Mayan Calendar, Connecticut and Harbingers of the End

15 Dec

 

 

No error accepted by the Christian world strikes more boldly against the authority of Heaven, none is more directly opposed to the dictates of reason, none is more pernicious in its results, than the modern doctrine, so rapidly gaining ground, that God’s law is no longer binding upon men. Every nation has its laws, which command respect and obedience; no government could exist without them; and can it be conceived that the Creator of the heavens and the earth has no law to govern the beings He has made? Suppose that prominent ministers were publicly to teach that the statutes which govern their land and protect the rights of its citizens were not obligatory–that they restricted the liberties of the people, and therefore ought not to be obeyed; how long would such men be tolerated in the pulpit? But is it a graver offense to disregard the laws of states and nations than to trample upon those divine precepts which are the foundation of all government?

It would be far more consistent for nations to abolish their statutes, and permit the people to do as they please, than for the Ruler of the universe to annul His law, and leave the world without a standard to condemn the guilty or justify the obedient. Would we know the result of making void the law of God? The experiment has been tried. Terrible were the scenes enacted in France when atheism became the controlling power. It was then demonstrated to the world that to throw off the restraints which God has imposed is to accept the rule of the cruelest of tyrants. When the standard of righteousness is set aside, the way is open for the prince of evil to establish his power in the earth.

Wherever the divine precepts are rejected, sin ceases to appear sinful or righteousness desirable. Those who refuse to submit to the government of God are wholly unfitted to govern themselves. Through their pernicious teachings the spirit of insubordination is implanted in the hearts of children and youth, who are naturally impatient of control; and a lawless, licentious state of society results. While scoffing at the credulity of those who obey the requirements of God,

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the multitudes eagerly accept the delusions of Satan. They give the rein to lust and practice the sins which have called down judgments upon the heathen.

Those who teach the people to regard lightly the commandments of God sow disobedience to reap disobedience. Let the restraint imposed by the divine law be wholly cast aside, and human laws would soon be disregarded. Because God forbids dishonest practices, coveting, lying, and defrauding, men are ready to trample upon His statutes as a hindrance to their worldly prosperity; but the results of banishing these precepts would be such as they do not anticipate. If the law were not binding, why should any fear to transgress? Property would no longer be safe. Men would obtain their neighbor’s possessions by violence, and the strongest would become richest. Life itself would not be respected. The marriage vow would no longer stand as a sacred bulwark to protect the family. He who had the power, would, if he desired, take his neighbor’s wife by violence. The fifth commandment would be set aside with the fourth. Children would not shrink from taking the life of their parents if by so doing they could obtain the desire of their corrupt hearts. The civilized world would become a horde of robbers and assassins; and peace, rest, and happiness would be banished from the earth.

Already the doctrine that men are released from obedience to God’s requirements has weakened the force of moral obligation and opened the floodgates of iniquity upon the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, and corruption are sweeping in upon us like an overwhelming tide. In the family, Satan is at work. His banner waves, even in professedly Christian households. There is envy, evil surmising, hypocrisy, estrangement, emulation, strife, betrayal of sacred trusts, indulgence of lust. The whole system of religious principles and doctrines, which should form the foundation and framework of social life, seems to be a tottering mass, ready to fall to ruin. The vilest of criminals, when thrown into prison for their offenses, are often made the recipients of gifts and

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attentions as if they had attained an enviable distinction. Great publicity is given to their character and crimes. The press publishes the revolting details of vice, thus initiating others into the practice of fraud, robbery, and murder; and Satan exults in the success of his hellish schemes. The infatuation of vice, the wanton taking of life, the terrible increase of intemperance and iniquity of every order and degree, should arouse all who fear God, to inquire what can be done to stay the tide of evil.

Courts of justice are corrupt. Rulers are actuated by desire for gain and love of sensual pleasure. Intemperance has beclouded the faculties of many so that Satan has almost complete control of them. Jurists are perverted, bribed, deluded. Drunkenness and revelry, passion, envy, dishonesty of every sort, are represented among those who administer the laws. “Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14.

The iniquity and spiritual darkness that prevailed under the supremacy of Rome were the inevitable result of her suppression of the Scriptures; but where is to be found the cause of the widespread infidelity, the rejection of the law of God, and the consequent corruption, under the full blaze of gospel light in an age of religious freedom? Now that Satan can no longer keep the world under his control by withholding the Scriptures, he resorts to other means to accomplish the same object. To destroy faith in the Bible serves his purpose as well as to destroy the Bible itself. By introducing the belief that God’s law is not binding, he as effectually leads men to transgress as if they were wholly ignorant of its precepts. And now, as in former ages, he has worked through the church to further his designs. The religious organizations of the day have refused to listen to unpopular truths plainly brought to view in the Scriptures, and in combating them they have adopted interpretations and taken positions which have sown broadcast the seeds of skepticism. Clinging to the papal error of natural immortality and man’s

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consciousness in death, they have rejected the only defense against the delusions of spiritualism. The doctrine of eternal torment has led many to disbelieve the Bible. And as the claims of the fourth commandment are urged upon the people, it is found that the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath is enjoined; and as the only way to free themselves from a duty which they are unwilling to perform, many popular teachers declare that the law of God is no longer binding. Thus they cast away the law and the Sabbath together. As the work of Sabbath reform extends, this rejection of the divine law to avoid the claims of the fourth commandment will become well-nigh universal. The teachings of religious leaders have opened the door to infidelity, to spiritualism, and to contempt for God’s holy law; and upon these leaders rests a fearful responsibility for the iniquity that exists in the Christian world.

Yet this very class put forth the claim that the fast-spreading corruption is largely attributable to the desecration of the so-called “Christian sabbath,” and that the enforcement of Sunday observance would greatly improve the morals of society. This claim is especially urged in America, where the doctrine of the true Sabbath has been most widely preached. Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan’s devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms

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which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God’s law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.

As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things. He will appear in the character of an angel of light. Through the agency of spiritualism, miracles will be wrought,the sick will be healed, and many undeniable wonders will be performed. And as the spirits will profess faith in the Bible, and manifest respect for the institutions of the church, their work will be accepted as a manifestation of divine power.

The line of distinction between professed Christians and the ungodly is now hardly distinguishable. Church members love what the world loves and are ready to join with them, and Satan determines to unite them in one body and thus strengthen his cause by sweeping all into the ranks of spiritualism. Papists, who boast of miracles as a certain sign of the true church, will be readily deceived by this wonder-working power; and Protestants, having cast away the shield of truth, will also be deluded. Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement

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for the conversion of the world and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.

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NHL STRIKES OUT

14 Aug

Hockey fans, give me your tired and depressed, your vacant seats and foam fingers. You have nothing to lose but your chains.

You have yet to realize what a great opportunity the NHL 2012 lockout brings you. As the lockout grows (and your NHL meds start wearing off), you will come to remember things long forgotten:

1. Fandom is for cultural robots. It’s nothing but mass herd mentality and marketing. You don’t need it. You’ve never needed it. This is an opportunity to remember how to be a father again, and do something that is actually meaningful with your time, your kids, your wife, instead of watching for 3+ hours while millionaires with only a rudimentary understanding of anything beyond their hockey bags chase the puck around.

2. The NHLPA showcases EVERYTHING that’s wrong with normal unions that you forgot because you like to watch them dangle the puck and shoot and slide (in between off-seasons where they complain about wages endlessly and plan their next walkout.) You will realize that you are being held intellectually, monetarily and temporally at gunpoint by overgrown high school students who think their million dollar salaries are only a pittance compared with what society REALLY owes them.  That calculation is made using the following equation: 30(Poor Me x Poor Me x Poor Me) x (Lets make everyone suffer until we get what we want) x (we know that society is full of spineless jelly fish that will give in, eventually) = Every Union in North America.

The fog will clear and you will realize that the NHL and the NHLPA can only hold you hostage as a consumer if you let them have your brain.

Don’t give them your brain, people. You need your brain. Shut your t.v. off, take all your jerseys and make a pile in the backyard, and light it on fire.

Then repeat after me – “1, 2, 3…………. Wake-Up!”

When you do, you’ll look back at the zombie world of fandome, and you won’t give a frozen puck what the NHLPA does or does not decide to do.

Opportunity

8 Jul

My wife and I recently went hunting for an elderly lady we used to know about five years ago. She once lived in an adjacent area and had an unusually magnificent backyard, complete with a large pond and a creek, rare plants and gorgeous trees. She had had a breakdown some years before and her doctor had advised her to garden if she wanted to recover mentally and physically. Her therapy turned out to be her legacy, at least for my wife and I. We took our engagement pictures in her pond in a flat bottomed boat and will always remember her as the lady who transformed her small suburban area into a small edenic paradise.

As we approached her house, however, we could tell that much had changed in the intervening years. Her front yard had been reduced to a few generic shrubs, and an SUV with some children’s toys decorated the driveway. My wife knocked at the door, and a young man came out to speak with us. We inquired about the elderly lady who once made the house so special and were told that his grandma no longer lived there. She had developed Alzheimers and his parents had put her in a local elderly residence. It was too much work to maintain her yard the way it was so they ‘simplified it.’ He gave us the name of the facility she was in now, and said it would be fine if we visited, although he was pretty sure she wouldn’t recognize us.

Sometimes directions aren’t my forte, especially when I’m internally musing about this David Livingstone book I’m reading while taking them (it’s a truism that I have a hard time multi-tasking), and we consequently visited several ‘old folks homes’ before we found the right one. When we did, we were ushered into the dining area through a security-coded door. We heard Maxine before we saw her. She had gained some weight, and looked as bright and chipper as always, and greeted my wife immediately when she saw her with the words, “Well there you are! and just as lovely as ever.” She embraced my wife warmly.

It proved to be a fleeting lucid moment, however. She spent the rest of the next hour and a half dialoging in the most conversational and sadly charming manner about a wide variety of unconnected subjects, often in the same sentence. We had a really nice visit for all of that, and it was probably the first she’d had in awhile. She confessed at one point to feeling sad before we came to visit but not being sure over what, but now feeling much better in her heart. We promised to visit again soon. She walked us to the door like it was her own place we remembered so well, and waited while the nurse punched the code into the security door. She smiled sweetly as she said her good-byes.

As we drove away I reflected on the experience.  The facility was well constructed, clean, tasteful and had a very nice courtyard (which incidentally was the sunning spot for one of the residents who had taken her clothes off.) The staff seemed mostly helpful, although there were a couple notable hard faces that made me wonder how gentle they were with their charges when visiting hours were finished. The niceties, however, could not mask the nature of the place – it was where people went to deteriorate, and then die. Or more accurately probably, it was a place people were sent to deteriorate and die. The living room was full of people who had reached their zenith and soon would set. Their work, their loves and hopes and aspirations all were mostly behind them. Their ability to influence others limited largely to the shells around them.

I reflected on this, and on the pertinency of some of the following wisdom.

“For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.” Ecclesiastes 9:4

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” Psalms 90:12

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” Ecclesiastes 9:10.

Are you upset with your life, reader? Is it not much better than the hidden reality of the dementia ward?

Do not despair.  It is easy to find ourselves overcome with worries and anxieties, dissatisfied with our circumstances. But we are surrounded with blessings, as well. Where there is life there is hope. A living dog is better than a dead lion. And we have much to be thankful for. If you are reading this it means you are not in an old folks home, eating overcooked carrots and peas, with instant mash potatoes and talking madness.

Do you know the old hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”? You can find it on many a website if you have never heard it. Give it a listen, and remember – There is a God, and He sent His Son for you. He loves you. Do not despair. Today is the day to live. Hope. Help others. Make your life a living sacrifice, and a legacy of good. And say, in hard times because of the love of God and the peace that He brings amidst the storm – It is well with my soul.

Evolution is Wrong

29 May

I thought of titling this ‘The Great (Stupid) Lie’, or, my second favorite – ‘Evolution is Horse Kaka, but I was thinking of the Google searches, and thought it was best to keep it simple…

I’m going to start with a story. My sister works for an electrical company and she’s really good at her job. She’s a hard worker, friendly, insightful, empathetic and very well-liked. She’s also a Creationist. In other words, she believes that God created humanity in His own image, and that He did it at the end of a literal 6 day creation, just as outlined in the deuteron-canonical book of Genesis. I think its fair to say that her belief forms a fairly substantial pillar in her identity.

One day, her co-workers were talking about how obviously true the theory of Evolution is. ‘Like, obviously, Tommy, look at all the evidence we were taught in high school, man. Creationists are really the dumbest people in the world, but I don’t think there’s many of them left.” “Yeah, man, their being selected out for extinction already, man.” “Yeah, totally, I don’t even know any Creationists, if I did I’d tell them how stupid they were for thinking God created the earth and that God created people, and that it all happened in 6 days.”

My sister doesn’t go to church much these days, but she knows what she believes, and she’s not afraid to say it. So she went into the group, who are all people who respect and like her a lot, and says, “Well, I’m a Creationist.”

And there was a deafening silence for a few moments, and then incredulous questions. You? No!? What? Impossible! You’re so normal. Are you crazy? Please! You believe God created us? You believe in God? You think we don’t come from monkeys? What? Are you kidding? Not you! I can barely believe it!

So she explained to them, that no, really, she was a real living example (not from the fossil record) of a Creationist.She told them briefly that she believed humans were created by God at the end of His creative work, and yes, in six literal days.

There was a lot of ridicule. Somewhat polite ridicule, because she’s too popular and good of a worker to snub outright. But ridicule, nevertheless. And then an ongoing campaign to change her mind. To convince her that her ancestors were really furry creatures that say “hoo hoo hoo” and scratch their armpits and that we sometimes lock up in cages and put in zoos.

As surely Divine Intervention would have it, a few weeks later, her department took a trip to the zoo. And the debate continued and intensified as it neared the primate encounter. When they arrived, they pointed to the monkeys and emphatically said, “Look! How expressive their faces are! Look at their thumbs! Look at their social hierarchies. They have families. They look like us. We came from them. There’s no difference but time between us and them.” They spoke with fervor, almost religious conviction. They were, in their minds, looking at the origin of the species. The fathers of their race.

My sister maintained that there were lots of differences, and that it was obvious that we didn’t come from monkeys. She was drowned out in the face of the ‘irrefutable’ evidence in the cages in front of them. She was told emphatically that “time was the only difference between us and them.” “We’re obviously from them!”

Just then, as they were talking and looking at the monkeys, one came up right beside the glass they were standing by and pooped. A moment later, another monkey came to the glass and saw the poop, poked it with a hairy forefinger, and contently began to eat it.

My sister looked at her suddenly silent co-workers and said, “And there’s one of the differences.”

True story. 2012.

…….

There’s a lot of very good science to debunk evolution. Such as my favourite…

No transitional fossils leading up to the monkey or coming from the monkey, or from or to any other species, for that matter. The monkey appears in the fossil record fully formed. It’s still fully formed today. Why? How come even Darwin, who is the human author of this ridiculous theory, write, “Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?  Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely – graduated organic chain; and this is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory.” C. Darwin, Origin of Species, 6th ed. 1872 (London: John Murray, 1902), p 413.

I agree with Darwin. The fact that the fossil record does not show a progression from species to species in the layers is a big problem for his stupid theory. I mean, if stuff is evolving over millions of years where are all the transitional bodies? There should be millions and billions of them. But they don’t exist. Everything is fully (not half or an eighth or a quarter) formed in the layers.

There are huge conglomerations of other problems with evolution. The point of this article is not to list them all… you can go to google and find lots of sites that talk about why evolution is nonsense.

But let’s face it, evolutionists, even the presence of modern day monkeys is a big problem for your theory. Why are they still hanging around? If mutation or aberration in a given species causes those members with advantageous characteristics to continue and those without to be “naturally selected” for extinction, why are they still here? They should have all been bred out in favor of the new genetic flavor of the day…

Yes, I’ve seen the nature documentaries… “and this is the primate, the great ancestor of modern day man. See his use of primitive tools and his attention to social structure, the precursor of online chatting…” You’ve seen the same National Geographic Presents’ that I have, the same David Attendborough narrated cinematographic masterpieces.

And you also have a brain. And you’ve seen monkeys and monkey documentaries and monkey lectures in high school, but you still have a brain, and the ability to question and reason that is so different than that of monkeys.

So let us consider this… monkeys have been on this planet for supposedly 2 million years, or something like that. They’ve had all this time to evolve. They’ve had all this time to progress. To learn. To advance. And they are today living exactly the same as they were back then.

Think about that. They are living exactly and precisely the same. They have built nothing, recorded nothing, produced nothing of cultural or historical significance. They have been alive for thousands and thousands of years and all they ever do is sit around and fight and eat and mate and do other basic animal stuff. Really basic animal stuff. For thousands and thousands of years. No changes. And now they live in zoos, because their human masters have put them there.

Have you ever seen a monkey make a campfire? Can a monkey make a campfire? You’d think it’d be easy. They have thumbs, even. Hand drill, bow drill, flint and steel, matches even… should be a snap. Monkeys have been around a long time. So has fire. Fire is useful. It’s super basic. Supposedly one of the monkey’s descendants figured it out, and has been doing it ever since. So, can monkeys learn to make a campfire? No. They can’t.

They don’t gather wood, they couldn’t organize the wood in the proper way, they couldn’t focus long enough to light it, even though it would be a huge benefit to them.

Why not? Because they are monkeys. Not humans.

Humans are different, with infinitely greater capacity to reason, to create, to subdue, to organize, plan, communicate, execute, imagine, endeavor, hope, dream, aspire.

The Bible says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and that He made mankind the overseer and the steward of this planet. Humanity has had dominion under God ever since.The fossil record bears out the Genesis account. It doesn’t support Darwin’s theory. Even he knew that.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:29 that God made men upright, but that they have searched for many ways to lower themselves.

The theory of evolution is just one more confirmation of that.

Slavery

20 Apr

On a recent trip to Central America it was evident how debilitating the Catholic religion is to the people who practice it.

Depending on the country, between 60-98% of Central America is Catholic. The Catholic religion has had several hundred years to shape the area in its own image and now, as a sort of aquarium it provides a look into the effects of Catholicism on culture and people. A person can look and see what the effects of Catholicism as introduced on an existing population are.

We are inevitably influenced by what we dwell on. Irrespective of those many who would protest otherwise, perhaps the greatest single influence on an individual’s personal identity is how he or she sees his or her Creator. It stands to reason that this is even true if people do not believe in a Creator. You have to come from somewhere, and if you trace it back and that ‘somewhere’ is actually nowhere…

Even the evolutionist can’t get away from it, I think.We all come from somewhere, even if its nowhere, and even atheists identify with their parents, who came from their parents, who somewhat earlier descended from their parents, the monkeys. Sobering.

The Catholic representation of God is one of formalism, exclusivity, distance, tyranny. That image is impressed, to a greater or lesser extent, on the minds of every Catholic child, and as the mind grows and develops it can’t help but be impacted by the identity of the being it bows to…

What does it say about this god that he wants penitents to repeat the same phrase over and over to obtain absolution? That he wants people to count beads and say ‘hail Mary’s’ so that he will forgive them for the wrong things they do? That he wants his services in Latin, even though no one understands it? Or that that was what he wanted for over a thousand years, but recently he’s yielded to popular pressure and he lets the priests say mass in English? If that’s the guy that is responsible for my existence, what does it say about me?

He is exclusive and distant. He won’t talk to just anyone. He only talks to the Pope and certain saints whose knuckle bones are under an alter, he discourages reading the actual Word of God yourself because it can’t be understood by commoners (that’s what priests are for), sins can’t be confessed to him directly – they have to go to a guy you can’t really see in a booth who might be playing Tetris instead of paying attention, he leaves people to burn in hell supposedly for absolutely ever without paying the slightest mind to their cries (presumably because he is busy being formalistic with the people he has allowed into heaven, who of course are all Catholics, according to church doctrine.)

He leaves people in purgatory for years and years until someone on the outside does enough bead counting to get them out. He delights in burning and strangling and otherwise mutilating people who disagreed with his representative, the Pope – at least if you can believe that ultimate bad press book ‘Foxes Book Of Martyrs’ and all the historical accounts of events like the Inquisition. He rarely requires any justice or punishment for priestly abuses of his children. And what does that say about him? The Catholic god does not care much if his children are repeatedly beaten and sodomized by his representatives… he lets the Pope just move them to a different location to do it all over again. What does that do to me, if that’s the guy who I’m supposed to worship?

Beholding such a being, worshiping such a being (and how could a person worship out of love?) is identity shaping. And that is what is evident about Central America. Countries are only its people, together.

It’s not the poverty. Yeah. There’s poverty. Lots of it. But the people are held in the grip of misery.  It is a religion of fear, devoid of love. Where there is no love, there is no hope.

Is it a coincidence that majority Catholic nations are given to governmental indifference, corruption and injustice? Is it a coincidence that many people are apathetic and indifferent to their fates, believing that they are unable to change anything because no one will listen to them, not government, not the priests, not God?

Is it coincidental that most throw their garbage on the street instead of in the garbage bin, or that an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit is strangely lacking? That imagination is stagnant?

Do you think its a coincidence that the most successful, innovative, liberty-loving nations on earth have their roots in Protestantism? Or that as that Protestantism becomes corrupted and either Atheism or Catholicism gain ascendancy those nations are increasingly stagnant in social cohesion, ethics, imagination, justice, independence?

Is it far fetched to think that what I believe about my Creator, His expectations, His hopes, His plans, His very character will fundamentally impact how I see myself? Others? Life itself?

No.

What I saw in Central America were people who were captives to formalism and superstition – it had crippled their minds and captured the potential of their humanity.

Now think of how you see God. Do you see Him as Christ presented Him? That is one reason that Jesus came to earth, to dispel the myths and shadows around the character of God. There are a lot of myths about God. Catholic culture is full of myths about him.

It is in the person of Christ we see the Father, for Christ is the express image of His person. Jesus said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” In the Father there is no darkness at all.

So what is He like? He’s like Jesus.

Humanity naturally fears God. We know we are guilty and undeserving. But the Gospel shows us that Jesus paid the blood price for us, and that He promises to make us new. He tells us that His Father loves us, and wants to be with us in the same way that He is with Christ Himself. Jesus teaches us how to pray, and there is no human priest required for the Father to hear.

The truth is as far from the error as east is from west. As far as liberty is from slavery.

The Small Things

18 Apr

One line really captures my attention in the below reference: “He fails of gaining the grace, the power, the force of character, which is received through unreserved surrender.”

The butterfly must struggle to emerge from its prison cocoon to force strength into its tightly curled wings. It’s inheritance is that of winged glory. Yet it will fail to become what it might if the cocoon is opened by an outside agency. It must not falter in its efforts to emerge or it will never fly.

These little duties or tasks with which we are surrounded, some of them annoying or small – they are important. I’m saddened to say that I have not always done them with fidelity.

Yet tomorrow is another day, with new opportunities to redeem the time. That is true both for you and for I. Shall we not strive for glory, in honor of Prince Immanuel?

The following quote is taken from Prophets and Kings, by Ellen White. It is based on 1 Kings 19.

The prophetic call came to Elisha while, with his father’s servants, he was plowing in the field. He had taken up the work that lay nearest. He possessed both the capabilities of a leader among men and the meekness of one who is ready to serve. Of a quiet and gentle spirit, he was nevertheless energetic and steadfast. Integrity, fidelity, and the love and fear of God were his, and in the humble round of daily toil he gained strength of purpose and nobleness of character, constantly increasing in grace and knowledge. While co-operating with his father in the home-life duties, he was learning to co-operate with God.

By faithfulness in little things, Elisha was preparing for weightier trusts. Day by day, through practical experience, he gained a fitness for a broader, higher work. He learned to serve; and in learning this, he learned also how to instruct and lead. The lesson is for all. None can know what may be God’s purpose in His discipline; but all may be certain that faithfulness in little things is the evidence of fitness for greater responsibilities. Every act of life is a revelation of character, and he only who in small duties proves himself “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed” can be honored by God with higher service. 2 Timothy 2:15.

He who feels that it is of no consequence how he performs the smaller tasks proves himself unfit for a more honored position. He may think himself fully competent to take up the larger duties; but God looks deeper than the surface.
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After test and trial, there is written against him the sentence, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” His unfaithfulness reacts upon himself. He fails of gaining the grace, the power, the force of character, which is received through unreserved surrender.

Because they are not connected with some directly religious work, many feel that their lives are useless, that they are doing nothing for the advancement of God’s kingdom. If they could do some great thing how gladly they would undertake it! But because they can serve only in little things, they think themselves justified in doing nothing. In this they err. A man may be in the active service of God while engaged in the ordinary, everyday duties–while felling trees, clearing the ground, or following the plow. The mother who trains her children for Christ is as truly working for God as is the minister in the pulpit.

Many long for special talent with which to do a wonderful work, while the duties lying close at hand, the performance of which would make the life fragrant, are lost sight of. Let such ones take up the duties lying directly in their pathway. Success depends not so much on talent as on energy and willingness. It is not the possession of splendid talents that enables us to render acceptable service, but the conscientious performance of daily duties, the contented spirit, the unaffected, sincere interest in the welfare of others. In the humblest lot true excellence may be found. The commonest tasks, wrought with loving faithfulness, are beautiful in God’s sight.

As Elijah, divinely directed in seeking a successor, passed the field in which Elisha was plowing, he cast upon the
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young man’s shoulders the mantle of consecration. During the famine the family of Shaphat had become familiar with the work and mission of Elijah, and now the Spirit of God impressed Elisha’s heart as to the meaning of the prophet’s act. To him it was the signal that God had called him to be the successor of Elijah.

“And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.” “Go back again,” was Elijah’s answer, “for what have I done to thee?” This was not a repulse, but a test of faith. Elisha must count the cost–decide for himself to accept or reject the call. If his desires clung to his home and its advantages, he was at liberty to remain there. But Elisha understood the meaning of the call. He knew it was from God, and he did not hesitate to obey, Not for any worldly advantage would he forgo the opportunity of becoming God’s messenger or sacrifice the privilege of association with His servant. He “took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.” 1 Kings 19:20, 21. Without hesitation he left a home where he was beloved, to attend the prophet in his uncertain life.

Had Elisha asked Elijah what was expected of him,–what would be his work,–he would have been answered: God knows; He will make it known to you. If you wait upon the Lord, He will answer your every question. You may come with me if you have evidence that God has called you. Know for yourself that God stands back of me, and
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that it is His voice you hear. If you can count everything but dross that you may win the favor of God, come.

Similar to the call that came to Elisha was the answer given by Christ to the young ruler who asked Him the question, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” “If thou wilt be perfect,” Christ replied, “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.” Matthew 19:16, 21.

Elisha accepted the call to service, casting no backward glance at the pleasures and comforts he was leaving. The young ruler, when he heard the Saviour’s words, “went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” Verse 22. He was not willing to make the sacrifice. His love for his possessions was greater than his love for God. By his refusal to renounce all for Christ, he proved himself unworthy of a place in the Master’s service.

The call to place all on the altar of service comes to each one. We are not all asked to serve as Elisha served, nor are we all bidden to sell everything we have; but God asks us to give His service the first place in our lives, to allow no day to pass without doing something to advance His work in the earth. He does not expect from all the same kind of service. One may be called to ministry in a foreign land; another may be asked to give of his means for the support of gospel work. God accepts the offering of each. It is the consecration of the life and all its interests, that is necessary. Those who make this consecration will hear and obey the call of Heaven.

Permanence.

15 Apr

It’s been a month. And I can sure tell by looking at the increasingly humble statistics of this blog. The world is as tired of reading about Rick Santorum as I am of writing about him. But never fear – unless Santorum winds up on Romney’s ticket as the GOP Vice Presidential candidate, I am finished blogging about him for a while.

I was in Central America on a mission trip for almost the past 3 weeks. The trip was a blessing and will doubtless provide ample blog ammo in the days to come.

But tonight I simply want to recount that a friend of mine’s house burned to the ground this week. He awoke to find it in flames around him and had time only to grab a few personal items and escape. He says it must have been his guardian angel that woke him to his peril.

I wrote to him to tell him how sorry for his loss. He wrote me back, and I hope he won’t mind me posting his response.
“Thank you for your kind thoughts.  Things are going pretty good.  There are a couple of things you can count on in life:

-your stuff is going to burn up in the lake of fire and in some cases sooner
-you are going to die and leave your stuff behind.  If you live to see the second coming you can escape death, but you will still leave your stuff behind.
So, remember what is really important in life.  You can take two things to heaven:
-your character
-and people you have influenced to make right choices.
Cleaning up the the rubble, I found a piece of paper with the following written on it:
           “When the Light of the world passes by, privilege will be discerned in            hardship, order in confusion, success in apparent failure.  Calamities will be seen as disguised blessings; woes, as mercies.”
-Education, page 270.”

 

His response made me think again, as I have so often of late, about the transitory nature of this life, and of the vanity of our pursuits. They can be taken from us in an instant. This happened to my friend. Yet he does not count himself poor. That which is most important to him cannot burn.

Can we say the same thing?

What we eat, what we wear – Jesus said that a man’s life consists not of these things. He told us because it is easy, natural, for the fallen heart to think otherwise.

Jesus counseled the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:18 to buy of Him gold tried in the fire.

Now Laodicea had a lot of gold. That was one of their problems: they were rich and increased with goods. They thought they had need of nothing because of their temporal prosperity. But Jesus told them that they were wretched and miserable, poor and blind and naked, but did not realize it. He offered them something real, instead. Something eternal.

The gold Christ offers to us here, at the end of ages, is the gold of His spotless character, the purity of a reborn heart that works by faith and love. The self sacrificing service of a reborn heart lays up treasure in heaven.

Everything else though, will burn up, melt, and be consumed.