A Simple Complement

A simple complement costs nothing but it can accomplish so much. This evening, my wife and I went to a Waffle House and ate. I took a second to complement the cook. His face lit up as if I gave him a dollar or two.

I know I did not add a nickle to his wealth, yet I could tell he still felt much better because of it.

Those working in restaurants work hard to provide food for us. I know because I worked in a restaurant for two years. Mostly, it is thankless work. A waiter hands someone a meal and the person receiving it will likely just take it for granted. I make it a point to thank every server and I make it a point to be sincere. It is a small thing that costs me nothing but it can help the server bear his workload just a little.

In general we humans are born thankless. We have to be taught to say thank you, even when we don’t mean it. Maybe it would even be better to thank people and actually mean it. Would it be so horrid to actually appreciate that which is done for us?

Let me go one step farther. In light of all that God has done for us, shouldn’t we thank Him from time to time and mean it?

The Dark

One day, I was walking through our offices at work and someone turned the lights out. A woman, joking, said, “Don’t do that. I’m afraid of the dark.”

I quipped back, “No need to fear the dark. It won’t hurt you. It’s all those terrible monsters that lurk in the dark that should concern you.”

Indignantly, she called back, “Same thing.”

Maybe she had a point. Nonetheless, in the days before electricity man had to spend a lot of time in the dark. Before fire, of course, it was even worse. Can you imagine spending roughly half of each day in the dark? It sort of makes a person appreciate a full moon.

It is no wonder that the Bible uses the dark many times in metaphors. In Psalms 119:105, it says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” KJV The psalmist is saying that God’s Word allows us to see things that the dark hides from us.

The world would like to keep us in the dark. God would like to bring light to us, which allows us to make our decisions in, so to speak, a better light. God wants us to be aware of the monsters that lurk in the dark. Moreover, he wants to guide our footsteps so that we don’t stumble. Then, of course, when we do stumble, he picks us up and puts us back on our feet.

Whenever I read the verse, I wonder just why a person would reject the light of the living God and prefer to stumble through the darkness. It boggles my mind. Yet, guess what, I do it daily. Every time I sin it is because I ignore the light and prefer the darkness. I don’t understand that.

However, the scriptures speak of another Light. In the first chapter of John, the Bible calls the Light the “Word.” If you take the time to read the fist two chapters of John, you will see that he is speaking of Jesus, both as the Word and as the Light. To be sure, He is both. He allows us to see things that the dark (Satan, the evil one) would like to hide from us.

Since my early 20’s, I have learned to totally enjoy the first three chapters of John. First, I learned to like the first chapter. Later, I learned that all three of the first chapters are very important to know Jesus, Who He is, and what He did for us. I have read the whole Bible at least 8 times but I have read these chapters more times than I can count. Yet, it seems that each time I learn a little more.

You see, one of the really important things the Bible does for us is to give us light. Without it, we would all be in the dark. We all know what that means, but not nearly as well as those who had to rely on fire for their light. Next time you want to understand dark, go in a room and pull all the curtains. Then, turn out the lights. You see, dark is what happens when there is no light. Evil is what happens without the Word of God.

In the past 5 or 6 decades, people have been trying to remove God from our society. So. It is basic logic. Remove the Light and only the dark remains. And, one thing I have learned over the years from experience, evil loves the dark.

Communism hates the light. Communists hate Jesus… and the Bible.

Blind, Sort of

My wife and I went to dinner with my son and his wife.  I took out my glasses, which were the expensive type.  The lenses were progressive.  The more I tilted my head back, the greater was the magnification.  Today, I’ve given up on them.  My eyes have degraded to the point they don’t help much.

At any rate, I took one look at the menu and got quite a fright.  I said aloud that there must be something wrong with my eyes.  I couldn’t read the menu.

My son laughed and said, “You’re missing one of your lenses.”

Okay.  That was a relief.  Sure enough, when I removed my glasses and inspected them, it was easy to see that one of the lenses was missing.  Fortunately, it had fallen out while the glasses were in my glasses case.  When I shook it a few times, the lens fell out.  With a little effort, I persuaded the lens to take its place and I was able to easily read the menu.

In the third chapter of John, Jesus said, “Unless a man be born again, he shall not see the Kingdom of God.”

Today, we don’t give the statement its proper respect.  We hear a person is a born again Christian and we pay it little attention.  However, we should realize the situation for Nicodemus, the man to whom Jesus was talking.  He had never heard the expression before and he was genuinely confused.

With the one statement, Jesus had managed to accomplish three things, that is besides the confusion.  First, he stated a fact, one that is just as true today as it was then.  It is just as true for us as it was for Nicodemus.  Unless a man is born of the Holy Spirit, he will not see the Kingdom of God.

Second, he got Nicodemus’s attention.  Sometimes, a little confusion is good.  It piques the curiosity and causes us to pay attention.  To be sure; Jesus had Nicodemus’s undivided attention.

Third, it challenged Nicodemus’s pride.  Pride is a bad thing.  God hates it especially because it can and frequently does get in the way of our salvation.  Because of pride, we don’t believe we need salvation.  Because of pride we think we can provide for our own salvation.  Because of pride, some people believe they have no need of God.  Jesus was dealing with the pride that separated Nicodemus from salvation, both here and in the following verses.

If I may, I would like to return to Jesus’s first accomplishment, the statement of fact.  With the one statement, Jesus excluded many from The Kingdom of God.  To be sure, most are far too proud to be born again.  Many don’t believe it is needed.  Far too many think of it as optional.  Some even think it is dumb.

Jesus said it is mandatory.  Like it or not, that is the way it is.  God makes the rules.  Jesus, the Son of God made it clear for one and all.  You have choice.  Accept his word and be born of the Spirit or don’t believe, which will result in an eternity Hell.  If you let your pride get in the way, it is not of God’s doings.  It is your own choice.

Finally, as a side note, I would like to relate one more observation.  I have had arguments with people who were not born again, that is people who did not accept Jesus as their Savior.  I could never understand why they could not understand something I could see so clearly.

…and then it hit me.  People who are not born again cannot see anything wrong with abortion because they cannot see the Kingdom of God.  They do not see the unborn child as a life.  As with my loss of a lens, they cannot see God’s Kingdom because God had not given them spiritual vision.  All they see is the worldly view.

Now, you ask, do I see the Kingdom of God?  Well, yes.  However, my spiritual vision is far from 20/20.  To me it is still blurry.  There are still many things in this world I don’t understand.  I can actually make you a list of them.  However, one day I will see them all clearly.  God will give me perfect spiritual vision and I will understand it all.

As for those who aren’t born again, they will understand it all too, but from a different perspective.  At that point, they will have a different attitude of pride.  Unfortunately, it will be too late.  If you have heard this all before, then you are already getting a second chance, or maybe a third.  You haven’t a reason to ask for another chance.  You’ve already had a dozen or so.

One more thing.  Unfortunately, we who are born again must live under laws that are made by people lacking spiritual vision.  It is, of course why millions of children have been slaughtered in the womb.  It is, of course, why none of us is able to get through to those making the laws.  To this, there are two solutions.  Vote Christians into office.  Bring others to Jesus.  Help them see the importance of being born again.  It is not just for them, but for all of us.  It is especially good for those who cannot speak for themselves.

The Inoculations

In these days when we speak of getting a vaccine for the China virus, I am reminded of a time when we had the opportunity to see one of Rev. Billy Graham’s crusades hear in Memphis.  It was during that crusade that my older son gave his life to Christ at 8 years old.

It was at the Liberty Bowl and it was pretty full, despite the threat of bad weather.  Actually, it worked out for the best.  Because of the threat of bad weather, they decided to move it all inside to the nearby sports arena.  Then, the bad weather cleared and it was very pleasant.

So, Rev Graham spoke to a full sports arena.  Then, when done, he came over to the Liberty Bowl.  It was sort of a two for one.  I cannot speak of what the results were in the sports arena, but there were thousands that went forward to the platform they placed out on that football field.

When my son told me he wanted to go, I thought it was just because everyone else was.  After a short talk, I accompanied him down to the field and there, on that day, he was born again.  … and all I thought we were going to do was to see a great man speak.

Now what does that have to do with vaccines?  That night, Rev. Graham compared a vaccine with false religions.  When a person is given a vaccine, he becomes immune to the real thing.  When a person starts believing in a false religion, it will, to some degree, make him immune to the real thing.

In the case of vaccines, of course, that is a good thing.  In the case of false religion, it is a bad thing.  To be sure, it is far easier to lead a person to Christ when he knows nothing about religion.

Hence, one of the Devil’s favorite tricks is to get a person to believe in the false religion – the lie – knowing that it will make it more difficult to get him to believe truth.  That was, more or less what his message was that night.  I guess I can properly add that, once a person believes the truth, it also makes him immune to the lies.

My point is this.  If you have a religion you believe in, you might want to make sure it is the truth.  If it is not the truth, you need to find the truth and soon.

Now the question is, how do you know if you believe in a false religion.  There are three ways.

  1.  Make sure that what you believe can be validated by God’s Word, the Bible.  Many religions will show you the Bible and then set it on the shelf while they teach you from another book.  Moreover, some religions teach from one passage of the Bible and ignore the rest.  If someone tells you something, ask him to show it to you in the Bible.
  2. Fruit inspection.  Matthew 7:16 says that by their fruits you shall know them.  If the religion produces bad fruit, then the religion must be bad.  If the person speaking to you is corrupt, then, very likely what he is teaching is also likely corrupt.
  3. Finally, a person who teaches the truth will point to Jesus Christ, certainly not to himself.  Be suspicious of people who have large followings who don’t teach Christ and the cross.  It is what Paul taught.  It was what Peter taught the day of Pentecost (Acts, the second chapter).  Also, be suspicious when he teaches any of the following:
    a.  baptism or the Lord’s supper is mandatory for salvation.  May I remind you, the thief on the cross had no part in either.  Yet, by Jesus’ own words, we know that he went to heaven.  How much more assurance can a man have this side of death.
    b.  The infallibility of the leader(s).  Not one of us is perfect, not even the Pope.  Moreover, Jesus is the only person who took human form and is worthy of worship.  He is worthy because He is God.
    c.  Beware of those who put a lot of importance on ritual.  Jesus gave us two ordinances, the Lord’s supper and baptism.  They are followed in obedience, not as a requirement.  Yet we are warned to take part in them solemnly.  Baptism is a picture of our death and resurrection after we are saved.  The Lords supper is a picture of Christ dying and giving his life for our salvation.  There are no other rituals for Christians.
    d.  The requirement to give, in some cases, everything to an organizaton is not a biblical command.  Those who gave in the early church gave willingly, not by demand.
    e.  Think twice, or maybe three or four times when a religion teaches that theirs is the only true church.  Jesus is the only way.  He said as much.  However, in Revelation, he had something to say to seven churches, not one.
    f.  Finally, run from any religion that practices polygamy, self-destruction, or killing.

Believe it or not, God did give us a certain amount of common sense.  Real Christianity is common sense.  We sinned, so we earned death.  Jesus died for us so we don’t have to die.  It is a matter of choice.

If you never read another word in the Bible, read John 3:16-18

 16 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.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

You might notice that Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus (a pharisee), but his words are far more inclusive.  Instead of using the word, “you” he use the word “whosoever.”  That even includes you.  It even means me.

All other religions are based on actions.  Christianity is based on faith… faith in Jesus as the Son of God.  You cannot earn salvation.  You cannot even help to earn your salvation.  That would require actions.  What Jesus said in the above verses had nothing to do with anything but faith.

Option(s)

When I go to a doctor and he finds a problem with me, he frequently gives me a list of options for me.  Occasionally, a doctor gives his patient only one option.  Sometimes there is but one treatment for a ailment and there is no alternative, other than to let the illness take its course.

When Jesus prayed in the garden to “…let this cup pass from me.”, He probably already knew the answer.  Yet, for us, He still voiced the prayer.  Also, there was likely a last minute hope.  Let’s face it.  He was facing a terrible ordeal, and that is a gross understatement.

So it was that He went to the cross to pay for our sins.  Don’t you know that if there was another way, God would have answered His prayer and provided another way.  The fact that He went to the cross is proof that there was no other way.

Therefore, if anyone tells you that there are other ways into heaven, you might remind them of this.  Our sickness is sin and the only cure was and is his blood.  There is no other option.  There is no other way.  If there was, it would make His death pointless and it would mean He did it all for nothing.

Moreover, nothing can be added to it.  Nothing can be taken away from it.  Any attempt to add to it, is to imply his death is not enough.  Any attempt to add to it, is to imply that it is possible to add anything to it.

Many say that it is pride to say that I am going to heaven and I know it.  I say that it is a lack of faith for me to say less.  Jesus’s provided my healing and nothing else.  Nothing else will.

[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.  (Ephesians 2:8-9)

A side note:  It is impossible to earn a gift.  If it is earned, then it is no longer a gift.  Therefore, it is impossible to earn the gift of salvation.  It must be received as a gift through faith.  Any other teaching is deceit.

Remember.  You might not like the rules, but neither do you make them.  There is no way any of us will ever change them.

Love of Money

Some say the Bible says that money is the root of all evil.  Actually, that is not true.  First Timothy 6:10 says that it is the love of money that is the a root of evil.  (seems to me, older versions say the root, nonetheless, it is one of those almost quotes that serves the devil’s purpose.  You see, money is not root of evil.  Indeed, it serves a purpose for God.  It permits people to trade in an organized way.

On the other hand, when people take money through robbery or deceit, it defeats the purpose of money.  Normally, money represents something you contributed to society.  For instance, a doctor saves lives.  For this, he receives money.  With the money, he purchases other things: food that represents the work of farmers; cars that represent the work of factories and miners; and a home which was built by a whole bunch of folks.

It might seem to you that I am changing subjects; but please bear with me.

I was speaking to a Vietnam vet one day.  He asked me if I put in for some kind of Agent Orange compensation.  I told him that I was never near the stuff and I never suffered from it.  He told me to apply for it anyway.  He said we are all entitled to it.

Quite frankly, I could use the money.  However, to me, that is dishonest.  I did nothing to earn that money.  Therefore, if I received that money I would consider it thievery, even though it might be legal.

If I had taken the money, I would still been a thief.  So it is that the world is full of people who have no guilt in taking money that is not theirs.

…and so it was, when President Trump tried to distribute money to people who really need it.  those who had conscience lined up and took the money, even though they knew it was not intended for them.  Naturally, the dummycrats made their attempts to distribute the money to their contributors.  This, of course they did, knowing that the people who really needed it were being denied while they tried to incorporate many of their political ideas.

Businesses, colleges, and who knows who all, applied for the money and received it.  This, of course, meant that the ones who needed it didn’t get it.  That, however, is beside the point.  Though they knew it was wrong, they applied for it.  It was legal theft.

Fortunately, much of the ill gotten gain was returned; but only because they were shamed into it.

You see, apparently, they had a love of money that provoked them to do evil.

It is sort of the problem with government distributing money.  Much of it goes to legal thieves, those who are provoked to evil by their lust for an easy buck.  They have no respect for those from whom they steal.

As a side note:

It seems every time New York suffers a crisis, the rest of the country pays the bill for their lack of preparation.  If it weren’t for the loss of life, I would suggest we should have just let the state sink or swim on their own.  I had a storage shed in my back yard.  When it got wiped out during a storm, no one from New York offered to help me out.  When they get hit by a storm, we pour tons of money into the rebuilding of New York.  Just maybe, if we let them sink or swim on their own, they just might start preparing better instead of crying for ventilators on TV hour after hour… after the fact.

Let’s face it; a little prepping is a good thing.

Scattered

Up to this point, I have used the history recorded in the Holy Scriptures as a basis of what I have written.  I am about to go into the time where the Bible is pretty much silent.  From the time the Jews went back into the Promised Land until the birth of Jesus, there is little or nothing recorded in the Bible.  Also, the only history we have after His birth is in the New Testament.  For those who have read the New Testament, I don’t have to tell you how much is in it.

And so it is that we must rely somewhat on secular history.  Even there, we must borrow a little from here and a little from there and patch it together.  Also we must remember where I left you at the end of my last post.  The Jews just returned to Israel.

If you have not read my previous posts, I would encourage you to do so at this time.  For those who don’t want to, let me give you a sketch of how things were after the Jews were allowed to return to Israel.  Some were already there.  They never left.  Some were in Egypt and other parts of northern Africa.  Some remained in Persia.  Nothing that I know of says as much, but my guess is that a third to half of those in captivity remained in Persia.

Even before they were allowed to return to Israel, some likely migrated north, east and a few northwest.  Regardless, many went north and into what we now know as Ukraine and Russia.  We know this because the tsar of Russia tormented them.

I have seen Fiddler on the Roof several times, including the stage version once.  After seeing the stage version, I did quite a bit of research and have found it historically accurate.  I also read the book on which the musical was based and I found it very eye-opening.

From the late 1800’s to about 1917, tsarist Russia caused the Jews quite a bit of torment.  Finally, just before he was overthrown, he forced many of the Jews out of the country.

As the movie implies, they went every which way.  Some went to Israel, though it was no longer called Israel.  Some went to the US, those who could.  Some went to Poland and others to Germany and France.  I hope I don’t have to explain what happened to most of those but I will.

About 6 million were killed by the Germans.  However, there is no telling how many were eventually killed by the Soviets.  Many estimate that was another 6 million.  That meant that there were far more than 12 million in the area.

The thing that bothered me about the musical The Fiddler on Roof was that the Russians effectively chased the Jews right into the jaws of Hitler.  Before I saw the Movie, I didn’t know that.  I would guess there are many others who were ignorant of it too.

As bad as it was, it was foretold.  It was part of the punishment pronounced by God because they refused to repent.  They continued to follow their idols and they gave the idols the credit for what God did.

However, God did promise that the seed of Abraham, through Isaac, would become many people.  I would suspect that there are many Jews in this world who do not know they are Jews.  After all, it was not healthy to be Jew.  Even in the US they were treated badly, even today.

Another promise God gave to Abraham was that He would bless those who blessed his people and He would curse those who cursed his people.  It was a dumb thing that Stalin, Linen and Hitler did.  It was a dumb thing that many people have done through the ages.  Egypt was a great nation, until they enslaved the Israelites.  Assyria and Babylonia fell to the Persians after they enslaved the Jews.  Hitler fell as quickly as he arose.  Moreover, I suspect that he suffered greatly the last year or so before he committed suicide.

Some say Hitler survived and escaped to some other country.  In a way, I hope he did.  The man was suffering insanity and agonizing headaches.  Either way, by now, he is paying the price for what he did, as are his cohorts.  When he started on the Jews, Hitler assured his downfall.

After the war, Germany was virtually nothing.  It was a divided country and they were completely dependent upon the allies for their subsistence and their sustenance.  Without the mercy of the allies, the vast majority of the Germans would have passed into obscurity.

Also, shortly after the war, the country of Israel was again reestablished.  That is nothing short of a miracle.  Moreover, every time some nation(s) attacked them, Israel was the overpowering victor.  Egypt lost the entire Sinai Peninsula.  Now that had to be embarrassing.

The reestablishment of the country of Israel was foretold, but this is not yet fully fulfilled.  Many events must happen first, but the rest can be completed in months, if not weeks.

One day, many years ago, my brother told me that we, our family were jewesh.  It only goes to show that people are more likely to believe the lie when they want it to be true.

First let me say that there is a remote possibility that he might have been right, though not likely.  My mother’s maiden name was Fine.  From what I understand, this is a Jewish name, though I really have no idea, one way or the other.

The point is this.  There are charlatans in the world that would have you believe all sorts of things and, for instance “The Lost Tribe of Dan.”  Also, some would have you believe that the royalty of England and other European countries are descendants of David, King of Israel.

Mostly, I doubt them, even at their simplest claims.  Also, if God wants me to know I am a Jew, he has several ways he can let me know without using vain self-indulgent people trying to make their fortune off my vanity.

Now.  Are there thousands of Jews who don’t know their heritage?  Yes.  Perhaps even millions.  However, many have intermarried to the point that we might be dealing in fractions.

More than that, there are two ways of identifying Jews, by religion and by birth.  Not all Jews were born Jews.  God has permitted people to adopt both the nationality and the faith.

Two women are specifically identified as doing so.  Rehab of Jericho was saved by her faith and Ruth married Boaz.  Interestingly, both were recorded in the ancestry of Jesus.

For those who have not seen The Fiddler on the Roof, I would suggest you watch it.  Maybe those who have seen it, you might want to look at it from the historical point of view.  Maybe then you just might gain a different look at the Jews.

Whichever, remember, the Jews are God’s chosen people.  They might or might not deserve it, but, by honoring them, you honor God.  When you honor God, it is to your benefit.

Jew or not, after all my research, I have grown to respect and even love them.  Indeed, Israel is the only place outside of the US that I would like to visit.  With my income, I don’t think that will happen.  Not unless some people start buying my books.

 

Speaking of my books, I have written over 35 of them.  Though a few of them contain some Christian overtones (or undertones, not sure which), one of the books is completely Christian based.  Friday, Mar 27, I will make it free on Amazon.com.  The book’s title is, “Going Home.”

 

You should be able to find the book as well as other on my author’s page:

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

If the above doesn’t work, just sign onto Amazon.com and look for me, Ben Rhodes under authors.  You might also just look for the title but you might not have as much success.

 

The book is basically about an atheist woman who left her parents because her father insisted on her going to church.  Now she must go home.  If she were alone, maybe not.  However, she has three kids to feed.

Free Kindle Books

The three volumes of the Kip Series will be free Friday, Jan 24.  The second in the series did get a recent rating of four stars so you might like to read all three of them.  Each volume is rather short so it won’t take long to read all three.

To order, you can log onto Amazon and search for the books Kip – The Optimist, Kip -The Realist or Kip – The Pessimist.  It might be easier to search for “Ben Rhodes”, though you just might find a bunch of books by other authors in which you’d have no interest.  Finally, you can just enter this in the search box:

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

It will take you right to my Author’s page.  The advantage of this method is that you just might find another book or two that you might like to read.

In the series Kip is a detective working for San Diego.  Because of what all he has seen he has a difficult time believing in God.  His disbelief is somewhat increased as the result of some of the events in volume one.  It turns him from an optimist to a realist.  Then, of course, things really get bad in the second volume.  He has decided that if there is a God, that he hates Him for permitting such things.  In the third volume… well I’ll let you find out on your own.

If you enjoy the books, be sure and tell your friends and neighbors.  If not, never mind.  Either way, please tell me at Kaay@att.net.  Please keep your comments brief and reasonable.  If you spot any glaring errors, please let me know.

Thank you for reading the books and thank you for your comments.

King James Version

I had a short small chuckle when I saw a bumper sticker that said something to the affect… if it’s not King James, then it’s not the Bible.

To be sure, it is a serious subject.  Nonetheless, the foolishness of such a statement is easy to see.  Even so, in a way, I can kind identify with it.

Now that might sound like a bunch of mambo-jumbo, to be sure a conflict in ideas.  First, for those few who don’t realize the error, let me explain.

  1. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. Certainly the Israelites studied what we call the Old Testament for centuries and it was completely valid.  Then, for a few centuries, the Christian Church studied the scriptures in both Greek and Hebrew.  That was, and is today valid.  In fact, for those able to read and understand the original language, it is likely an advantage.  I certainly wished I could read the original.
  2. The King James was written in a dialogue that most of us would have a difficult time understanding. Since it made its way on the scene, many of the words have changed meaning.  Many of the words are simply archaic.  It would be far better to read a translation that is more current, provided it is accurate.
  3. The original King James is not completely accurate. For instance, it translates the  commandant, as “Thou shalt not kill.”  It is almost unanimous among the experts that it should have been “Thou shalt not murder.”  Granted it is a small difference, but it has misled uncounted millions to use the commandant as a reason for not going to war.  Indeed, the scriptures speak of killing many times, but never does it justify murder.

Now that I have so badly ridiculed the translation, let me explain how the person with the bumper sticker had his heart in the right place.  Nowadays, there are many translations, some not so good.  Some suggest or outright say that God is female.  I do not want to consider stepping into eternity with that concept.

Too be sure, it is the modern concept of religion to accept beliefs a-la-carte.  They accept this belief while rejecting others.  Take for instance, Pelosi, as well as most democrats.  She said, as a Catholic, she learned not to hate.  Then, she allows, even encourages abortion.  Moreover, what she said was a lie and most of us know it.  She hates the president so much that she has permitted her time as Speaker to be an abject failure.  Mostly, her only accomplishment has been to impeach POTUS.

The scriptures were never intended as something to select from as on a holy buffet line.  It is akin to creating one’s own religion.  Of course, when a person makes up their own religion, it does have advantages.  However, all those advantages have an end.

In such situations, I am reminded of the passage, an illustration of a man who cuts down a tree.  Half of it he uses in a fire to keep warm.  The other half, he carves into an idol.  Then the man bows down to the idol and prays to it.  Have you ever heard of anything so ludicrous.

Of course, modern man does not make idols like that.  Well that’s not true.  A short trip through Asia will verify that there are still people in this world that expect help from things that cannot help them.  They are just a ridiculous as the idol the man carved from the tree.  Yet, I risk the anger of those who read this.  To them, I am committing a horrible sacrilege.  To them, I am being inconsiderate.

I ask.  Which is more horrible, to present the truth or allow people to continue to believe the lies?  Of course, if there is no God, it makes no difference.  There is no reason for me to rain on their parade.  It all rides on the one question.  Is there a God and who is he.  The question is important enough that we all should consider it.

When Pelosi’s heart beats its last, when she takes last breath and she comes face-to-face with her maker, she just might have some explaining to do.  To be sure, I will have to cough up a few explanations too.  However, she is going to have to explain the death, the outright murder of millions of babies under her watch.  Somehow, I think that will more than singe the locks on her head.

By the way, I prefer the New King James translation.  However, I am sure there are two or three other translations that are good.  Most of all, let’s not practice our religion a-la-carte.  That is even worse than not believing in God at all.  It gives Christianity a bad rap.

Odd as It May Seem

A number of years after I was saved, I came across the passage in the Bible where Jesus healed 10 lepers.  One returned to thank Him.  Jesus asked were there not ten.  Where are the other 9?

Since that day, I tried to make sure I thanked God for what he has provided for us, though I must admit I did have some problems being thankful for the rain on cold nights when I walked a post on guard duty.  Indeed, I had a hard time thinking of just how much we humans need rain.

I also try to remind others to be thankful, even when their baseball game gets rained out or when the camping trip is ruined by the sudden deluge.  If that farmer doesn’t get that rain, he can’t feed us.  Moreover, the water from those rains is used in uncountable other ways, including manufacturing.  It is a small matter that our lives are disturbed for the short term, even if the rain becomes a little heavy.  Naturally, the rain can become a disaster.  Floods can be devastating.

My eyes have been opened to something else for which we should be thankful.  To be sure, to most, it will seem odd.  To be sure, God disciplines His children.  It hardly seems probable that a person should say, “Thanks God.  I needed that.”  Yet we should be grateful to him for His chastisement.   If He didn’t, how much more would we would go astray.  It would be bad for us and everyone around us.

We, as humans, even punish our dogs, knowing it is for their benefit.  To be sure, we chastise them when they run into the street, that is, unless we hate them and hope they get run over.  We punish our children when they decide to put their fingers on a hot stove or into the electrical outlet.  It is not because we hate them.  It is not because we take pleasure in it.  It is far easier to ignore them.

Through their childhood, we tell our children “No,” when they ask to do things that might lead to their harm.  Certainly, it is far easier to say yes and just hope for the best.

So, maybe, the next time you think God is punishing you, You just might say “Thank you.”  You might say, “I appreciate that.”  Conceivably, you just might even say, “I needed that.”  Even if you don’t mean it, it is still the right thing to do.  Eventually, it just might change your point of view.  It has already changed mine.