it reminded me of what Paul said about blissful ignorance.

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. Romans 7:9 NKJV

Or, if I may paraphrase, ignorance is bliss! For months I drove around content, without a care or a worry in the world. Once I knew that I was out of order, I cringed at every turn because I knew I deserved to pay the price for breaking the law.

Collecting Dust

If only I could be so “self-aware” everyday. Humbled by the fact that without Jesus and His shed blood I should be cringing in fear of the judgment that awaits me for those things that I have both knowingly and unknowingly done.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord!

Your Grace is sufficient for me!

and for all of you too….

be Blessed

Blessings and Curses – Fathers Day Part 2

Blessings and Curses

These two terms are nearly the most misused and misunderstood expressions heard today. We hear performers and actors say how blessed they are to receive an award as if the accolades of their contemporaries were a gift from God. We read the headlines of tabloid magazines how the curse of this family has taken another life or how a celebrity cursed out the paparazzi in a drunken rage.

Although these usages could be considered appropriate they don’t quite follow what the Word of God regards them to mean.  Merriam-Webster defines Blessing as, in part, approval that allows you to do something; Help and approval from God; something that helps you or brings you happiness. Dictionary.com defines Blessed, in part, as consecrated; sacred; holy; sanctified; worthy of adoration; reverence; or worship; divinely or supremely favored.

Likewise, Curse is defined in part, by Merriam-Webster, as an offensive word that people say when they are angry: magical words that are said to cause trouble or bad luck for someone or the condition that results when such words are said: a cause of trouble or bad luck. Dictionary.com defines, in part, Curse as the expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc.a formula or charm intended to cause such misfortune to another. the act of reciting such a formula. a profane oath; curse word.

So, without doing any further references we can see where our current use of these words comes from. Lets look at what the Bible says about these terms and their usage.

 Deuteronomy 28 is often referred to as the Blessings and Curses chapter of the Book of the Law. Verses 1- 14 spell out the blessings for obedience to God and verses 15-68 lists the curses that will come from disobedience.

In Genesis 27 we see Issac Bless Jacob (thinking he is Esau) by simply speaking over him and into his life –

May God give you of Heaven’s dew and Earth’s bounty of grain and wine. May peoples serve you and nations honor you. You will master your brothers, and your mother’s sons will honor you. Those who curse you will be cursed, those who bless you will be blessed.

We see Jesus blessing a group of children and using the opportunity to teach a valuable lesson at the same time.

Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:15-16 NKJV

It is these examples of how blessings were given that brings us to my point. The blessings were given out orally. The blesser spoke the words over the blessed and they were received.

Likewise, curses are simply spoken over and into the life of the recipient. Today we don’t think much of curses. We place the idea of curses off to the mythical world of witchcraft and magic. But if we look at how very easy it is to “Bless” someone by speaking words of life and prosperity into and over them why would it be so hard to consider the opposite?

If we can speak blessings (life); “You can do anything you set your mind to do.” “You are a talented girl and should not be afraid to try anything.” “You are a really strong boy and will succeed at whatever sport you play.” How hard is it to realize that we can curse (speak death); “You’re just a stupid idiot! You’ll never amount to anything!” “You’re not as pretty as the other girls why even try to be?” “You’re just a skinny little boy what makes you think you can play with the big boys?”

Care for you

Care for you

I subtitled this post Fathers Day Part 2 because I think it’s important to shed light on just how powerful our words can be. Fathers and Mothers and anyone in authority over a young person can “speak” over and into their lives, words that will shape them for years to come.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

Blessings and Curses. Balloons to lift one up or darts to shoot one down. Are there any words, spoken over you years ago, that still resound in your ear?

Jesus wants you to know that you can overcome those darts by reading what he has to say over and about you. You are His child and He loves you dearly. He has a future and hope for you. Your name is written on the palm of His hand and he holds your tears in a jar. The hairs on your head are numbered by Him.

Jesus is the hot air balloon you need to be lifted up and blessed beyond the darts and dashed dreams of the past into a glorious new life. Trust in Him because He cares for you.

Hurray for Daddy!!!

Fathers Day 2014

It’s been a pet-peeve of mine for some time now how the media portrays Dads. From TV to Movies and even the blogosphere Dads are inept, incapable and incompetent. It’s there female counterparts or even their children that have all the answers, insights and wisdom. This is not the way it is nor should it be.

The Bible has much to say about the authority, responsibility and importance of Dad and his role in the family unit and community. Some would say that the Bible is a chauvinistic piece of literature written by men. That it’s demeaning to women by casting men in a preferential position over them. I suppose a cursory glance at some select scriptures might bring one to that conclusion –

 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18 KJV (also Ephesians 5:21)

Dad on the beach

But taken in its totality the scriptures resound with verses calling men to be sacrificial lambs for their wives, teachers of their children and protectors of the family. The following verses clearly illustrate two fundamental principals – we are to submit to each other and the man, as head of the wife is to behave “AS” Christ did for the body of Christ (the Church) which was He died for the church.

 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; Eph 5:21-23 KJV

Men are instructed to Love their wives and other duties while women are only commanded to submit (honor and respect) their husbands. (see also Eph 5:24-26 KJV and 28-29)

The Word of God cautions Fathers about being too overbearing to their children –Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord. Eph 6:4 

It further places the responsibility for teaching Spiritual things on the Fathers –And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up Deu 6:6-7 NKJV, and thereby puts the burden of their children’s salvation squarely on Dads shoulders. The Bible further state that a man (Dad) should be sober, of good behavior, apt to teach, not greedy or violent, patient and able to manage his household. 1Tim 3

Now, I am not saying that wives aren’t able to teach or manage a household or do any of the things that I attributed to Daddy here. In fact, I commend those wives and mothers who juggle so many tasks and responsibilities, either because there isn’t a Dad at home or because circumstances dictate.  What I am saying is that Dad’s are not portrayed in a favorable light in the secular media. Even The Today Show ran a segment about the disparity between men and women in the media. Check out this paper from Cal. Poly Tech on the subject.

The bottom line is this –

God created Eve from Adam’s side not his head or feet. Neither gender is to dominate the other but Biblically each has a role handed down by God and the Scriptures tell us that clearly in easy to understand terms – if we read all of it. Stereotyping men and objectifying women is just what the world does and will continue to do but it is not Gods way.

Learn what God says about relationships and family – and be blessed.

HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY TO ALL THE DADS OUT THERE!!!

 

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N-!!!

This past week we have been on vacation with some family member’s. For us it was a stay-cation since we never left home but instead hosted my sister and her daughter and grand daughter from out of town. So, we acted as tour guides and showed them all around New York City. In so doing we got to enjoy the sights also.

It’s a fun thing to be a tourist in your own town (or city as the case may be) and take in the sights with others. It gives us a sense of appreciation for what we have when you see others appreciating it.  For seven days we showed them all around New York City. We took in all of the sights; Times Square, Central Park and its’ Zoo, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, The Lion King, Washington Square Park with its refreshing Fountain, Chinatown and Little Italy and the Statute of Liberty (as seen from Battery Park) just to name a few of the fun things we did. 911 Memorial OneYet the most somber sight by far was the 911 Memorial. The cascading waterfall and the reflective pool encased in the engraved granite was a sight that made me stop. These two pools with the Museum set between them had a surreal quieting affect on me as I stood there with my grand-niece who was born only months after the attacks of that September. For her, that day is a matter of history and not as personal as it is it those of us who lived it. Much like the events in Hawaii back in 1941 are distant to me.

There’s a saying – “Time heals all wounds” and I suppose it is true for some things. But I can not help but wonder if some wounds should remain fresh? Fresh enough to keep the truth of the events from being distorted as they pass into the foggy distance of time.

Hitler did try to wipe out the Jews. The Japanese did attack Pearl Harbor. Terrorists did attack the US. Thousands of real people with families and friends and jobs and lives and hopes and dreams died and the passage of time should not diminish that fact. History should teach us to remember what led up to these terrible events NOT just memorialize them.

I hope and pray that the Spirit of the Living God encourages and strengthens those who suffered a loss on September 11, 2001. But I pray that our country remains vigilant to the threat that lurks in the shadows wishing to do us harm.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour 

1Peter 5:8 KJV

A Side Note –

  While entertaining my family at a restaurant there was a large family next to us who were especially celebratory (some might say loud) and I have to admit I almost wished we were seated elsewhere. Near the end of our dinner I overheard that they were having a family gathering to send off one of their sons who serves in the military. I was ashamed of myself for judging this large group for being loud and obnoxious when in fact they were saying goodbye to their boy. I had to go over and shake this young mans’ hand and thank him for his service. He looked very young and yet very eager to return to his post and follow whatever orders he would be given.

May God Bless and watch over the souls of all our Men and Women in the military and bring them safely home or welcome them with open arms.

Amen?