NO MATH HERE!

FYI – BE AWARE OF THOSE WHO TELL YOU TO “TAKE THESE THREE [or four, or five, or seven] STEPS, and you’ll be saved! Islam has The Five Pillars, some Christian groups have two, seven, and some have 12.  It is as though if you DO these two [or 3, or 4, or 7, or 99] things – taadaah! YOU’RE IN, MAN! ‘Taint so!  “Am I suppose to say, ‘Mother may I?’ Are these supposed to be baby steps or giant steps?” This way of Christ is not a mathematical equation. It is not a check list.

John 1:9 – “If [you] confess your sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive [you] and to cleanse [you] from every wrong.”

“He is the forgiveness for [your] sins. … And [you] can be sure that [you] know him if [you] obey his commandments.”
I John 2:3

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
1 John 1:7 (kjv)

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HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

THE KINGSTON TRIO SANG IT AND FRANK SINATRA MADE IT POPULAR, “It Was A Very Good Year.” Ervin Drake wrote it.  It was a mournful song, a melancholy melody looking back at his life. As I race toward the ripe old age of 80, I remember …; yes, I remember.  Some of the words are (you may remember):
“When I was seventeen …
When I was twenty-one …
Then I was thirty-five …
But now the days are short, I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs, and it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year.”

OH, BUT WAIT, he also wrote (or co-wrote) “I BELIEVE.” [the intricacies of theology notwithstanding] –
“I believe for every drop of rain that falls
A flower grows
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night
A candle glows
I believe for everyone who goes astray
Someone will come to show the way
I believe, I believe
“I believe above the storm a smallest prayer
Will still be heard
I believe that someone in the great somewhere
Hears every word
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry
Or touch a leaf, or see the sky
Then I know why
I believe.”

ON THE OTHER HAND, THE LORD says: “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me!”
Jeremiah 29:11-13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13

IF YOU HUNGER FOR HOPE, get alone somewhere, talk to the ONE who said, “I will never leave you,” and He will open the highway of hope for you.  Find someone who really knows what this means or contact me on FB and I will point you to THE ONE!

WRITTEN IN RED

THERE IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, WRITTEN IN RED.  And I got to thinking, yes, there have been times when for no apparent reason a sudden panic attack hit me.  Anxiety & Fear! Scared! Why?

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7 (kjv)

If God didn’t give me this uneasy, “squeegy” feeling, who did?  “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Again, this came on me for no apparent reason!

Printed in some Bibles, when Jesus speaks it’s WRITTEN IN RED.  In just 10 verses of Matthew 6:25-34 the word anxious is used by Jesus 6 times.  What was his antidote for anxiety?

A. Know who God is.
B. Go out somewhere, sit down and look at the birds.
C. Don’t look in the mirror because you’ll probably find something you don’t like.
D. While you’re out looking at the birds, find a flower to look at.  Not even movie stars and models have such beauty, besides too many of them are insecure and nuts.
E. Jesus is saying, take a deep breath and relax – smell the flower.
F. Why be preoccupied with getting when you could respond by giving … and not be anxious?
G. Trust God because HE is doing some amazing things in your life right now; praise him, tell him you love him, worship him and all of a sudden, your anxiety is gone!

The Psalmist wrote:
“I’m getting kicked around, stomped on every day. Not a day goes by but somebody [or some thing] beats me up; They make it their duty to beat me up. When I get really afraid I COME TO YOU IN TRUST.  I’m proud to PRAISE GOD; fearless now, I TRUST IN GOD. What can mere mortals do?”
Psalm 56:1-4 (msg)

BTW, when you talk to God, thank him.  Relax, your NEW YEAR is WRITTEN IN RED!
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.”
Hebrews 10:19-20 (nlt)

The Lord Won’t Mind

THE LORD PROBABLY WON’T MIND IF I PUT ISAIAH 43:1-13 in kind of a paraphrased form – preachers do it all the time.

So, here we go!
“This is what the Eternal God wants you to know. After all, He created you and the very first thing He is saying is:
• DON’T BE AFRAID!
• I redeemed you.
• I even have a personal, private and intimate name for you.
• There will be times when you’ll get into things over your head, but don’t worry, I’ll be right there with you.
• When it looks like you’re going to drown, you won’t.
• When it looks like a dead end, it isn’t.
Now why is all this true? It’s very simple –
I. AM. GOD.  You see,
I. AM. YOUR. SAVIOR.
I paid a terrible blood-price for you! O how I love you. Do you realize that I would trade the entire universe just to keep you close to me. I’m going to say it again:
DON’T BE AFRAID! I am so close to you, closer than the skin on your bones.
Since you’re my handpicked witness, I yearn for you to learn all about me and trust me completely. I’ll put it this way, I AM …; there was nothing before I created it. There was no god before me and there will not be god after me. Some people have tried to create little gods, but I was GOD before they tried their hand at it.
I AM YOUR ONLY SAVIOR. You are a witness to this. WRITE THIS ON YOUR HEART –
• I am the ONLY GOD.
• I have always been and will always be.
• Not one thing that I have created whether on earth or in hell can snatched you away from me.
So if I made it, who can unmake it?”

JESUS IS SAYING:
“‘Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.’”
Matthew 11:29-30

THE NEAR FUTURE

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN? Actually, it is beginning now!

Matthew 24 has it all laid out!  Just be sure that no one deceives you!

  1. Many “preachers” will say they are The One – the Christ – many people will be fooled.
  2. Wars and war stories will be on the news – DON’T BE AFRAID.
  3. Nations and kingdoms all over the world will be in fights.
  4. There will be famines, fires and earthquakes.
  5. If you are a follower of Christ, you will be persecuted and put to death.
  6. You will be hated by all nations because of Jesus.
  7. You’ll notice that many who once claimed Christ will turn their backs on the faith.
  8. They will turn on each other and hate each other.
  9. Many false preachers will appear on the scene and “buffalo” people – they’ll probably tell you that they can do anything but raise the dead, and maybe that, too.  Pay your $$$ to them and they’ll make you healthy, wealthy and wise. Don’t believe them.
  10. Wickedness will be so rampant that the love of many will grow cold, but if you – yes, you – stand firm to the end, you will be saved. [You may need to change your lifestyle and your friends.]
  11. The gospel will be preached all over the world (probably by TV and internet), and then THE END WILL COME!
  12. Listen, “If those days had not be cut short, no one would survive.”

“‘If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, ‘Here’s the Messiah!’ or points, ‘There he is!’ don’t fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying “preachers/promoters are going to pop up everywhere. Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better. But I’ve given you fair warning.

So if they say, ‘Run to the country and see him arrive!’ or, ‘Quick, get downtown, see him come!’ don’t give them the time of day. THE ARRIVAL OF THE SON OF MAN ISN’T SOMETHING YOU GO SEE!  He comes like swift lightning to you! Whenever you see crowds gathering, think of carrion vultures circling, moving in, hovering over a rotting carcass. You can be quite sure that it’s not the living Son of Man pulling in those crowds.

Following those hard times, the sun will fade out, the moon will cloud over, stars will fall out of the sky, cosmic powers tremble. “Then, the Arrival of the Son of Man! It will fill the skies—no one will miss it. Unready people all over the world, outsiders to the splendor and power, will raise a huge lament as they watch the Son of Man blazing out of heaven. At that same moment, he’ll dispatch his ANGELS with a trumpet-blast summons, pulling in God’s chosen from the four winds, from pole to pole.”
Matthew 24:23-31 (msg)

Horseshoe Lessons

DADDY TOOK MY HORSE, SMOKEY, TO THE BLACKSMITH TO GET NEW SHOES. I was about 7 years old, in about 1945.  With wide-eyes I watched as the blacksmith put iron in the fire.  He left it there until it got red hot.  Then he pulled it out with a big, long wrench or something, and placed it on the anvil – red hot!  He beat on it, banged on it and sparks began to fly! Because the iron was so hot it was kinda soft. He hammered and hammered and he twisted it into a horseshoe. He already knew Smokey’s size.  He put it in the water and it sizzled. He made 4 of them.  Smokey just stood there watching. I was wide-eyed.  When the blacksmith put them on Smokey, he was happy. Smokey was happy, too.

  1. I thought this was gonna be really bad with all the fire, noise and beating. Maybe Smokey did, too.
  2. Daddy knew exactly who to go to for brand new shoes.
  3. Daddy loved Smokey and so did I.  In a way, I think the blacksmith did, in his own way.
  4. Neither Daddy nor the blacksmith would dare to hurt Smokey.
  5. The blacksmith knew what he was doing and in no way would he hurt Smokey.
  6. I learned some lessons from that day.
    a.  GOD DOES NOT cause us to suffer;
    b.  He uses lots of things to make our life better;
    c.  Since He is LOVE, he knows just the right things to do to make the “shoe” fit;
    d.  He perfectly understands that things may look scary, but all in all the shoes He puts on us will protect us when we run over rough ground.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 (kjv)   🎼🎶

“When I am swept by the tempests of life,
Jesus is all I need.
Peace He imparts whatsoever the strife,
Jesus is all I need.
“All that I need He will always be.
All that I need till His face I see.
All that I need thro’ eternity.
Jesus is all I need.”
(James Rowe)

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

THERE ARE FLASHLIGHTS AND CANDLES. There are little insects that procreate light – like lightening bugs.  Fire produces light. There are electric lights.  Light can be generated by using petroleum and wood and other things. It’s no secret that our main source of light is the sun.  You can close your eyes and shut out the light. [Don’t get technical with me.]

The older I get the more I need light, lots of it!  There are green lights, red, blue, yellow and on & on.

Light is wonderful.  And get this, light is fast … very fast – 670,616,629 miles per hour or 186,282 miles per second (approx. 298,960 kilometers per second).

Our Great God created light and He did it because when He created the universe, the heavens and the earth were without form, and void and  “the earth was empty and had no form. Darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit was moving over the water. Then God said, ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, so he divided the light from the darkness.”
Genesis 1:2-4

There is inner light and inner darkness, too.  Unfortunately, everyone born into this fallen world has experienced inner darkness. Oh, I’m longing for that day of no darkness, no sadness, no death, no hurt, no sickness, no deception, no sin, no Satan!

A new form of light will forever brighten eternity with the face of the Son of God!

“The sun will no longer be your light during the day nor will the brightness from the moon be your light, because the LORD will be your light forever, and your God will be your glory.”
Isaiah 60:19 (ncv)

“The WORD [Christ] gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
John 1:4-5 (nlt)

“The ONE who is the true light … came into the very world he created ….”
John 1:9-10 (nlt)

Yes, Jesus came!

“The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Like sunshine at noonday,
His glory shone in;
The Light of the world is Jesus!
“Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus!
(P. P. Bliss)

Sanctuary Cities

THE DIFFERENCE IN THE SANCTUARY CITIES OF TODAY and the cities of refuge (sanctuary cities) of Biblical times is essentially twofold:
1. In the Biblical directive, they were a temporary (although extended in some cases) place to sort things out due to an accidental killing outside the city.
2. Outside the city, the aggrieved family of the person killed were allowed to kill or seek retribution against the person who accidentally killed someone. “And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,”
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭21:23-24‬ ‭(kjv)  [Now I’m not the sonofanattorney so there are a few other little dohickies in there, so keep it simple-KISS.]
3. The Torah designated only six cities for sanctuary.
4. The “sanctuary” cities were NOT allowed to violate the broader Mosaic Law!
Our Left-leaning politicians of today seem to always take something good, twist it, dilute it, pour sugar on it, or subvert it then shove it down our American throat!
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a [nation] soweth, that shall [it] also reap.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭6:7‬ ‭(kjv)
[pardon the paraphrase]

ANGELS!

ANGELS!  ARE CHRISTIANS SUPPOSED TO AVOID SPEAKING OF ANGELS?  SHOULD CHRISTIANS BACK OFF AND LET THE CRAZIES AND “NEW AGERS” confiscate Biblical truth and make little cherubim for us to cuddle?
Orthodox Christian Theology always goes first to the Bible.  Everything below is Biblical without question!

1.  Angels are created by God.

2.  They are not God or gods.

3.  Angels are not human.

4.  When we are born, Scripture seems to indicate they care for humans at birth, and when humans die they do not become angels.

5.  God may have created millions of them (who knows?).

6.  Satan was a rebellious angel; fallen, a deceiver, destroyer, a tempter, epitome of death – I will not continue with him in this article.

7.  God sends His holy angels from time to time as a singing chorus or mighty army.

8.  God gave instructions in the Book of Exodus to use cherubim (little ones – in the plural) and seraphim in the tabernacle architecture.

9.  There are a type of angels so awesome that the Bible describes them in almost scary terms; they look like a human, but have multiple faces and wings and such power as to cause earthquakes.

10.  Throughout the Bible angels have appeared; opened jail doors and graves, appeared as warriors, been seen in fire, and even animals have recognized them.

11.  Yes, in some places, Jesus may appear as an angel, but not in the sense that He is one of the created ones.

12.  Angels are subject to Christ’s authority.

Satan and his minions have tried to steal away the Biblical theology of angels. Priests and pastors have avoided the mention of angels thinking that it may take away from the glory given only to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Others have tried to use the belief in angels to promote supernaturalism or a psychology tied to money.
Although angels are NOT God and NOT human beings, The Great God of Heaven created them as messengers; there may be multiplied millions, they sing, they assist, they have more power than humans, THEY ARE NOT TO BE WORSHIPPED!

“That evening two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground.”
Genesis 19:1 (nlt)
“But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. They shouted to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!’”
Genesis 19:4-5 (nlt)
“So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing.”
Genesis 19:6-7 (nlt)
“But the two angels reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.”
Genesis 19:10-11 (nlt)
The angels tell Lot:
“‘For WE are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.’”
Genesis 19:13 (nlt)
“Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘DO NOT BE AFRAID.’”
Acts 27:23-24 (niv)
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
Hebrews 13:2 (nlt)

ANGELS ARE MENTIONED OVER 200 times in the Bible. I presume many books could be written analyzing each verse, but needless to say, this world has been visited by these messengers of God. They are with us today!