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The Gospel in Vermont I

Today we went to church in Vermont, and although much of the liturgy was sound, there was also some unsound liturgy.
Our Father who art in heaven became O Birther! Father- Mother of the Cosmos
First, when Christ prayed, He used the word "Our."  It is a personal God.  The new version deletes that personal tie.
Second, Christ clearly refers to His Father as Father.  He does not refer to God the Father as Father-Mother. 
Third, Christ states specifically where the Father is.  He is in heaven.  The new version changes the location where God reigns to him being just "of" the Cosmos.

Please pray for Vermont.

The Play - Christians

Yesterday we went to see the play Christians.  It is a very thought provoking play - one that makes you really think.  It is about Pastor Paul leading the church, and Associate Pastor Joshua, Pastor Paul's wife, one choir member, and one elder.  My wife and I went to see it with our pastor and his wife and it was very intense.  Highly recommended.

Prayer

Are you upset about what is going on in Washington DC? If you are, have you thought of praying for our leadership?  Do you pray on a daily basis for our leaders?  Do you pray that they will follow Jesus Christ?  That their actions will be Godly?  If not, stop belly-aching, and start praying!

Snake Crushed - II

Just before the snake died, the snake went into a spasm.  I was maybe two feet away, and had just taken its picture, when suddenly it twitched violently and the whole body came off the ground.  It flipped this way and then that way.  It turned every which way, and then lay motionless. 
It reminded me of Satan's last gasp before Christ's return.  He will twitch and fool many people.  He will be dangerous and victorious, but then will die.

Praise the Lord for crushing Satan once at the resurrection and then for his imminent demise.

Snake Crushed

Today my wife and I, our two sons and our daughter and her family went for a hike.  As we walked on the trail my son called to me and we looked at a small snake on the bike trail.  It was a poisonous snake - a copperhead.  But a bicyclist had ridden over it and I could see a little blood on the skin.  It opened its mouth wide and showed its fangs.  But it would soon be dead.  It reminded me very much of Christ crushing Satan.  In Genesis 3:15 we read "He [i.e., Christ] will crush your head, and you will strike His heel." 

Lay down your life

Last night we watched again the movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  in it Aslan, a type of Christ, talks to Susan after He was killed.  The witch had called for the traitor Edmund's blood, but Aslan went in his place.  The witch kills Aslan, but then Aslan comes back to life. 
"
It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards."

Thank you Jesus for dying for our sins - willingly.

Hot as Blazes

After a cool spring, we have had an unseasonable week in the high 90s and topping out at 100.  We have an expression - "hot as blazes."  That is a polite way of saying it is hot as hell.  After experiencing the heat for the last couple of days, I am glad that I am a Christian.  I would not last in hell very long.

Baseball - hitting

In tonight's Major League Baseball's All Star game.  Some say that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports.  The reason is that the diameter of the baseball is three inches, but the average diameter of the sweet spot of the bat is 2 3/4".  To further complicate it, the average strike zone is 612 inches (more for a guy like Aaron Judge).  Thus, the baseball occupies about 2% of the plate.  The time between when the pitcher releases the baseball and when the batter needs to begin his swing is .43 seconds for a 95 MPH fastball or .53 seconds for a 77 MPH curve ball.  The fastball will drop an average of 1 1/3 inches while a curve ball will drop 14".  Thus, in about a half a second the batter has to decide if he wants to swing at a pitch.  If he does, the mind must project where that pitch is going to end up and then begin his swing then, trying to make the 2% a 100% chance.
How is this possible?
Well, God created us with remarkable eye-hand coordination.  Praise God.

Bread or Toast?

Jesus said "I am the bread of life."  (John 6:35) Seen on a church sign:
Do you have the bread of life or will you be toast?

Inches and Rulers

Seen on church sign in Lincoln, Nebraska:
Give the Devil and inch and he will become your ruler.

The United States of America

Today Americans celebrate the birth of their country.  It is a great country.  Is it perfect?  No, but then our country resembles the people living in it.  Perfect?  No.  But we have established a country that often has Christian underpinnings.  We are not a theocracy - directly ruled by the church.  But many of our laws reflect Christian morality. 

Lord, we ask that we would continue to follow your will and laws.

Charlie Gard - "Significant Harm"

The world turned upside down.
Charlie Gard, a 10 month old baby in the United Kingdom, has a rare life-threatening disease.  The parents want to take him to the United States where he could be treated with a new experimental drug.
The European Court of Human Rights (sic or should it be sick?) states:
"The domestic courts had concluded, on the basis of extensive, high-quality expert evidence, that it was most likely Charlie was being exposed to continued pain, suffering and distress and that undergoing experimental treatment with no prospects of success would offer no benefit, and continue to cause him significant harm.”
Their solution is to remove the feeding tube and let him die which is not considered significant harm!!

Lord, we plead that this boy will be able to get the proper treatment.

Tithe - Still Required (Part IV)?

The first mention of tithing in the Bible is when Abraham gave King Melchizedek "a tenth of everything."  (Genesis 14:21)  The second mention is when Jacob, in fleeing from his brother's hatred, promises to God that if God blesses him, he will give God a tenth.(Genesis 28:22)
    Both of these happened hundreds of a year before Moses established tithing.  Are these two examples descriptive (describing what they did) or prescriptive (describing what is the norm)?
   Malachi 3:8-9 states
"Will a man rob God?  Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
"In tithes and offerings.  You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house."
  God clearly is battling with the Israelites who held back in giving to the Lord.
Are we mandated to give 10% or has this been abrogated by the New Testament?

Tithe - Still Required (Part III)?

Some say that tithing is still required as it is not been cancelled in the New Testament.  Certain Old Testament laws are clearly cancelled.  Thus, the sacrifices are no longer required because Christ died once for all.  This is clearly stated in the book of Hebrews chapter 4 vs. 12:  "But when this Priest [Jesus Christ] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins. .  .]
But other laws should be continued.  Thus, in the Old Testament it says "You shall not murder."  This law continues in the New Testament.  Is the same true for tithing?

Tithe - Still Required (Part II)?

Tithing is very much part of the Old Testament laws and regulations.  Perhaps the most famous passage is from Malachi 3:8-10: "Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need."

God accuses the Israelites of not tithing.  They are stingy and do not give the full tithe.

(to be continued)

Tithe - Still Required (Part I)?

  Is tithing - giving 10% of  your income to the church - still a requirement in the New Testament era?  If  you to to biblegateway.com, and type in the word "tithe," you will see that it in the NIV it is mentioned 29 times in the Old Testament and never in the New Testament.  In the English Standard Version, tithe is mentioned five times in the New Testament.  Four times it is mentioned in the book of Hebrews referring to the Old Testament.  The other time is is mentioned about the Pharisee who is boasting in comparison to the publican (tax collector).  No where in the New Testament does Jesus say we need to tithe.

(to be continued)

Speech that is Uplifting

For men's life we have been studying Jerry Bridge's Respectable Sins.  Ephesians 4:29 states "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."  Bridges challenges us "Will what I'm about to say tend to tear down or build up the person I'm about to talk about?"

Lord, may what we say build up people.

Missing Women

Where have all the women gone in China?  China instituted a one child policy in 1979 and since females were not valued as highly as males, many females were killed - most before birth, some after birth.  The result is that 20% of the Chinese males will not be able to find a wife.  There are now 30-40 million Chinese men without a chance for a wife.  The Chinese call these dead branches - as they will never produce fruit.

http://www.france24.com/en/20170609-video-reporters-china-millions-single-chinese-men-desperately-seeking-wife

Lord, help us to value all people, men and women, able and disabled.

Ignoring Dads

In the June 12-18 issue of Business Weekly, they had a section on Life's Lessons.  Some of the sub-titles were Building the business, Achieving work-life balance, Practicing good office politics, and Listening to mom.  I searched but could not find Listening to dad.  Dad's are important in the life of the family, and when they are no there, they hurt the family.  So dads, step up to the plate.  And readers, be wary of what you read.

Lord, help dads be dads.

Ignoring God

In the June 12-18 issue of Business Weekly, they had a section on Life's Lessons.  Some sections were Finding your moral compass, Being a decent human being, and Channeling your inner Zen.  In Finding your moral compass, all six responses were about integrity and not lying.  Not one response mentioned loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself.  In being a decent human, one suggested writing personal handwritten notes, not e-mailing or texting.  Very true, but being a decent human being is far more than handwriting a thank you note.  One wrote the priority should be faith {faith in what/whom?}, family, and work. 

Lord forgive our nation for not putting Christ first.  He is king, yet we act as if He is not the Lord of business.  Forgive us Lord.  And please send Your Holy Spirit to work our lives.