Detractions


When I was much younger I tried to please everyone. I would bend over backwards to get people to like me. As I got older I realized that is not possible.

For one thing, I have to tell you, I’m not perfect. I know, I know. Someone may find that hard to believe. (Tongue-in-cheek, please!) Of course I have my quirks, and I’ve been called opinionated in some corners, but I try to keep an open mind on life. The Bible may say something to me, but later on a light may go on that says I need to take another look.

I was a major “Hal Lindseyite” for many years, but I had to find out that what scripture says is entirely different. Also to mention, John Wolvoord earned a reputation as one of the most influential dispensational theologians of the 20th century. I, too, came away from their teachings convinced of what they had to say.

Their teaching came from inductive reasoning. Just what is this?

The term “inductive reasoning” refers to reasoning that takes specific information and makes a broader generalization that’s considered probable, while still remaining open to the fact that the conclusion may not be 100% guaranteed.

In other words, you’re making an educated or informed guess based on the information or data that you have. It might sound right, but that doesn’t mean it is right.

I went into a Christian Book store in the 70’s and picked up a book pertaining to eschatology and its various thoughts from different communities of beliefs. I came away angry that so many appeared to be making up false doctrine. I put the book aside.

Then in 1977, after I had experienced the realm of Pentecostalism, I heard a minister on a Christian radio station teaching the Word. I was caught in a new way of what appeared to be opposed to my foundational knowledge of the Rapture doctrine. He said, in short, that he believed in the literal return of Jesus Christ as it said in scripture, but disputed the Rapture doctrine. So. To give equal time I gave him a listen. By the time I figured I’d heard enough I was pretty well ticked. So I turned him off and thought I might as well do some digging of my own.

I am no Greek or Hebrew scholar, but I do know how to look up and research Greek and Hebrew words. After being in school for ministry, I chose this method of study provided me with a clearer understanding as years went by, but at the time all I had was a Thompson’s Chain Reference Bible and a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and a Vine’s Expository Dictionary. I dug out every word I heard this minister talk about. I put what I found in order in a fashion that outlined my findings. I was astonished to find I could not prove this minister to be wrong in what he taught.

Also to include here, I did a historical approach of the Rapture doctrine and found holes in it that didn’t carry weight to maintain the foundational “truths” that Lindsey and Wolvoord taught. They just don’t. I could go on for days on this subject and just might do so. We’ll see.

But to include here as well, this same minister tore down the buildings of about every thing I’d ever thought about as being Biblical truth in Christmas and Easter as well. I got so angry I total cut him off.

Five or six months later at the request of a couple of grandmotherly figures in my life at the time, I went to hear this same minister in person over a three night span. His teaching was specifically on the Kingdom of God, where it is, what it is and who rules it. It was seven 90 minutes cassette tapes. I was totally blown away. An open heaven came over me and the whole concept of Biblical doctrine was opened to me. From there on, I could not get enough of the Word.

My family and I eventually sold our home, I quit my job and moved to where this man’s church was to be a part of that ministry. All this time, I listened to many different preachers and teachers. One was even a Welch pastor, who was saved during the Welch Revival. He was almost 90 yrs old at the time. He was a most fascinating man to listen to. He taught the homiletic class where I went to school. He was a deep believer in prayer. He would tell stories of being in London during WWII when the bomber sirens would go off and he and his fellow Christians would congregate in a church. They would pray all the while the bombs were being dropped. When it would be over and they exited the church they found all the surrounding buildings would have been demolished by bombs, but the church remained intact. Made me have chills to hear him speak about how God kept him.

I firmly believe in the eventual, literal return of Jesus Christ in the same manner as he left. I had to readjust my thinking and get away from the any-minute rapture doctrine. If you have ought with this post, I’m not going to defend it. I just ask you do your own digging as I did, without the influence of anyone outside of scripture save the use of strictly research books without commentaries. That and prayer will likely prove to be the most life changing moments you’ll experience.

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An Example


I don’t normally write about blessing someone else. I’d rather share about the Father or something I see in the Word. But I make exception here only to show a principle in motion in real life from a different prospective.

Most of the time I read about people who say someone paid my grocery bill while in line at the store or at a restaurant where someone paid my tab. You know. Things like that.

I grew up poor and unable to do things I wanted to do and was always scrounging coins together to get something I wanted. It made me selfish in a way, because I had already seen other people seemly with little or no effort get what they wanted. Being the oldest son of a tobacco farmer, I was put to work at the age of seven. My only pay was a roof over my head and a plate of food on the table. My first paying job was working in tobacco on someone else’s farm. But my first real paying job off the farm was driving a school bus while in high school.

Okay. Enough of the rabbit trail. Suffice to say, I was selfish.

Fast forward to now. Over the last few years there has been attempts to hobble me with circumstances, yet even in that God has provided a home, vehicles to drive and a good job. Now I’m retired, draw my Social Security check, a very small pension and once again drive a school bus for the local school system.

But here’s what I’m getting at. God has never, ever, never let me down. I have not had to live in the street or go without. Numbers of times over my walk I’ve seen God fill a need with hardly any trepidation that God’s provision would be limited. I’ve learned to loosen my purse strings and I’ve invested several thousands of dollars to one in particular and have concluded that God has spoken to even forgive them for that debt and release them from it. That’s been a hard thing to comprehend and I’m about settled with that.

So, why am I writing this? To give you an example that belonging to God’s family will give you pause to reflect on the fact that when you give, you can’t out give your Father.

Now, here is the example. It kind of caught me off guard, but my wife and I were in the store picking up a few items before going home from a long day after church and a memorial service of a dear friend. We got in line in the checkout and the lady in front of us was about checked through. She had her two grandchildren with her and the two children and I was bantering about child stuff. All the while I found I had moved in front of the card reader and the grandmother was wanting to pay her bill. My wife calls to me to move so the woman could pay her bill. But instead, I was standing there with my wallet in my hand and without hesitation, I pulled my debit card out and put it into the card reader and proceeded to pay her bill. She protested of course, but I refused to let her do so. I had absolutely no qualms about doing a good deed for this lady. She thanked me and went on her way.

So, you say, you did a good thing. But here’s the rest of the story. The principle of sowing and reaping took into motion. By seven thirty that evening I was paid for an item I had for sale. I had just put it in the yard sale page on FB and didn’t really think it would be so sought after. I had fifteen people wanting it, but most wanted to give me less than I was asking. It’s typical of such sales talk. But for the second time in about a year this happened. The person who came to the house, bought the item and paid me more than I was asking. You call that rare. I call that God. It was for more than that grocery bill. But it doesn’t stop there. Today I went out to the mailbox and in all the stuff I pulled out there was a check for about two thirds of what that grocery bill was. In all God brought back to me in less than a day more than double what that grocery bill was.

You might disagree with me and say it was a return on something I had for sale, but I tell you I disagree. I’ve tried to sell stuff many times and ended up with no takers and what I was selling wasn’t anything out of the ordinary or as I said was talked down from the asking price, but God had a bidding war going on over those items and I got more than anticipated.

Like I said, You can’t out give God. If you think you can, give it a try. It never hurts to give to those in need or to just plain out be nice to someone.

Posted in Abundant life, Children, Christian, church, Financial Investing, Ponderings, Possibilities, Random Thoughts, Sobering Thoughts, Spiritual, Spiritual Investment, Spiritual Investments | 4 Comments

Prayer


Although I’d like to dissect the Word of God more in this blog, I find that I can’t help but use this form of writing to project what is going on with me as well. It is the reason I started it in the beginning. In a way it isn’t about “me”, so much as it is where God is taking me. Everything I write is about His goodness to me, in me and through me. I am so gratefully blessed to be alive in this time. So, what brings me to this post?

Prayer. For those of you who read this can you honestly say you give enough attention to communication with God? One thing I’ve learned about “pray without ceasing” is that I’m constantly open to allowing God to speak to me even if my mind is far away into something I’m doing. It’s one way I know He’s trying to get my attention. God speaks to me at times when I’m least expecting it. How do I know, you ask? Have you been doing or thinking about one thing and suddenly something else interjects itself into your thoughts. When I do I sometimes go “huh?!” Weighing what it was will usually lead me to something God is speaking to me about. You know you sometimes have to decern the spirit that speaks.

Prayer is conversational. I think my prayer life suffered most of my life because I thought it was a one-way talk. I petitioned God and then stepped away and waited for His answer. If I’d have stayed in position and calmed my speech and listened, don’t you suppose He would talk back? It was when I learned this that I began to have a normal everyday conversation as if I were talking to someone in front of me. God does talk to me. He talks to you. Do you stop and listen?

One thing I’m learning lately is there is another way God calls me to prayer. It’s a prayer of intercession. I have no idea why or for whom that may be. It’s a much deeper prayer in the heavenly language I possess. My spirit literally feels bigger than life as I pray out for whatever it is He wants done. My body actually surrenders to the spirit. My soul stills its self. All inside of me gets quiet and my spirit and His go to war in the spiritual realm. I can feel the forcefulness of it. It reminds me of David as he RAN towards Goliath with sling in hand. We are doing battle through my entity.

Now there are other times when God speaks to me and it’s to engage someone else. Take this morning for instance. I was walking into Walmart the same time as a man with a cane was hobbling in. God spoke to me about Him and I said back, I won’t engage him right now. He said okay and I went on in. I worked my way around the store and as I was coming back up there he was with his cart and he said good morning and nodded and I said something back and that was it. We engaged. I found out his name was Linwood Straughn (sic). I found out he was a Christian man, and my neighbors are his friends. They go to church together. He’d had a stroke twelve years ago and he still deals with some things, but he feels well enough to get on with life. We talked about God and Bible principles and after a bit we both agreed to break it off and go finish what we came for or we’d have been there all day. I encouraged him and he gave me strength in our conversation and I went on my way. I’ll see him again. I don’t know the reason of our meeting as total strangers and walking away as brothers, but I’m sure, as I said, I’ll see him again. God put him in my path today.

Never pass up the opportunity. Talk to God, but be sure to listen as well.

Posted in Abundant life, Christian, Patience, Ponderings, Possibilities, Prayer, Random Thoughts, Sobering Thoughts, Spiritual, Spiritual Investment, Spiritual Investments | 3 Comments

A Short Note


The thought below is an excerpt from a previous post of mine.  It was just on my mind writeratworktoday.  I was remembering what the Pastor said on Saturday evening during ordination.  The same thing that I said below from sometime last summer.

I’ve never been able to understand a called-of-God minister pop up one day and say they are retiring.  Being called of God to the ministry is like marriage.  Do you for one instant think of retiring from marriage?  I hope not.  Some of us have our circumstances in life that prevent us from a life-long marriage to one person, but if we are married and intent to make it a life-long commitment there is no retiring.

That connection is a bringing of two together to make one.

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I Remember The Day


I remember the day

When my wife would say

How do you hear from God?

That seems so odd.

I said prayer is talking.

Meditation is to listen

Conversation starts forming

It’s a two way street.

Talk, then listen.

He will speak.

___________________________________

In the beginning of my wife’s walk with God, I had already been talking and walking with God for decades. She had been in denominational churches that didn’t necessarily say anything about a conversational God. Most will pray. They don’t expect God to talk back, only listen.

I told her to pray, but to listen as well. It was a novel idea to her. Not that’s she’s dense or something. In fact, she a very intelligent person. My brother described her as quirky, but that’s another story for another day. I’d say she’s curious and apt to search a thing for it’s truth and relativity in her thinking.

The first time I told to her to listen, she came back a few days later and told me God did speak to her that she had “the key”. She was puzzled for weeks, maybe months then one day we were at the funeral of a friend of ours and through the minister she found “the key”. It was simply Jesus. She’s like “duh”.

She was still a bit puzzled at God speaking to a person. I just told her not to think in the “thees”, “thous” and such of the old English such as the King James Version of the Bible. Just talk to Him in everyday speech. God and I talk anytime He wants my attention or I have a moment to tell Him I’m thinking about Him or have a question. Have you ever been just doing whatever and all of a sudden some thought comes from out of left field, so to speak? Did you realize that was God talking or trying to get your attention? Well?

God has encouraged me through our conversations (another word for prayer). He had scolded me likewise in conversation. We’ve laughed together, cried together and I’ve even listened to Him as He told me what to say to a person I’m conversing with. It’s a bit like having an ear piece in your ear like a person in a cop show as he goes in for the sting and the cops are in a van out on the street are telling him what to say. You get the idea.

Well, Libby came home yesterday and she was telling me she was talking to God about a particular situation with our lives and surprisingly God said back to her this. “Why do you ask Me this? There’s nothing lacking in you and Jim’s lives with Me.” Well, something of that order as I heard it. He kind of scolded her for asking something of Him we don’t really need. I would admit that I have asked God for the same thing and it hasn’t changed. So I guess I could take it as towards me as well, since she was passing it along to me.

Then suddenly I realized something. From years ago till now, Libby has developed the ability to hear from God and then speak back to Him very matter-of-factly. She’s no longer a young babe in Christ. She can talk and hear from Him. That was a revelation to me. I am so pleased with this little light that I saw.

I had a first grader on my bus say something to me about God “up there”. He was pointing up. I asked him did God say something. He pointed up again and said God is up there. He never said anything about Him speaking. I looked at him and said God does indeed lives “up there”, but He also lives in here, pointing to my chest. He looked at me and said “really?” I said yes. And He talks to me directly, right here, again pointing to my chest. The little boy then said God lives in me, too. I had planted a seed inside of him. Let’s see how it grows.

No matter who you talk to, plant those seeds of thought in them. Somebody is sure to come by and water it. Watch then as God brings forth the increase.

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It Is Finished!


John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

IT IS FINISHED!

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance states: Christ satisfied God’s justice by dying for all to pay for the sins of the elect. These sins can never be punished again since that would violate God’s justice. Sins can only be punished once, either by a substitute or by yourself. The “once” here speaks of sin in general, not if you do something like cuss twice in the same week when you slam a hammer on your thumb a couple of times. That only means you’re a bad carpenter and need more practice.

Christ, being our substitute died for us. Otherwise, we are sentenced to die.

The word “finished” means to perform the last act which completes a process. Jesus completed the process whereby God can once again walk in and with His people who profess their faith in Him.

The Mosaic Law was fulfilled. Now instead of the blood of bulls and goats to atone for sin on a yearly basis, we now have the blood of Jesus that has atoned for the sin of all mankind for evermore. Blood, here, is the Greek word “aima”, pronounced hah’-ee-mah. In its description in Strong’s it delineates this usage as the atoning blood of Christ; by implication, bloodshed.

Where do we as understanding Christians stand in this completion?

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,

This is specifically speaking of Jeremiah. But the thought remains that God knew him before he was in the womb.

Luke 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

So. Even in the womb, the child can hear and understand what’s going on as evidenced by Elizabeth towards Mary.

The key verse to this writing is Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

The word “us” in this verse means exactly what it says. . . “us” You and me.

Word: katabolh  is the Greek word for “foundation”.

Pronounce: kat-ab-ol-ay’

Strongs Number: G2602

Orig: from 2598; a deposition, i.e. founding; figuratively, conception:–conceive, foundation. G2598

Use: TDNT-3:620,418 Noun Feminine

Heb Strong:
1) a throwing or laying down
1a) the injection or depositing of the virile semen in the womb
1b) of the seed of plants and animals
2) a founding (laying down a foundation)

This is why I like studying words. Think for a moment in how God thinks. God thinks outside of time. Even in Jewish customary thinking they have only two time tenses. Past and future, although you can peg a spot in the line in between the two, even though we would not know where when that is since we really think about it something like “right now”.

“. . .He hath chosen us IN Him BEFORE the foundation of the world.

Word: kosmoj

Pronounce: kos’-mos

Strongs Number: G2889

Orig: probably from the base of 2865; orderly arrangement, i.e. decoration; by implication, the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively (morally)):–adorning, world. G2865

Use: TDNT-3:868,459 Noun Masculine

Heb Strong: H134 H3627 H4639 H5716 H5716 H6635 H8499 H8597

1) an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government
2) ornament, decoration, adornment, i.e. the arrangement of the stars, ‘the heavenly hosts’ , as the ornament of the heavens. 1Pe 3:3
3) the world, the universe
4) the circle of the earth, the earth
5) the inhabitants of the earth, men, the human family
6) the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause of Christ
7) world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
7a) the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments riches, advantages, pleasures, etc, which although hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ
8) any aggregate or general collection of particulars of any sort
8a) the Gentiles as contrasted to the Jews (Ro 11:12 etc)
8b) of believers only, John 1:29; 3:16; 3:17; 6:33; 12:47 1Co 4:9; 2Co 5:19

Note that if we were in Him before the foundation of the world, when He died we were forgiven when He said “It is finished”. He wrapped our gift of salvation already given at the time He gave up the ghost. We were fore-given another words. We were forgiven in Him. As I see it to give a gift means it has to have our name on it. We don’t just hand out gifts at Christmas randomly. We give them to friends and family whose names are written on that gift that is theirs. Now. All we have to do is accept the gift He so graciously gave us. It contains our salvation with all its power over sin. All we have to do to receive it is confess the sin in our life from the first Adam. He is just to forgive us. Jesus has already forgiven you and your name was added to the Book of Life.

What happens to those who do not come to a realization of the saving grace of Jesus Christ? David’s writing of the Psalms asked for their removal that do not heed the Lord.

Psalm 69:28 (KJV)

Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.

Psalm 109:13

Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

How simple is salvation? It’s by acknowledging He has already written your name in the Book of Life when He said “It is finished”.

How do you remain lost and undone in sin? By not accepting the gift. When you come before judgment, your name will not be found because you refused the gift with your name on it. The name was taken off of the gift when it became apparent you did not receive or refused it.

To close this out. All you have to do is realize that the sin of the first Adam has been reversed by the crucifixion of Jesus. At that time His gift of an everlasting overcoming life had your name written in it. Don’t refuse it. Today is the day you can ask. And you will receive the indwelling presence of Him who afforded you eternal life



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For There is No Condemnation


Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

I’m finding out later in life deeper meaning to scripture. We’re all told by someone that they’ve read a scripture many times in their life and then suddenly one day it jumps out and grabs their heart. Well?

There is therefore NOW no condemnation. How can one judge in the courts of law without a sentence of condemnation? You know if you’re found guilty of an offence in the courts, you will be condemned to a sentence to fit the crime.  But Jesus advocated for us.  He won the case.  So if there is no condemnation, there is no judgment.

So we should not judge one another in condemnation.  But we should discern

Hebrews 5:14:  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Word: diakrisij  Pronounce: dee-ak’-ree-sis

Strongs Number: G1253

Orig: from 1252; judicial estimation:–discern(-ing), disputation. G1252

Use: TDNT-3:949,469 Noun Feminine

Heb Strong: H4657

    1) a distinguishing, discerning, judging

Some people will quote Matthew 7:1, where Christ said during the Sermon on the Mount, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Of course, when they quote this verse in regard to such situations, they take it out of context to support their fallacious claims. When we consider the concept of judging, especially as it relates to the Sermon on the Mount, Christ tells us to be discerning, not condemning.

Word: krinw  Pronounce: kree’-no

Strongs Number: G2919

Orig: properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish:–avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

The same word for judge is used in the following scripture. 

1 Corinthians 6:2-4 King James Version (KJV)

2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

Judging “angels” in the verse below implies “a pastor” or “messenger”.

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law of the old covenant could not allow for one to do was . . .

A.  Walk after the Spirit. v4

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

B.  Obtain life and peace. v6

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

C.  Allow the Spirit of God can dwell in you. v9

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

D.  Have righteousness within you. v10

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

How do we know that? 

Word: logizomai  Pronounce: log-id’-zom-ahee

Romans 4:24-25: But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

E.  Quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. v11

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

What brings us to the place Paul explains about above? No condemnation alludes to the fact that God loves us unconditionally. Look at all the things we have done. Not a pretty picture. Many children have been disappointments to their parents and we are no different in the state of humanity to God. But yet, He loves us still.

What did He do to fix the chasm between Him and us?

John 3:16 (KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

That giving was death of His Son. How many would do this? He did it to redeem us from our old nature of sin and death that cannot be righted by the Mosaic law as described in the Pentateuch.

John 19:30

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. What was finished? That’s where I want to really go with this teaching. There will be more to follow

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