Glad Tidings

This Amazing Machine!

17 Sep , 2019  

Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

GT—Volume 16 Issue 9

Our Bodies are a Marvel!

As I am creating this issue, I am typing, while at the same time I’m hearing the lovely sounds of Classical music. My ears are receiving sound waves all the time, waking or sleeping. Those invisible waves beat against our ear drums on both sides of our heads. Those vibrations are funneled into the ear by the shape of the external ear and the ear canal. As the sound waves impact the ear drum it vibrates according to the variations of the sound waves. The vibrations of the eardrum cause the three bones of the middle ear to vibrate, transferring sound energy to mechanical energy. The energy is transmitted to the cochlea, a snail-shaped, liquid-filled organ. It has hairs and nerve endings that pick up the mechanical sound waves. Pitches or the specific sound frequencies stimulate specific individual hair cells in the inner ear. Thus, certain frequencies cause specific hair cells to respond. The hair cells translate the pitches into nerve impulses. Each ear has two nerve pathways, one to the left side of the brain and one to the right side of the brain.

What all that means is that I can hear beautiful harmonies. I can distinguish strings from wind, from brass and percussion. By concentration I can hear the violin or the cello, the flute or the clarinet, the french horn or the coronet, the timpani or the snare drum and in the midst of the sound pick out the tinkle of a triangle.

But that is only the beginning. I see the letters on the keyboard and they are quite different from those on the screen. The eye distinguishes letters in both fonts.

When I glance up to look out the window, but only for a fraction of a second, I can clearly see the trees, the lawn, the patio, the side of the house with windows and a door. All in living color. All in perfect definition, not blurred by the movement of my eye – Amazing! It is the most natural thing in the world, because we have grown up with such routine actions and impressions.

But how does the eye work? It has a clear lens attached by muscles that change its shape according to what we are looking toward. If it is close work our eye compensates by muscles tightening to make the lens more round. Conversely, to focus on far away objects, the muscles relax to make the lens more flat. The iris expands to allow more light to enter the eye in dim light and contracts to reduce the impact of bright light.

The retina is at the back of the eye. The lens focuses the light that falls onto the retina, which converts light into electrical impulses. The photo-receptors, include rods and cones. Rods are sensitive to black and white, while cones distinguish colors in daylight. The image that falls in the retina is upside down. This complex, inverted image is transformed into an electric code that is transmitted by the optic nerve to the visual center of the brain. There the brain decodes electrical input into a visual image inverted to give us the “right-way-round” sight.

There are too many “systems” for us to examine in this brief exposition – the circulatory system, the cardio-pulmonary system, the nerve “tree”, the complex organ that is the skin, the skeletal system, etc.

Let’s explore one more: the digestive system. There are four main processes in digestion: ingestion, digestion, absorbsion and assimilation. The whole process after a person places food in the mouth, chews it and swallows it is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. We have no volitional control of any part after we swallow.

The mouth reduces the food by slicing and grinding. Saliva is incorporated to lubricate and begin the digestive process. This is ingestion.

Digestion occurs as ground food is swallowed into the stomach. The stomach manipulation and addition of acid further reduces food into its constituent parts, i.e. macro-nutrients (carbs, fats and proteins), and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Absorption by the small intestine takes fluid and nutrients into the bloodstream, primarily simple sugars, salt and alcohol.

The uptake of the nutrients into cells and tissues is assimilation. The last part of assimilation is the reassembly of absorbed nutrients into complex organisms – cells, blood, organs, etc.

Remember all of this is beyond your control. Your autonomic nervous system “knows” how to do everything exactly right so that the bones receive calcium and not sugar; that the blood receives fluids and not bone-building material, that your eyes receive fluid for tears, and your ears wax and not the reverse.

We live in a fantastic machine. It is built to transport us through this material world. It is flexible, strong, reliable, and has the amazing ability to heal itself without our direction or effort. We cover a cut with a bandage to prevent contamination. The coagulation of blood seals the wound and the cells regenerate tissue that is exactly appropriate – skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles. Break a bone and all we have to do is immobilize it and the bone knits together.  dove-vector-clipart

The Machine Transports What?

As a transport machine, this amazing Body works effectively. It carries our bodies to the table and carries fuel to our mouths. It moves us efficiently and easily around this planet’s surface. It has the ability to interact with others in both friendly (hugs and kisses) and aggressive ways (football tackles).

Consider locomotion. Walking takes strength and agility. Your legs alternate in carrying your body weight. The interchange requires balance as your transfer the weight of your body from one leg to the other. Your ankles adjust to the ground, whether on cement sidewalks or rough, plowed ground.

Then when speed is required other systems come into play. The heart accelerates to increase the nutrients and oxygen needed by the more active muscles. Your lungs increase the processing of air to accommodate the increased the oxygen-fueled burning up of energy. Think of the flexibility of spine, legs, arms, ankles, toes that come into play as you take a simple walk around the block.

That is all mechanical. What the body truly transports is you. And what is “YOU”?

We have had many of our young men injured in our various wars. Does the loss of an arm or leg, make a person any less of a person? It effects the person, no doubt, but the person is not diminished one iota.

Stephen Hawking contracted amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) when he was 21. He went on to become the world-renowned theoretical physicist, despite the crippled and contorted body and his inability to speak. His amazing machine was tragically and profoundly broken; nevertheless, it did not change who he was, nor prevent the real Stephen inside from becoming great.

Who we are is not determined by our body! The body transports who we are to accomplish what we desire to accomplish. dove-vector-clipart

Survival Of The Fittest?

Most scientists tell us it was an accident. There are numerous other creative theories of the start of our world. A random lightning strike into primordial soup (or “goop”) that sparked life. The drastically shocked atoms became alive to form molecules and the molecules formed simple cells. As the cells got bigger some broke apart and those who did could grow again and feed more efficiently. Some say “lost city smokers” in the depths of the oceans exuded amino acids that combined with iron attracted hydrogen and oxygen compounds that then formed RNA. RNA became more robust and made viruses, which were alive and began reproducing. A few believe life was seeded on earth by meteors from distant stars. But there is no evidence of the non-living material substances transforming into life, let alone reproducing life.

Scientists believe the Earth is ca. 3.5 to 4.5 Billion years old. If life originated as a single cell, that cell reproduced and its second generation reproduced and over time, became more complex forming rudimentary botanical life with photosynthesis. And it formed biological life with sentience. Those respective molds or viruses had mutations, accidental changes in the basic structure that enhanced survivability. On the biological side, after several billions of years, a human was formed containing ca..30 Trillion cells (30,000,000,000,000). Humans have not only sentience, but love, a moral sense, a sense of justice, a conscience that plagues us when we do harm to others.

This Theory of Evolution (not a law, because there is no proof and because it is not reproducible, as the Law of Gravity is proved, every moment we live – ask your skinned knee from falling) has many unanswered questions. For instance, “Irreducible Complexity” (“a single system composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to basic function; wherein removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, pg. 39) means that all the parts must be in place and working together.

Above I described the eye. Having a light-processing portion of the brain would be of no value unless there was a way to get exterior light to the brain. The optic nerve would be useless unless there were a light sensitive brain and a source of light. The cornea would have no survival value unless there was a lens to focus exterior light on the rods and cones and an optic nerve to transport the electrical impulses to the light sensitive brain. The eye consists of irreducible complexity. Without one of the several parts in place, the other parts could not enhance survivability and therefore would not be kept in the gene pool.

Mathematicians have taken the 400 Billion years and the huge numbers of changes necessary to transform a-one celled living creature and calculated that even 100, 000,000,000,000 years would not be enough for random mutations to form the 30,000,000,000,000 cells in the modern human being. One has stated that there is more chance of a tornado hitting a junkyard, whipping around scattered parts and leaving behind a fully assembled and airworthy Boeing 747, than for Evolution to produce us.

Despite the extreme complexity of the body, this amazing machine, scientists have great faith in evolution. Just think how this amazing machine converts a hamburger – a complex of bread bun, made from wheat, and eggs, and sugar, etc., the hamburger, made from muscle tissue and fat (in turn made from grass and grain), a slice of tomato, a piece of lettuce, a slice of pickle, some dressing, perhaps catsup or french dressing, add french fries, and a chocolate milk shake, into its constituent parts of protein, fat, sugar, vitamins, minerals and distributes them to bones, nerves, organs, while separating out the waste products – solids and liquids. The body processes them further, recycling some of the fluid in the blood stream.  dove-vector-clipart

God’s Wonderful Plan

If you were walking in the woods and discovered a pocket watch lying on the ground, you would pick up the watch and examine it. Opening the back cover, you would see the finely machined gears and wheels. In examining it more closely, you would discover that it was powered by a main spring which was wound by the stem. In contemplating the watch and its ability to measure time, you would naturally assume that its wheels and springs, hands and crystal just happened to fall together in a workable whole out of the natural minerals in the soil and rocks. Right?

Of course not! You would know from just picking it up that it was manufactured by someone of intelligence and upon opening the back would know it was engineered by an extremely skilled maker.

It is a wonder that intelligent scientists, well educated and studied in anatomy refuse to see that truth that the human body did not come together by chance. The human body (or for that matter any animal body) could not have developed on the basis of faulty mutations. Faulty, because mutations by definition are a change in the nature of something. That which was proceeding along a natural course gets interrupted and becomes something else. But the something else gets outnumbered by the natural and soon disappears.

It is far more logical to observe the handiwork of a master engineer. Think back on the few parts of the body were have investigated here. Our eyes are doubled, so we have depth perception. The lens is focused by minute muscles so we can see clearly both distant and very close objects. God designed eyes in those ways.

God planned you to be based on a common, very functional design. Two legs for a bipedal transportation, balanced by a bubble in the inner ear. He designed your digestion to be omnivorous. You can eat vegetables and meat. He gave you the ability to taste a wide variety of tastes. His love for your enjoyment gave you the pleasure of chocolate, of strawberry ice cream, of coleslaw, and fried chicken, of the mixed flavors of lasagna or borscht.

It is amazing that injuries heal. That is because our living Lord created the capability in our cells to regenerate. The blood coagulates over an open wound to protect from infection. Then the body sends in fibroblasts, a type of cell that helps rebuild skin tissue. These cells break down the clot and start replacing it with proteins, primarily collagen. This is a well-planned process. It does not happen unless an injury occurs.

He gave you emotions. And not just fear, anger, contentment, restlessness. But a spectrum of feelings from exuberance to grief. They, to a great extent, define who you are. God made you a reflection of Himself. He takes great joy in obedience and in ministering to the needs of others. He is deeply saddened by our sin and rejection of His sensible and productive way to live. dove-vector-clipart

The Great And Loving Engineer!

Every time you use your manipulative hands and fingers to remove a jar lid or play an instrument, to pick up a pin, give praise to God for creating you the way you are. He could have made you like a turtle, instead he made you more like a gazelle. Recall,

I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.  (Psalm 139:14)

Set aside all your education that tries to tell you the lie that you are an accident by multiple mutations. Common observation and common-sense shouts of a loving Creator. Recognize His fingerprints all over your life.

Not only has He Created you physically, but Almighty God has done so much more. He built into this world the reality of His redemption. His perfect world was ruined by man’s sin. As a result, we live in a broken world of natural disasters, of human inhumanity to man, of sick violence and murder against the weak and defenseless.

But our loving God has given us the wisdom to recover from natural disasters. We see disparate groups of people coming together to rescue, restore and rebuild, while succoring the injured and comforting the grieving. That does not come from “survival of the fittest”, but from the love of God exercised through believer and unbeliever, alike.

While never turning a blind eye to sin, God does not hold a grudge. Man destroyed God’s perfect world by his sin, still God has brought redemption to us. He has opened His heart and accepted us as His children.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:11)

As far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, So Jehovah pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. (Psalm 103: 13-14)

But the lovingkindness of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, And his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, And to those that remember his precepts to do them.” (Psalms 103:17-18)

He wants all people to live according to the precepts He has given to us, because that is the best way for us to live. Acknowledging Jesus in every hour and every part of our lives is the only reasonable thing to do. God loves us! dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: What is Propitiation?

ANSWER: Propitiation comes from the Hebrew ίλασμός (hil-as-mos) = “conciliate, atone for [sins], be propitious, be merciful, make reconciliation for”. While it is used only three time in the New Testament it is a powerful concept.

For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God;” (Romans 3:23-25);

My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

God established sacrificial worship in the Old Testament for the purpose of atoning for the sins of His chosen people. The blood of the sacrificial lamb (and other animals) was shed to propitiate the anger of God against sin.

God knew His people would sin. The Children of Israel also knew that they would sin; therefore, there needed to be a way to appease the just wrath of God against their inevitable sinning. God in His mercy set up the sacrificial system. The death of the lamb was both a substitution and an object lesson. The substitution was life of the animal for the life of the sinner. The object lesson was to teach that sin had dire consequences.

Jesus death on the cross was the once and for all propitiating sacrifice for our sinning. As Paul and John teach, Jesus, the God-man died in our place. As we have faith in the Blood of Christ, it becomes the propitiating sacrifice that atones for our sins. We are free, because God, out of love for us, sent His Son to be our substitute and our atoning sacrifice.
Jesus said

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.   (John 15:13)

QUESTION: How can the Holy Spirit dwell in us?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

My gracious God, all praise be to You. You are most holy. You are majestic. Praise Your Glory, Your Majesty, Your Love for Your People.

Your magnificent Creation, even in this broken state, is glorious. That testifies to the power of Your creative ability. You exercised Your word and said “Let it be.” And it was. You created it and us perfect. But we, Father, messed up your perfect world. We have corrupted everything we have touched.

Only Your grace has kept this world functioning well and providing well for all people. You have made its beauty mask the ugliness of corruption that has saturated the world and our lives.
I am amazed that You have granted us the beauty of this world. It is wonderful that You have given us the heart to appreciate all the beauty around us. Even our ungodly architects can create beautiful buildings. Nevertheless, the beauty of those committed to Your will and way far out shined the work, the art of unbelievers.

It is beauty from “both sides”. You, Holy Spirit inspire today’s work as You did the People of God in building the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. So it is with created beauty. It is especially beautiful to the believing beholder, because we see Your inspiration in the work.

Your love for us is represented in the world around us. Note the majesty of the mountains; the stark beauty of the desert and then the startling transformation when cacti bloom. A walk in the forest excites praise for the beauty of Your Creation.

The passing parade of people display the beauty You have designed in the variety of the people. Skins of all hues, hair of all colors, but what enlivens one’s beauty is the smile. You have created us to smile, to experience happiness and reflect Your joy. Dwelling in Christ is the seat of joy. You, our Savior enlighten our lives with the beauty of worship and the joy of living in Christ. Come now, Lord Jesus, visit Your servant with the grace of Your love. Fill my life with Your goodness. Make me to be a servant worthy of Your service. Open my heart and allow me to pour out Your grace onto the people around me – believers and unbelievers alike. Give me the beauty of holiness, so that I may attract others to Your beauty.

Oh, My God, my King and Savior, there are so many distressed people around me. They have no eyes to see Your beauty. They have no heart to appreciate Your loveliness. Have mercy on them and break through their resistance to Your truth. Give them the eternal, unshakable hope of Your love. Melt their frozen hearts with the warmth of Your Spirit.

Holy Lord God I praise You. I worship Your beauty. I praise Your loveliness. I magnify Your glory. Praise You, My Father. Praise You, My Savior. Praise You, my Teacher. All glory in all the world belongs to You and only to You. Praise God!


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Glad Tidings

Good Versus Evil

7 Aug , 2019  

Photo by chris liu on Unsplash

GT—Volume 16 Issue 8

God’s Morality Abandoned

This never ends well. It always leads to more and more awfulness.

History is full of terrible examples of how evil is perpetrated in the name of what people have decided is “right”. It can be painful to consider. But we have reason to hope and rejoice! God has shown us what is always “right”!

Right in His Own Eyes

At the end of the book of Judges in the Old Testament is the history of the horrific war between the 11 Tribes of Israel and the Tribe of Benjamin. The operational phrase was “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)

Chapters 19-21 of Judges in the Old Testament of the Bible record a real and awful history of what happened to the People of God when they began to live without God. The depravity of man began to assert itself, leading to the further depths of depravity. There appears to be no “good guys”.

A Levite and his concubine were on their way home. As night fell thy arrived at Gibeah, a town in the Tribe of Benjamin. One of the residents offered them hospitality, according to the law of God. As they were settling in for the night, lewd, ungodly men pounded on the door. Lusting for homosexual relations with the Levite guest. To assuage their sexual lust, the Levite sent his concubine out to the wolves.

Gang raped, she died of the multiple assaults. The Levite took her body home, then callously butchered her body and sent parts to each of the Tribes of Israel. The other Tribes were furious at the horrific assault on the woman. They gathered to punish the offenders.

The Tribe of Benjamin not only refused to condemn the perpetrators, but rallied to defend their city of Gibeah from retribution against the offenders and the Israeli assault against the city that harbored the assailants. And so the two sides went to war with each other.

There were three battles in that tragically internecine war. The loss on both side was over 60,000. That was bad enough, but in victory the Tribes of Israel went berserk, rampaging through Benjamin. They destroyed every town and slew all the men, women and children. When their blood lust was exhausted there were only 600 men of Benjamin left alive.

The fury against the tribe of Benjamin caused the people of the Tribes to view all those of Benjamin as aliens, so they swore a sacred oath that they would not give their daughters to Benjamin for wives. As tempers cooled and the reality of the situation dawned on them, the eleven Tribes realized that Benjamin, without wives, was about to become extinct. Their oath (stupid and unthinking as it was) prevented them from providing Benjamin survivors with wives.

They did a head count to discover who had not joined in the war against Benjamin. Only the city of Jabesh-gilead had not come to fight.

Therefore, the Tribes of Israel attacked Jabesh-gilead, slaying all the males and the older women, saving only the virgins. There were 400 virgins left alive. These they turned over to the surviving Benjaminites. But they were 200 short.

Benjaminites seize wives from Shiloh, By Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld – Die Bibel in Bildern, Public Domain

What to do? They needed 200 more Israeli virgins, but they also needed to keep their oath. Someone reminded them that there was going to be a feast at Shiloh. During the feast the virgins danced in the evening. They told the 200 wifeless Benjaminites to hide in the vineyard adjacent to the celebration ground where the virgins danced. They instructed the men to pounce on the virgins as they were dancing, and carry off 200 to supply wives for Benjamin.

When the families of the abducted women complained, the elders of Israel asked them to forgive the kidnapping. The elders conceived that plan, because they had not been careful to save wives for the Tribe of Benjamin men out of the wholesale slaughter.  dove-vector-clipart

A Summary of Evils

  1. Vile men sought to sodomize a man
  2. He callously sacrificed his concubine
  3. Those vile men gang-raped and murdered her
  4. Instead of giving over the perpetrators for just punishment, the foolish pride of Gibeah and Benjamin defended them
  5. Misplaced fury led Israel to a stupid oath
  6. Three battles slew over 60,000 soldiers
  7. Blood lust led to mass murder and destruction of all the cities in Benjamin
  8. Realization – too late – of the consequences of their stupid oath and their out-of-control rampaging
  9. Unwilling to break their oath before God led to further carnage as they slaughtered the families of 400 virgins
  10. To provide a full number of wives the elders of Israel plotted with Benjaminites to provide more sex slaves
  11. 200 virgins were kidnapped in the midst of celebratory dancing

All of these terrible results came about because morality of God had been lost. The loss of morality that caused mass murder and ruined lives resulted from abandoning God. dove-vector-clipart

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

By Pavel Semyonovich Zhukov (1870-1942): Lenin. Collection Of Photographs And Stills in two volumes, vol. 1, Russian edition, Moscow, 1970: page 302.

History has too tragic many examples of the depths to which people will go to dominate other people. Without God, people easily turn to utilitarian thinking “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” This isn’t actually a proverb, however. It’s a justification used by Vladimir Lenin regarding the killing of thousands of Russian citizens during his push to produce a “better, more wonderful” Communist state.

As Chancellor of National Socialist Party, Adolf Hitler wanted to produce a pure Arian race (prompted by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche’s concept of the superman [Übermensch], who justifies the existence of the human race.). Therefore, Hitler carried out his plan to exterminate all the “inferior races”. His inhumanity branded Jews as sub-human and relentlessly murdered 6,000,000 true humans.

Those many godless systems discounted humans as either tools to be used to attain goals, or they considered people as obstacles to be eliminated.

Communism, an avowedly atheist religion, seeks to replace Christian morals. Communists advocate disinformation, i.e. lies, to advance their addendum. This has the unintended consequence of fomenting a culture of deception. It makes liars and cheats out of people in general. Factory workers over report their completed work to “meet” quotas. Managers misrepresent that they have met or exceed their factory’s goals that are set by the central committee. This sort of deception went up the line in Russia causing a series of 5-Year Economic Development Plans. When the first did not work the Central Committee began a another of 5-Year Plan. Still, there were bread lines, potato, lines, toilet paper lines, etc., etc., etc.

This deception filtered into the general population. Without a standard of morality, people became pragmatic – they did whatever worked to achieve what they needed. The people became cheats, liars and thieves.

In A.D. 2000, I went with a team to St. Petersburg, Russia to help in the construction of a Christian College. A Professor at the College needed an instructor of Christian Ethics. The believers in the school were so permeated with the immorality of the Soviet Communist regime that they retained the culture of deception and theft. They stole from one another, cheated on tests, and lied so often that those were endemic characteristics. Despite true conversion and embracing Jesus as Savior, they had not embraced Christian morality. The College needed instruction in righteousness. The godlessness of the regime had debased the people. dove-vector-clipart

Ungodly Morality

In 1993, I was on a mission in Pakistan. The first night at a guest house in Lahore, at dinner was a Christian missionary and a young man he had converted. The young man had had a successful button business, which afforded him an exclusive apartment in an excellent district and an expensive car.

When his family heard that he had become a Christian, they took away his business his car and his apartment. His brothers were hunting for him to murder him. According to Islam Sharia Law, “Conversion by Muslims to other faiths is forbidden under most interpretations of sharia and converts are considered apostates (non-Muslims, however, are allowed to convert into Islam). Some Muslim clerics equate this apostasy to treason, a crime punishable by death.” (

Often, direct relatives are the first and heaviest persecutors of believers from a Muslim background. For many Muslim families, leaving Islam and converting to another religion brings “shame” to the family. In moderate families, a new Christian may be ignored or excluded. In stricter families; forced separation, divorce or the removal of children are all common. ( Murder sanctioned by law is reprehensible, but sanctioned fratricide, murder by brothers is horrific callousness.

How then do we describe a mother’s murder of her own child?

New York’s Reproductive Health Act was signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision

The RHA permits abortions when — according to a medical professional’s “reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case” — “the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.

In other words, women may choose to have an abortion prior to 24 weeks; pregnancies typically range from 38 to 42 weeks. After 24 weeks, such decisions must be made with a determination that there is an “absence of fetal viability” or that the procedure is “necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” That determination must be made by a “health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized” under state law, “acting within his or her lawful scope of practice.” (

“Patient’s life or health” is an open door to perform abortions (murders of healthy babies up until and including the moment of birth). The mother can decide she does not want to be burdened with rearing a child. The doctor can affirm the “fear of the burden” is a mental health issue that qualifies. Thus, babies: beautiful girls and handsome boys are severed from life without remorse. After all, “It’s a woman’s right to choose!”

This is America’s “man’s inhumanity to man”. We have denied humanity to the child being grown within the mother’s womb, by describing he or she as a “clump of cells”. This inexcusable euphemism is a dehumanizing of the real baby formed by the father’s sperm and the mother’s ovum, which when united has the 46 chromosomes of a human and a complete DNA of a human. The Zygote (from Greek ζυγωτός zygōtos “joined” or “yoked”) “is a eukaryotic cell formed by a fertilization event between two gametes. The zygote’s genome is a combination of the DNA in each gamete, and contains all of the genetic information necessary to form a new individual.” (

By any rational definition that is a human, alive; and rightly should be loved and nurtured by both father and mother; but especially by the mother, since she has by God (or if you must, by nature) been built to house and nourish the infant, protecting its life from a hostile world.

Tragically there are two victims of abortion. The first is the child who is poisoned or dismembered in the womb. The second is the woman. She has been sold a lie to gratify her convenience, “There are no consequences.” In contrary fact, many, if not most, women commonly experience some guilt, grief and depression. In reality, they are murderesses. There are a number of more debilitating consequences: “nightmares, auditory hallucinations of babies crying, suicidal thoughts — reported in a study done in Ohio by Suicide Anonymous Hotline over a 36-month period, of the 4000 women who called, 1800 had previously had abortions.” (   dove-vector-clipart

Righteousness Under God

These cases described above are “right” sanctioned by state law; what society decides is “right”. What society rejects is “wrong”.

The reality is that society is fickle. What is “right” today may be at a stroke of a pen “wrong” tomorrow. Mankind is only safe under a universal determination of what is right and wrong that does not change.

During the English Reformation, the evangelicals were initially persecuted by the Catholics – imprisoned and slain. Then the evangelicals came into power. They persecuted Catholics – imprisoned and slew them. Then Catholic Queen Mary was crowned and again the Evangelicals were imprisoned and slain.

Unless he was fast-footed and a chameleon, A Bishop, within the course of 50 years, could find himself on the wrong side of religion! Thus, a dependable, universal standard of right and wrong is necessary for an ordered society.

Only God’s standards are universally applied to all mankind, throughout all time. They a are utterly dependable.

Often times they are uncomfortable to a person or a nation. That does not make them faulty. God loves his Creation. He loves all the people he has created.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16, 17)

He wants them to live in love and peace. He established laws to preserve life and to make society work for the benefit of all who live in accord with God’s Law. He has laid out a world that is not only beautiful, it is bountiful. There are ample resources for all people to live in comfort. God has set up the world, not to be a comfortable bed with automatic food dispensers and perpetual entertainment. He has established righteous laws that require each competent person to secure a living from the world. Work is not only to provide the necessities to keep body and soul together, but to give mankind, men and women dignity, self-respect, and pride of accomplishment.

There is one fly in the ointment. The world was not created to be eternal. God intended it to be a temporary, perhaps “training ground” is as close as we can come to what this temporary world is for humans. We have been told (and believers know to be true) that God has an eternal Plan that is unlimited. This world is limited, so it is but a “stepping stone’ to God’s NEXT.

He loves us. So, God has something far better than this temporary and faulty world. He gives us inkling in the two Testaments. The Patriarchs had a foundation of insight into God’s revelation of the LAW, summarized in the Ten Commandments that were based on:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  (Deuteronomy 6:5)

… and amended by Jesus:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)

That should have been enough, but God knows us completely.

He knew that He would have to actually become a man and share our world and life, then be the sacrifice for our sins. What glorious demonstration of His love! He demeaned Himself from Almighty God to become one of His creatures. Jesus the God-man imparted teachings to His Disciples and they to us, giving us an upwards look, a window into eternity. Our Lord set our sights on eternity with our Great and loving God.

For everyone who has believed the truths that Jesus is real and living God; there is an eternity of basking in God’s unlimited love; believers will be caught up in God’s eternal peace; and will experience ever increasing joy.

That is too wonderful to fully appreciate in our present limited state. Nevertheless, the truth is far greater than we can conceive.

It is ours because God LOVES us!    dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in this issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I will publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: Why did Adam pass the buck to Eve?

ANSWER: Almighty, totally Righteous God walked in the Garden with Adam, apparently each evening. Adam could walk with God, because Adam was also wholly righteous. Then one day, Adam was not there.

Then the man and his wife heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the breeze of the day, and they hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

He was hiding because Adam had sinned. He was guilty and ashamed. God called to Adam and he came out from hiding in his leaf clothing. “Who told you that you were naked,” God asked. “Have you eaten the fruit of good and evil?”

Instead of answering directly, Adam immediately implicated Eve and blamed God,

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. (Genesis 3:12)

Adam was overcome by sin.

  • Adam disobeyed the one command God gave
  • He was ashamed of his naked body
  • He feared God’s judgment
  • He felt guilt for the first time
  • He wanted to escape God’s censure
  • He naturally tried to shift the blame to escape the full wrath of God
  • Eve was an easy target
  • Instead of protecting her, he blamed her

It is abundantly clear that sin had overwhelmed his love for God and his love for Eve. A righteous man would have acknowledged his own fault and sought to protect his wife by allowing the blame to fall on him, “I wasn’t there to protect her from temptation. I didn’t refuse the proffered fruit. I didn’t come to You to plead for You to have mercy on her.”

Adam is a prime example of the sinful response. We who are seeking to walk with the LORD must study Adam’s bad example and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to walk in righteousness, so that we can walk with God.

To do so, we must keep short accounts with God.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:3-4)

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:23-24)

Honesty before the all-righteous God is the only policy!

QUESTION: What is Propitiation?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

Father, life is too much with me! Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I long for release and surcease and peace. I have far more to do than I have time to do it. Important things are set aside to beat back the crises.

Just as I see a window to do the important, something crops up to demand immediate attention.

This in not the way You want me to live. Jesus, Your Word promises, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3) You told us that You were leaving us peace that the world cannot give – perfect peace!

Oh, My Lord God that is what I need – Your perfect peace. Please, Holy Spirit produce in me Your fruit of peace. Oh, my precious Savior Your Love is here now!

Oh! Gracious God, You have overcome all my fears. Oh! Father You are holding my heart and giving me what I need!

Oh, precious Savior You care for me and You carried all my sins on the cross at Calvary.

Oh! Sovereign God You have triumphed over all.

Nothing, nothing, no thing, no spirit, no person can afflict me, no pile of responsibilities can overpower me. You have my calendar and my daily work schedule in Your hands. Give me the grace to comply and address each item as You direct.

What is important is Your love for me and that I, out of gratitude, love You and love those around me. My God, steady my thoughts on You. Give me the grace to set all, ALL in this world aside so I can be more loving.

All the important and vital things in my life and the work I MUST accomplish are in fact negligible in the scope of eternity. They are all temporary and at the moment You Come Again, our Lord and King, they will be as chaff in the wind.

Give me that perspective when I begin to take my responsibilities too seriously and begin to be pressured. Grant me the equanimity to say, “I can do some more tomorrow. Now I need to praise my loving Lord!”

You are my first and overwhelming priority. I love You, My God. I worship You My King. I rely upon You my gracious Holy Spirit to guide me in what is needful; to stop me in what is unnecessary.
You are worthy of all honor, glory, majesty and praise! Praise the Holy LORD God. Praise the magnificent King! Praise the loving Father! Praise the marvelous Lamb of God! Praise the giving Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Glory be to Thee throughout the whole Earth!




Loveliness of God

30 Apr , 2017  

April 30, 2017

Meditating on God

Here are the middle verses of Psalm 19.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. (Psalms 19:7-11)


More desired than fine gold

More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Since our God is infinite and perfect; therefore, His loveliness and lovableness are worthy of our most passionate expression. This love expressed for God’s word is in a sense a proxy for our love for God.

If God’s word is more to be desired than gold…sweeter than honey…in the keeping of them is a great reward, what then Is God Himself? How should our hearts respond when we focus on Him to speak to Him?

John Piper says in his great book, Desiring God, “True worship must include inward feelings that reflect the worth of God’s glory…  But there is such a thing as hypocrisy – going through the outward motions (like singing, praying, giving, reciting) which signify the affections of the heart that are not there.”

A bit later he says, “Worship is authentic when affections for God arise in the heart as an end in themselves.”

Receiving God’s Love

As we turn to prayer, let us each recognize that the most loving Father, the most generous Saviour and the most gracious Spirit are tenderly and compassionately hearing what we pray. He is Present with each of us individually because he loves each of us. Knowing this, let us open our hearts to receive His adoration and allow our gratitude to express our love, adoration, and joy in His presence.

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Father, it is beyond our understanding the You, El Shaddai, Almighty God, should condescend to be Present with each one of us.  Loving Lord Jesus, our gratitude is overwhelming, when we consider your magnificent sacrifice for each one of us.  Ever present guide, Holy Spirit, free our hearts to be filled to overflowing with our love for You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Please offer your hearts to God to fill with His love.

Pause for Prayer

Prompted by the love of God, lift to him the burden that is in your heart for others and for yourself.

Pause for Prayer

Mighty God and majestic Lord, You have in mercy and loving-kindness come to each one of us.  You have moved into our hearts to dwell with us in all we do.  We are in humble awe of that fantastic truth.  We thank you and surrender to your love as we join in the Prayer that Our Savior taught us, saying…

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.



Glad Tidings

Thanksgiving for Blessings

27 Nov , 2016  

GT—Volume 13 Issue 11

gt-logo-2016Thanks For The Memories

Our family bought 100 acres on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. The home was a lodge. Our main room was 20’ x 40” all in knotty pine. It had a cathedral ceiling to 20’ with 12” square beams 10’ above the floor. The chandelier was a wagon wheel with eight lights. At the near end was a fire pit and fireplace. The pit was below floor level about 18” for sitting in front of the 6’ wide by 5’ high fireplace opening. The floor of the pit was marble and the chimney was river stone that went through the ceiling and up to the roof. Above the fire pit was a balcony that joined the upstairs rooms. At the west end of the room, the windows were on three sides to take advantage of the 180o view of Puget Sound.

Because we had such a large room, we hosted our larger family for Thanksgiving. Our family had six plus Grandma Stiverson, my great-grandmother, who lived with us. My mother’s mother, Nanny, came from Seattle. My Dad’s sister, Harriet, husband Reg and his two children Phyllis and Dale, came from Mount Vernon. His other sister Ana and her husband, Bob and their two adopted children, Alan and BabbaraJoan, came from Lake City. Perhaps twice Daddy Bradshaw, my father’s father and Mary, my mother’s sister joined us. With our family of two girls and two boys, we had as many as eighteen at Thanksgiving dinner.   dove-vector-clipart

Thanksgiving Joy

Thanksgiving DinnerIt was a time of great joy. The larger family, in contrast to those often depicted in the movies, cared for one another and took joy in the too seldom times of get-togethers. Dale and I were the same age. We enjoyed playing together. At Thanksgiving, we vied with one another to see how many helpings each could consume.

My older sisters, Barbara and Joan, were early teens, so they were helping Mom early prepare all the food. Harriet and Ana always brought salad, dessert, or both. The turkey was perforce a large one, so it was cooking all morning. My brother, John, was too young to help.

After breakfast, as the preparations began, Dad and I headed to the barn for morning chores – I collected eggs while Dad milked Jenny our Jersey cow. I watched while Dad strained the milk, and then separated some into cream and skimmed milk. We put the skim milk in the slop barrel to feed the hogs and took the cream, the rest of the milk and eggs home.

The day before, I had chopped the head off the turkey. Mom plucked, and dressed it. She put the liver, kidneys, heart and craw on to boil to be ready to add as giblets to the stuffing.

All the hard work that my mother, sisters and aunts invested resulted in a feast. With all the side dishes steaming on the table, everyone sat down while Mom went out to the kitchen to retrieve the turkey. When she appeared around the corner with the platter containing the pièce de résistance, murmurs of approval arose from around the table (our family was not given to emotional outbursts).

As Dad carved the turkey, everyone passed their plates to him for individual selections of white and dark meat. Once all had their turkey, then we passed the side dishes – first the mashed potatoes, then stuffing, then gravy (in that order), then yams, and the rest of the vegetables (commonly string beans in cream of mushroom soup) and salads. Many of us had seconds – mostly on turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and yams.

Dessert consisted of apple pie with cheddar cheese, maybe à la mode, pumpkin pie and mince pie, with brandy for the adults. Dad always lit his on fire. We wondered at the blue flame.

TV was new, so no football. The dads sat in the living room and talked politics, cussing the government. Mothers were in the kitchen cleaning up and coffee-ing around our breakfast table.

When the sun was westering and as night drew on, we began the fond goodbyes, vowing to do this again next year. These are treasured, joyful memories of our festive gatherings of the larger family for Thanksgiving.  dove-vector-clipart

In Retrospect

As I observed earlier, our family was not given to emotional outbursts. We did not offer a prayer of thanks. We thanked Mom for commanding and preparing the feast. But whatever other thanks we had were hidden in our hearts.

helping-across-floodNow I realize we missed something. The expressions of gratitude are one of the important things that grease the interchange among peoples. Offering thanks is an acknowledgment of a debt owed to another. It blesses the giver and, in a mystical way, blesses the receiver. You both feel good. The giver, who is not compelled, but offers the gift freely gets joy in the giving. The receiver, when one sets pride aside and receives the gift, gets joy in receiving. In reaching out a hand of help and the other taking it creates a bond, a form of communion, a togetherness that is mutually uplifting. Those individual joys are multiplied in the giving of thanks.    dove-vector-clipart

Importance of Thankfulness

Thankfulness is an important aspect of character. When it comes naturally, it is spontaneous. When someone goes out of her way to be kind, be helpful, give a gift large or small, it evokes a sense of gratitude, not only for the thing offered, but also for the thought–the caring, the sensitivity, the love that prompted the gift.

If the receiver has an attitude that he is entitled, he has no spontaneous gratitude. Perhaps the reason is “Well, it’s about time!” The sense of condemnation in this ungracious attitude comes through, even when the words “thank you” come out of the ungrateful mouth.

It takes humility to know that we are not alone in the world. We are in fact a member of any number of groups that form and disperse. Some take on a permanence, such as initially being born into a family, choosing to marry or to form one’s own family. Some are temporal, such as membership in a committee formed to solve a problem or standing in a checkout line at the grocery store. It is far better to acknowledge the relationship and be aware of the possibility of giving and receiving gifts of grace to the others of the group, if only a smile. Finding and filling another’s needs is friendly in the least and a great blessing in the extreme.

Conversely, reaching out in appeal may be admitting weakness, but it gives an opportunity to bless. In humility, giving another the chance of being a blessing can be a great gift.

When someone has blessed you with a gift the first duty (although it should be the natural spontaneous response) is to thank the giver verbally. In polite society, the receiver follows initial verbal thanks with a hand-written note of thanks.

Parents train their children in the polite interchange that forms congenial society. “What’s the magic word?” Through repetition, children learn to say, “please”. Even though they hate the gift that Aunt Matilda gave for their birthday, we prompt, “Aren’t you going to thank Aunt Matilda for the nice sweater?” Again, they learn the proper response.

Without an offer of thanks, the giver may believe the gift is unappreciated. When a person experiences that apparent lack of thankfulness, a sense of offense may set in. It appears that the receiver has disdained thought, the effort and the cost of the gift. Often givers take that as rejection of them. This can damage the relationship and may even break it.

pooh-and-pigletI pointed out that “thanks” are the grease that makes society work. In contrast, lack of gratitude is the agent of distancing and breaking relationships. People expect that the receiver will appreciate their gifts; if not for the gift itself, certainly the sentiment expressed – love, generosity, concern for a need, etc.

Gratefully receiving a gift enlivens the heart. It stirs up the understanding that others care for us. This in turn evokes an increase of self worth. Gratitude for such a blessing motivates us to bless the giver in return with thanksgiving. Receiving a grateful acknowledgement warms the heart. It likewise enhances the giver’s self worth that they gave something appreciated.

When one gives a gift it begins a cycle of good feeling that cements relationships. It adds joy to both lives and it makes the relationship operate more smoothly.   dove-vector-clipart

The Greater The Need

To the rich person a $25 gift is insignificant. Mostly the gratitude is for the love expressed in the gift. In contrast, a gift of $2,000 to someone who doesn’t know how the taxes on the house will get paid evokes great rejoicing, relief and great sense of gratitude that finds expression in effusive thanks to the giver.

When I was young, I did not believe in Jesus as God, Lord and Savior. I was smug in my “mature”, “intelligent” unbelief. A man came into our lives, talking as if Jesus were real and carrying a big black Bible all the time. I resented him, and wanted nothing to do with the Jesus he described. Despite my rejection of him, he persisted in coming around. That led me unwillingly to discover Jesus was in fact not only real, but He was God who died for my sins.

Suddenly my life opened up! God filled me with joy and love I had never known before! My gratitude to Jesus and to that man knows no bounds. He led me to the doorway of life! My gratitude continues to this day.

The degree of gratitude depends upon the degree of need. The greater the need one has the greater the celebration of thanksgiving when another meets that need. Often times the great need to give thanks generates a desire to give a gift in return. At every level of a gift, the natural, human response is to be thankful, to acknowledge the generous spirit that prompted the gift.

One time, I could not afford a second car. The only vehicle I had to drive was a camper built onto a one-ton truck. My friend Joseph was saving money to take a trip around America before returning to India. He saw my need, so he gave me $300.00 he could not spare to buy a car. I was deeply grateful for the gift and wrote him thanks. Just at that time, another friend, Carlton’s car died. In his rural area, he was walking miles for his groceries and all. Since I had a vehicle and he had none, I passed the $300.00 to him. It supplied his need. When I told my Indian friend, what I had done and my reasoning, he was pleased that his money was meeting an even greater need.

In this case, my gratitude to my Indian friend doubled. I was grateful to him and my other friend’s gratitude added on to it.    dove-vector-clipart

Gratitude In God’s Economy

God does not operate like a CPA. He does not try to balance the intake with the outgo, expecting to set aside the positive difference as profit, or the negative difference as loss. There is a principle called “zero-sum game” in which whatever gain one person has is equal to the loss of another person. This is not God’s way of doing business. He does not take merits from unbelievers to give to believers. God does not take blessings away from mature believers to give new life to those being born again.

old garmentSince He is the Creator, He has infinite resources. As a result, he operates on the Principle of Reciprocity. It is well described in…

Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.   (Luke 6:38)

The process takes faith to start. You must give first. Whatever you initiate God reciprocates in “good measure”. That is the same as you gave plus more packed in and heaped up and overflowing.
In the situation I described above, that initial $300 Joseph gave me turned into 3 or 4 times as much, since Joseph received enough to make his trip, I received enough to by a $600 dollar car and Carlton bought a car with the $300.

This works in life as well. Let’s consider our lives as overcoats. When initially given it was brand new with bright colors. Over the years of wear and tear, it becomes faded, dirty and worn out at the elbows. The cuffs get frayed there are buttons missing. It is wrinkled beyond hope of an ironing.

Jesus says, “If you will give me your old, tattered life, I will give you a new crisp, clean one that never wears out, does not fade and lasts forever.” That is a trade worth taking.

new coatGod does not take away from what he has, to give to us. There is no diminishing in his “storehouse”. As we live in Christ, we get to draw against his riches, but we can never draw them down. Paul teaches,

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.   (Philippians 4:19)

Two significant words are “according to”. There was a movie called “Man with a Million”, staring Gregory Peck. He was a New England fisherman who got caught in a storm that blew him across the Atlantic to England. He landed starving and tattered with no money. His adventure made the newspaper. Two millionaire brothers gave him a Million £ note. They wanted to see if the fisherman could get all he needed without cashing in the note. In the story, merchants and an hotelier did give him everything just for a look at that note. That is “receiving according to”.   dove-vector-clipart

Looking Upward with Gratitude

I have been writing about God’s giving. He is openhanded to all who will receive. The loving Father is generous with eternal life to all who seek. He gives His Holy Spirit to all who receive eternal life, He gives the righteousness of Jesus to each one who accepts his offer, he gives forgiveness of sin because Jesus won it on the cross.

quoteOnce we surrender our lives to Jesus, we have nothing else to give. It forces us to be thankful. It is humbling to be totally unable to pay for salvation, eternal life. the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the privileges of ministry in Jesus’ name. All who receive the magnitude of God’s gifts are profoundly grateful.

God’s generosity, His mercy and His grace call forth our enthusiastic praise and thanksgiving for Who God is and for what He had given. Each morning as we awaken, we can offer thanks for a night’s sleep that He provided. He made it to be a renewing of our bodies from the wear and tear during the previous day. We can offer humble gratitude for the ability to think, plan, consider and talk.

When we consider our spouses and the blessing God has given us through them, our hearts can swell with thanks, so that we must express it to our Father in prayer, praise and song.

The children God had gifted to us evoke thrills of joy that resound in thanks to our Creator and the Producer of the fruit of our bodies.

In this political season, we can offer deep thanks for the freedom we have and for the political process that allows for a change of government without violent uprising.

On the other hand, how do we handle the bad things of real life? How do we explain arthritis, cancer, gout, paralysis, stroke, heart attacks, and grief at the loss of a child? Can we really thank God for these terrible things?

Admittedly, this is harder to understand. We can base our understanding on the answer to, “How much do I trust God?” This answer hangs on another question, “Is God Sovereign? Is He really in charge of everything in my life – good and bad?”

For me the answer is clear. God IS Sovereign! Therefore, everything that comes into my life is according to his riches in glory. I do not understand when life is unpleasant or painful or limited, but this I know, my loving Father either brings each into my life or allowed it in for my benefit. And so, I will praise and thank Him for the bad along with the good. Jesus’ torture and death were terrible things; nevertheless, they were for my benefit. Thus, I will thank and praise my God for Jesus’ suffering and for all the other terrible things that may come to me.

Please join me in thanksgiving for all God’s benefits.   dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: How can we be children of God?

ANSWER: God created the world perfect. He created man and woman to be the stewards of His Creation. They had a perfectly balanced life with comfortable climate and plenty of food, soft grass to sleep upon and a loving relationship not only with each other but also with their Father God. By creation of God, they were the perfect son and daughter.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.  (Genesis 1: 26-28)

Tragically, they chose to violate God’s one simple command, “Don’t eat this.” That violation separated man from God. It broke the relationship. We became the creatures of God, no longer sons and daughters.

None of the works of man could restore the relationship with God. The Children of Israel tried and tried. The Pharisees tied themselves in knots with laws, but they could not repair the broken relationship

Restoration took a series of miracles of God. He sent His Son to be born of a virgin. His Son voluntarily died as the innocent sacrificial victim to make atonement for the broken relationship. The final miracle has been repeated Billions of times over in the lives of individual men and women. The Holy Spirit comes into one’s life and leads him or her to Jesus. He opens each heart to surrender to Jesus. In that instant, each person is born anew as a child of God, with soul cleansed of sin and covered in the righteousness of Christ. Further, God gives each one, as a part of that new birth, life eternal.

Paul writes,

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.  (Romans 8:14-17)

So, to become children of God the relationship that was broken by Adam and Eve must be repaired. Neither you nor I, nor anyone else can repair that brokenness. However, God can.

But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. (Romans 5:8-9)

Because the death of Christ repaired the brokenness, there is the opportunity for us to be included as sons or daughters of God.

Thus, the Holy Spirit leads us to Christ, gives us the faith to believe that Jesus died for our sins and brings us into adoption by our Father as sons and daughters of God and, amazingly, half brothers and sisters of the true and only Begotten Son of God!

QUESTION: Where is the Holy Spirit now?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You, Father. You have given me Your Son to be my Lord and Savior. You sent me Your Spirit to live in my heart and draw me to You. You sent Jesus to live and die for me. Thank You, thank You, thank You!

Holy Spirit, You are worthy of all my thanksgiving and praise. You live in me and with me to fill me with God. You teach me all that I need to know to be saved, to live in this world, and to prepare for God’s Kingdom. Please accept this poor offering of gratitude.

Precious Jesus, You have laid down your life for me and for all the saved, past, present and future. The scope of Your loving sacrifice is astounding. The fact that You included me causes my heart to overflow with gratefulness.

Holy, Lord, You have given me the victory over sin, death and temptation. Thank You! You have given me the wisdom to incorporate You in my daily thinking. Thank You. You have made me aware of Your pathway through this troubled world. Thank You!

You have shown me that I have a blessed future in the days months or years to come in this world. Thank You!

You have promised me eternal blessedness in Your presence, basking in the ocean of Your love, striding deeper into Your wisdom, running inexhaustibly in greater and further service for You. Thank You!

My Gracious Lord, Allow my thanks be an ever- flowing stream from my heart to Yours. Stir in me depths of profound gratitude. I would be worthy of Your generosity and the untold riches of Your Gifts.

You, Magnificent Lord God are worthy of all honor majesty, wisdom, glory, power, might, blessing and thanksgiving.

I praise You from the rising of the sun to its setting. I magnify Your name in my prayers and praising. I am caught up in the glory that is You. Your majesty is brilliant beyond my ability to comprehend it. Your blessings are myriad. They are uncountable for me. Open my spirit to contain more of You. Enlarge my heart to pour out Your blessings on those around me that are needy.

You have given me the magnificent gift of Life Eternal. Thank You! You have given me the Fruit of the Spirit. Thank You! You have given me the privilege of serving You through the power of the ministry gifts. Thank You!

Holy Lord God, You are purging me from sin and fleshly appetites. Thank You! You are transforming my mind into the mind of Christ. Thank You! You are maturing me in Christ to the measure of the stature of the fullness of my Savior. Thank You!

Hallelujah! My Lord and King! Hallelujah! My Savior and King! Hallelujah! My Teacher and King!

I humbly bow in worship. I eagerly stand to Your service. I pledge my love to you throughout eternity.Glory be to God Most Holy. I praise and magnify Your gracious love for me and rejoice in my love for You!

To the Glory of Christ my Lord! Amen!

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