March 24, 2014
My son has always been a pretty sharp lad. At five, we were trading friendly barbs at each other like “Your feet stink” and such. I shot what I thought was a pretty cool one at him and he comes back with “The only thing holding you together is the Lord.” I thought that pretty well grasped the concept of by Him all things consist so I complimented him on his theological wisdom.
With that kind of foundation in his background, I was pumped when he came to me at thirteen and said, “Dad, I’ve got women figured out.” I told him wait until I get pen and paper because we are going to get stinking rich with this book, for sure!! Pen in hand I asked him to elaborate. He said, “I figure I can have women or money and I want money.” I was a bit dejected as I saw all our royalties and media appearances fade away. I did say something like if you get money you will have plenty of women to choose from albeit they may not be the type you really want to consider marrying. In the end, he got a wonderful woman, moderate money and a dynamic little girl. I think he merged the concepts into a nice balance. Yet, today he would never profess to understand women and he is soon forty.
I know many men who read this are depressed with my son’s simplistic solution to understanding women having hoped he had broken the code that would set all men free from the mystery. It has been easier to explain the hypostatic union of God and man in Jesus Christ and Trinity than to understand women. Adam may have had somewhat of a handle on it until she ate the forbidden fruit, but after that I suspect he was as befuddled as every man is today.
My father died in a car accident when I was seven and I was raised by two women. Most of my teachers were women. I married and had a daughter and many of my bosses and co-workers have been women. I have even written a book about holy women. Do I profess to have arrived at the summit and have cracked the estrogen code? Never! I may have made it through kindergarten into first grade, but I doubt that in this life I will ever get much further in that academic program.
Women are fantastic, but more complex than the theory of relativity. And I think it was meant to be that way. The mystique of women keeps us on our toes and from being bored. The converse fact is that we are as mysterious to them as they are to us. We are not just physically different, but also intellectually and even the way we walk in the Spirit is different. Viva la difference!!
I think where we get into so much trouble in our relationships is that we try too hard to understand each other. We put the cart before the horse in that we try to understand before we truly love. Understanding really comes after love and often with even trying to understand.
Take my wife, not like Henny Youngman. She sometimes has a language all her own with spoonerisms, mixed metaphors and verbal dyslexia. In our early years, I would be clueless at what in the world she was trying to convey and struggled to sort it out. After forty-three years of marriage, she sometimes catches what she said in Karenese and I don’t. I understood it and went on with the conversation. Sometimes I do point it out because we both enjoy the laugh. After awhile, just loving each other and not trying to correct her or struggling to understand the understanding just came naturally.
We started out pretty much almost exact opposites. I was an only child and she was the baby of three and that brought in its own complexities. The opposite stuff that attracted us in the beginning also caused some perplexities because after awhile some of those differences bugged us and we could not understand why we could not agree on which way the toilet paper was hung. Then after just loving each other and going on we started to understand why we did some things differently. Sometimes we changed our actions and philosophies. Other times, we just let it go. There are still things we have discussions over where we just do not understand each other and we may have those discussions until the Rapture. Yet, we love and go on. I gave up trying to change her, but I am still her project in progress. I don’t understand, but love her anyway.
Note that in Ephesians 5,we are not told to understand each other. Honestly, I cannot think of any passage that says anything about understanding. There are plenty of passages exhorting us to love everyone including enemies and that boggles our understanding. Women deal with us not understanding them if they truly know we love them. They can throw up their hands at trying to understand us if they know we really love them.
There are going to be times when you and a woman will have a conversation and you will swear you both just spoke in unknown tongues and beg God to let the interpretation come, In those moments, if the love comes out of both of you whether understanding comes at that moment or not will not matter. Love is a language that is felt and is understood when there is no meeting of the minds. Let the love flow and it’s all good.
The funny thing is when you feel like you are totally clueless, but you take her into your arms and just love her because you don’t know what else to do you may hear her say, “Oh darling, you so get me!” Don’t analyze it. Just receive it and enjoy it. That is understanding!
Also on j31.org
March 21, 2014
Depending on what you read on the internet, America is either doomed without hope or being prepped for a grand revival. Indeed, America has turned itself away from God or at least the God it was founded upon. Yea, it has even chosen to attack God in many ways and tried to erase His influence in all arenas of life and the history of the nation. That certainly does not bode well
Psa 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.
When you study the phrase, forget God, it does not mean a lapse of memory, but rather an intentional putting out of the mind. We use the phrase forget that when we consider something ridiculous or impossible. We mean to deliberately put it out of the mind. When we are mad we may walk away and say forget you to the person that made us angry. We mean we are putting you out of our mind and life. That is what the words mean in the passage. We have told God, “Forget you!” and “Forget that!” when His Word is spoken and it speaks to our life with either a do or don’t. We are doing it on a personal and national level thus it certainly looks like Hell is the destination for the nation as well as for many souls.
Many have concluded that America is done because of its various sins and the forget God attitude. Their arguments are reasonable. Yet, many others say that she will come back to God and return to her former glory and maybe even more glorious. Many times this hope comes from love of country and patriotism, but no real biblical reason.
America is a very religious country and many seem to be Christian or at least use the name of Christ, but America is not a godly country anymore. Indeed, many who name the of Christ do so out of ethnic background or tradition having no more than what we would call a nominal Christian lifestyle and even less doctrinal understanding of Christianity in general let alone their own sect’s beliefs. If I had been asked before my conversion if I were a Christian, I might have answered, “Of course, I am a Christian. I am an American.” Yet, I was lost and on my way to Hell as a nominal Methodist and my wife was a lukewarm Lutheran who knew nothing of sola fide, sola scriptura and sola gratia or even who Martin Luther was or what he had to do with her church. I had never heard of Wesley. I only knew some creeds that I had memorized and repeated on some Sundays.
Some will say that we will survive because there is a remnant of true Christians in the country. That does not wash in the light of Scripture. There was a remnant that entered the Ark and the rest perished. There was a remnant pulled out of Sodom before it was destroyed. There was a remnant in Israel when it went into captivity for seventy years due to idolatry. There was not only a remnant of faithful Jews, but an abundance of Christians in Jerusalem when it fell in AD 70. The country was destroyed and the Jews exiled for 1878 years before it became a nation again. None of those remnants spared the country.
If those examples are not clear enough to eliminate remnant theology, read Ezekiel 14:12-23. God had enough and was going to judge Jerusalem. He said that even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in the city it would not help. Abraham asked God to spare Sodom for the sake of ten, which there were only four righteous and one of them did not make it to safety and the other three ended badly shortly thereafter. In Ezekiel, not even three of the most righteous men to that date would have spared the city. They would have only spared themselves meaning God would have gotten them out of there or hid them in the city until the judgment was done. Thus if God means to take America down because of its sin then no amount of righteous people in it will prevent it. Thus remnant theology is a false hope.
We try very hard to find America in end time prophecy because of our love for this country and because we have been such a major influence in the past we cannot grasp her not being an influence to the end of time. That is great sentiment and patriotism, but not a promised reality. The only nation promised to make it to the Millennium is Israel and even she will not enter unscathed as it is prophesied that two thirds of the population will die before the return of Messiah/Y’shua/Jesus. Much of the map may change before the Millennium and before the Rapture as we are witnessing a change in countries about to take place as Russia annexes Crimea. We are not the influence we once were and even our affluence has waned. Much more can change in the coming years.
I very much would like to see America experience a revival of epic proportions for the sake of the souls that would be saved. Unlike some, I have no desire to see America damned, but rather have it spared like Nineveh when Jonah warned of coming judgment. Yet, even as Nineveh, who ultimately fell back into idolatry years later there is no guarantee that an American revival would be long lasting albeit I will be excited for whatever we can get.
So, must America survive? No, there is no reason why she cannot go the way of so many great nations of the past and even Israel when it was in sin. Indeed, for the Anti-Christ to come to power it may be necessary for us to fall from power. Thus we may survive geographically in some state but only able to complain about situations without the power to affect the situation. (Ezekiel 38:13) We may become “the old gray mare that ain’t what she used to be many long years ago”
Pray for souls. Pray for revival for you and the nation. Pray for the return of Christ. Pray for America, but leave it in God’s hands. The Judge of all the earth shall do right. Maranatha!!
March 9, 2014
“I have fought against the people of the North because I believed they were seeking to wrest from the South its dearest rights. But I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.” — Robert E. Lee
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. KJV
If ever there was a justification to be angry, bitter and to hate someone it would be during a time of war. It seems logical. They started it. They are evil. We are good. Yet, God’s ways are often not in accord with our logic. Loving your enemies is crazy according to our perspective. Yet, man was the enemy of God since the fall of Adam and Eve. Logically, He should have just wiped Adam and Eve off the face of the earth and then created Barry and Freda as round two. Instead, God loved them and provided a covering for their nakedness and sin while promising a means of salvation for mankind.
It is easy to love those who love us and provide us joy and comfort. Our enemies usually give us no reason to love them. They may not be vicious enemies in that they do physical harm to us. Their modus operandi may be more passive aggressive, emotional abuse or backstabbing. In the end, there is nothing loving about their actions and the emotions that arise in us are not warm or fuzzy.
We often forget that we do so much that is acting like the enemy of God. We do what He says not to do and do not do what He says. Are those the actions of a lover or an enemy? James says if we love the World we are an enemy of God. Every time we sin it is somewhat like giving high fives to the devil or kissing him on the cheek while wanting to hands with Jesus saying we love Him. Yet, for those who are the children of God, we have Jesus ever standing before the Father praying for us and pointing to His wounds as the reason the Father should not strike us down like the enemy we are siding with and employing his actions. If this were church, I would expect a few amens and glories right here.
General Lee leads the way for us as he followed the command of Jesus. In this life, we will have many who will curse us, abuse us, hate us and persecute us. They crucified the Master. They will not love those who are following in His footsteps. Yet, we are to pray for them as they are deceived by the real enemy and without conversion will be doomed to Hell. We who have escaped the enemy’s clutches by the grace of God need pray for those still enslaved though they despitefully use us. We were called to repentance and salvation by love and now we are called to love as He did and does. The enemy is hateful, but Christ endured the Cross that love might win. Raise that banner and conquer in His name. He is risen! Maranatha!