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)

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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!

Wake Up, America!

LITTLE BY LITTLE AND INCH BY INCH OUR CONVERSATION has changed. Someone feels abused and goes ballistic. Another thinks that their dog is not being given proper respect and sues the “offender” for abuse. An old man is driving too slow and it sets off a chain reaction of anger. A coach pulls a player off the soccer field and the parent runs on the field yelling. Students start a petition to remove a 200 year old statue on their campus because it causes them trauma. A professor brings legal action against a student for texting a critique of his class. And on and on. Now the NAACP of California claims that the Star Spangled Banner is racist.

Connor Friedersdorf wrote the following in The Atlantic in the April 19, 2016 edition:
“How did American culture arrive at these moments? A new research paper by Nick Haslam, a professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, offers as useful a framework for understanding what’s going on as any I’ve seen. In “Concept Creep: Psychology’s Expanding Concepts of Harm and Pathology,” Haslam argues that concepts like abuse, bullying, trauma, mental disorder, addiction, and prejudice, “now encompass a much broader range of phenomena than before, ”expanded meanings that reflect “an ever-increasing sensitivity to harm.”

WAKE UP, AMERICA!

Our foundations are cracking and most of us are skipping down the road clueless.  Destructive political ideologies are capitalizing on our lack of historical perspective.  Recently, a juror asked the judge in the Senator Menendez trial, “What is a senator?” The man on the street doesn’t even know what the Bill of Rights is – he knows what he thinks are his rights, but not what your’s are.
It seems that in the Christian faith, we have been subjected to a belief creep. Foundational theology is “old stuff” to the majority and is pooh-poohed by the young. Rock music, flashing lights, churchy entertainment – “that’s where it’s at, man!” He says this as he stands there in his shorts. “I’m meeting the pastor at the beach, hurry.”  Theology is passe’ and archaic. “If I had to listen to theology on Sunday, I wouldn’t go.”  OK, how bout a little sermon stuff with a Christian twist?
Is what you believe important? “Hey Man, don’t you realize? Sugar is in. Spinach is out.”

“THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: ‘Stand where the roads cross and look.  Ask where the old way is, where the good way is, and walk on it. If you do, you will find rest for yourselves.’”
Jeremiah 6:16 (ncv)

The Silent Treatment

WHEN GOD GIVES YOU THE SILENT TREATMENT, what should you do…  or think?  Is He like your wife, husband, mother-in-law, or boss who uses silence as a whip?  When it seems God isn’t the Love-God but the Angry-God, should you shake your fist, or fall on your face?
“Yeah, yeah I’ve read all the books and listened to the sermons,” you say, “but you’ve never walked in my shoes or faced what I’m facing!”
I know. I know.  But you’re not alone. Many times in the Old Testament people felt as you do. The Psalmist said,  “How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?”  (Psalm 13:1)  “Well, that was in the Bible and I need help right now!  See, you just don’t understand!”

Alright, let’s get to some answers.

  1. In the past God actually spoke to people.  They heard Him. Sometimes He spoke through fire and miracles. This was followed by the prophets who spoke for God.  Later He spoke through His incarnate Son, Jesus The Messiah. (Hebrews 1:1-3)
  2. When Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave us the Comforter, The Holy Spirit (Counselor, Advocate).  He, “the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually, for he lives with you AND WILL BE IN YOU.  (John 14:17)
  3. Is He in you? Aside from your  feelings, do you believe that Jesus died to redeem you and that you repented of your sins and that you agreed to follow Him?  That’s the place to start!
  4. When you think God is hiding His face, He isn’t.  God does not play hide & seek and He doesn’t want you to either.  You may have your eyes closed.  You may have abandoned your confidence in the power of the cross.  No, I’m not saying that you abandoned your salvation.  You may be a child of God, but you’re still a human being with all your weaknesses, faults and failures.  So get over it.
  5. I’m not saying that life is always easy – been there, done that.  And,  I’m not saying that your feelings will always be in tip-top shape.  For pete’s sake, you may have a cold or the flu and some other emotionally draining challenge such as a failure in marriage or finances – even physically.  The question is, do you still believe in the God who said, “I will NEVER leave you, nor forsake you?” He is there all the time.
  6. Everything begins with a rock-solid conversion when you gave your past, present and future, those old things, to God, knowingly placing them in the sea of God’s forgetfulness – sins forgiven.    🎼🎶

“I’m not on an ego trip I’m nothing on my own
I made mistakes I often slip
Just common flesh and bones
But I’ll prove someday just why I say
I’m of a special kind
For when He was on the cross
I was on his mind.
“The look of love was on his face
Thorns were on his head
The blood was on his scarlet robe
Stained a crimson red
Though his eyes were on the crowd that day
He looked ahead in time
For when He was on the cross
I was on his mind.
“He knew me, yet he loved me
He whose glory makes the heavens shine
So unworthy of such mercy
Yet when he was on the cross
I was on his mind.”
(Gaither)