When You Hurt

YOU’RE HUMAN. YOU BEG, YOU CRY, YOU PLEAD WITH GOD FOR RELIEF. Yes, you are flesh and blood and that’s why you hurt. Did you know that you are allowed to question? Go ahead, talk to Him. Ask Him. He wants to hear from you. I did. Oh my goodness! Waywayway down deep in my soul somewhere, He spoke. I had two kids who needed food; had no money, nothing! Our duplex rent was only paid until the end of the month and then we would be homeless. I applied for unemployment and the bureaucrat said, “No.”  I can’t describe the laceration of soul that Satan superimposed on me.  I could almost hear the demons of hell laughing, tantalizing me, making fun. It was more like toxic poison injected into the veins of my heart. Perhaps you have been there.  On Wednesday the banker for the church called me to meet with him and a client. The client owned 78 Skilled Nursing Facilities plus-plus-plus. The story is too long to detail here. The Lord God of Heaven opened the door. I became this very wealthy man’s executive assistant!

“In this world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – Jesus

John 16:33

“I praise God for his word. I trust God, so I am not afraid.”

Psalms 56:4

 

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“No one understands like Jesus;

He’s a Friend beyond compare.

Meet Him at the throne of mercy;

He is waiting for you there.

“No one understands like Jesus

When the days are dark and grim.

No one is so near, so dear as Jesus;

Cast Your every care on Him.

“No understands like Jesus;

Every woe He sees and feels.

Tenderly He whispers comfort,

And the broken heart He heals.

“No one understands like Jesus

When the foes of life assail.

You should never be discouraged;

Jesus cares and will not fail.”

(John W. Peterson)

OUT THERE/IN HERE

JUST SUPPOSE THAT THERE ARE POWERFUL ALIENS OUT THERE looking at us – maybe walking among us.

JUST SUPPOSE they are watching to see how we conduct ourselves; watching to see if we respect eternal principles of the universe.

JUST SUPPOSE those who live by those powerful principles will someday be transported to a place in the universe where they will live in eternal luxury enjoying blissful joy forever and ever.

JUST SUPPOSE that those who in their bitter hate and skepticism will be transported to a place of eternal stench and filth living with the smell of death forever and ever.

THE ETERNAL GOD OF THE UNIVERSE has it all planned out.  NO ALIENS!  Since people are more likely to believe in aliens and act stupidly, selfish and sinful, God clothed himself in human flesh, paid the price with his justifying blood and for those who believe in him he said,

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

John 14:2-3 (nlt)

“When my way grows drear, precious Lord linger near

When my light is almost gone

Hear my cry, hear my call

Hold my hand lest I fall

Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.”

THE CHURCH IN THE AGE OF RELATIVISM

Next door to my daughter’s apartment is a prominent downtown church; a rather large one.  She invited me to go with her to explore the possibility of her making it her church home.  There was no one to greet us, only a sign notifying attendees to help themselves to the daily program.

After being seated, I opened the program.  The “service” was “Honoring Great American Feminists; Bella Abzug, Hillary Clinton, Angela Davis, Betty Friedan, Oprah Winfrey,  Gloria Steinem, and a few names I didn’t recognize.  The music consisted of the organ playing; no congregational singing.  The Pastor/Speaker reminded us of a few community activities and then directed those gathered to refer to the program.  His “sermon” started out by reminding us of the “The Day of the Woman.”  So far, we heard nothing about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Nicene Creed, Abraham, Samson & Delilah, or the Virgin Mary, nor was a Scriptural basis used, not even Proverbs 31:10-31.

We had enough so we left …; and a few others did the same.  If I’m not mistaken, we thought we would hear something about Jesus.  Sorry Charlie!

Relativism is the philosophy that truth is only that which stands side by side to each individual’s beliefs and experiences, or more authoritatively, it is “any theory holding that criteria of judgment as relative, varying with individuals and their environments.” [Webster Dictionary]. In English it means: truth is not absolute!  In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Hamlet and Rosencrantz are talking: “Since nothing is really good or bad in itself – it’s all what a person thinks about it.”  So there is no truth, it is only what you think about it through your experiences of life.  

Therefore, basic and fundamental truth does not exist according to relativism.  Everything is nuanced.  To be up to date and appeal to the younger crowd, the millennials, the hip Preacher/Speecher, is required to make the Bible “a living, breathing” document, relevant to todays way of thinking.  Forget theology.  Forget thee’s and thou’s.  OK?  Some will say, “Its better to get them through the doors of the church than to force them to stay at the nightclub!”

Activities, music and customs have always changed with the times.  No problem so far.  But wait a minute-wait a minute.  It has only been in the last 50 to 60 years that the Christian beliefs taught in the Nicene Creed have been deleted from our pulpits.  Consequently, most of the younger crowd today know nothing about the Trinity, or heaven or hell or sin.  They may know a little about the niceties of accepting Jesus as their personal Savior, but please don’t make them cry over Calvary or the blood.  If you preach too strongly about repentance and confession of sins, we’ll just go to another church.  We want to hear things that lift us up and make us feel good – “Lord knows how we need to hear some good stuff with all the bad things we see on TV news and besides, isn’t there only one God anyway?   We can be like Ancient Greece with many gods.  Since Christian theology and the Christian belief system has been thrown out the window, we can say that the golden calf, Allah, Thor, Jesus and whoever can be a god to us.  

Trinity?  “Forget it.  I can/t explain it anyway.”

Heaven?  “Do you mean aliens in spaceships?  UFOs?”

Repentance?  “Well, I’m sorry for a lot of things.”

Praying?  “Omg yes. I pray all the time.”

Living a holy life?  “You gotta be kidding.  I’m no monk.  And nobody’s perfect.”

“You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you —keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.”

2 Timothy 4:3-5 (msg)

What is the true church?  Is the church of which Jesus is the founder an organization, an ornate, architectural building or arena or auditorium filled with happy-happy people listening to the latest rock music and a Speecher who stands on stage with one hand in the pocket of his torn jeans wearing sneakers while he make everyone laugh?   Is it a place where you can live like the devil all week long and come to “The Place” or “The Center” on Sunday, get out early for lunch and head for the beach?  Is a great church one that attracts the most people?   What about the music?  Does it truly bring out praises to God or does it simply tickle your fancy? 

God’s holy place of worship is, according to the Word of God, a gathering of those who “testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all.”

Acts of the Apostles 4:33 (nlt)

In the early church, the power of the Holy Spirit was upon them all; not trying to be relevant; not trying to make the Word a living, breathing document; no trying to be a late night comedian.  It was so holy that when a man and his wife lied about giving, God struck them dead!  I fear that too many churches today are too busy counting nickels and noses to be filled with the Holy Spirit; to testify powerfully and be a great blessing!

TATTOO HIS NAME

NOPE! TATTOOS ARE NOT MY CUP OF TEA.  SEEMS THAT SUDDENLY, all over the place, our younger generation has tattoos. I saw an old codger – wrinkled and everything (‘bout my age) – with tattoos all over his arms and neck.  Then I read  Isaiah 49:16 (kjv)
“Behold, I have engraved thee upon the palms of my hands; ….”
‭‭Next, I was shocked how the Living Bible (paraphrase) translates it.
“See, I have “TATTOOED”‭ your name upon my palms ….”
MORE COMPLETELY THE NIV SAYS:  “Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.  “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; ….”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭49:13, 16‬
Jesus “‘said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  STOP DOUBTING AND BELIEVE.’”
‭‭John‬ ‭20:27‬ ‭(niv)