Saturday, May 25, 2013
Suddenly this morning my brain back-fired and I was off on a rabbit trail that I cannot complete. “Satisfaction brought it back.” So help me here to find some answers to the questions burning in my head today: 1) Do Biblical/Historical studies have any records of how the Chinese came to be and claim records of their dynasties going back “thousands of years?” And 2) Do Evolutionists have any explanations for how nearly every species on this earth or in the waters of this earth came to reproduce, male and female?
Question 1) only makes me mildly curious so let’s play with question 2) just for fun. : )
Men, being men, seem to concentrate their thinking on MANkind, so let’s think for a minute as women, about WOMANkind, or femaleness, if you will. I do not study evolution. But it is a subject that cannot be avoided in the course of learning in general. The whole world seems to be caught up in the “doctrine’ of evolution and it is taught and assumed in all areas of life these days. Between the Big Bang and Darwinism, we can’t get away from it.
It seems that somehow there was “nothing” and then there was “something” and that was the Universe. Then somehow this “something,” included the earth and somehow there was water on the earth and somehow the molecules of water produced something living that reproduced by splitting over and over again and soon the water was full of creatures of various kinds who then… Well, let’s say they “evolved” into more creatures which needed to reproduce by methods other than splitting: fish, crabs and other creatures which moved about, laid eggs, fertilized those eggs and managed to become species. In my mind, this required femaleness, right? Where did that come from? And how did that last for all these “millions” of years?
But more important, how did evolution manage to produce more that one (male and female) of every species along the evolutionary line? (Yes, there are tiny creatures that are able to reproduce without separate male and female bodies, but they still need male and female capabilities.) So let’s say that 99% of creatures need separate males and females of the species in order to reproduce. How was that decided in evolution and how is it that man came from some creature of the seas that went through stages of being in order to become man and yet there are women? How did that happen? For that matter, how do they explain any of the female existence in any creatures at all? I want to know. I need to know.
After all, I am a woman. I did not reproduce anyone in my lifetime, but I could have. I was born with all the very special parts that only a woman has and I was, therefore, prepared to reproduce. So, my question is, how did the first man become more men and how did this occurrence happen around the world? Because, if you think about it, more than one man would have had to come into being through this evolutionary change or it would not have been true evolution, it would have been a fluke. But, evolution focuses on one man. How can that be? And where did the females of the “man” species come from, let alone the “female” of every other species on the earth. And which molecules of the sea produced that abundance of varieties of creatures in the first place?
I am female, hear me roar! God made me and every, other female of any species, and we were made special. God does not even explain the presence of the female animals which He specifically mentions to Noah when filling the ark. But he hints at it in the dilemma of Adam not having a “helper.” He definitely was not referring to a housekeeper. Adam needed a female counterpart so God made woman from his own rib, to walk beside him in love and companionship and reproduction. That is how the species of the “whole” earth were to be multiplied and it still is.
We are female. Let us roar! Whether human, earthly animal, fowl or fish we are female and we are specially made to carry the seeds of life within us. And, whether the eggs we carry are fertilized before or after the egg leaves our bodies, we are the carriers of those next generational eggs.
Which brings us to the question: What came first, the chicken or the egg? The Hen with the egg inside is my clear answer.
May we all praise God everyday for womanhood and femaleness and the special part we play in the world that was created by Him and for Him. We are not animals, nor are we to compare ourselves with them. We are not just females, we are women, specially made to walk alongside men, multiplying the human species on this earth and overcoming the restraints of this world as God commanded: Be fruitful and multiply, increasing in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
Praise the Lord that we are human, and we are female and that we have been allowed to walk close to Him on this earth in spite of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. God is Good. Amen
Friday, May 17, 2013
SIN IS SIN, NO MATTER WHO DOES IT.
One of my biggest fears in life as it proceeds in this country is the progressive reach of the government into out personal lives and into the expression of our faith. As I share this with you, I am not trying to be political; I am trying to help us all see the horror of not speaking up on behalf of our Lord when these things are discussed: Whether in the news or at work or even in the church.
I am well aware that I should not be fearful about anything because God is in control. But let me remind us that we are part of how He controls. It truly is important to make a stand against abortion, blatant acceptance of homosexual AND heterosexual immorality, pity for evil as played out in individual and mass murders and sexual torture of any kind; not to mention the people who take great pleasure in destroying the minds of our young with all kinds of drugs. They deserve no pity; not even the pity of finding them NOT guilty by reason of insanity. They have earned the reward of death. And, by the way, it is alright to want that end for them, though praying that they will find Christ first.
Yes, God is Love, but God is also Wrath, and His glory will be in taking His people from this earth and turning around to blast the sinners into damnation and cleansing the earth itself with the fires of His wrath. (Revelation 16 and following)
But my point is that while we are living here, we are supposed to be on guard against evil and condemning it wherever we find it. I’m wondering if we even look to see where it is. Do we have our eyes open to the evil around us and how that evil changes us and how we think? Do we shrug our shoulders and say, “That is so sad,” and go on our way ignoring what God would have us do or say about it?
My deep fear right now is how invasive the acceptance of homosexuality is as it affects our lives. We blithely go along assuming that simply not being homosexual will keep us safe from the whole subject. We are wrong. Right now, homosexual and heterosexual sin is becoming totally acceptable in this country. “Modern Family” and other shows like it, are penetrating the minds of our neighbors, and even ourselves if we watch them, quietly convincing us that the new modern ways of defining family or A-Okay, just fine. They are not. They are evil in God’s eyes and the Church, Christ’s body here on earth, needs to be more diligent in dealing with these subjects.
I am thinking on these things today because yesterday I read a blog that speaks on the subject of homosexuality very well, but left me hanging in the area of heterosexual equally sinful behavior, even though I am sure that the writer considers these things just as sinful.
We seem to be quite satisfied that being promiscuous (fornication) must be tolerated, even accepted as a way of life. And, because we shrug our shoulders at that, we blindly shrug off homosexuality as a reality we have to endure and sigh because things have gotten so out of control.
Frankly, we need to step up and stop the progression of this thinking before it takes on the weight of the law of the land. Soon we could not be able to refuse to accept those who are evil as brothers and sisters in our lives. We need to slam the hammer down on this whole idea, before the law gets involved and demands that whatever our beliefs we cannot refuse service to the community of evil, even when it goes against what we believe. That includes performing weddings and becoming involved in weddings through photography or providing flowers or the cake or being the wedding planner. The church may soon be forced, by law, to marry homosexuals and other sinners that a minister would prefer not to marry; accept unrepentant sinners as members; and generally shut up about sin and evil. Hate speech is now on the other side and it is directed straight at Judeo-Christian theology and ethics because we do not accept sin abiding in our churches or private schools or our homes or as part of doing business, no matter what.
Do we love sinners in Christ’s name? I hope so. But do we accept their sinning as par for the course? I hope not. We really must decide where we stand on these issues and speak up when we can, even if it means being ridiculed or shunned by “friends” and co-workers, maybe even family. We need to recognize that homosexuals are people with a problem that can be handled sinfully or in Christ. But we also need to recognize that heterosexuals are also steeping their lives in sin by not following the words of Christ, Himself, concerning their sexual behavior. Unmarried couples living together, having babies together, raising children together or spending their lives steeped in pornography, and strip joints is all fornication: Blatant sexual sin. Jesus loves them, but hates their sin and demands that they repent, turning away from the sin and around to Him, and all that He is. He hates ALL sin and will never accept any of it as simply a way of life here on earth. Let’s follow His example.
May we be aware of the sin around us so that we might earnestly pray for the people God puts on our hearts, realizing that the end will be the end and there will be no more hope for them at that point. May we also repent of our daily sins, even those of ignoring what is going on around us, and may we begin to turn to prayer for the people around us in our daily live.
But, also, may we begin to speak up and stand up daily for what is right over what is wrong. Open our eyes and our mouths, Oh Lord, that we may truly be lights for you. Amen.
Friday, May 10, 2013
This morning I have been taking a look at the next sequence in our evening Bible study, and as I read in Colossians 2:8-23, I found my heart breaking. My heart is not breaking for the Colossians, but for a friend and neighbor of mine. He is not a Christian so far as I know. As Christians we have the privilege of the Truth and Power of Christ. And that news brings wells of Joy and Peace to us. He does not have any of that. Moreover, he is bi-polar and darkness rules without his pills. And often, as now, he goes off those pills. Even when he is on his meds, the power of darkness pulls strongly on him and the light that they give him has no real power or strength to fight that darkness for very long.
I fear for him, and I think of questions I have not asked him along the way: What do you think about everyday? What challenges do you see in life other than staying on your meds? Have you ever thought about Jesus Christ, or the Bible, or who God is and is there one at all? Do you prefer being in the light or in the darkness? Have you ever thought about getting a different kind of help to keep you in the light? Most of all I fear that I will never get the chance to ask these questions now because he could be evicted and not allowed to live here anymore. Why didn’t I think to talk to him before?
When he is on his meds, he is a lovely person: smiling, laughing, very polite, even enjoyable, though quite shy. When he is off his meds, his life changes drastically. Many we have known have become overly aggressive, even dangerous in their behavior, but he is not a danger to anyone but himself. I hope he will be allowed to stay here and have a life, such as it is. I also hope that God will allow me to ask the questions that I have not asked and perhaps introduce him to the Light that matters.
I shared my concerns with a friend who has promised to pray with me for this situation. He, himself, is a deeply grateful child of Christ who has been smacked down more often than Hulk Hogan or “the Rock” of wrestling fame. I have know him for nearly seven years and he has nearly died at least five times, I think 6, since I have know him (and many times before that). His faith holds him tight every time and God comes through for him, ever so slowly but firmly. He knows all the things about the power of God and all that it means to any life. His prayers will be very sincere and I appreciate that very much.
Therefore, I also seek your prayers. God can help. He is all powerful and all knowing and All. Some prayers will be for his mind to heal and some prayers will be for his salvation and healing from sin, even if God does not heal his mind. God knows what the true need is: He needs the chance to decide the answer to the question: What will you do with Jesus?
Please pray with me that it is not too late and that I will be alert and willing to move forward to take him aside and have that long talk. Maybe in the park…
May we all be alert to people we see everyday who need Jesus but may never know it if we do not take them aside and ask them the questions of a lifetime. And, may God forgive me for being so blind that I did not even see him as someone who needs the Lord.
God use us to bless someone this day and everyday because those who need salvation are all around us all the time. Go with God and love someone today, before it is too late. Amen
Friday, May 3, 2013
damp – restrain, check or discourage; - lessen the intensity of; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits;
damp something down curb, reduce, check, cool, moderate, dash, chill, dull, diminish, discourage, restrain, Inhibit, stifle, allay, deaden, pour cold water on
It is (or was) the practice of those who heat there homes with a fireplace or wood stove, to dampen the fire at night in such a way that there would be hot coals still available in the morning to get a new fire going. It was all about putting the last pieces of wood together in the back in a way that would discourage oxygen from reaching the hot coals so that they would not burn completely up during the night.
In Ephesians 4, verse 30, we are admonished to not grieve the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we wonder what that actually means as we walk our daily lives in Christ. Sometimes we kind of know. And sometimes we know it way too well.
As I walked away from the church and into a life a sin, I was definitely damping the Holy Spirit. Until today I did not know exactly how to explain my relationship with Christ during those 21 years. I was challenged on this whole idea that I had any relationship with Him at all in one of my Bible Studies. I carefully showed how the Holy Spirit has sealed us and keeps us for the sake of Christ our Lord and even admitted that I had damped down the Holy Spirit. The phrase came naturally because I had used it many times, but today I discovered Paul admonishing us to never do exactly that: Do not put out the Spirit’s fire! (I Thessalonians 5:19) I did exactly that. And now I can speak with sureness when I say that coming back to Him was like setting myself on fire. He was severely dampened down within me and suddenly He was able to push all the garbage out of the way and fill me again with the fire of His love. And my relationship with Him has been building into a bonfire everyday since.
As we look at the definitions I have included, perhaps we can see ways in which we are constantly damping down the power of the Holy Spirit within us. One of the things that brought me to even thinking about this is the book of Acts and the preaching of Stephen, where he condensed the history of Israel into a few choice paragraphs. It was and is an amazing, awe inspiring sermon. And it seems like the sum total of their history is that they could never quite commit themselves to their God.
As we discussed this in a small group we took a look at the whole trip from Egypt to the Promised Land and found that we doubted that these particular Israelites could never give up what they had known and never really gave their hearts to the God of their Fathers. They had grown up in and lived with the culture of Egypt for 400 years and they could not give up those lives even though they had been in bondage there.
Wow. Now that sounds interesting to me. Bondage. Even today we have defined a syndrome that explains why people held hostage come to depend on and even love and admire those who hold them hostage. Even as the Israelites did, they become comfortable with their situation and allow it to continue to be their hiding place. The Israelites were oblivious to their condition to the point that they simply could not hear what God was actually asking of them and only saw what they perceived to be uncomfortable situations on the road to the Promised Land. Then, they refused to enter out of personal, non-committed to God fears, and nearly stoned Joshua and Caleb when they kept praising the idea of going in. No wonder God punished them and forbid them to enter the Promised Land, ever. His Wrath truly is as Holy as His Love.
Perhaps all this can give us pause, and send our minds and hearts seeking God to search our hearts and see if there be any “love of bondage” as sinful behavior in us. (Psalm 139) (Hymn – Cleanse Me) Hmmmm…
Let’s take food, for example, since it is a common denominator for us all. We all eat. And we all love our “comfort” food. We have to eat to remain alive. But we can also become bound by food in many different ways.
The first thing we think of is overeating. But there are other food bondage possibilities out there as well: Roller Coaster dieting is one. Following (worshiping) Gurus of healthy eating (or exercising) can be another. Tracking every morsel of food we put in our mouths 24 hours a day can also be bondage for us. And let’s not forget the frugal shopper who spends most of each day hunting down coupon after coupon after coupon. Getting a good deal is fine: Being driven to beat the system to death is another thing altogether.
Let’s face it: What are we supposed to be thinking about 24 hours a day? Goods things, right? Philippians 4 says, “Think on these things.” And the list does not include what you are going to eat, or what you are going to wear, or what shelter you will have. (Remember Christ’s admonition to not worry about these things?)
Yes, we obviously need to be careful about what and how much food we put into our mouths. But, Jesus said that we must be more concerned about what comes out of our mouths. And Paul and others admonish us to fill our minds with the truth of God in order to replace the things which otherwise would be what we speak and live by. Are we listening? Being in bondage is a terrible way to live. Finding it a comfort is the saddest thing we can bring to our lives.
The only point I am trying to make here is that we must be careful to be fully committed to God and not dampen down what He has for us by being overly concerned about ourselves and our comfort place if it is other than Christ. Being in bondage is a terrible way to live. Whether our bondage is to germs, or frugality, or food, or immoral practices, or addictions, or even games or exercise or sports or…. If God the Holy Spirit is not aloud to be the fire that drives us, we are damping down the Holy Spirit. We are grieving Him and we are acting like idiots. I know. I’ve lived that way.
God, search us now and see if there be any sin in us, even a bondage that we have been ignoring. Let us see ourselves and our sins clearly and help us to submit to you in love and obedience today and every day. In Jesus name. Amen.