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To Lie or Not to Lie - Part VII

     Contrast Jesus's truthfulness to Satan.  Jesus has this to say:  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  (John 8:44)

Lord, help us to speak the truth and not to lie.

[For your information, I was not accepted at the one job I had applied to (despite my lying on the questionnaire.)]

Hot as the blazes

    Yes it is hot all across the nation.  Hot as the blazes.  But what does that mean?  It means it is literally as hot as hell.  The other expression is that it is "Hotter than the blazes of hell and damnation itself."  Well it is hot, but not as hot as hell.

Thank you Lord that you provided a way from hotter than the blazes of hell and damnation.

To Lie or Not to Lie - Part VI

  In John 1 we read that Christ was "full of grace and truth" (1:14) and "grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (1:17).  "Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!" (8:45).  "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life." (14:6).  John uses the word truth 25 times in his gospel of 21 chapters. 
     Jesus Christ not only speaks the truth, but is the truth.

Lord, help us to be more truthful.

To Lie or Not to Lie - Part V

    A slightly more puzzling case is with the man of God, Samuel, on his way to anoint David as king with half crazy-killer Saul on the throne (see I Samuel 16).  Samuel says "How can I go?  Saul will hear about it and kill me."  The Lord says to Samuel that if asked say that "I have come to sacrifice to the Lord."  The elders ask him and he said that he came to sacrifice to the Lord.  He does sacrifice to the Lord, but then anoints Samuel.
      Since the Lord is Truth, He cannot lie.  So what is going on?  This is the case where what was said was true, but not the full story.  It is sort of like when your wife asks you "Am I fat?"  Don't lie, but you don't blurt out "Of course you are.  You are as fat as a pig."  You give a truthful, but politely worded answer.  Perhaps "You used to weigh less."  Truthful?  Yes.

What are you watching?

   We had watched Anthony Horowitz's Foyle's War and really enjoyed it.  Therefore, we decided to watch Midsomer's Murders, also written by him.  In the first episode of the first season there were two suicides, shown (not just hinted at) incest (brother and sister), and four (or five?) murders, one gay who played a very prominent role -- all that in 90 minutes.  Is this what we should be watching?  NO, and so we won't be watching anymore of this.  Does any one have some good shows to watch?

Lord, help us use discretion about what we watch. 

To Lie or Not to Lie - Part IV

     Last time we looked at where God blessing two midwives for lying to protect the lives of the just born Hebrew boys.  In Genesis we read of two patriarchs lying to protect themselves from what they thought was imminent danger.  But unfortunately, they did not trust God to save their wives.  Abraham and Issac both lied by calling their wives sisters.  They were afraid that the kings would kill them to marry their wives, so by calling them sisters, they would save their own skin, but they did this by sacrificing the honor of their wives and their marriage vows.
     In both cases, God protected the wives.  In both cases, the unbelieving pagans chastised the righteous believers for lying.  Ouch.
    You can read the full stories here:  Genesis 20 and 26:1-11

To Lie or Not to Lie - Part III

Are there any instances in the Bible when believers in a holy God purposefully lied?  There are several cases.  On the positive side, let us look at Exodus 1:15-22.  Two Israeli midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, were told to kill all the Israeli boys at the moment of delivery.  They refused and when questioned by Pharaoh why the Hebrew boys were alive, they said that the Hebrew women were vigorous and gave birth before they got there.  But then the Bible says that because the midwives feared God, He blessed them with families of their own.  That sounds like they lied, and God approved it.  But please note that this was to save lives.

To Lie or Not to Lie - Part II

     In John 8:44 Jesus has some harsh words:  "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.  He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." 
     Thus, when one lies, one follows the devil.  Ouch.

    Lord, forgive us when we lie.

When was the Stone Age?

      One of my readers asked "When was the Stone Age?"  The difficulty is that the evolutionist shows man as having first gone through the Stone Age and then proceeding to the Bronze Age and then to the Iron Age.  Such neat transitions.
     The Bible has a more nuanced view.  Adam and Eve had Cain and one of Cain's descendants (7th from Adam) was "Tubal-Cain who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron"  (Genesis 4:22).  This was before the Flood.  Just because Tubal-Cain knew about metal work before the Flood does not mean that that information was transmitted to all cultures after the Flood.  For example, in the New World, Indians did not have metal weapons until the Europeans traded with them.  Thus, they made dugout canoes with fire and stone, not with an iron adze.  In North America, the Stone Age did not end until the 1600s.  In Papua-New Guinea and in some areas in Brazil in the Amazon forrest, even today there are still tribes living in the Stone Age.   

The Joy of Crepe Myrtle

    Norfolk is blessed with thousands of crepe myrtle trees.  In fact we have so many crepe myrtyles, that our city is known as the crepe myrtle city.  In the dog days of summer, they blossom in full bloom.  When it is hot, they come out in gorgeous color.  (http://victorpaul-vicsmuse.blogspot.com/2012/05/fred-heutte-norfolk-crape-myrtle.html)

Thank you Lord for such vibrant colors and for so many flowers on one tree.

To Lie or Not to Lie - Part I

   I am applying for a civil servant position and you have to grade yourself on twenty questions.  The best answer you can give is "I am considered an expert in performing this task. I have supervised performance of this task or am normally the person who is consulted by other workers to assist or train them in doing this task because of my expertise."
    The difficulty is that if you do not give yourself the highest or second highest marks, then you will never be even looked at.  In other words, if you evaluate yourself honestly, then you will never even make the cut because the computer will throw out all the applications with truthful answers.  But nobody is an expert in performing the twenty wide ranging tasks.
    The question is:  Do you game the systems, that is do you willingly lie and make yourself an expert so that at least you will pass the computer's evaluation?  Or do you mark yourself accurately, knowing that you will never be even looked at, let alone hired?
    What is a Christian to do?

Frigate Birds - Wonder of Creation

   National Public Radio on All Things Considered had an interesting article on frigate birds:  "Nonstop Flight: How The Frigatebird Can Soar For Weeks Without Stopping"http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/06/30/484164544/non-stop-flight-how-the-frigatebird-can-soar-for-months-without-stopping?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20160630 . A few remarkable things of this bird.  It is a tropical bird, that can fly 13,000 feet high where the temperature is below freezing.  2.)  The bird's wings are not water-proof, so it can't land in the water.  3.)  The bird can fly a long time without landing - in once case more than two months.  4.)  Their wing span is six feet and one bird flew 40 miles without flapping a wing.

    The evolutionist would have you believe that all this happened by chance.  The Christian sees God's handwork - and says "Thank You Lord for making such a beautiful creation."

Bar-tailed Godwit - Wonder of Creation

    The bar-tailed godwit is an amazing bird that flies from Alaska direct to New Zealand - a eight or nine day non-stop flight of over 7,000 miles.  What is amazing is that they fly over the water the entire distance.  It is not like they are flying over land and making adjustments.  They fly non-stop for nine days.  The second amazing thing is that if they started off and flew off course just a few degrees, at the end of 7,000 miles they would miss New Zealand by hundreds of miles.  But they fly from Alaska direct to New Zealand and make it.  Third, they do it without stopping for food or water or sleep.  They fly and fly.  Fourth, they start before the storm pushes them along. 

Praise God for making such marvelous birds.

Sin in the Ancient Times - Part II

In the same article Melvin Konner writes about an even earlier Stone Age battle, but this time in Kenya near the Lake Turkana.  They have found 27 skeletons including eight women (one who was very pregnant) and six children.  They suspect some were bound when they were killed.  Once again, for the Christian, this is no surprise.  Where humans were, sin existed. 
     Our Lord is trustworthy and true.  The Bible explained the origins of sin.  We should believe.

Sin in the Ancient Times - Part I

   In today's Wall Street Journal, Melvin Konner writes about a new discovery in Europe.  In Germany on the River Tollense they have already unearthed 130 men killed on a battlefield.  This battle probably occurred around 1250 BC and they suspect that they have uncovered only 10% of the battlefield.  Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that the savages were free of war because of their "peacefulness of their passions and their ignorance of vice." 
     For Christians, this does not come as a surprise.  Ever since Cain killed Abel (Genesis 3), killing has been with mankind.  However, some think we were peace-loving back in the ancient times.  Not so.