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Who is in Charge?

   The Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote "At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
     In other words, a human being defines meaning and the universe, and the mystery of human life.  Human becomes the center of the universe - and thus there are multiple rights and wrongs since each person defines what meaning is, what is life.
     Following Justice Kennedy's thoughts, anything could be defined any which way and the world is chaos.

Lord, forgive our nation for not acknowledging You as God.

God - In Whose Image? Part III

     God is an all knowing, all seeing, holy God.  If He was not, then He would not be God.  But we act as if God is not holy, and that he is not all knowing.  Since we cannot understand a holy, omniscient (all knowing) God, we make ourselves a god and pretend He does not know all that we do.  We fashion a small god (not capitalized because we cannot understand that He is God).  We make God in our image.  We believe that we can hide things from god, therefore we sin.  How foolish we are.  How great God is.

Lord God, help us to understand Who You are.

God - In Whose Image? Part II

   We may laugh at the Greeks for making God in our own image, but do we not do the same thing?  For example, the Bible clearly tells us that there will be a hell and judgement.  Yet some of us say that since God is love, he would not judge us and make a hell.  A cuddly, loving God would not judge us and punish us forever would he?  We are no different than the Greeks.  We have fashioned God in our image.

    Lord, help us to honor You as God.  Help us to understand You.

God - In Whose Image? Part I

     The Greeks made their gods in their image.  For example, see https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Athens_-_National_Archeological_Museum_-_Zeus_(or_Poseidon)_statue_-_20060930.jpg.  The specialists are not sure if this is Zeus casting a thunderbolt, Poseidon, or perhaps just a mighty king throwing a javelin or a spear.  Their gods were like super-heroes:  they could do extraordinary things, but they also had human foibles.  For example, they fell in love, would get tired and had to sleep, etc.
     Their views of their gods was that they were human with some super-powers, but not really God.

Planned Parenthood and Funding

    Today President Trump signed an executive order to cut off Federal gov't funding of International Planned Parenthood, which promotes abortions.  This returns the policy back to the Mexico City policy. 

Praise the Lord that lives will no longer be snuffed out.

Inauguration

Yesterday we had the inauguration of President Trump.  We can praise God that the transfer of power went smoothly.  There were no tanks in the streets.  In Gambia, West African troops had to invade the country because the president (or more accurately the dictator) did not want to leave office despite losing the office.  The transfer of power between President Obama to President Trump was orderly.  Thank God.

Death

Tonight my father-in-law died.  He died peacefully and we know that at the Last Day, his body will be raised from the dead.  There is hope in that although he is now dead, this is temporary. 

The Iliad - Agamemnon's Pride

   King Agamemnon's pride is such that he steals Achilles' prisoner Briseis.  Because of his pride, he insults Achilles and when he attacks the Trojans without Achilles, the Greeks lose badly and many are killed and the Greeks are routed.  They are even forced back to their ships.

Lord, keeps us from the deadly sin of pride.

The Illiad - Achilles and the Gods on a Trip

    After King Agamemnon gives up Chryseis, he then takes the beautiful Briseis from Achilles.  Achilles complains to his mother, the goddess Thetis.  Thetis responds that she cannot approach Zeus for 12 days because he is on a trip to Ethiopia.

We have a much better God that Zeus.  Our God does not take trips and is always available for prayer.

The Iliad - Agamemnon's Lust

   I have been listening to The Iliad, by the greatest of Greek poets, Homer.  It is a must read story.  It opens with Agamemnon quarreling with the Achilles over Chryseis, a beautiful daughter of a Trojan priest who was captured.  She has become booty and was awarded to King Agamemnon.  Her father appealed to the king and offered him much gold for her daughter.  King Agamemnon refuses the ransom and stated " for I love her better even than my own wife Clytemnestra, whose peer she is alike in form and feature, in understanding and accomplishments"  (http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.1.i.html)
     It is fascinating that although the Greeks did not know the 10 Commandments, because of this adultery, the Greeks will be struck with a plague.  The Greeks knew right from wrong.

May we always be satisfied with our own wife [or husband], even if there are other women [or men] who are equal in beauty and understanding and accomplishments.

Nat Henthoff

Nat Henthoff, a Jewish free speech advocate and lover of jazz just passed away.  What is not often mentioned is that he was a passionate defender of the disabled, the unborn, and against euthanasia.  He will be missed.

The 7:14 Prayer Challenge

Do  your remember the 7:14 prayer challenge?  It is a new year and the challenge is to pray for our country twice a day at 7:14 each day.  This is based on II Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
    Please pray for your county at 7:14

Snow

   This morning we woke up to snow, and for Norfolk Virginia, a lot of snow.  Everything is white.  It reminded me of two things.  First, it is a rest - everything is shut down.  We pretend to be in charge, but when a snowstorm hits, we know that God is really in charge of the world.
Second, God said in the book of Isaiah "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."  (Isaiah 1:1)

Thank you God for being God and proving yourself.  Thanks also for making our evil sins as white as snow.

Tempus Fugit

   Tempus fugit is Latin for "time flies."  It seems like just yesterday there was the fear of 2000 and all the computer codes that would not work.  And now we are 18 years beyond that.  Do you remember your New Year's resolutions from last year?  And now it is already the 3rd day of the month. 

    Man knows not his time.  Time flies.  Are you ready to meet your Creator?

Deo Volente - Part II

    Yesterday afternoon I began to feel nauseous, but I went to church on New Year's Eve and preached on lhe topic Deo Volente (the Lord willing) DV.  I was able to give a powerful example of James 4:14 "What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."  After I had preached 2/3 of the sermon, I became nauseous, had to dash from the pulpit to the restroom, whereupon I threw up.  More embarrassment followed as I was unable to turn the microphone off.

Thank you Lord for not being mist, but a solid rock on Whom we can rely.