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Archive for November, 2020

A Word to the Wise

11-29-2020 – A Word to the Wise – The Enigma of Belief & Unbelief

Two passages in John provides for the hearer two very similar situations with dramatically different outcomes. Let’s compare the two situation.

John 5 John 9

Lame Blind

38 years From birth

Jesus approached Jesus approached

Pool of water Pool of water

Heals on Sabbath Heals on Sabbath

Charge: Sabbath violation Charge: Sabbath violation

Jews Demand who healed Jews Demand who healed

Not know who healed Not know who healed

Jesus finds invites belief Jesus finds invites belief

Relationship sin & suffering Rejects relationship sin & suffering

Sought to betray Jesus Sought to defend Jesus

Jesus said must work Jesus said must work

Now there is an important lesson to be observed here which really reflects the type of response one sees today. Jesus heals both men. By grace today Jesus offers salvation to all men.

However, just as in these two situations we have this enigma of belief and unbelief apparent in ones response to Jesus.

On the one hand the individual thankful for Jesus’ presence and soul healing experience determines that the remainder of their days will be lived in expressions of gratitude and allegiance for His gift.

In contrast the person who takes saving grace for granted wasting time and resources on self-indulgent toys and experiences.

So it is for each one of us to decide how we are going to respond to the healing power of Jesus in our life. Self or Him?

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A Word to the Wise

11-19-2020 – A Word to the Wise – On a personal note.

I am aware that many are suffering profound distress, perhaps even hopelessness. This feeling is not alien to me. In fact my daughter asked me to write an essay on hopelessness. I doubt she knew.

Years ago in a land not so far away I discovered hopelessness. It is one of those emotions once known, never to be forgotten. At the time I was living in, what was for me, a physical, emotional and intellectual, world akin to a concentration camp. I struggled daily with my persecutors’ expectations, demands and beatings.

I had discovered books sometime before. That is how and when I had read about the holocaust camps of World War II. Strange as it was, reading about them and war in general, was an escape from my misery.

Through pictures, and stories those places came alive. Early, I had been warned of the reality of one day being in such a camp because of my name and heritage. What no one understood, was for me, life was very much like one already. The final blow came one evening.

It was 10 pm. September 30, 1956. I was sitting in the living room. It was time to go to bed. The phone shattered the evening air and mother ran to answered it. The phone had never rang that late before. I and my brother and sister slowly went into the dining room. A sense of deep foreboding as thick as fog arose. Even to this day I hate the sound of a phone late at night. Little was said, but listening intently, I began to cry, I knew, without a word, I knew. Mother said yes, and hung up the phone. Turning she said, “your father has died, he has been dead several days, we must go to Oklahoma City tomorrow.”

I was overwhelmed with hopelessness. Not out of love for my father, who had never been there for me, rather within me died the hope of escape from my personal hell.

Several days later overwhelmed with my situation, at the cemetery I emotionally, or actually, jumped up and down on his grave with fierce anger. But it did not help nor forestall the desperateness of my existence. A desperateness from which there was no escape. I remember that I had almost escaped a few weeks before by accident.

A heavy summer rain had filled the canal a few blocks from our house and I had decided to swim in the canal. The rushing waters was totally unexpected, and I was pulled under a large pipe jammed with debris being swept downstream. I was caught underneath and almost drown. Now, I was drowning for sure and certain.

Six weeks later, after the death of my father, near the end of October walking home from school the Lord as clear as day ask me if I wanted Him to be my Father? Steams of hope raced through my soul, and I answered with an unequivocal yes. Hell, for me remained, but it was no longer hopeless.

Hopelessness is an emotionally devastating experience. Often it results in deep depression and even eventual suicide. The roots of hopelessness can be traced to several situations and great distress either physically, emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually. The only real solution to me is a relationship with the Father.

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A Word to the Wise

11-16-2020 – A Word to the Wise – On the power of obedience

There is nothing in all of creation more powerful for the human than obedience. Nothing affects man’s existence more than this quality. It governs intellect, emotions, and physical ability. The ultimate obedience is rooted in the fear of the Lord. The least obedience is discovered in passive compliance with society’s customs.

The foundation of obedience or disobedience as the case may be, begins in early childhood. Beginning about the age of two and extending through four, the child experiences a series of trials the outcome of which influences a lifetime of behavior. Often known as the terrible two’s, a child repeatedly must choose obedience or disobedience. As this process develops, the child experiences a chemical release in the brain resulting in feelings of joy, peace, or euphoria when he obeys. A wise parent will discover that repeated obedience calms the child. The child should receive an instant reward for obedience.

Conversely, each stimulus of disobedience brings a chemical release which results in distraction, agitation, and insecurity. During this period lasting from about 18 months to three years, the child experiences intense releases of these chemicals as a result of obedience or disobedience. The releases of these chemicals continue into adulthood.

I am suggesting that when we are obedient, our bodies physically experience an event that promotes physical health. When we are disobedient, our bodies experience a physical event which causes physical deterioration. This is a lifelong process.

The heart and mind show the effects of obedience/disobedience. The function of obedience is a trait rooted in the spirit of man.

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A Word to the Wise

11-2-2020 – A Word to the Wise – On Prayer

Notice we have church prayers, family prayers, group prayers, elder’s prayers, peoples prayers with all this praying I would think a few mountains would move. But they are not moving. Have you noticed in scripture most of the prayers are offered by individuals? Not all but most. Something else not often notice about these prayers by individuals is one always knows who is responsible for the prayer and the answer. More specifically in our time just who is the Lord listening too? Consider please how do we know whom the Lord listens too? More specifically how does one discover whose prayer is being answered in any given matter? As you look at scripture you are never left to wonder whose prayer. It is always apparent. The reason it is obvious is so that others will notice the depth of this person’s faith, marvel and desire to obtain the same degree of faith. Yes even to move mountains. I have an idea how in our time that may be determined. Do you?

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A Word to the Wise

11-1-2020 – A Word to the Wise – How to know whose prayer is answered.

Scripture gives a few clues as to how to know whose prayers is answered. As one searches passages one quickly discovers that in most circumstances it is a matter of time. For instance with Jesus it is repeated over and over again that it was immediate. Even with others in both the Old and New Testament it is an immediate determination.

A couple of incidents occur with Jesus where in one case the man returns home and ask when the healing occurs and is told the same hour the day before when Jesus told him so. So what are we saying here? You are ask to pray write down the time and purpose. Write down your request of the Lord and see when and if it is answered.

Perhaps even better wait till 2 or 3 A.M. and pray when no one else is. Then later ask when the person improved.

The problem with us is much like the circumstance with Peter in prison. The assembly got to gather to pray yet they did not believe Peter would be released. That is why the girl is astounded when he stands at the door and knocks.

So test your prayer life see if the Lord is listening to you.

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