Bulls eye? I think NOT!

WOW!!  The heat is finally gone!  Cold front came in finally and now all we need is some rain!  Prayed for some rain and we got scattered showers that only lasted a few minutes and the ground was dry almost immediately.   I keep having to clean off my desk, clutters of papers, coffee cups, pop cans and bottles and those fountain drinks cups (apparently WordPress does not think styrofoam is a word!) .  Life seems to get more complicated  and harder as I get older- thought by now I would have everything figured out and be rich or famous or rich and famous, but neither has happened – I want to be 22 again when I knew all the answers and everyone else was either wrong or just plain stupid.   No, I am not just ranting to be ranting – there is a point to all this.   The extreme weather we have been having – extreme heat with no rain- here in the Midwest we are under drought conditions(would rather be under donut conditions)   God knew we needed rain before I asked, and He did answer my prayer- just not the way I intended- we did get rain, but not enough to undo the damage already done to the crops.  I did not pray for a clean desk, I knew I would have to do that myself!  As that is a continual process, cleaning and making tidy ones surroundings.  How are cleaning and the drought related, let’s see if I can make the connection make sense. 

Just as cleaning has to be done on a continual basis, so does repentance, repentance is a continual life long process as we  clean the clutter out of our lives and we begin to grow spiritually. Repentance is not a one time event but a continuing action.  Not only is repentance necessary for people to remain in God’s good favor, nations need to repent to or they fall from God’s favor and come under His wrath, and become subject to divine judgment.  Once a person or a nation turns their back on God, He removes the hedge of protection that He had placed over and around them. And that is when evil takes the opportunity to step in. God will use evil to judge people and nations and a means to bring them back to repentance. However, this has not been the case of the United States. In the last seventy years, the nation has turned its back on God and refused to repent. The number seventy has a scriptural significance.   The decline in moral values and the resultant increase in things like school shootings and the massacre at the theater in Colorado a week ago, are symptoms of a deeper problem.  Not only has the nation turned its back on God, it has mocked Him and has walked away from Him.   The nation needs to get back to the basic core on which it was founded, a strong belief and acceptance of the Word of God as absolute truth,  that people need to be self sufficient and not dependent on the state for all their needs, the federal government needs to get back to the basics of providing for the common  defense(secured borders), and restraining and punishing evil. Those are the God ordained functions of government. Nothing more nothing less. God has commanded the Church to take care of the poor, it seems the government has usurped that responsibility from the Church.  Lets get back to letting the government do what God has ordained it to do and let the Church to what God has commanded it to do.   This tragedies and droughts and floods are just a mild taste of what God’s wrath is like, we, as individuals need to repent and keep repenting as we continue our walk with the Lord, and the nation as a whole needs to do the same and that is repent on a continual basis, make the correction just as a marksman does when he missed the mark, and missing the mark is the literal translation of the word for sin. 

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What happenes in Auroa does not stay in Auroa

Bob Dylan several years ago released a song, “The Times They are a Chaangin”, well, not really. Things are pretty much like they have always been as far as human behavior is concerned. Man has been murdering his fellow man since Cain killed Abel, that was the first murder. The motives then were pride and jealousy.  Those two things stand out as prime motives for any murder or massacre as happened in Aurora Co yesterday.  I would like to make a special call for prayer not only for the victims but for the perpetrator  also and his family as well as the families of those whose lives he took.   This was an act of sheer evil and terror and pure evil personified.   This was not an act of spontaneous compulsion but a well thought out and well planned act of terrorism in its truest form.  That alone, rules out mental illness, which leads one to the conclusion that this man was under the control and  influence of satanic forces.  Satan was in that theater that day, but God was in that theater too.  The question has come up of how could a loving and merciful God allow such a tragedy to happen?  Before I get into that answer, we have to understand that we are living in the last days and there will be an increase in evil as the satanic forces know that their time is short and they will create as much havoc and heart ache and ruination as they can before they are cast into outer darkness for all eternity.   Now to answer the question as best as I can, first of all, we all have a fallen nature, our inclination is toward to doing evil rather than good.   Now God is not going to stop anyone from doing evil, that would interfere with our free will. We always have the free will to choose one or the other.  On the other hand God is not going to prevent anyone from doing good either, again, free will comes into play.  Yet God is always in control and working His will in all things through both good and evil people.

Romans 8:28

New Living Translation (NLT)

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

An even cursory reading of the OT historical and prophetic books show that God uses evil people and evil nations to bring about what His will is. Do not let the events of these last days dash any hope that you have nor do not let them make you cynical of your fellow man.  What good can come from this ,what is a  tragedy in our eyes, has yet to unfold, I do know that there was a spiritual battle  taking place in that theater as well and that means there were angels contending for the saints that were there and that God will have the last word and the final victory in this battle and in the battles to come.  

Stay faithful and pray without ceasing for the victims and their families and for the perp and his family as well, they have lost a son they love too.

The Valley of Death and Life

In the past few years I have officiated, it seems, an unusually high number of funerals.  Do not get me wrong, it is an honor to officiate someone’s celebration of life.  The last one was my own Mother’s.  That was difficult to say the least.  That has been almost 2 weeks ago and we are still fulfilling , basically last wishes that were made known several years ago.  When we are faced with anyone’s death, we by necessity must face our own mortality and what that means.  Death is not the end, oh, the body may die but we do not. The Apostle Paul calls the physical body a tent, now a tent is a temporary dwelling. Our body is a tent for our spirit which is not only eternal but is who we really are. The body is just a shell, that holds the spirit.

 

2 Corinthians 5:1

New King James Version (NKJV)

Assurance of the Resurrection

5 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Our body has aches, pains, and suffers many things. Death is the ultimate cure, the ultimate healing of all illnesses and injuries and disease.

 

 

Are You Ready?

Are you ready for the coming crisis?  Bad news all around.  Stock markets is down, unemployment is up, taxes are going to skyrocket. Greece and Spain in trouble. The Dollar and the Euro are both unstable. What happens if the banks close to prevent a run on them? Could you survive  2 weeks without your ATM card or credit cards? The banks will be closed, their systems shut down, so the cards will not work, and this will be the case for at least two weeks in the event that happens. What to do?  Before I get to the practical lets look at this from a spiritual standpoint first.  Do not put your trust in any politician, in any government program or social agency, they do not really care about you. The politician just wants your vote, end of story. Government programs and social agencies are rife with corruption and rarely do the people that actually need help actually get the help or if they do they become enslaved to the program and lose the incentive to work and  be self sufficient.  The govt has taken over one of the responsibilities  of the church with these entitlement programs.  These programs are what has the governments around the world in financial crisis. In the US there are now more people receiving these benefits than are paying into the tax system that supports these programs. Those we have elected to represent us have done a very poor job of managing the tax dollars we are required to pay. No household, no business, no church, no organization of any kind can survive very long by spending more than it takes in. That is why I say do not put your trust in them, they cannot and should not be trusted with anything!!  But there is ONE you can trust in! And that is the Good News!  The Lord, will provide, and you can trust in Him. He provides healing, He provides food- He fed first 5,000 and then 4,000 a week later with nothing more than a few fish and a few loaves of bread, and there were left overs!  Pray to Him for your needs and wants and desires,  make Him your friend by studying His Word!  That said, there is an old Indian Proverb that says, “pray, but row for the shore too!”  So , just how does on \e on a practical level prepare for a financial crisis so bad that the banks will shut their doors and systems down for even a short length of time?  First of all, you have to eat, so have at least some food surplus stored up, 7-14 days worth of perishable and non perishable items. You will need gas in the car, so have at least 2 weeks worth  of cash available in your home.  Enough to meet any immediate needs and to cover any emergencies. Do this incrementally, do not do try to do this all at once and create a financial crisis for yourself!  Unless, you can afford to do this all at once and still meet your obligations.  Now remember there will be desperate people not prepared, and they will steal and rob, people in desperate situations do desperate things, especially if they have no internal moral compass to guide them. So you will need a means of protecting yourself and your family. If you do not have a firearm and do not know how to use one. Learn how to use one safely and then get one.   Always treat a firearm as if it is loaded. Never point a weapon at someone unless you intend to shoot them.   Remember the scenario I am describing, Law enforcement may not be available.  I am describing a scenario here that is very drastic and very not likely to happen.   In any case, shooting is a very enjoyable hobby!  And could very well be a skill that saves your life or the life of another.  Just to be clear, I do NOT condone the taking of anyone;s life except in the case of self defense and all other options have been exhausted , including escape.  I store my firearms unloaded with trigger locks on them.  If you have children in the home you want to do the same, and store the ammunition in  different location. Children and loaded guns are a bad combination.  I do not have children in my home and my grandchildren are fully aware of gun safety, (their Dad is a gun nut!)  So I have the magazines fully loaded and  stored in a shelf above my rifles.  Still out of the reach and sight of any children that may be visiting.  Pray for the best, prepare for the worst.  Store up some food-

Proverbs

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.

 

And have a means to protect what you have stored up

Matthew 10:34
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

Luke 22:36

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

Remember to store up treasures in Heaven.!

Matthew 6:18-20 (New International Version)

 

 

Matthew 6

Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

 

Matthew 13:52
He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

 

Remember to give to the poor – if one asks you for help- then help them! 

 

From Matt 7

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.