Flight and Fight

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1 Timothy 6:11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Here’s a novel thought.  How about accepting responsibility, playing by the rules, listening to your critics (they just might be right) and telling the truth.  There will be no need to redefine success or try again.

My Advice – Know when to fight and know when to flight.

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Whatever You Do, Do Not Forget This One Thing

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2 Peter 3:3-4First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (NIV 1984)

The Mayan calendar is an ancient calendar system that rose to fame in 2012, when a “Great Cycle” of its Long Count component came to an end, inspiring some to believe that the world would end on December 21, 2012. The media hype and hysteria that ensued was later termed the 2012 phenomenon.  Of course, the predictions did not come true—just like hundreds of other doomsday prophecies that fizzled out in the past. (1)

(1) http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/mayan.html

2 Peter 3:8-10But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come… (NIV 1984)

My Musings – The world did not end in 2012, “just like hundreds of other doomsday prophecies that fizzled out in the past.”  But we have come to the end of my “Studies in Revelation” series.  I hope you found it somewhat enlightening.  There is much that we still find confusing and do not understand.  Perhaps we will understand more as the day approaches.  For even while Jesus told us that the day or the hour was not for us to know, He nevertheless instructed us to keep watch and be alert for the signs that His return might be near.

Christendom has been waiting and watching for over 2,000 years now and He still has not returned.  As a result, many have become scoffers saying ““Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?”   They have relegated the Lord’s promise to the myth of the Mayan calendar and countless other false prophecies of the past.  An empty promise that fizzled.

But Peter, in his second epistle, explained why the Lord might delay (He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance),  and that delay does not mean slowness as we understand slowness (the day of the Lord will come).  The timing of HIs coming is uncertain, the fact that He will come is not.

My AdviceHe [Jesus] who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20, NIV 1984)

Want to read it again?  Click on the link below to order your copy today.

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My approach was to try and not be too dogmatic, but rather to present the differing viewpoints in as objective of a manner as I could, although I am sure my own bias has crept in here and there. I also wanted to avoid idle speculation on some of the more confusing imagery in the book (to not stain at a gnat and swallow a camel), choosing to focus more on the overriding theme. I am sure I wandered into the weeds here and there, however.

As you read this book, I urge you to focus more on the “blessed hope” of His certain return, and less on the manner of His return. Many got it wrong on His first advent, and we do not want to be among those who get it wrong on His second advent. Watch for the signs, but do not keep your gaze so fixed on the clouds that you lose sight of the work He left us to do until His glorious appearing.

My wish for all who read this book (but more importantly the underlying book of Revelation) the blessings that are promised in the Revelation 22:7.

“Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” (NIV 1984)

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Long As the Earth Endures

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Genesis 8:22 –  “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – It’s been a “long” winter here in the Midwest, as a seemingly continuous cycle of heavy snow, followed by freezing rain followed by record cold spells has marked the “winter of our discontent.”  Like many other things in life, our current circumstances have a tendency to overshadow our past experiences.  For example, the last several winters have been fairly mild.  Before that, we’ve had colder weather and deeper snows.  But spring has always followed winter.  Flowers will bloom again and summer will be here once again. We’ll forget about the winter weather and begin to complain about the heat (“well, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity).  And the debate about climate change will rage once again.
We’ve been visiting my son this weekend, and our thoughts have turned to a different type of season as we reminisced about the past and about how quickly time passes. As our son enters late spring (he’s almost to the mid-point of “three-score and ten”) and we face the autumn of our life (I know it’s autumn because the “leaves” are turning color – not to vibrant reds and yellows, but to gray).
And so it goes.  The seasons of weather/climate and the seasons of life – but only “as long as the earth endures.
My Advice – Jesus admonished us about being adept at reading the weather signs but missing the signs of His return.  How much longer this earth will endure is a matter of much debate. The certainty of His return is not.  Are you ready for harvest time?

He Is Coming Soon!

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Revelation 22:12-13  –  “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – I’ve worked for four different companies in my nearly 42 year post-college career.  All of them required a certain degree of travel. Fortunately, it was not too frequent and the time away was rarely for extended stays. Like the dad pictured in the cartoon above, my son Joel came to expect some kind of gift when I returned.  Nothing elaborate or expensive, but no matter how small or trivial, he was always excited.  Of course, I know he was also glad to see me.

One particular return is vividly etched in my memory.  Joel was barely walking and still sleeping in a crib.  I believe the trip in question was probably my longest in terms of distance and time away (Buenos Aires for a little over a week).  I got home late at night, and Joel was down for the night (I thought).  The driver dropped me off and I set down my bags in the front entryway to our home.  My wife welcomed me and we were chatting away, trying to be quiet, when I heard the patter of little feet coming from down the hallway and the bedrooms.  It was Joel.  He had heard my voice and could not wait his turn.  He figured out how to climb out of his crib and made a beeline for his dad.  Incidentally, Joel got a new bed that weekend.

Another return from a long absence is getting nearer every day.  Our Lord’s return!  His reward will be with Him.  Will we be eager to see Him?  Or ashamed at HIs coming, for the things that we did or did not do?  For some He will not be coming as Father, but as Judge.

My Advice – Make sure you He is coming to you as a loving Father.  Don’t know if or how?  See my series on “The Born Again Experience.”

If you already know Him as Savior, just seeing Him will be reward enough.  But there will be rewards too, based upon how faithfully we have served Him.  See my series “Got Spiritual Milk?” on becoming a faithful disciple.  You can also purchase this book in my “store.”

Finally, are you looking for His return?  Joel was listening and ready for me.  Do you know the signs of His return?  As many of you know, who follow my blog, I’ve been sharing on the last days in my series “Studies in Revelation.”  We’re almost done with that series, but it is archived and you can also purchase it in my “store.”

In the Beginning God.

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Genesis 1:1, 31In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God saw all that He had made, and it was very good. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Why is it that so many people refuse to believe that something with such a massive and magnificent design as the cosmos and with such a minute and meticulous design as the microscopic world  is not attributable to a master designer? Why do they choose to believe something so complex and with such intricacy and order sprang from disorder through random chance?  That all that is, came from nothing that was?  This hardly seems like science to me.

The reality is, the science behind all of creation, what is seen and unseen, the underlying code, if you will, was also designed by the creator.  So you see, real science is inextricably linked to the Creator.  How things came to be was an act of creation (God said…and it was so).  How they are governed once created, the science (order) behind it all, is also by God’s design.

My Advice – In the beginning God.  That is all the explanation that is necessary.  It is the only explanation that is plausible.

What Is Truth?

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Isaiah 5:20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (NIV 1984)

Jack Ryan: You’re going to jail, pal!
Ritter: [seeing Ryan holding a piece of paper] What is that? What is it you think you have there?
Jack Ryan: You broke the law.
Ritter: You are such a Boy Scout! You see everything in black and white!
Jack Ryan: No, no, no! Not black and white Ritter, right and wrong!

Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 film based on the book of the same name by Tom Clancy.

2 Timothy 4:3I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (NIV 1984)

Turner: Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 film about a bookish CIA researcher who finds all his colleagues dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

John 18:37Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV 1984)

Pontius Pilate: “What is truth?”

From the trial of Jesus Christ, circa 33 AD.

My Musings – If there was any time we needed Continue reading “What Is Truth?”

Dancing & Crying

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Luke 7:31-36“To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“ ‘We played the flute for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Sometimes my Sunday text, leads me to a comic to help illustrate it.  Other times, like the comic above, I find a comic that amuses me and I search out a text to go along with it.  I liked this week’s comic, but finding a text was challenging.

I wonder if sometimes my readers find my Sunday diversions into the “comic section” amusing or offensive?  Maybe some think I should stick with the “editorial page.”  I like to think we can find a word from God in both sections.  I, for one, am thankful that God blessed us with the ability to laugh now and then.

My Advice – Life has plenty of moments when we have to sing the dirge and cry.  Let’s take the opportunity when it comes to play the flute and dance.