When Is a skateboard a Club?

The short answer is, “When someone is beating someone over the head with it.”

Though the above should be casual to the most obvious observer, that stupid prosecutor in the Rittenhouse case clearly is unaware of this fact. Surely, if it was not covered in law school, he should be able to figure it out all by himself. Hence, my use of the adjective, stupid. He should have to have a sign with word on it hanging from his neck.

God warns us whoa to him who calls evil good and good evil. The prosecutor called self-defense murder. I think this somewhat meets the criteria. Moreover, it seems to be the practice of many prosecutors today to charge the innocent with crimes and let thieves and killers go free.

My biggest example is Fauci, who’s activities led to deaths of millions. Why is he not in jail while who knows how many innocent people people remain in prison for January 6. Where is their speedy trial guaranteed to them by the highest law of the land.

On the other hand, President Trump and many of his associates were prosecuted and impeached with bogus evidence by prosecutors, democrat representatives and a fake media, all of them on the rampage without rhythm or reason.

Not Quite Right

I received a pamphlet the other day from a church, if I remember right was in Kentucky. It did attract my curiosity being as I live near Memphis. Nonetheless, I started reading it. I found a list of things they believe.

As I started out, it did seem reasonable. Then I arrived at the statement that said that we are saved and remain saved as long as we remain faithful to the end. At that point, I immediately threw the package away. I determined that it was all counterfeit, the church and the writing and likely their teaching.

I must admit that it does sound reasonable but God said there is a way that seems right to man but the end of it is destruction. (Loose quote. You are welcome to look it up. If you can’t, ask someone to help you.)

The problem is that the statement is simply not biblical. You can look it up for yourself. The fact is that when a person is saved, the Holy Spirit puts His seal on you and it cannot be removed by anyone but God and God will not remove it. He promises eternal salvation not salvation until you mess up. He takes on all your sins: Past, Present and future. He is well aware of all of them. He was well aware of them as he began to lay the foundations of the world. Not the least of them nor the greatest of them will surprise him at all.

Moreover, the god that is presented in the pamphlet is pretty mean. Can you imagine him saying to someone who was saved, Sorry. Can’t let you in. Five minutes before you died, you lost your salvation.”

The idea also assumes a person might be saved multiple times. If not, once a person lost his salvation, he would be forever lost. I don’t think my God is like that. My God saved me when I was 13 years of age and He will not lose his grip on me, though I live to 140. (or even a thousand and forty) He can do that. He promised that He will. It is but one reason why he deserves our faith, our love, our respect our thanks as well as our worship and our devotion. Why would anyone want to turn his back on a God such as that. Strange as it may seem, none lose their salvation, though they may lose the joy of their salvation. Moreover, for many reasons, he just might take such a person home early.

Oh. By the way, one more thing. God does not chastise those he has not saved, only those to whom he has given eternal life. If you can do things you know are sinful and not feel the rod of God, you just might not be among those He has saved. You might want to think about that.

Trust God

The two words seem so simple. Yet, we all know that when it comes time, it is about the hardest thing a person can do. To be sure, trusting God is perhaps one of the best ways to please Him we know of. To be sure, the Bible says that Abraham believed God and God counted it as righteousness. Put another way, God forgave him of his sin because Abraham believed him. It tells us that trust in God is very powerful.

It reminds me of the story that President Reagan told about a man that fell from a cliff. He quickly grabbed onto a limb. So there he was with no way to go up and looking at a 300 foot fall if he let go.

Out of desperation, he called out, “Is there anyone up there!?”

Clouds formed and from the clouds he heard, “This is God. Are you willing to do anything I tell you?”

“Yes God, anything. Just tell me and I’ll do it.”

God told the man, “Let go of the branch.”

The man looked down. Then he looked up. Then he looked down again. Finally, he yelled, “Is there anyone else up there!?”

I don’t remember how old I was when I first heard that story. I might have been in high school. My immediate thought was that, if I were in the man’s position, I would immediately let go. The older I get and the more times I think it over, I’m not so sure. It is easy to say I would trust God but at this point, I simply don’t know. I would very much like to be able to know I would, but none of us really know it until we face the situation head on.

Three Israelites were thrown into a fire for following the Lord. Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. That’s trusting in God. Moreover, it is more than a story. It really happened. I like to think that I would do the same. The fact is, I don’t know.

To be sure, I have taken stands that have cost me. God did not always intervene for me, leastwise not that I saw. Nonetheless, I do trust Him, that is to say as much as I can. Now, would I jump out of a plane on His instruction. I don’t know if I would, even with a parachute. It just is sometimes we don’t know our faith until it is tested.

To be sure, it is sometimes why he tests our faith… that is, so we will know. He doesn’t need to find out. He already knows. On the other hand, sometimes he wants to strengthen our faith. Every time we go through a trial, it can build our faith. Then again, should we fail, we will learn that too.

Ultimately, we all do need to trust Him for one thing. We must totally and fully trust in Jesus as our savior. We must not try to add a thing to it. If we do, then we don’t really totally trust him. It means we think we need to help. To totally trust in Jesus for our salvation, God counts our faith as righteousness and his reward is to save us from our sins.

Don’t trust in any other faith. Don’t trust in any church or religion. Nothing else can save you. It is what God tells us in the Gospels and it is what he wants us to do. That means we let go of everything else, including our own abilities and we trust in Jesus and Him alone.

John 3:16 does say:

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.

If you don’t believe it, you are calling Jesus a liar. Unless you change your mind, you will pay for that sin in hell forever, regardless of any good or bad you ever did. The instant you believe, your salvation is immediate and forever. God is the only one who can revoke it. If he does, He will not be keeping His promise. So, your salvation is instant and forever.

So. Whatever it is that is keeping you from accepting Christ as you savior, let go of it. It can’t save you. In the end it will do you no good. Stand on the words of Jesus himself as John quoted. Trust Jesus, the living Son of God and He will save you.

On the Wrong Side of Things Maybe

This is a very rough paraphrase of something I heard Christina Bobb say about the abortion bill they just passed in the house.

Point 1. The bill would make abortion legal just about any time any place for any reason.

Point 2. The church of Satan highly favors the bill.

Question: Do you really want to be on the same side as the church of Satan on anything?

This is my little thought I have added on.

In the first chapter of John, the Bible speaks of evil as dark. It also says that the world prefers the dark over the light. This is just another example of just how truly true it is. It is sad when people prefer death over life. How tragic that a nation does not respect life… or that they prefer dark to the light that God provides.

Counterfeit

In Matthew 17, Jesus told Peter to catch a fish and take a four drachma coin from its mouth. I was young the first time I heard the story. It seemed odd to me. Jesus did not need the fish. He could have made dozens of the coins with his spoken word. I suppose he could have also used many other methods as well. But, he told Peter to get the coin from the fishes mouth.

In the musical, “Fiddler on the Roof,” we could hear the whimsical song, “If I Were a Rich Man.” I totally enjoyed the song long before I saw the movie or play. To be sure I identified with it. Actually, I still do. I’m not greedy. I would be very happy with a million or two. I would not turn down five or six. It would not solve all my problems but it would solve most of them.

What does the one thing have to do with the other? Although God can make money, He rarely if ever does. On that day, when Jesus was asked about the taxes, if Jesus produced the money out of thin air, that would have been an act of counterfeiting. The money He would have made would have been produced outside the authority of the government and Jesus recognizes authority, even human authority.

I don’t know how that works completely, but had he made that coin, that would have been a sin, and Jesus does not sin. It does go beyond that. Let’s say God took pity on me, and maybe a few thousand others. He spoke the word and instantly, we would all have five million dollar bank accounts. That would not only be counterfeit in mass, but it could be very damaging to our economy.

That money represents work, skill and knowledge. When it is just given to me, it short circuits the system. It can and would likely negatively effect our economy. Suddenly, there would be millions more money in circulation and hence, each dollar would be worth less. Therefore, God would be improperly taking the representation of the work of thousands and giving it to me. I would benefit from the work of others wrongfully, as would the others.

So now, the government, in all its wisdom has decided it is okay to redistribute wealth. I get to benefit from the sweat of your brow and you get to benefit from the sweat of mine. Never mind the product of our work. Never mind my laziness. All those who have worked so hard to build those apartments. Never mind them. Let them go into debt while those who refuse to work live in the fruits of the work of their landlords.

God does not redistribute wealth because he knows it is not right. Why should the government know better.

Communism is a relatively new economic system. Capitalism is as old as trading. I will give you so many of these if you give me so many of that. I will help you build your home if you will provide food and clothing for me. If you provide me a boat, I will provide fish for you.

The coinage only made it all simpler. At first it had no government backing. However, over time, only the governments coined the money. At least that is the way it was supposed to work. Then they started taxing to pay for mutual defense and roads and such. Now it has gotten into a tangled mess, but it works the same.

The problem is that that there are a number of things that throw things out of kilter. There is, of course robbery. As mentioned a fore, counterfeiting. Then there is gambling and lotteries. In the blink of an eye, gambling can transfer the equivalent of large amounts of work from one to another. Such things throw the capitalists system out of kilter.

The man that loses all his wages cannot pay his rent. The gambling sites draw crowds of unsavory types. And then of course, those that own the “house” live on the fruits of the labor of others without adding one thing to society. Indeed, they become the “rich men” as sung of in the above song.

The work they do is a counterfeit work. But they are not alone. Those in government know how to counterfeit their contributions to society too. They tax some while they give to others… all the time skimming some off for themselves. It is the most important reason to keep government small. It is one of the most important reasons to limit the power of government. It is the biggest reason FOCs get involved in government.

It is one of the biggest reasons that governments fail.

Foretelling the Future

When the latest version of ”The Titanic” came out, I saw a one frame cartoon that was not only humorous but also thought provoking. I would suspect most paid little attention to the thought provoking part but I have considered the cartoon many times over the years.

There was a line of people waiting at the box office where the “The Titanic” was playing. Some adults were talking among themselves and two kids. One kid said to the other, “Oh, great. They ruined the movie. Now we know how it ends.”

I know I will be insulting almost everyone’s intelligence, but please let me explain. Clearly, one of the adults was discussing the movie and thereby spoke of the sinking of the ill fated ship. The kids were apparently not aware of the tragic event.

So, according to the cartoon, the kids found out how the movie was to end. This got me to thinking, what if we could know how things are going to end.

There are those who call themselves fortune tellers who supposedly can tell the future. Sorry if I insult you if you believe that such people exist, they don’t. However, God has given us some ability to predict the future. We know the sun will rise each morning. In fact, nowadays, it can be predicted to the second. Hence, to some degree, we can tell what will happen from what has happened. Farmers know when to plant crops and the folks that drive the snow plows know when it is time to make sure the equipment is ready.

It is not due to some supernatural knowledge. It just is that we know it will happen because it has been going on throughout history. Some people tried to take advantage of this. They spoke of themselves as priest of gods because they knew when it would become hot or cold. In Egypt they predicted the times the Nile would overflow its banks and a few other things. Actually, the so-called priests simply learned to read the signs that God provided for us.

Now, we have weathermen and they predict the weather far more accurately, for about 5 hours. With all the modern equipment they predict when a tornado might hit and they watch as the hurricanes make their way ashore. Even then, they can do little more than guess at the trajectory of the storms for the next 24 hours. So, when the storm threatens, everyone boards up everything within a hundred miles of where the storm might hit. And then, if the storm decides, it takes a right turn and hits somewhere else…or goes out to sea.

God has provided science for us so that we know how things will behave. If you drop something, it will fall 32 feet per second per second until it reaches what is called terminal velocity (more or less). Water boils at 212 degrees at sea level…unless it is in a pressure cooker. It happens every time. You don’t have to be a soothsayer to know it will happen.

Also, God has provided prophets for us. Daniel predicted what is called the triumphant entry into Jerusalem to the day. It wasn’t because he could tell the future. An angel told him Daniel was what we call a prophet. Prophets have a very high degree of reliability and they have high requirements. If they are ever wrong, they are not prophets. They must be right 100% of the time or they are not a prophet, no exceptions.

The reason they are so accurate is that they receive their info from God. God is never wrong.

Let’s go back to the cartoon. The day that the Titanic set sail, He knew what the outcome would be. He knew who would survive and who would die. He knew what mistakes would be made and he knew exactly where that ice-burg would intercept that giant ship. Not one part of the whole thing surprised Him.

Actually, He knew all that would happen from the time they started the planning of the ship. Actually, he knew it from the time He started building the world.

It is, perhaps one of the biggest questions of the Bible. Just what all does he foreknow and what all does he cause. To be sure, he foreknows it all. I guess the real question is, what does he cause and what does he allow.

Going back to the Titanic. He could have intervened in dozens of different ways. He could have delayed the departure. He could have used a wind to slow the ship or move the ice-burg. And yet He allowed it, knowing all the death and suffering it would cause.

Here is the hard part. It is conceivable that he might have caused it. He might have prepared the ice-burg just for the ship. Now that is something I have a hard time wrapping my mind around. I would like to know about it but God does not answer to me. He doesn’t answer to any of us.

However, God has given us a little look into the future. He has given us the Bible. In the Bible is a book called Revelation. In that book, He reveals many things that are to come. He knows what is going to happen and He has revealed some of it to us.

However, despite all he has told us, most have not read the book. Most have not availed themselves of the future facts. I don’t know the reason. Maybe most are like the kids, they don’t want to know how it ends. Fear makes most turn their eyes. Pride makes some avoid the subject. However, whether they want to know or not, it will happen. It is as sure as the rising sun. We just don’t know when.

At that point, those who encouraged the killing of innocent babies, those who practiced deceit for the purpose of gaining power and all those who have killed more than humanly possible to count will be confronted with what they have done. It is not that I am a prophet. I don’t have to be. That’s what it says in the Bible. You might not want to believe the Bible now, but you will.

A Matter of Terminology?

I have seen the phrases, “Miracles happen.” and “Miracles do happen.” a number of times, especially here lately. I would guess most people who call themselves Christian find no problem with the expressions. Indeed, many not only agree with it but also frequently use it.

However, I have been thinking on it. You look at The Empire State building, you wouldn’t say it happened. Someone had to build it. Seven-forty-seven airplanes don’t just happen. There was a lot of work that went into those planes. They had to be designed, the parts had to be built and then someone assembled them.

The implication of saying miracles happen implies that no one was behind them. It is similar to saying the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty just floated down out of the sky.

I know it’s picky. I am sure that many who have degrees in theology would either disagree with me or they would say I am nitpicking. Maybe I am. Certainly there are thousands of childbirths each day and I do consider each one of them a miracle. I am forced to ask the question, do they just happen? On the other hand, does God take part in each and every birth.

I guess that will be one of the many questions I will ask when I get the chance. Well, for that matter, I can ask Him now. He might even answer me but I suspect it is unlikely. I do sort of wish Moses had asked him while he had the chance.

Regardless, I still don’t think miracles just happen. The natural thing is for an ax head, likely made of iron to sink to the bottom of a creek. If it floats, someone is behind it. When the earth stops spinning on its axis for one full day, it was not a natural occurrence. It didn’t just happen. God intervened in the natural events at the request of Joshua. Think of all the natural phenomenon that had to be altered for that one request. Without God’s intervention, one side of the earth would have froze while the other baked.

Naturally, I can cite many other events recorded in the Bible. Many people can cite their own experiences. In no case did any of the miracles just happen. Someone, intervened. If not, it is not a miracle but a natural event. That does not mean that God cannot use a natural event to accomplish his miracles.

Regardless, I believe the statement is misleading, especially for those who do not believe or those recently saved. Oh. And by the way. Salvation is a miracle. God intervened making it a miracle. The natural result of every man and woman’s life is eternity in hell. Jesus intervened by dying on the cross and then rising on the third day. Then God intervened by giving us the plan of salvation, also known as the Gospel, also known as the good news. He provided the means for all of us. It is the greatest of all His miracles and I assure you it did not just happen. However, He does not force anyone to take part in it. Only those who believe in it and chose to accept the gift will ever go to heaven,

Those who have not chosen to take part in the miracle will, by choice, spend eternity in hell.

Call It What It Is: Theft

Many want to dance around the subject with fancy words. They try to invent reasons and concepts that just aren’t there.

When a male takes part in a sport intended for women, it is theft, simple and out outright.

In the least, they steal a trophy. At worst, they steal money in the form of scholarships. No one can convince me otherwise.

Moreover, any college that would recognize such a thing is aiding and abetting in the crime. Sorry, I don’t like sugarcoating sin in euphemisms . God said “Thou shalt not steal.” and this is outright stealing.

Those who take part in the theft might think that they are winners but they deceive themselves, perhaps the worst kind of deceit. Those who assist the thieves show their lack of respect for God and women. They too are part of the deceit.

So, if you’re really honest with others and yourselves call it what it is: Theft.

Irony

From reading the Bible over the years, I have drawn the conclusion that God likes Irony. I cannot absolutely say so but it does seem that God has used irony at least a few times over the millennia. I’m not going to go over but one instance here, the greatest one, the time when Christ was nailed to the cross.

In this one event there are likely several ironies, some which I may not have noticed. First, it occurred at a time that he seemed the weakest while he was displaying some of his greatest power. There was no way that they would have laid a finger on Jesus but that it was a fulfillment of his plan and his will. To some degree, He demonstrated this when He said, “I am.” in reply to the soldiers in The Garden of Gethsemane. When He replied, the soldiers were forced back by his words.

When I was younger and heard the story for the first time, I was as others. I wondered why God did not send his angels in to save Him. I mean, in the movies, don’t the horse soldiers come riding to the rescue at the last minute. Not this time. God let Him die on the cross. Jesus willingly gave up his life. It was an a picture of utter defeat.

Indeed, since Jesus was born, Satan had tried to kill Him. He knew who Jesus was and he knew Jesus came to save mankind from sin. Even so, I wonder if someone had filled him in on the details. As Jesus died, people mocked him, likely at the encouragement of Satan. Could it be that Satan didn’t know that it was all a big plan. Did he know that Jesus was going to pay for all man’s sin in His death.

Then again, I suppose Satan would have won if Jesus stepped down from the cross and punished those who mocked Him. That was not the Plan and if Satan thwarted the plan, then maybe he would have won. But Jesus stayed on the cross and never tried to explain why. It was the plan. He did it for love of all those who mocked and hated Him, among others.

The Bible does not say and we are warned against speculating. Maybe Satan knew. Maybe he didn’t. It just is that from my point of view, it looked as if Satan did exactly what he was supposed to do exactly when he was supposed to do it. Finally, after thirty years of Jesus walking this earth, Satan seemed to succeed at one thing he had been trying since Jesus’ birth.

So, as the people of the day looked on and mocked Him, I would suspect that millions of Satan’s minions watched and cheered too. God’s messengers were there too, but they had a different attitude. They wanted to go in and help but they were ordered to stand back and let it happen.

So the people yelled, “Others he saved, himself he cannot.” Perhaps throughout the Bible, encapsulated in those few words are the greatest irony in the Bible. You see, the truth is He could, but He would not. It did not fit his purpose to save Himself but to save us.

Then three days later, He rose and walked among men. In what looked like Jesus’ greatest defeat was His greatest victory. And now, because He did decide to pay the price, don’t you think we should recognize the fact. Is it so horrible to go to our knees and admit, without Him paying the price, our future would be hopeless.

Surly, He deserves our respect. Surely He deserves our faith.

And what a disaster it is when man turns his face from Jesus Christ after what he did. What a disaster it is when a man stands on his feeble legs and defiantly says, I can save myself. I am just as good as the next guy. The truth is, though, none of us are as good or as powerful as Jesus.

Certainly one of the greatest ironies is that it is difficult for someone to be saved because he relies on his own abilities instead of Jesus. May I remind you, when you say you are good enough to save yourself, it is akin to spitting in the eye of Jesus. You are saying that He did it all for nothing. To me, and perhaps to Him, it is the greatest sin of all. Regardless, it is the only sin that will keep you out of heaven. If you will not accept him as your one and only savior, you will spend forever in a very unpleasant place we call hell. The only reason we call it hell is that we cannot find a word that truly describes it.

The worst part about it is that there is no hope for anyone who goes there. You see, after you have been there one or two million years, your days in the future have not been decreased by one. God has done what He can for you. There is no reason for you to go to hell but your own stubborn decision.

One final brief important note. Religion will not save you. Jesus and Jesus alone saves. To be saved, first you must admit you are lost. Second, you must admit you cannot save yourself. Finally, you must accept Jesus as your savior. You must accept him as your Lord and savior. If you take any other path, it will lead to hell. It is the irony. No one likes being in a position where he can’t help himself. It is hard to completely rely on someone else, especially when you can’t see him.

Manna From Heaven

The first time I heard the passage (From Exodus) about manna, I must admit I had a hard time understanding it. Oh, I had no difficulty believing that God sent it. I had no problem understanding the concept. What I did have problems with were the Hebrews who were not satisfied with it.

I mean, how can someone complain about food you don’t have to hunt or farm. You simply wake each morning and pick it up. As near as I can tell it was about the most perfect food ever was. You could simply pick it up off the ground and eat it raw. You could cook it just about any imaginable way and it still tasted good. Moreover, as near as I can tell, it provided every nutritional need for man.

And the Hebrews complained about it? They did. You can read the account yourself. In fact I wish you would. It just might do you some good.

Now that I am in my early 70s, I have learned a thing about the human race. We love to complain, especially when things are going good. I saw this even more when I was in the Marines. They fed us good three times a day and people complained.

Okay. I will agree, sometimes things weren’t the best, but it was good nutritious food. I guess I did complain a few times. One time, I cut into a pancake and that wasn’t done. No one’s perfect. I called it to the attention of the cook and he made me three more pancakes and they were perfect, though the cook did not seem to like my complaint.

Nonetheless, over the years, I told myself that I would have never complained about manna from God. I mean that is stupid. However, the older I get the more I realize I just might have been a complainer. I don’t really know. I guess, until we are put in those conditions we simply do not know.

The thing here is the broader lesson. Most of us, even good Christians become dissatisfied with the position we are in. Specifically, we don’t like what God has provided for us. Now that is stupid. Yet, I myself have caught myself complaining about the provisions of God. It is simply in our nature, the sin nature that we inherited from Adam. To some degree, we can’t help it, although we make a conscience decision to complain about the gifts God gives us.

Every day, I eat generally twice. Before I eat, I try to thank God. Most of the time I do. Sometimes I forget. Yet, God keeps providing for me, though I do not deserve any of it. I don’t want to make myself higher than any other, but I have noticed that most people, even Christians do not take a few seconds to say a few words of appreciation before eating or after receiving heavenly gifts. Many times, when we mumble the words of thanks, our hearts are not in it. I am ashamed of myself. Many times I catch myself thoughtlessly going through the motions, even to the point that the words run together.

So. Just how many of us would complain if we were provided, every morning with all the perfect food we can eat. I don’t know but I would guess, eventually, all of us. I hate to admit it, but it is in my nature. I suspect it is in yours too.

One of the reasons we complain is that our relation with God is not right. For if our relation is truly right, we would be satisfied, though we have nothing. If our relationship is not right, we will never be satisfied, though we live in mansions and drive nice expensive cars.

So, whenever you feel like complaining, you just might try getting right with God. I guess that goes for me too.