Friday, July 20, 2012

Fervent Prayer. . .

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

I am convicted sometimes. . . My Pastor, and others encourage us. . . exhort us to pray large prayers. We gather together as a body each Thursday night for family prayer, and I sometimes feel guilty when I spend much of that time in prayer for my family.

It struck me last night, while in prayer. . . while praying for my family, that we are to reach people for Christ, and to grow His kingdom. If each one of us reaches, only one other person the size of God’s kingdom is doubled.

And while many have dreams of evangelizing, and converting cities to Christ. . . the reality is that for many, our own families are, by the reason of their familiarity, and proximity, and relationship to us the most fertile ground to be found.

I want to pray big prayers, but often I have trouble bringing forth much passion, and fervency for a prayer request for distant faceless name, no matter how dire the situation, and that must be key. . . James states that: the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

It clearly doesn’t seem that it is the mere recitation of the words of the prayer, which availeth much, but it is the passion behind the words, which gives energy and urgency to our prayers, and possibly raises them above the clamor in the Lord’s ears, for His attention.

It reminds me of Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. He had limited manpower. He had limited funds for the project. In a brilliant stroke, Nehemiah recognized that no man is more motivated, than when he is building that which directly concerns his own safety, and his own family's safety.

Nehemiah therefore set each man to build the section of wall in front of his own house:

Nehemiah 3:28-30
From above the horse gate repaired the priests, every one over against his house. (29) After them repaired Zadok the son of Immer over against his house. After him repaired also Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the east gate. (30) After him repaired Hananiah the son of Shelemiah, and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph, another piece. After him repaired Meshullam the son of Berechiah over against his chamber.

It is unalterable human nature to strive hardest, for that which rewards you. . . for that which personally concerns you. By being assigned the section of wall in front of his own house, each man was in very visible, and concrete terms, working for the safety of his own household, and thereby committed extra care. . . extra attention to detail. . . making sure that his section of wall was as impenetrable as he could possibly make it.

I want to grow the Kingdom, but try as I might, sometimes I lack fervency for issues too far removed from me. . . Yes, I can raise my voice. . . Yes, I might be able to with great labor, squeeze a tear or two from my eyes, but there is more effort than passion in the attempt.

BUT!!! I can pray fervently for my family without effort. I need no rah rah session to arouse passion in my prayers for my children, my father, my sister, my brother. . . I pray with flowing passion for Jackie’s family . . . and to think about it. . . Counting it up, within ten miles or so of where we live, Jackie and I easily have some 15 or 20 close family members, many of whom greatly need the Lord in their lives.

To double the kingdom of God takes each of us reaching 1 person. . . With my Jackie and I’s family, there are in the immediate area, 5 to 10 for each of us, whom we have great potential to reach for the Lord..

What far greater potential do we have to minister to those with whom we already have relationships? Than to those to whom, we are strangers?

I think sometimes I ignore ministering to my family, not so much laziness, as with families there are issues. . . issues from the past. . . issues easier to ignore than to address. But how foolish are we to think it easier to reach strangers than family.

I will not again feel guilty in praying for my family. That may well be a trick of the devil. That is my rightful business. My business is surely to take care of my own house. . . to rebuild the section of wall right in front of me. . .and I will attend to such work with a diligence and vigor beyond what I would give to any other field. . .

Thank you my Lord. . .
Please guide me, and help me to build a wall of prayer for my family. . and around my family. . .

I love you my God. . .

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Gravel Pit. . .

As far back as my memory goes into the dim reaches of my youth, I have loved wildlife. One story my mother often related to me, was of her listening in as my best friend, Bob Adams, who lived right across the street and I talked as we played when we were 4 or 5 years old. I said to Bobby, “Isn’t nature wonderful”, Bobby replied, “What’s nature?”

I remember my mother had a very pretty flower garden, along our east property line. I remember sitting on our little patio in the early mornings, watching as robins hunted for worms, and insects in my mom’s little garden.

We lived not far from a dry gravel pit. It was a hole in the ground 10 or 12 feet deep, covering maybe 20 or more acres or so. I say dry, but there were semi-permanent wet spots in the bottom of it. These low areas, being so close to the water table, would have 6 inches to maybe a foot of water for 50 weeks out of the year. Too shallow and impermanent for fish, but there were tadpoles galore, and because of the abundance of toads, and frogs found there, an equally wondrous (to a 9 or 10 year old boy) assortment of snakes were to be found.

Friendly hognosed snakes. Never known to bite. Looking fierce. If you touched them they would puff way up and hiss at you. If that failed to scare you off, they would roll over and play dead. The hognosed snakes ate toads as their main staple. If you caught one too soon after eating, he would disgorge the still recognizable toad from his belly. . .

A few weeks of the year, bank swallows nested in the sides of this large area. Their large colonies a flurry of entering and exiting birds gathering insects for the young inside the holes in the gravel pits dirt cliff side walls. Rabbits, opossums, raccoons, box turtles. . .salamanders, hog nosed, blue racer, and the abundant garter snakes. . . all kinds of critters inhabited this area.

It was said. . . I think my Dad told me that the Indiana National Guard, had at one time used this pit for training some years before. All I know is that many of the neighborhood kids, possessed large coffee cans full of lead bullets, which would wash out of the sides of the pit after every rain.

We melted down, and made our own fishing sinkers from this lead, or saved especially nice pieces which might have nearly perfect lead and intact and shiny brass jackets on the bullets that hit no stones in their passage through the sand. I almost lived out in this pit. We would disappear from home on our bicycles in the morning, come back for a quick bite of lunch and go back to our adventures in the pit and surrounding fields and forest from May to September, and during the weekends before and after that. Sometimes we would take lunches. . . Velveeta sandwiches with apple butter on them, and eat them in our wilderness. The rule was that I had to be home when the streetlights came on, or my Mom had a hated brass plated bell that she would ring if I was required at other times.

You could hear that bell, maybe not all the way to the gravel pit, but all over the neighborhood proper. . . “Dave, your Mom’s ringing the bell”, how many times I heard that, and really hated the stigma of being called home, by what I referred to as a cow bell.

To the west of the gravel pit, was a thick woods of unknown size. As far as I know, none of my friends ever reached the end of it. We certainly had no idea who owned it. There was a small sluggish stream which meandered through it. When I was 12 or 13, we started camping out in this little woods during the summer. Eggs, bacon or sausages, and potatoes, pop. . .occasionally someone would bring swisher sweet or rum soaked crook cigars, but never any alcohol or drugs. I don’t remember any tent. . .just our bicycles, a blanket or two, and a pillow was the extent of our camping equipment.

We would sleep on the ground, stay up late, cook our wilderness meal on a skillet over a wood fire bounded by stones found in the woods. . . We had BB guns, and pocket knives almost from the start. I remember my Mom or Dad. . . I don’t remember which or for what occasion, gave me a pocket knife when I was six. I precisely remember my age. I think it was the first day that I had it, I was whittling on a stick. . .and I cut my right thumb, at the joint where it attaches to the hand. I cut it pretty good. It could have used a stitch or two. I remember wrapping it in my handkerchief. . . I even remember the handkerchief design, it was kind of a purple/lavender plaid on the edge with a white center. . .now with bloody splotches in it. . .anyway, I remember wrapping my cut thumb up to stop the bleeding. I remember as handed the knife back to my Mom, telling her, “I guess I’m not old enough for this yet. . .”

I am looking at the faintly visible scar, on my right thumb, even as I type this some almost 52 years later. For some reason, I often don’t know my left from my right hand. If you ask me, I do not know automatically. If you tell me to go to the right, I might still catch myself looking at the scar on my thumb to tell. . . a thousand times or more, over the years, I’ve used that scar to identify my right hand.

We had .22 rifles we went plinking with. We shot trees. . . sometimes to my grief even then. . . birds (I shed tears once after unexpectedly hitting a bird in flight with my .22). . . more often we shot bottles, and tin cans. We used axes, hatchets, machetes, and slingshots. . . went swimming and camping and fishing and hunting. . . without any adult supervision. I lived on my bicycle. We had set boundaries which we were not to cross, and we didn’t cross them, but even at that often I was gone on my bicycle, from morning until the streetlights came on, and no disasters occurred.

I frequented a peat bog/swamp a mile or so from my house, when Bobby Adams my friend moved to that neighborhood. Oh we had so much fun out there. I spent one summer excavating the peat bog. Digging a hole by myself. Preserving specimens I found, pretending I was a paleontologist, collecting (in my mind) the ancient snail shells which were found in the peat abundantly.

We waded in the stinking swamp muck, beyond our waists, on at least one occasion to the depth of my neck, trying to catch turtles, or fishing or crossing wide spots in the damp areas. We called it quicksand. . . We had adventures unending in our tall grass peat bog and swamp. We played cowboys, and Indians, and army. . . and hide and seek in a natural wonderland. We knew the woods, the gravel pit, and the swamp probably as well as any native American. Every tree a friend. . . Every contour of the land, cover in our childhood games of war. . .We lived in the land. We knew it intimately.

We made our own ball field complete with dugouts, sidelines, backstop, and a home run fence, out of the scrap lumber the trailer factory threw away in the burn pit, in the field behind our house. Again without a single hour of adult help or supervision. . . we played neighborhood football, baseball. . . ping pong by the hour with my best friend Steve Gunts (after Bobby moved away), in his garage across the street.

My childhood outside of the home, could not be bettered. I relish those memories. Writing this I realized that maybe I never fully grieved moving away from my childhood neighborhood on “A Court”. We moved to Fremont Street in 1968, and it was different. It was in the city. It’s not often I feel sad about the past. I wouldn’t go backwards a year or twenty-five years for any amount of money.

For me, Life’s lessons are too painfully gained to give up. . . I would never want to relive the greatest majority of my life, but Oh. . . how my heart aches. . .how I would love to have another carefree summer afternoon in the gravel pit hunting for snakes, and bullets. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you for my childhood. . .
I thank you for my mother and father. . .
I thank you for watching over me. . .
I love you my God. . .

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Calves of the Stall. . .

Malachi 4:2
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.


Continuing my study of the ‘fear of God.’

I can feel my former pride rise up at the thought of my ever being described as by this phrase as. . . ‘calves of the stall.’ In my former mind I would absolutely reject being portrayed by such a idea. The indignation of being compared to a kept animal, whether it be a calf or a sheep, was strong within me.

It all has to do with being willing to bend your will. . . your desires. . . your pride to another. The necessity of relinquishing your cherished free will, and independence, and submitting to the will of God is the very foundation for being a follower of Christ. . . not my will, but thy will Lord. In my former pride, the parallel concept of having a Lord was just as despised, as being being compared to a calf in a stall.

A calf running free on the range, spawns an idyllic vision in the mind, but the reality of that freedom is hindered by the need to find forage and good water, to avoid predators and disease. Rather than confinement by solidly protective wooden walls, and doors, the free ranging calf is bound by its physical needs of hunger, thirst, and driven by fear. These chains are less visible, but every bit as powerful.

My mind sees the parody of an imaginary well fed, beautifully coated calf dancing and proclaiming its freedom overlaid the reality of a scraggly furtive beast as it spends all its waking hours seeking survival through bitter winter snows, and summer's searing heat. . . softly whimpering. . . I am free. . . I am free. . . as it is devoured by wolves, or as it succumbs to hunger, or disease, or thirst.

The men and women I minister to in the jail, many are or were, at least in their own minds if nowhere else, truly free spirits. Not restrained or bound by laws of man or God. Conventions of politeness, respect, good citizenship, and discipline foreign to them. Submission to anything being outside of their makeup. No rules. . . no Lord to rule them. Their prideful spirit in horrific collision with now being forced to bend the knee by the hard unbending rules they find themselves under in the jail. . . .through clenched lips. . . I am free. . . I am free. . . as they are forced to completely submit to the authority of the jail staff.

It is a defining moment, when you finally admit that you need a Lord in your life. That your free and unrestrained will has done little other than to get you into difficulties and cause unending problems in your life.

At that time of surrender to God, I remember clearly the feeling of a lifting of a great weight from me. The gratitude of having found a moral compass, a moral authority with whom I could consult for advice, and wisdom on how to live and structure my life. . . . tired of battling wolves on my own, I gratefully, completely willingly became a calf of the stall. . . Gloriously happy to find the quiet waters. . . the green pastures. . . the safety and protection under His wings. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you my God. . .
You are my Shepherd, my Protector, My provider. . .

I love you my God. . .

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why Should I Care?

We are bombarded with messages all day long. Each web page we click on, has a cloud of advertisements bumping into our awareness, like gnats swirling. . flashing. . .dancing. . . parading. . .marching. . .flickering buzzing whispering. . .and on and on and on. . . annoyingly continually touching us. . . brushing up against us. . . bothering us. . .WHY SHOULD I CARE??? Give me a reason to be interested or get away from me. . .get out of my face. . .

There has to be a reason for me to care. . .my message. . .our message is lost in the cacophony messages inundating people with. . . JUST TELL ME WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT GOD. . .GIVE ME A REASON TO CARE ABOUT SPIRITUAL THINGS. . .

It is really very simple. . Every problem of life has a Spiritual answer. God is a Spirit. He has manifested Himself to mankind in various ways, but He is before and after everything else a Spirit. He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. . .

Therefore Spirit~ual answers are God answers.

Marriage problems have God answers. . .
Health problems have God answers. . .
Financial problems have God answers. . .
Child raising problems have God answers. . .
Depression problems have God answers. . .
Self-esteem problems have God answers. . .
Conflict problems have God answers. . .
Any and every problem has a God answer. . .

There are no problems beyond God’s ability to solve. . .and no problem escapes God’s caring. Every aspect of your life improves after gaining an intimate relationship with God.

Jesus said:

Acts 1:8
. . .ye shall receive power at the coming of the Holy Spirit upon you. . .
(YLT)

We need the power of God in our lives. . .
Life is so much easier with God in the middle of it. . .
Life is so much better with God in the middle of it. . .
That is why we should care. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you my Lord. . .

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Can of Ravioli. . .

Before beginning last evenings church meeting in the local county jail where I minister as a volunteer chaplain every week, I was sitting at a table chatting with the fellows. One fellow was introduced to me, with the comment that he had been sitting in jail for several weeks for a can of ravioli. This was said with an undertone of an obviously ridiculous example of the foolishness of our judicial system.

I do not know the circumstances. I make it my business, to be as studiously ignorant as possible of the crimes, and judicial cases of the men and women to whom I minister. It just doesn’t matter to me in the least. If someone wants to share with me the reason or reasons for their being behind bars, I will listen to them, but as much as possible I try to forget everything I hear, almost as soon as I hear it.

I absolutely do realize that there are men and women, especially in the county jail, awaiting trial who are innocent. Many are guilty only of merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I also understand that there truly are numbers of people wrongly convicted. That happens. No one can deny that, but I am powerless to do anything about those injustices, and I am even more powerless to tell the difference between actual injustice, and portrayed injustice. Innocent or guilty. . . guilty of jay walking or guilty of raping and murdering children, it doesn’t matter to me. ALL are born into iniquity and all need the saving power. . . the cleansing power of God.

Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way. . .

Isaiah 64:6
But we are all as an unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
and we all do fade as a leaf;
and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

ALL. . . there are no exceptions to all. And regardless how the men are sitting before me, came to be dressed in khaki jumpsuits they all need God.

I don’t go into the jail to minister because of an abundance of sin being found there. I am utterly convinced that there is as much sin to be found in an exclusive country club, as in the wards where I minister each week. Surely it would be more pleasant to sit by the swimming pool, or along the tennis courts, or in the fancy clubhouse witnessing to people, but. . . but. . .BUT!!!! it would not be nearly so fruitful. The fields are white and ready for harvest in the jail. The incarcerated men and women of the jail, very importantly have something which those of the country club set do not possess.

For everything they do have, for their fat checking accounts. . . for their large fancy houses. . . their sparklingly new imported cars. . . their designer everything,. . . for all they have, they lack one thing required. The very abundance of their lives, virtually ensures their lack of brokenness, and humility. The have a facade of possessions, which allow them the illusion of success. . . success in the physical, which makes reaching them, in the spiritual realm for God very difficult.

If the jail is good for nothing else, it is excellent at humbling a person. While in jail, the men and women there lose virtually everything they possess. . . homes, cars, jobs, wives/husbands/mates, children, reputation, self-respect. . . and on and on and on the list could go. Jail strips a person of almost everything, forcing a deep crisis upon them. . . forcing a person to their knees. . . and that is an excellent position. . . maybe an essential position in which to find the Lord.

It seems terribly harsh to be brought to such a state over a can of ravioli, which may have only cost $1. As I said, I know nothing of man’s case beyond that, but I do know that sin is sin is sin is sin. . . . I read no where in the Bible of sin being categorized into classes of felonies, and misdemeanors.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death;
but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Examples abound of what seem to be deathly harsh penalties for seemingly small infractions. You need look no further than Adam and Eve. . .

Genesis 3:6
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

In disobedience Eve reached her hand for the forbidden fruit, but It surely could have been a hand reaching to steal a can of ravioli, sitting on a grocery store shelf rather than a piece of fruit hanging from a tree. . . Disobedience to God is not unique to Eve. But by her sin, all humanity was condemned to be cursed to a lifetime of toil, and pain, as a consequence of the sin of Adam. Her sin, the first sin of all mankind significantly ruptured the relationship between God and man for ages to come. How harsh is that? He warned them that death would follow disobedience. That is the way of God. He gives us warning as to his expectations. Be aware, God has zero tolerance for sin and disobedience.

2 Samuel 6:6-7
And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. (7) And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

Uzzah merely put out his hand to steady the Ark of the Covenant, when the cart upon which it rested shook. What a minor infraction to the eyes of the world. . . but the profane can never come in contact with the holy, without disastrous consequences. God had warned how the Ark was to be moved, and the Ark of the Covenant was never to be touched, by other than a Holy man of God of the tribe of the Levites.

There were then, and there now no exceptions given. Sin and disobedience is always a barrier between man and God:

John 3:3-6
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (4) Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? (5) Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Jesus emphatically did not undo any of those requirements. What Jesus did do, was to make a way for man’s sins to be atoned for, for a man to be reborn in righteousness, and He died that our sins could be washed away by His shed blood. That is the good news. Contrary to the preaching of many feel good Christian churches: The good new is not, that in this dispensation of grace that all requirements of holiness and righteousness have been done away with.

Today as for Adam and as for Eve and as for Uzzah, and as for Nicodemus, as for the man in the jail last night who only stole a can of ravioli: to be in fellowship with God. . . to commune with Him in the cool of the day. . . to enter into His gates in heaven, you must rid yourself of sin. . . You must know God, and more importantly He must know you. Whether it be a forbidden bite of fruit. . .or an unauthorized touching of the Ark of the covenant, or the stealing of a mere can of ravioli, unrepented and unpaid for sin will send you to hell for eternity. . .

We do not stand in righteousness indignation. . .Jesus did not stand pointing a condemning finger in scorn . . . rather we kneel in humility. . .in thanksgiving and gratitude. . . We implore. . . We sound warnings of the judgment to come. We labor to spread good news of Jesus Christ. . .

We must turn away from sin. . .We must embrace God. . .

Matthew 11:28-30
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Find peace for your soul. . .
Find rest for your weariness. . .
Find refuge from the storm. . .
Find God. . .

I love you my Lord. . .
I love you my God. . .

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day. . .

Exodus 16:3
And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

The people were wrong. No one has ever died of hunger. Long term malnutrition and starvation kills, but mere hunger does not. Hunger is uncomfortable, but it is not an indication of impending death. The world tries and is hugely successful in creating hungers within us. We are led, and manipulated by our hungers. Hunger makes us predictable and vulnerable:

2 Kings 7:12
And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.

Your enemy can use your hunger to invade your city, and thereby lead you into captivity. Credit card debt is a result of being overcome by the desires of hunger. Drug addiction, alcoholism, addiction to pornography, sexual perversions and addictions of all kinds, morbid obesity. . . all these are problems of hungers compelling destructive behavior.

The physical and the spiritual are surely in opposition to one another. I truly feel. . . and I speak to myself, that the more I feed the hungers of my flesh, the more difficulty I have in the spiritual and I want to emphasize, that I’m not speaking now of the illegal and immoral. . .but the more I hunger for the latest technology. . . the latest fashions. . . the newest car. . . etc. etc. etc. . . . the less time my mind spends seeking after God.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.

Truthfully. . . can I even fool myself into thinking that I hunger for righteousness with anywhere near the intensity that I hunger for the latest iPad, the latest mobile phone, or other technological offering from Silicon Valley? Sadly I must admit, that my physical hungers very often far surpass my spiritual hungers. . .

Any addiction. . . any hunger tries to sell you the lie that it will be satisfied by feeding it. When I struggled and fought to quit smoking, how many times I fell for the lie, that all I needed was just one toke on a cigarette, to make things right. . . My hunger was speaking to me in its death throes. . .telling me just one toke, and I’ll go away. . . When the truth of the matter is, that the only way to kill a hunger is to totally deny it. To give in to it once, feeds the dying coals of that fire. . . giving it fuel to burn again. . .

John 6:35
And Jesus said unto them,
I am the bread of life:
he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Find freedom in Christ. Fill yourself in Him, and with Him.

John 8:36
If the Son therefore shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed.

It is not only the addicts and alcoholics who are in bondage and slaves to their hunger. . .Find freedom today in Christ. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you for giving me a path to freedom in You. . .
I thank you my God. . .




KEBG9Z652BJS 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ye have said, It is vain to serve God. . .

Malachi 3:14-17
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts? (15) And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. (16) Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. (17) And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

I read with humor, of the impending death of Christianity. One person recently wrote that, each passing day without the return of Christ is another nail in Christianity’s coffin. . .soon the religion of judgement and divisiveness will die out. . .if they only knew. Reading the news each day, is reading Biblical prophecy coming to life. . .

Zechariah 12:3
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

This was written some 500 years before Christ. Is not Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people? The armies gather around Jerusalem. . . We read last week that Syria, Iran, Russia, and China would be conducting war game exercises in the region. Whether or not that is true, Jesus said:

Matthew 24:6
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

On a daily basis, we expect Israel, or the U.S. to attack Iran. The world community sickens of the events in Syria, and is expected to take military action. Daily the U.S. kills in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and other hidden places. . . a regional war in all but name. We read headlines, that Israel is ready to bomb Syria’s caches of poison gas and biological weapons to keep them from falling into the hands of terrorists. . .

Another unfulfilled prophecy:

Isaiah 17:1
The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.

In its long history, Damascus has never been destroyed as a city. In fact, it is said to be the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and yet now some 2600 years or more, after those words of Isaiah were written, there is talk of the bombing of Damascus.

Damascus is a mere 80 miles or so from Jerusalem. How many of the lead stories in today’s news, are controlled and have as their source, the drama and conflict surrounding Jerusalem?

The falling away of belief in God is prophesied, the coldness. . . the blindness of people to God is not evidence of the death of Christianity, but is prophesied by the Word of God. . .

Matthew 24:37-39
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (38) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, (39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.


Today as before the flood, people are completely involved with their own lives. . . blind and ignorant. . . unconcerned to the horrific sin of the world that will soon bring judgment to all.

As we stand on the corner proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ available to all men. . . We are ridiculed and derided. By many, we are thought to be at best quaint anachronisms, and at worst we are blamed as the root cause of the world’s problems.

No my friends, we do not fear or despair the end of Christianity. . .

We do despair the blindness, and deafness of the world around us.
We do despair of our inability to reach more.

But as our faith continues undiminished. . .

We continue to pray for our world. . .
We continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. . .
We continue to try to reach our world. . .

I love you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .