Faith, Family, Friends and Firearms

Category: Religion Page 1 of 2

Count Your Blessings

On my 10th birthday my parents gave me some very special gifts. I wanted a 1 litre Coca-Cola TM and they bought me one to drink by myself, a life goal I’d had since I saw the highschoolers wasting them in soda pop fights when I was in first and second grade. BUT, they also gave me two pullets. One was a beautiful golden color and the other a lovely black feathered one that proved to be of Araucana heritage and laid blue eggs. I promptly named them “Goldie” and “Blackie”,turned them into the chicken pen with the rest of our family’s fowl and did my best to take care of them and win their confidence.

I do not recall how they ended up, my small chicken flock increased and decreased, provided eggs and meat for the family and many hours of enjoyment as I learned to “speak” with them by imitating the sounds they made. We moved from that place to another and then another and finally Dad was able to get a place of our own and we put up a chicken wire pen for our small flock of egg layers and chick brooders.

Since we lived on the outskirts of town our small brood was exposed to the typical predators of the area. Opossums, tegu lizards (locally called tiú) and iguanas (called camaleão by the locals) all did their best to include our feathered fowls in their diet. Dad kept the Glenfield Model 25 in the laundry room, which overlooked the portion of our property where the chicken pen was, and when the chickens sounded the alarm I’d go back there, take the rifle and “take care of business”.

But then I moved off to college, Dad and Mom and the youngest siblings moved to another state and probably ate the last of the chickens and poultry was one of the last things on my mind. Eventually I got married and we moved back to the Amazon Basin, only much further east, into the transitional area between the Atlantic and the Amazon forests. There my wife and I set up a chicken pen on our property and once more the sound of the chickens crooning and clucking and crowing was a part of our life, as well as the supply of eggs and fresh chicken for the pot.

Once again life stepped in and we moved to another country, from semi rural to urban life and no place for a chicken pen. Odd to say, but the “hassle” of raising and taking care of a flock of poultry has never seemed too bad, and the lack of such activity just reemphasizes to me that this country boy is “marooned” in a desolate urban wasteland. Instead of the clucking, crooning, crowing and scuffle of the flock and their pecking order we hear cars, motorcycles, trucks, busses, salesmen and other urban auditory pollution. To say I miss the old chicken pens is an understatement.

And then, an unexpected blessing, an indication of The Creator’s love and mercy. Recently we hung a flower basket outside of our bedroom window and planted a couple of decorative “weeds” (as I like to call them) in it. A couple of canaries investigated the contraption, but it was too open for them and they moved on, searching for a more appropriate abode for their brood. Then the other day I looked out and imagine my surprise to see…

Yep, it looks for all the world like a miniature chicken egg! I’d not really noticed the extra “filling” in the basket when I watered the “weeds” last, but it’s hard to miss a beautiful white egg when it’s right under your nose, so to speak. But “who” did the deed? I was pretty sure it was a bird of the dove type, but we have a couple or more different species in the area. She was a bit skittish and would take off in a panic at first, but I managed to sneak this shot.

She didn’t care for the camera or for me and took off, but landed on the roof between us and the neighbor’s place.

I’m pretty sure she is of the “Common Ground Dove” species. They are similar to the more northern mourning dove, but the mourning dove doesn’t range this far south, at least from the maps I’ve looked at. At any rate, I take this little bit of “nature doing its thing” as a reminder – God cares for even the common little birds, and He cares for you and for me as well. I miss having a small flock of chickens, so He sent me this little bird to remind me – He knows, He cares, He provides in many ways.

25 Random Things About Me – past and present

A blast from the past. Does anyone else remember when FB had a “Notes” section in their FB page? They shut it down a few years ago, but the notes are still there and show up in “Memories”. This is one I hadn’t thought about in ages, but it gives a chance to reflect on life and how things have changed over the past 14 years. So, here’s the “note” and I’ll follow the original with updates as appropriate.

25 Random Things About Me
Rules:
Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app, then click publish.) – note that “Notes” were eliminated from FB several years ago, so those instructions are no longer valid.

  1. My deepest desire is to live in a way pleasing to my creator.
  2. My second deepest desire is to help others learn to live in a way pleasing to their creator.
  3. My greatest disappointment is that I don’t always fulfill my greatest desire.
  4. My greatest joy is that He extends grace and mercy to me when I fail.
  5. My best friend sleeps in the same bed with me and I’m madly in love with her.
  6. We have two sons and two grandchildren.
  7. Our dog, Burka, was adopted from the animal shelter in Dos Quebradas. She’s about the smartest dog we’ve ever had (with the possible exception of Babe Ruth who died at 4 months old)
  8. I’ve ridden my Suzuki GN-125 H to Cali, Bogotá, Villavicencio and Guatapé – a larger bike would be nice, but this one gets the job done – eventually.
  9. The old 1975 Ford built Jeep we had in Brazil still retains a fond spot in my heart – even though it tried to kill me.
  10. I’m a carnivore and proud of it. Hunting is part of my heritage and I’ve no patience for the ignorant Disneyfied bunny huggers who don’t understand the animals they claim to love.
  11. Blood is NOT on the menu. My respect for the animal is shown by obeying God’s ancient law. That some people don’t understand how I can both respect and kill and eat an animal is a source of amusement.
  12. No, I’m not very “sensitive”.
  13. When we were kids we built things and did things that would probably get us locked up today – and I do not believe society is better for having changed in this manner.
  14. “Safety” is an excuse people use to control the lives of others. Living is not safe. Dying is not bad – as long as your sins have been taken care of by the Christ’s sacrifice.
  15. Sometime in the middle of 2009 we should finally personally meet our grandchildren.
  16. Of the computers I’ve owned over the years I’ve built or custom ordered most of them. Only the TRS80 and the Toshiba Satellites have come from the factory as is.
  17. I do not miss the tape drive on the old TRS80.
  18. My cell phone can do far more than the TRS80 ever could.
  19. We have Vonage for a US phone line. EPM for a local landline. Comcel for cell phone service. Hotmail, Yahoo, Skype and Google Talk accounts for chatting. Our own domain name for the mission work and e-mail use. And yet many folks don’t know how to contact us.
  20. My e-mail address hasn’t changed in 10 years.
  21. First place trophies for various shooting competitions sit on my shelf, speaking to the smallness of the pond in which this small frog lives.
  22. I can only take so much urban life before my head threatens to explode.
  23. Hank Williams Junior’s song “A Country Boy Can Survive” and Robin Mark’s “Ancient Words” speak about and to different parts of my being.
  24. My sons were rocked to sleep in a hammock to the sound of their dad singing “How Firm A Foundation” – all six verses I managed to locate over the years.
  25. Besides my Lord and Savior, I am thankful for my best friend, lover and wife – without Him and her I do not know what I would have become.
  26. I selected more than 25 people and now am writing more than 25 things – will I be struck by lightning? Have my facebook account closed???

Updated List

  1. My deepest desire is to live in a way pleasing to my creator.
  2. My second deepest desire is to help others learn to live in a way pleasing to their creator.
  3. My greatest disappointment is that I don’t always fulfill my greatest desire.
  4. My greatest joy is that He extends grace and mercy to me when I fail and that He has been helping me to be transformed through the renewing of my mind.
  5. My best friend sleeps in the same bed with me and I’m madly in love with her.
  6. We have two sons and six grandchildren.
  7. Our dog, Burka, was adopted from the animal shelter in Dos Quebradas. She was about the smartest dog we’d ever had (with the possible exception of Babe Ruth who died at 4 months old) We had to put her down in 2014 and we now have two other dogs, Biscuit and Blackie, who have their own Facebook Page and Instagram page as well.
  8. I rode my Suzuki GN-125 H to Cali, Bogotá, Villavicencio and Guatapé as well as to many other destinations. It was replaced by a Honda XL200 and then by a Royal Enfield Rumbler 500. Indeed the larger bike makes for a better travel experience!
  9. The old 1975 Ford built Jeep we had in Brazil still retains a fond spot in my heart – even though it tried to kill me. My wife thinks I’m nuts that I still cast a longing eye at the old Jeeps around this part of the world.
  10. I’m a carnivore and proud of it. Hunting is part of my heritage and I’ve no patience for the ignorant Disneyfied bunny huggers who don’t understand the animals they claim to love.
  11. Blood is NOT on the menu. My respect for the animal is shown by obeying God’s ancient law. That some people don’t understand how I can both respect and kill and eat an animal is a source of amusement.
  12. No, I’m not very “sensitive”.
  13. When we were kids we built things and did things that would probably get us locked up today – and I do not believe society is better for having changed in this manner. And the world is becoming more and more asinine in its frantic search for “safety”.
  14. “Safety” is an excuse people use to control the lives of others. Living is not safe. Dying is not bad – as long as your sins have been taken care of by the Christ’s sacrifice.
  15. We met our first grandchildren in 2009 and each of the others that came along we met as soon as possible. Living a couple of continents away from the kids and grandkids is one of the more difficult parts of our life and ministry.
  16. Of the computers I’ve owned over the years I’ve built or custom ordered most of them. Only the TRS80 and the Toshiba Satellites have come from the factory as is. In the past 14 years we’ve had a few more, to include a couple of laptops and a tiny form factor “desktop” unit. Unfortunately I’ve had little time to keep up to date with the “latest and greatest” and have resorted to purchasing with a view towards obtaining a useful tool that will serve for several years down the road.
  17. I do not miss the tape drive on the old TRS80. One of my builds included 5.25″ and 3.5″ diskette drives, a tape drive backup unit, a zip drive, a CD and a DVD drive/burner and a 3.5″ hard drive. It was a hoot to have such a wide variety of storage media “on tap”.
  18. My cell phone can do far more than the TRS80 ever could and has enough storage to contain the information for over 180,000 3.5″ diskettes.
  19. We have Vonage for a US phone line. Claro for a local landline cell phone service. Hotmail, Yahoo, Skype, Google Talk, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp accounts for chatting. We have our own domain name for the mission work and e-mail use. And yet many folks don’t know how to contact us even now – despite the fact that these methods of communication have been available for years.
  20. My main e-mail address hasn’t changed in about 25 years.
  21. First place trophies for various shooting competitions sit on my shelf, speaking to the smallness of the pond in which this small frog lives. I’ve got a few more in different disciplines now, most reflecting on the same small frog/tiny pond phenomenon.
  22. I can only take so much urban life before my head threatens to explode. Thankfully we have access to a place where I can get out and barely hear trucks on the road, but no urban roar.
  23. Hank Williams Junior’s song “A Country Boy Can Survive” and Robin Mark’s “Ancient Words” speak about and to different parts of my being. Don Williams’ “Good Ole Boys Like Me” and Vincent and Daley’s “By The Mark” are a couple of other songs that dance through my mind and memory at times.
  24. My sons were rocked to sleep in a hammock to the sound of their dad singing “How Firm A Foundation” – all six verses I managed to locate over the years.
  25. Besides my Lord and Savior, I am thankful for my best friend, lover and wife – without Him and her I do not know what I would have become.
  26. No one has been selected in some FB chainletter type of operation, but I AM writing more than 25 things – will I be struck by lightning? Have my facebook account closed??? – FB has indeed censored my account a couple of times. Their “community standards” do not include inclusiveness towards a conservative and truth oriented world view. I refer them to Romans chapter 1 which they will deny the validity of until such time as they are called to account, each for his/her own decisions and actions. But yours truly will continue to do his best to speak the truth in love.
  27. And since we’re expanding on the former list a bit, there are those who use the same logic as stating that a dog has five legs since you can count its tail as a leg. To those I will continue to point out that you can call something what it is not, but that does not change the essence of what it is. From the beginning marriage has been between a man and a woman. Folks call other arrangements “marriage”, but that’s like calling a dog’s tail a leg. Just because you say so does not make it so.

Precious Memories

Looking back at memories on a certain social media site, I came across this tidbit from years past. So on a whim I’m updating it and expanding it and posting it here “just because”.

Things you have done during your lifetime:

(X) Married your best friend

() Gone on a blind date

() Skipped school

(X) Watched someone die

(X) Watched someone be born

(X) Watched a spiritual new birth

(X) Watched a pet die.

(X) Put down a pet

(X) Been to Canada

(X) Been to Mexico

(X) Been to Florida

(X) Jumped off a cliff

() Bungee jump

() Parasailed

() Been to Hawaii

(X) Been on a plane

(X) Flown a plane

() Been on a helicopter

() Been lost

(X) Been temporarily misplaced

(X) Gone to Washington, DC

(X) Gone to Washington state

(X) Visited the capitols of more than three countries

(X) Swam in the ocean

(X) Swam in more than one ocean

(X) Cried yourself to sleep

(X) Loaned a shoulder to cry on

(X) Played cops and robbers

() Recently colored with crayons

(X) Sang Karaoke

(X) Sung a capella

(X) Paid for a meal with coins only

(X) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

() Been to New York City at Xmas time

(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t

() Made prank phone calls

() Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans

(X) Been to Ver o Peso in Belém do Pará

(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere

(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

() Danced in the rain

() Written a letter to Santa Claus

() Been kissed under the mistletoe

(X) Watched the sunrise with someone

(X) Watched the sunset with someone

(X) Blown bubbles

() Gone ice-skating

(X) Gone to the movies

(X) Been deep sea fishing

(X) Fished in a cow pond

(X) Fished in a mountain stream

(X) Driven across the United States

(X) Driven from ocean to ocean in one day

(X) Visited Glacier National Park

(X) Visited Yosemite National Park

(X) Driven across South America

(X) Driven truck or combine in the harvest

(X) Been in a hot air balloon

() Been sky diving

() Gone snowmobiling

(X) Lived in more than one country

(X) Learned more than one language fluently

(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars

(X) Walked by the light of the full moon

(X) Walked by the light of the stars

() Seen a falling star and made a wish

(X) Watched a satellite sail across the night sky

(X) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser

(X) Marveled at the giant sequoias

(X) Seen a tree thicker than a giant sequoia

() Been on a cruise

() Traveled by train

(X) Traveled by motorcycle

(X) Traveled by bicycle

(X) Been horse back riding

(X) Been mule back riding

(X) Been donkey back riding

() Been camel back riding

() Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR

(X) Been to Disney World or Disneyland

(X) Truly believe in the power of prayer

(X) Been in a rain forest

(X) Been in more than one rain forest

(X) Walked barefoot through a rain forest

(X) Seen whales in the ocean

(X) Seen porpoises in a river

(X) Been to Niagara Falls

(X) Been to Igaçú Falls

() Been to Victoria Falls

() Ridden on an elephant

(X) Ridden a mule or donkey

() Swam with dolphins

(X) Heard a rhea roar

(X) Seen a bear in the wild

() Seen a wolf in the wild

() Seen a cougar in the wild

() Been to a World Cup Soccer game

() Been to the Olympics

() Walked on the Great Wall of China

() Walked the Via Dolorosa

(X) Eaten a macaw or parrot

(X) Found half a worm in a piece of fruit you were eating

(X) Eaten a reptile

(X) Saw and heard a glacier crack

() Been spinnaker flying

(X) Been water-skiing

(X) Been snow-skiing

(X) Been canoeing

() Been to Westminster Abbey

() Been to the Louvre

() Been to the Sistine Chapel

(X) Been to the Museo de Oro in Bogotá

(X) Been to Brasilia – the most “modern” capital in the world

() Swam in the Mediterranean

(X) Swam in the Caribbean

() Been to a Major League Baseball game

(X) Been to a National Football League game

(X) Ever been skinny-dipping

(X) Laughed so hard you cried

() Follow a map for treasure

() Driven a dune buggy

(X) Driven a tractor

(X) Driven a manual transmission vehicle

(X) Driven a dual transmission vehicle

() Got lost in East L.A. after dark

(X) Walked the mean streets of Bogotá

(X) Swam in the Amazon

(X) Hunted on more than one continent

(X) Shot a 50 BMG rifle

(X) Shot the 1,025 Meter buffalo at the Whittington Center

(X) Participated in a national level shooting competition

(X) Placed in the top 10 in a national level shooting competition

(X) Taken first place in a national level shooting competition

(X) Fished in the Rockies

(X) Fished in the Andes

(X) Visited over 40 of the United States

() Visited ALL 50 United States

(X) Eaten food from a street stand in S. America

(X) Drunk fresh roasted and ground coffee prepared over a charcoal fire

(X) Eaten game you’ve killed and cooked yourself

(X) Eaten Rocky mountain oysters

(X) Eaten aligator

(X) Eaten piranha

(X) Eaten anaconda

() Eaten rattlesnake

() Crossed the Rocky mountains on motorcycle

(X) Crossed the Andes mountains on motorcycle

(X) Stood on the banks of the Amazon

(X) Stood on the banks of the Mississippi

(X) Stood on the banks of the Magdalena

() Stood on the banks of the Orinoco

() Stood on the banks of the Nile

() Stood on the banks of the Thames

() Stood on the banks of the Danube

() Stood on the banks of the Volga

() Stood on the banks of the Congo

(X) Read the Bible cover to cover

(X) Encouraged others to read the Bible

(X) Baptized a person into Christ.

(X) Taken a picture of a cloud

(X) Preached at a loved one’s funeral

(X) Marveled at a baby’s beauty

(X) Loaded your own ammunition

(X) Loaded ammunition with bullets you’ve made yourself

(X) Taken game with ammunition you’ve loaded yourself

(X) Built a firearm from scratch

(X) Marveled at the stupidity of those who ban things instead of teaching people proper behavior

(X) Helped a stranger along the road

(X) Been helped by a stranger along the road

(X) Allowed Christ to forgive your sins

(X) Adapted a Facebook “notes list”

“…resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves.”

Here’s another from the archives. It never ceases to amaze me how our nation went from men such as John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson to the soft, effeminate type that seems to be dominating our nation today.

“With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, the arms we have compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen rather than to live as slaves.” –John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of the Cause and Necessity of Taking up Arms, 1775

The period leading up to the American Revolution was a turbulent time. Men had been giving much thought to the issue of what it meant to be subjects of a power that was interested only in maintaining itself and not with their well being. Slowly, but surely, the movement to break ties with “Mother England” took shape and gained ground until there came a point of no return. But once that point was reached freedom was not yet ensured. First there was a long period of harsh battles, of labor, sweat, tears, danger and the terrible possibility of being once more forced to bow to a foreign power.

Our Christian life is much the same. We must carefully consider (count the cost, the Savior said) that which has claimed our life and forced us into subservience and obedience to a power that has not our best interests in mind. And once we break the bonds that bind us we are often STILL subject to a long and drawn out battle. Too many people downplay this and lead others into a false sense of security, assuring them that “Jesus won the war so you’ll have no problem at all.” They forget that we are in a life or death struggle against forces that would destroy us. Not flesh and blood but rather spiritual forces that for millennia have been fighting against God’s Kingdom of Light. The war was won at Calvary when satan’s head was crushed under the heel of God’s Son. But many battles are still being waged until Christ’s return. The serpent was killed but yet he wields a tremendous venom that can still bring lives to an end.

Consider carefully the words of the Apostle Paul as he wrote to the church in Ephesus: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12) These words were written TO THE CHURCH. They were written to people who had been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and whose names were written in the Book of Life. Yes, the war has been won – but many battles are yet to be fought.

Peter also warned us of possible dangers: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (I Peter 5:8-9) Again, these words were written to those who had been redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice.

Yes, as Christians we have written our Declaration of Independence from satan’s evil schemes. We have also founded our lives on a new Constitution – the Word of God. BUT we must also be constantly alert and ready to fight against our enemy’s schemes to drag us back into slavery. Truly the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Let us keep a jealous eye on our Christian freedom and be ready to repel satan’s attempts to drag us back into the slavery of sin. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) These words were written as an admonishment to not be dragged back to living under the Mosaic law – but they ring true in regards to sin as well.

I Played With Matches

Another from the archives…

Yep, when I was a kid I wasn’t “Smokey’s Friend” – I played with matches. Never did we burn down a forest nor even a house or anything we shouldn’t. But we played with matches. And gun powder, fireworks, power tools, firearms, airguns, slingshots, bicycles, machetes, axes, lead based paint – etc.

And yet, we grew up. All our appendages were intact (in spite of that one incident where we re-enacted a knife fight from a Louis L’Amour novel and someone got their fingers cut) and our hearing wasn’t too badly damaged (I’m only deaf in one ear but can still sometimes hear out of the other – don’t tell my wife) and the only damage to our eye sight was genetic. We rode bicycles without helmets. We played soccer without pads. We played volleyball in the street. We paddled canoes without lifejackets. We climbed trees and chopped them down. OK – THEY climbed the tree and I chopped it down). Skinnydipping, fishing, bee hunting, wasp nest capturing, campfire building, lead smelting, gun building – all these and more were part of our lives. And we lived and grew up and became reasonably stable, sane, productive citizens.

We can kill our own dinner, as well as skin it and cook it. We can change a tire – or an engine. We can wire a house, run the plumbing, dig a well, build a wall. We can plant a garden, cook a meal, change a diaper, discipline a child, educate a child, train a dog, butcher a goat. We can find an egg, set a hen, castrate livestock, build a fence, change the oil, lube a bike, repair an innertube, load a cartridge. And all these things we learned as kids.

We also learned to say “Yes, ma’am.” “Yes, sir.” and call adults “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or “Uncle” or “Aunt”. We played “Kick the can” and “Hide and Seek” and “Red Rover, Red Rover” and “Barrage” (our own variation of “dodge ball”) Chores were done. School work also. God’s word was memorized and passed on to younger kids.

We sharpened knives. Killed, skinned and roasted birds (over the campfire). We chased bats, caught, cleaned and ate piranhas. Swam with piranhas. Played with snakes and tarantulas. Slingshot, knife and a sack of smooth pebbles were our daily companions. We wrestled. We fought. We stood up for each other. We competed with each other.

We lived free – safe in the guidelines set by our parents. No, it wasn’t a matter of “Don’t do this. Don’t do that.” It was a matter of “Remember who’s son you are.” and the knowledge that we should never cause harm to another nor another’s property. We were taught honor, love for God and respect for our fellow man. We were taught right from wrong. We were taught to think.

And I feel sorry for today’s children. Raised with a long list of “safety” equipment and “things not to do” because “someone might get hurt”. The scars on my body give testimony to “Stupid should hurt” and also to “bodies heal”. Our modern society tries to shield us from life. Why? I believe it’s because they believe that this life is all there is. They don’t believe in One Who is greater than us and One Who is preparing a place for those who love Him and obey His commandments. And thus they are bound by fear, tied down with chains of terror – terror of losing that which we all must lose someday. Our bodies WILL die. Life WILL kill you – sooner or later – it’s inevitable. HOW you live your life says a lot about who you are. Are you living life suffocated by fear? Or do you live life in the knowledge that if we seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness that He will provide for us and protect us along the way?

Love of God and His ways gives us freedom. Fear not those or that which can kill only your body. Fear Him Who has power over physical death and Who will either welcome us to a beautiful new home or Who will send us away from His Presence forever. That fear is healthy. It’s just like that admonishment of old – “Remember who’s son you are.” That sentence alone was enough to keep me on the right path, not from a morbid fear of some punishment but rather the fear of letting down my father.

Who’s child are you? Don’t forget. And it’s OK to play with matches – but use your head and play carefully.

Fear

Fear. It does bad things to people and societies. It causes people to be paralyzed or to act out irrationally. We’ve seen it demonstrated especially over the past year and a half. “The virus is going to WIPE US ALL OUT!” seems to be the thought that most in society have held on to. From the beginning of the “pandemic” we’ve been telling people – “It’s NOT about the virus.” A simple observation of the steps taken by governments around the world shows this to be true. Isolating healthy people is not about stopping the virus. Keeping people locked up in their homes where they are unable to get sunshine and thus their bodies are not able to produce vitamin D – which is important in preventing infection and/or combatting it – isn’t about the virus. Constant death counts while refusing to recognize the vast majority who survive with no ill effects isn’t about the virus. It’s about producing fear, because a fearful people will cling to anything that they deem might possibly prolong their life even by a tiny bit.

And there’s the problem. The vast majority of our society is afraid to die. So afraid to die that they refuse to live in freedom. Instead, they seek any glimmer of a possible extension of their life, no matter the cost.

Some of us, on the other hand, are not limited by that fear, we know Who holds our life in His hand. As the apostle John wrote, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.” (I John 4:18)

Fear leads to irrationality. People snatch at straws and criticize those who point out that a straw does not a flotation device make. A good example is the current “vaccination” drive. What people don’t realize is that the current “vaccination” is NOT an immunization like we’ve known for decades. Yes, the vaccines for Polio, Smallpox, Measles and TB and others have been responsible for saving the lives of millions. But they are vastly different from those things being promoted now as “vaccines”. We are seeing the current “vaccines” being injected into people before there have been clinical trials to show their efficacy and possible side effects and other issues that need addressed before being trotted out and used on the general population.

Yet fear leads people to give up their rational functions and reach out to grasp straws. The “vaccinated” can still catch the COVID-19 virus. The “vaccinated” can still pass on the COVID-19 virus. The “vaccinated” can still die from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. The only thing they hold out as a POSSIBLE benefit is a supposed reduction in severity of the symptoms once the person catches the COVID-19 virus. Supposed because there are no clinical trials showing the effects of the virus on vaccinated and non-vaccinated people. In fact, before all the drama started in 2020 there were many people who had already caught the virus and survived, some of them having very mild cases. Y

Yet fear – we can’t let people overcome it. We MUST keep them afraid and we MUST keep them from thinking for themselves. That is what seems to be driving the mandates and other governmental meddling around the globe, pretending to do something, but not doing anything that actually would help.

The state of Texas already had 80% immunity back in May of 2021. Without “vaccines”. (see video by Dr. McCulough ) Yes, there have been deaths, yes there have been severe cases – but there has also been a lot of negligence in getting out the message about ways to treat the virus nor has there been an effort at early treatment to help people overcome the virus BEFORE it gets to the critical stage.

Fear. There’s no reason for it if you truly trust in Jesus the Christ and if you truly understand that in Him there is nothing to fear, except fear itself.

Thoughts on the current unrest

2020 has been an “interesting year” so far. I don’t recall any of the “prophetic ministries” foretelling the Covid-19 pandemic, the massive shutdown of the economy around the world nor even the unrest blamed on racial injustice in the US of A which has lead to massive rioting, looting and violence in certain areas of the country – and the world, as agitators have hastened to add their log to the fire.

This has lead yours truly to cogitate considerably on the situation and, as is his wont, what should be a disciple of Jesus the Christ’s response to it all. The book of face social platform has become a virtual battleground as many rush to tell everyone else “the RIGHT way” to confront the issue. Vitriol and barely disguised hatred boil to the surface in too many discussions and it’s easy to tell who listens to which “news media” by their attacks on “evil Trump” or support for “Trump, our rescuer”. People tend to flock together with similar thinking folks and to yell shrilly at those with whom they disagree, and it mostly seems to be fueled by different ideologues who rarely (never?) seem to be based on a truly Biblical world view.

Recently an invitation to join an innocuously named “Race and Grace” group on Facebook was sent to my inbox. I was intrigued and as an invitee was granted the ability to scroll through the posts in the group. This supposedly Christian group on Facebook quickly divulged the influence of the far left media on the majority of their members (at least the ones whose posts I briefly scanned). Denigrating those who stand for “justice for ALL” and ad hominem attacks on the current POTUS dominated the posts scanned. No where did I hear the TRULY CHRISTIAN message that

In Christ there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all. Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts. Be thankful.

Colossians 3:11-15 HCSB

Personally, I will NOT declare that one color group’s lives matter while ignoring the fact that ALL lives matter. When those who echo the anti-Christian message that there IS a difference between people based on the color of their skin, they are ignoring the truly Christian message that WE ARE ALL THE SAME in the eyes of our Creator. He does not value one race/nationality/culture group over another, rather He calls all men everywhere to repentance and redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Yet this message is shouted down by those who prefer to echo what they’ve heard on the mass media. As Christ’s disciples, are we not called to be merciful to all, especially to the innocent?

One of the great problems with current culture is that most people have NO grasp or even fleeting understanding of history. They forget where we come from and seem intent on returning to a point in history where the gains made by those who have patiently preached the Gospel of Reconciliation (of God to man and of man to man) would be lost. When we take a look at the work of Charles Darwin and the huge impact that his writings had on history, we really should be skeptical of those who continue to promote the segregation of humans based on the color of their skin. Reading the writings of Theodore Roosevelt and others who ventured into the wilds of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century world we see the insidious grasp of the theory of mankind’s evolution from “the goo to you via the zoo”. This ideology lead to the destruction of millions of people in the German colonies in Africa during the Great War (1st World War of the 20th Century). After all, ridding the continent of the “inferior, unevolved race” (I’m quoting the attitude of the time and place, not a personal view of this blog) would be a service to humanity as it allowed the destroyers to seed the land with the “far superior and highly evolved race” of the German homeland. (again, note this is not a personally held view – why do I have to say this? because some will assume it’s a stance that’s natural to one of my own ancestry).

While the darwinian doctrine of macro evolution dominated the thoughts of “progressive” thinkers, the Christian doctrine of equality of ALL men in the sight of God took a hit as attacks were made on the Bible and the Christian faith by those who longed to be free from the moral constraints of a Christian worldview. This is understandable when one examines the teachings of some who called themselves “Christian” over the centuries, but flies in the face of the evidence for a Creator and His Plan for the human race that can be found in natural law. As the psalmist wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard.
Their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
(Psalm 19:1-4 HCSB) and as the apostle wrote: “For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.  For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” (Romans 1:18-23 HCSB)

One of the great problems that has plagued the Church of Jesus the Christ over the centuries is the fact that adherents of the gospel have too often ignored the clear teaching of Romans 12:1-2: “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” True Christian worship is how we live each day and each moment in our own bodies. This should lead us to think differently from the world around us, but far too often the church has focused on rituals held within four walls of a building and for too long the church has conformed itself to the world’s way of thinking.

And that is why I refuse to echo the “A Certain Color’s Life Matters”! That is NOT a Christian voice. It clearly scribes a line between one group and another while Christ calls us to erase those lines. It also ignores the injustice that is happening in other places where other groups are being targeted even more than the group mentioned above. For an example from history, which lives mattered more in Rwanda? The Hutu, the Tutsi, the Twa? They were all of what in the US is considered “one race”, yet one group rose up and slaughtered the others – even going so far as to slaughter those who were of their own tribal origin because they dared to differ in opinion. And in the middle of it all were many who professed to be “Christian”, but who either slaughtered people whose only crime was to be from another tribe or else refused to give shelter and protection to the same.

And that brings us back to the “current events” unfolding across the land many call simply “America”. Were the lives of Dave Patrick Underwood and David Dorn worth less than the life of George Floyd? If the skin color by which the media identified Floyd matters, why does the skin color of Underwood and Dorn not matter – even though they are identified the same? And that is but one of the many issues I have with the whole movement. Christ died to redeem us and to transform us. We should raise our voices in defense of ALL innocent life, taking no notice of color, nationality or ethnic group.

And no, I did not join the social media group. There are far too many who echo the words of the world and ignore the words of the Bible that call us to love one another as Christ loves us. THESE are the words I’d far rather promote. “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Thoughts on Celebrating the Nativity of The Christ

It’s that time of year, again. When the world gets rushed and busy and people run from place to place looking for the best price on the perfect gift to make their credit stretch further and allow them to get deeper in debt with the greatest amount of material benefit in exchange therefore. Or at least that’s what it looks like from here. Yesterday we went to town to take care of some needed business, and the parking lots were overflowing and traffic backed up for blocks, reminding us why we hate to go to town this time of year. But it’s still “my favorite time of the year.”

“Why?” you might ask. Well, because it’s the time of the year in which those of us who remember “the reason for the season” celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. It’s a time in which we are brought to contemplate the majesty of a Creator Who cared enough for His creation to enter into that very same creation in the body of a helpless infant. This event is so momentous that it has split history in twain – a fact acknowledged even by those who attempt to replace “Ano Domini” and “Before Christ” with “Common Era” (CE) and “Before Common Era” (BCE). While shying away from “the religious implications” of the prior dating to avoid recognizing the importance of the event that spawned this division of history – they still use an abbreviation that can be used to restore the initial import of the division of time. After all, B.C.E. and C.E. can be used to represent “Before the Christian Era” and “Christian Era”. 😉 😀

There are many who claim to be followers of Jesus the Christ who decry the celebration of His birth. The common arguments include “No one KNOWS what day He was born on! The Bible certainly doesn’t tell us!” and “Christmas is a PAGAN holiday!” Well, let’s take a look at these two arguments in particular.

First, it is true that the Bible does not tell us what day of the year Jesus Who would come to be known as The Nazarene and The Messiah (the Christ, the Anointed One) was born – but it tells us clearly that He WAS born. Not only was He born, His birth was celebrated in ways unknown before or since. We see a multitude of angels singing in celebration. We see the magi trekking from the East, following a star to where it came to rest over the place where the Child was. This was a birth foretold by prophets hundreds of years prior to the event. And it was a birth that brought to us One Who would impact history like no one before or since. Even those who do not believe in His deity must acknowledge His impact on the world and culture if they are honest analysts of history. Only the most ardent adherents to ignorance claim that He never was a real person or that He taught in such a way as to “turn the world on end”.

Since we know that He WAS born, even though we may not know EXACTLY WHEN He was born, why not celebrate the event? If not on the now traditional date, what date would you propose? On a personal level, this is something of which our family has experience. My wife was a foundling, raised by an unknown woman for the first days/weeks of her life. She was then taken to an orphanage and adopted by those who eventually became my inlaws. A judge arbitrarily decreed that her birth date would be celebrated on a certain day of the year. The fact of the matter is – we have NO idea what day she was born. But we have irrefutable evidence that she WAS born. And this blessing is worth celebrating, so we do. Each year on the day decreed by the judge we celebrate the fact that the tiny child who would become my wife and the mother of our children was born. Why not celebrate the birth of our Redeemer as well? After all, He has blessed many millions more than it would ever be possible for my wife to bless.

My friend, Kirk Durston, wrote an article on the second argument – that Christmas is actually a pagan celebration. I encourage you to read his well thought out and presented article. Here I just want to point out that the date of the Nativity was settled among the followers of Jesus of Nazareth well before the pagan celebration that it was supposedly copied from was established. The traditional Day of Creation was long recognized as what today is the 25th of March. Rabbinic tradition had all the Patriarchs born on the same day, and thus conceived as well on the same day. March 25 plus 9 months gestation gives us December 25 as the date of the birth of the Messiah. Some early Christians held that January 6 was the day of the Nativity, a date still celebrated by the Orthodox Catholic church and recognized by the Roman Catholic church as the day on which the magi arrived.

For yours truly, it all comes back to – let us celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. Whether you follow Him or not you must till recognize that He taught as none other has done. If people would follow His teaching (rather than the dogmas that have split so many societies) then the world would be a far better place, a fact admitted even by some avowed atheists.

Two Roads

Two roads diverge in a world perturbed.
One is narrow, the other is broad.
One’s full of promise of immediate “pleasure”.
The other leads to eternal treasure.

Facebook Jail

Well, it was my turn, 24 hour detention in “Facebook Jail”. It should be no surprise to anyone that Facebook and Twitter and many other related “Social Media” sights have a definite twist from what used to be called “normal”, “good” and “right”.  Their fomenting of an agenda that goes against heterosexual, Christian, Anglo Saxon men is nothing new, it’s been going on for a while.  So it was not too much of a surprise when I clicked on an announcement that someone had responded to something I’d posted – only to receive the photo below along with the included message.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén