The limits of bits and bytes

This picture reminds me of a movie I saw today; "Surrogates". Bruce Willis stars as a cop (so what else is new) who investigates the destruction of the surrogate body and its human operator. I won't tell you the whole story because that would spoil it for those of you who may be interested, but the movie and the picture do raise the topic of "improvement" of the species. Obviously, by just doing this blog, you can tell I am a fan of technology, but there are limits. Here is a chapter from the book of second Chronicles you may find interesting.

2Chr 26:1-23 (WEB)
1) All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the place of his father Amaziah.
2) He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
3) Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem.
4) He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
5) He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper.
6) He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
7) God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim.
8) The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong.
9) Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
10) He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming.
11) Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains.
12) The whole number of the heads of fathers’ households, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred.
13) Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
14) Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging.
15) He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong.
16) But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.
17) Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men:
18) and they resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, “It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honor from Yahweh God.”
19) Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense.
20) Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because Yahweh had struck him.
21) Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
22) Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, wrote.
23) So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, “He is a leper.” Jotham his son reigned in his place.

Success; Uzziah had it in abundance. He seemed to do everything right... for awhile. But pride was his downfall and led to his leprosy. That's the problem with success and with technology; it can lead to pride. When we human beings think we have the right to change the very nature of what it means to be human, then we are headed for a fall. Once again, I really like technology because it opens doors to possibilities that couldn't even be imagined one hundred years ago. Just don't try to change God's ultimate creation: human beings. Tomorrow, do one experiment for me... sit down with a paper and pencil to write a few sentences or do a calculation or draw something. I find that doing one or more of these actions makes me feel good. Its like being plugged into the real you and not something with bits and bytes. Provides a large helping of humility as well.


Love in her (HIS) eye!

May will be here soon (our anniversary) and so its natural for me to be thinking a little more about love. So, the question comes to mind:What really is love? Is it a feeling;yes. Is it commitment; yes Is it understanding; yes. Is it physical attraction;yes. All these things and more, but what about the love of God towards us? On the way home from work yesterday, I was listening to the Psalms being read by Stephen B. Stephens and the ESV used the words "steadfast love" in place of the more common usage of loving-kindness or mercy. Does it really make a difference? Judge for yourself. So, I printed out several versions for consideration.

Ps 136:1-26 (Darby)
1) Give ye thanks unto Jehovah, for he is good; for his loving-kindness endureth for ever:
2) Give thanks unto the God of gods, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
3) Give thanks unto the Lord of lords, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever.
4) To him who alone doeth great wonders, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever:
5) To him that by understanding made the heavens, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
6) To him that stretched out the earth above the waters, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
7) To him that made great lights, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
8) The sun for rule over the day, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
9) The moon and stars for rule over the night, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever:
10) To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
11) And brought out Israel from among them, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
12) With a powerful hand and with a stretched-out arm, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
13) To him that divided the Red sea into parts, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
14) And made Israel to pass through the midst of it, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
15) And overturned Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
16) To him that led his people through the wilderness, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
17) To him that smote great kings, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
18) And slew famous kings, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
19) Sihon king of the Amorites, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
20) And Og king of Bashan, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
21) And gave their land for an inheritance, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever,
22) An inheritance unto Israel his servant, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever:
23) Who hath remembered us in our low estate, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever;
24) And hath delivered us from our oppressors, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever:
25) Who giveth food to all flesh, for his loving-kindness endureth for ever.
26) Give ye thanks unto the *God of the heavens; for his loving-kindness endureth for ever.

Ps 136:1 (AKJV)
1) O give thanks to the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.

Ps 136:1 (ASV)
1) Oh give thanks unto Jehovah; For he is good; For his lovingkindness endureth for ever.

Ps 136:1 (EBR)
1) Give ye thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, For, age–abiding, is his lovingkindness.

Ps 136:1 (ESV)
1) ​​​​​​​​Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Ps 136:1 (NET)
1) ​​​​​​​Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his loyal love endures.

Ps 136:1 (WEB)
1) Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good; for his loving kindness endures forever.

Ps 136:1 (YLT)
1) Give ye thanks to Jehovah, For good, for to the age is His kindness.

God cares for us, his love is expressed in the things he does for us, for the kindness of the many mercies he shows for us. Unlike human beings that change with age, He does not change. His love is special; it endures forever. Mercy is that we receive when we should get justice and love is a joint venture of the heart mind and will. It is complicated, but then again, it is a complicated thing to be a human being. God's ways are way beyond ours, but one thing is certain, He looks at those who love him with love in his eye and gives mercy and help when needed. Boy! do I need it!

Hear, believe, obey!

Over the past couple of years I have seen a lot of new things while preparing for my daily posts, but this one is really different. Click on the video to see what I mean. Peter spoke to the people of his time in their language, just like this lady did. The bottom line is in verse 12.

Acts 4:8-12 (WEB)
8) Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
9) if we are examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed,
10) be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole.
11) He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’
12) There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!”

Jesus, one man, one way, one time; and it really doesn't matter if it ain't got rhyme!!! What really matters and this is fact, if you really have Jesus you'll know how to act. So, listen to the sermon just one more time and obey from the heart, that's the end of the line.

Thanks to Ron Cameron for the e-mail link!!!


One dangerous weapon

Surveys, everything is surveys today! People have lost the will to think for themselves, instead its cool to just go along with the crowd. Our society has become a nation of strangers; we (in America) just don't want to get too close to others. With good reason too; everyone has an agenda, everyone is selling something. Its no wonder we are defensive about who or what we will listen to. Here is what the writer to the Hebrews (perhaps the Apostle Paul) has to say about listening.

Heb 4:1-13 (WEB)
Heb 4
1) Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest.
2) For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed with faith by those who heard.
3) For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4) For he has said this somewhere about the seventh day, “God rested on the seventh day from all his works;”
5) and in this place again, “They will not enter into my rest.”
6) Seeing therefore it remains that some should enter therein, and they to whom the good news was before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience,
7) he again defines a certain day, today, saying through David so long a time afterward (just as has been said), “Today if you will hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”
8) For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day.
9) There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.
10) For he who has entered into his rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.
11) Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.
12) For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13) There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Human nature resists being told what to do; that is a fact. Especially, when it comes to matters of religion. How many cults have you heard about during the last 20 or so years? For me, the answer is lots and lots. The media doesn't help much either; when you see a religious person portrayed on TV, I bet you it isn't in a positive light. So, the graph probably is accurate and with good reason. Face it, there are a lots of nuts out there. But what about the truth? How do we REALLY KNOW TRUTH FROM ERROR? The short answer is the Bible, but which one? Over the past 40 years there has been an explosion of translations, paraphrases, study Bibles and the like. My answer has been the Composite Bible, which seeks understanding by progressive comparison: from the less literal to the most literal. If you want to find out more, you can go to the compositebible.com/ and see what I mean. But, even the greatest understanding can be easily quenched by a stubborn, hard heart. So, ask God for help and pray when you read; he will listen. Search, and you WILL FIND THE TRUTH. When you do, you won't have to be afraid of that person who is carrying a Bible on the bus... who knows, that person may be you.


Pancakes in a new way

Its an odd thing the way the human mind operates. Yesterday was my day off, but I was busy with a computer problem most of it. I had a number of errands to do, supper, and spending some time with my wife watching the Netflix movie, "The Blind Side" (which by the way, is a pretty good flick). By the time 11p.m. rolled around I was so tired that I went to bed (which is unusual for me, to say the least). But, around 2:30 a.m. or so, I woke up needing a glass of water. Funny, but all I could think about was pancakes. Sadly enough, we didn't have any mix in the house, so I gave up and proceeded to check my e-mail and do a blog post. Wouldn't you know it, I found this picture! It intrigued me, because I never thought of putting the pancakes over the bacon. Then, I noticed the pancake box and thought of a Bible passage from the book of Job.

Job 42:12-17 (WEB)
12) So Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys.
13) He had also seven sons and three daughters.
14) He called the name of the first, Jemimah; and the name of the second, Keziah; and the name of the third, Keren Happuch.
15) In all the land were no women found so beautiful as the daughters of Job. Their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers.
16) After this Job lived one hundred forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, to four generations.
17) So Job died, being old and full of days.

Job is one of the most important figures in the Bible, for his problem of suffering is one to which we all can relate. Suffering is difficult for us all, but how do you handle it when you feel you have done nothing wrong? The book is full of many "explanations" by Job's "friends", but in the end God gives the answer. Basically, things happen in the life of those try to follow God faithfully because God has a plan for them. Job needed to realize he didn't know everything and to humble himself and pray for others, and so do we. Today, I really didn't like waking up so early in the morning, but if it causes me in some way to think about the scriptures, Wow, what a blessing!! Somehow I can relate a little more to Job and his situation. Besides, I learned to make pancakes in a new way and I can't wait to go to the store for some pancake batter and bacon. Even waking up early can be a good thing!


Change the World!!!

For my daughter..

Two pictures; seemingly unrelated, but in actuality very important to one another. The top one seems really out of place and perhaps a little harsh by today's standards. You mean its WRONG FOR GIRLS TO HAVE GOALS???? I do NOT!! Think how values have changed in the last 60 years. As a boy I remember that if a woman worked outside the home, something was very wrong in the household. The "man" of the house was either a drunk, or lazy, or a criminal or something else was really wrong with him. OK, society changes; today, its expected that a woman "bring home the bacon, and fry it up in a pan AND never, ever let you forget your my man, cause I'm a woommaann". In case you didn't recognize it, that's my take on a commercial that aired on TV (in the 70's??). The commercial is wrong: no person can do everything perfectly. If the lady of the house tries, sooner or later there will be trouble. Children need a mother; they need training, most of all, they need love and attention to grow up properly. Some ladies are better at time management than others and I have known a few (a very few) that come close to the commercial ideal of a "modern" woman. With that thought in mind, read this passage from the book of John.

John 2:1-11 (WEB)
John 2
1) The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there.
2) Jesus also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage.
3) When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine.”
4) Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”
5) His mother said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it.”
6) Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews’ way of purifying, containing two or three metretes apiece.
7) Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” They filled them up to the brim.
8) He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.” So they took it.
9) When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom,
10) and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!”
11) This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

One time or another, most of us have heard a sermon or studied this passage in a Bible class. I have always heard the emphasis placed on Jesus and what he did and of course that is as it should be. However, what about his mother? Think about it for a minute; his mother had been with him all his life and seen him grow up. She undoubtedly had an impact on his upbringing, probably more than most, because many believe that Jesus' Earthly father (Joseph) was advanced in years when Jesus was born and had died sometime prior to this event. She knew Jesus well and encouraged him to do what she knew he must. Now, that is important; to say otherwise is foolish!! There is nothing more important than to bring a life into the world and shape it. Money, possessions, fame, power... all these will disappear in 60 or 70 or 80 or 90 years. But the guidance that a Godly woman gives to her children will be felt for several generations. All this time, you probably have been wondering how the second picture ties into all this? That picture is of Adolf Hitler. See the importance of proper upbringing now? Ladies, place your priorities where you must, but I suggest that among the very highest of them should be your children. Your actions can change the world!!!

The real thing says love

In a couple of weeks Linda and I will have our 42nd wedding anniversary. Wow, where has the time gone!? So, what to give her? Roses, of course; but not these puppies! At first glance they may look great, but make a closer inspection. Bacon, in all its cholesterol glory!! These are a heart attack just waiting to happen. Sometimes things that might look good are in fact very bad for you. As you are thinking about this, read Proverbs 5.

Prov 5:1-23 (WEB)
Prov 5
1) My son, pay attention to my wisdom. Turn your ear to my understanding:
2) that you may maintain discretion, that your lips may preserve knowledge.
3) For the lips of an adulteress drip honey. Her mouth is smoother than oil,
4) But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood, and as sharp as a two-edged sword.
5) Her feet go down to death. Her steps lead straight to Sheol.
6) She gives no thought to the way of life. Her ways are crooked, and she doesn’t know it.
7) Now therefore, my sons, listen to me. Don’t depart from the words of my mouth.
8) Remove your way far from her. Don’t come near the door of her house,
9) lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel one;
10) lest strangers feast on your wealth, and your labors enrich another man’s house.
11) You will groan at your latter end, when your flesh and your body are consumed,
12) and say, “How I have hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;
13) neither have I obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor turned my ear to those who instructed me!
14) I have come to the brink of utter ruin, in the midst of the gathered assembly.”
15) Drink water out of your own cistern, running water out of your own well.
16) Should your springs overflow in the streets, streams of water in the public squares?
17) Let them be for yourself alone, not for strangers with you.
18) Let your spring be blessed. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19) A loving doe and a graceful deer— let her breasts satisfy you at all times. Be captivated always with her love.
20) For why should you, my son, be captivated with an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another?
21) For the ways of man are before the eyes of Yahweh. He examines all his paths.
22) The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare him. The cords of his sin hold him firmly.
23) He will die for lack of instruction. In the greatness of his folly, he will go astray.

Face it, Sex sells. The weaker sex are weaker in name only. I have three grown daughters and 5 grand-daughters and I can tell you from experience that the ladies of the house are a true force to be reckoned with. However, the male of the species is not too bright when it comes to affairs of the heart (or perhaps something more erotic). Men can be tricked quite easily into the arms of another and as this Proverb shows, headed for disaster. So, guys, do yourself a favor and re-read verse 18. Stay with the wife of your youth and do everything you can to make her happy. Here is a good pointer to start things off: don't give her bacon roses. I highly recommend the real thing because it says love better than any snack you can think of.



Crepuscular rays; new term of late (for me), but just another way of saying the sun is shining in a very special way. These rays form a V, which is very significant for me as a V stands for Victory.
I guess this started a long time ago, from the old World War II series "Victory at Sea", but it has become more than just something relating to war; it is a victory over sin. Want to know how to win? The answer lies in how we respond to the Word of God. Consider the parable of the Tares (darnel).

Matt 13:36-43 (WEB)
36) Then Jesus sent the multitudes away, and went into the house. His disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the darnel weeds of the field.”
37) He answered them, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,
38) the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the children of the Kingdom; and the darnel weeds are the children of the evil one.
39) The enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.
40) As therefore the darnel weeds are gathered up and burned with fire; so will it be at the end of this age.
41) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will gather out of his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and those who do iniquity,
42) and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
43) Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

The Bible is more than just a book, it is the heart of God reaching out to that of his created beings. Sometimes its not easy for us to understand exactly what HE is trying to say, but over time we will get it, if we keep on searching. The disciples had a problem understanding Jesus, but thankfully they kept on asking and asking until after a time, they began to get it. This understanding of God changes us. The more we get it, the more we will shine because the truth of heaven makes those who truly follow God radiant. By the way, "V" can also stand for virtuous! Humm, virtuosity can be a VICTORY; now, there is a thought to hold on to.


Get the point!

Some things are just hard to accept! I had to look twice at this one because I didn't think it was possible. How? I just asking myself, HOW? However, seeing is believing, but I wonder: was it photo-shopped? When I saw this, I thought of this passage from the New Testament.

Acts 7:51-60 (WEB)
51) “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do.
52) Which of the prophets didn’t your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.
53) You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn’t keep it!”
54) Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55) But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56) and said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57) But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord.
58) They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59) They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”
60) He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, don’t hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Stephen delivered a very long sermon and in the first few verses of this passage we see the conclusion. The hearers were upset (to say the least) and then Stephen went over the top with the reference to Jesus in heaven (55 & 56). The result of all this was Stephen's execution and cry for mercy for those who killed him. The last part is very emotional, but I can't help but focus on 55 & 56 because Stephen does something that I can't do: He looks into heaven and sees Jesus! Yet, it happened and that is that. Maybe someday God will explain it (and a lot of other things) to me, but for now, I just have to accept it by faith. As far as the water and the toothpick business, maybe someone out there could try it and let me know if it actually works. Maybe then I will get the point (pun intended).



This is my son-in-law, Mike. Normally, he is doing something, so this picture is quite unusual! Lately, with a broken hand, he has had a lot of time to think; but I couldn't help but wonder what he was so engrossed about. He never seems to have to think about anything much, as he always knows his mind on everything. Some things will make anyone stop and ponder awhile and the following events would make anybody stop and reflect.

Acts 12:7-17 (WEB)
7) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side, and woke him up, saying, “Stand up quickly!” His chains fell off from his hands.
8) The angel said to him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” He did so. He said to him, “Put on your cloak, and follow me.”
9) And he went out and followed him. He didn’t know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he saw a vision.
10) When they were past the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went out, and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
11) When Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I truly know that the Lord has sent out his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from everything the Jewish people were expecting.”
12) Thinking about that, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.
13) When Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer.
14) When she recognized Peter’s voice, she didn’t open the gate for joy, but ran in, and reported that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15) They said to her, “You are crazy!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It is his angel.”
16) But Peter continued knocking. When they had opened, they saw him, and were amazed.
17) But he, beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, “Tell these things to James, and to the brothers.” Then he departed, and went to another place.

Herod was not someone you wanted to have angry with you. If you were imprisoned, you probably would never come out alive (remember John the Baptist). But God delivered Peter from certain death and while he was going to the house of Mary, he thought about what this meant. Can you really blame him? I would be a bit preoccupied myself. Then the business with Rhoda (which I always thought was funny) and finally the testimony to James and the brothers. The book of Acts tells of the practices of the Apostles of Jesus, but in this unusual situation we are given insight into what Peter was thinking. I can imagine Peter's thoughts coming back to the events of the day just before he fell asleep that night, can't you? When God acts in your life, sit back and think about it; you just might get to know God a little better. As for Mike, well, he is concentrating so hard, he looks like he just can't figure things out. You might say:He is stumped!


Out of the black night

Have you ever seen a really BLACK NIGHT? Not the kind we get in central Florida, where there is always a glow on the horizon, but one that is so black that you can't see your hand three inches from your face. Quite a few years ago, I saw such a night and what an experience it was! We were staying with my in-laws, at their camp in Newcomb, N.Y.. Newcomb is situated just a short drive from the Canadian border and is nestled in the Aridoniack mountains and is it ever remote! About three a.m. we heard a noise, followed by a loud crack; my father-in-law had just killed a bear about two feet from the door of his trailer. The kids cried and everyone was unsettled until morning. Not a night I am likely to forget! It was so dark, you could almost feel the darkness and when that sun came up we were all very happy! Naturally, this verse from the Bible came to mind.

John 8:12 (WEB)
12) Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose in Life? What will happen to me when I finally die? Questions that we all ask ourselves at one time or another and I suppose there are as many answers as there are people, but one thing I know. Jesus gives the best answers to all these. With him, you don't have to bumble and fumble through life; he gives direction and a solid foundation to build upon. For me, its like seeing the sun rise after the darkest night you can possibly imagine. I have put many sunsets on the blog, but today as I look at this sunrise, I see light from yet another perspective and I LIKE IT!! Maybe I will watch more sunrises from now on and think of Jesus when I do. Who knows, maybe you might even watch one with me?


Up to your neck

Unless you have existed in a vacuum over the last few years you already know how much trouble many Americans are experiencing today. Loss of jobs, credit crunch, housing foreclosures and many other difficulties. Like the lady in the picture, I know many people who are "up to their neck in trouble". For some, their problems really are not their fault. But, others have brought misfortune upon themselves by just living way beyond their means. We probably could make one very long list of the foolish (sometimes downright stupid) things people do. Yet, even in the worst of circumstances, there is a way out--God's way. Here is an example of just such a person.

Luke 15:11-19 (WEB)
11) He said, “A certain man had two sons.
12) The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ He divided his livelihood between them.
13) Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living.
14) When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need.
15) He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
16) He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any.
17) But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger!
18) I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight.
19) I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’

OK, this son had problems; yet he did one very smart thing... he began to think about his situation. When he realized that even the hired servants had food, he decided to return to his father. Not JUST THAT, he realized what he had done wrong and that wrong was sinful.

Secondly, he did another smart thing... he acted upon his covictions.

Luke 15:20-24 (WEB)

20) “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21) The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22) “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.
23) Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate;
24) for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ They began to celebrate.

Self-assessment, when coupled with humility usually has very positive results. I can speak with experience on the last sentence and say that it is very true; I know, I have been there. So, if you are up to your neck in troubles, do what you can to make things right and leave the rest up to God. Besides, mud-baths are relaxing! Who knows, later on there may even be a party!!


The future looks bright

On the net, she likes to be called "God's Encourager"; I have never met her in person, but I can tell from her posts that she is a caring, loving person who is trying to follow God. Today, I received an e-mail from her and it wasn't good news; she has a mass in her lungs. If you have ever had bad news like this, then you know what a shock it can be! After reading her post, I thought of this passage....

Romans 8:28-39 (WEB)
28) We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.
29) For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30) Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.
31) What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32) He who didn’t spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how would he not also with him freely give us all things?
33) Who could bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who justifies.
34) Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36) Even as it is written, “For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37) No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We think of our lives as very important, and to us they are. However, what are we in the great scheme of things? One of untold billions of people who have been blessed with the gift of life. With God there is meaning to life beyond just existence. God has a purpose for us and those who follow him believe this because the Bible tells us so. She may get better (preferred choice, of course) or she may not. Either way, she has faith in God and even though I really don't know a great deal about her, I trust that her faith with be rewarded with heaven someday. That's the thing about being a follower of God: whether the news is good or bad, the future looks bright!!!


After the "grasshoppers"

I have never met these people, but I like them already. Look at what they are doing; fishing in this little puddle! Notice that they just didn't throw their lines in the water, they bought a bucket for the fish they planned to catch. Optimism, pure and simple!! How easy it would have been to just ignore this place as un-fishable, but its obvious that they see things a little differently than most of us. When God sent the spies into the promised land to ascertain both its land and its people, most came back with the idea that although it was a wonderful place, Israel could never conquer it. Wrong! Who had brought Israel out of Egypt; who had provided for them and guided them? The God who had done these mighty works was certainly able to finish what he started. Most of the spies had considered themselves but grasshoppers compared to the mighty people of the land (Numbers 13:33) but not all. Here is the rest of the story....

Numbers 14:1-30 (WEB)

Numbers 14
1) All the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
2) All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would that we had died in this wilderness!
3) Why does Yahweh bring us to this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey: wouldn’t it be better for us to return into Egypt?”
4) They said one to another, “Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.”
5) Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6) Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of those who spied out the land, tore their clothes:
7) and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land.
8) If Yahweh delights in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us; a land which flows with milk and honey.
9) Only don’t rebel against Yahweh, neither fear the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is removed from over them, and Yahweh is with us. Don’t fear them.”
10) But all the congregation threatened to stone them with stones. The glory of Yahweh appeared in the Tent of Meeting to all the children of Israel.
11) Yahweh said to Moses, “How long will this people despise me? and how long will they not believe in me, for all the signs which I have worked among them?
12) I will strike them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”
13) Moses said to Yahweh, “Then the Egyptians will hear it; for you brought up this people in your might from among them;
14) and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you Yahweh are in the midst of this people; for you Yahweh are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them, and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night.
15) Now if you killed this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of you will speak, saying,
16) ‘Because Yahweh was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore to them, therefore he has slain them in the wilderness.’
17) Now please let the power of the Lord be great, according as you have spoken, saying,
18) ‘Yahweh is slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and disobedience; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation.’
19) Please pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your loving kindness, and according as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”
20) Yahweh said, “I have pardoned according to your word:
21) but in very deed, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Yahweh;
22) because all those men who have seen my glory, and my signs, which I worked in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have tempted me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice;
23) surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither shall any of those who despised me see it:
24) but my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land into which he went; and his seed shall possess it.
25) Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the valley: tomorrow turn, and go into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.”
26) Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying,
27) “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, that murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.
28) Tell them, ‘As I live, says Yahweh, surely as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you:
29) your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; and all who were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me,
30) surely you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore that I would make you dwell therein, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

The congregation of Israel wanted to stone Moses and Aaron; can you believe it? Yahweh was exceeding angry over the situation and it was only because Moses interceded for the nation that they survived his wrath. Those who rebelled would never see the promised land; only Caleb and Joshua. After the "grasshoppers" were dealt with, those of faith were blessed. It has always been like that and always will be. On the way home this evening, I passed by a church not too far from my home and I saw this sign: Heaven is worth waiting for. How do you wait? Expectantly, through the eyes of faith, is my answer. Having said all this... I wonder how many fish the two in the picture will catch? No, wrong question... I wonder how many more buckets they will need?

ps. Today's post marks number 500; half way to my initial goal of 1000. I am amazed to have gotten this far, but with God anything is possible; even for someone like me.


A Rose by any other name

With a last name like Rose, I have grown very fond of Roses. When I give flowers to my wife, its not too hard to predict what kind they will be. Fresh flowers never do last too long, but I like to give them anyway, because red roses seem to say LOVE and that is one thing you can never give too much of. However, the roses in this picture are not something I would want my wife to have; frankly, I was repulsed by them. Can you imagine if she forgot to shave for a few months...YUK! This picture does bring up an interesting question: Should Christians have tattoo's? Here is a series of commands from the book of Leviticus that may shed some light on the subject.

Leviticus 19:23-37 (WEB)
23) “‘When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years shall they be forbidden to you. It shall not be eaten.
24) But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, for giving praise to Yahweh.
25) In the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield its increase to you. I am Yahweh your God.
26) “‘You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it; neither shall you use enchantments, nor practice sorcery.
27) “‘You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your heads, neither shall you clip off the edge of your beard.
28) “‘You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Yahweh.
29) “‘Don’t profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness.
30) “‘You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am Yahweh.
31) “‘Don’t turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don’t seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God.
32) “‘You shall rise up before the gray head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.
33) “‘If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.
34) The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.
35) “‘You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity.
36) You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin. I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
37) “‘You shall observe all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them. I am Yahweh.’”
For openers, we are not under the Mosaic covenant, so the direct command is not applicable. Consider however, the purpose behind these instructions. Israel was to be different than the nations of Canaan that they were to dispossess. Since we are under the system of Grace instead of LAW, can we do whatever we want and ignore the principles of the OLD TESTAMENT? I don't think so! Just because something isn't directly forbidden in the New Testament doesn't mean we should do it. For example, I don't see anywhere in the Scriptures that using Heroin is forbidden. If everyone around you is getting tattoo's should you get one too? Let your conscience be your guide, because each one of us answers individually to the God of Heaven for what we decide to do in this life. Yet when I saw this picture, the following came to mind: "A rose by any other name smells as sweet". Somehow, I don't think it is true for this lady.


Not far enough

I suppose there is a good reason to trim a tree like this, but I just don't see it. The tree will grow again and in winter snow and ice could wreck the lines. If its in Florida, come hurricane season, good luck. I see this sort of thing every day just South of Zephyrhills, Florida on route 301. I guess I am thick, but it just makes no sense to do this. After awhile though, it occurred to me that trimming a tree like this is akin to allowing sin in your life. Paul puts it this way in the book of Romans.

Rom 6:1-18 (WEB)
6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
6:2 May it never be! We who died to sin, how could we live in it any longer?
6:3 Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
6:4 We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just like Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life.
6:5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection;
6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin.
6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.
6:8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him;
6:9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no more has dominion over him!
6:10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God.
6:11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
6:12 Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
6:13 Neither present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God, as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
6:14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.
6:15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be!
6:16 Don’t you know that to whom you present yourselves as servants to obedience, his servants you are whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness?
6:17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas you were bondservants of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto you were delivered.
6:18 Being made free from sin, you became bondservants of righteousness.

Plainly put; if you are a Christian, don't allow sin in your life. Don't make a provision for it and if you discover it, change. Why? Because you are to be holy and this word means separated from sin. Don't just trim the tree of sin like the picture; do your best to eliminate the possibility of sinning. Trim where you can, remove the rest; you will be glad you did!


From "Hard Times" to Nursery rhymes

Remind you of anything?
I remember this little gem:
This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef
and this little piggy had none,

Just before I saw this picture, I saw another one that somehow just seemed to go with it.

And here is how it happens:

Ruth 4:9-22 (WEB)
9) Boaz said to the elders, and to all the people, “You are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi.
10) Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I have purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead not be cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses this day.”
11) All the people who were in the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. May Yahweh make the woman who has come into your house like Rachel and like Leah, which two built the house of Israel; and treat you worthily in Ephrathah, and be famous in Bethlehem.
12) Let your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, of the seed which Yahweh shall give you of this young woman.”
13) So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and Yahweh gave her conception, and she bore a son.
14) The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be Yahweh, who has not left you this day without a near kinsman; and let his name be famous in Israel.
15) He shall be to you a restorer of life, and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”
16) Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse to it.
17) The women, her neighbors, gave him a name, saying, “There is a son born to Naomi;” and they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
18) Now this is the history of the generations of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron,
19) and Hezron became the father of Ram, and Ram became the father of Amminadab,
20) and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon became the father of Salmon,
21) and Salmon became the father of Boaz, and Boaz became the father of Obed,
22) and Obed became the father of Jesse, and Jesse became the father of David.

Naomi had gone through "hard times": she lost both husband and sons and was alone in a strange land. But, she gained the love of Ruth and what a love it was!! You know, the kind that will endure anything, go anywhere, and keeps getting stronger. Ruth was the mother of Obed and this child had to be so very special to Naomi!! I can imagine Naomi singing the little piggy song to Obed and when he was older, he writing this little note to his grandma. OK, it wasn't in English and they didn't have "piggy" false nails, but there was love and that is the point of it all. God works things out so that true love wins no matter what the circumstances. Even in failure there is great victory IF THERE IS LOVE!! And, before you ask: No, I won't sing the piggy song in public; its reserved for my children when they were young and now for my grand-kids. However, I WILL (AND DO) sing my "Grandpa song" to whoever will listen; just ask me.



It has taken quite a bit of adjustment to become a "Floridian". The warmer temperatures thins your blood out and now 70 degrees feels like 50 did a decade ago. Until I saw this picture I had almost forgotten how gray and dreary the sky can be in the winters of upstate New York. Yet, the rays of light in the picture give hope; hope of fairer skies. The Bible has a lot to say about hope, far more than I could ever begin to address in this blog. But consider just one man; Abraham.

Romans 4:1-25 (WEB)

Romans 4
1) What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh?
2) For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God.
3) For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
4) Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as something owed.
5) But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.
6) Even as David also pronounces blessing on the man to whom God counts righteousness apart from works,
7) “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
8) Blessed is the man whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin.”
9) Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.
10) How then was it counted? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11) He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they might be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be accounted to them.
12) He is the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision.
13) For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn’t through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14) For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect.
15) For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience.
16) For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed, not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
17) As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were.
18) Who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So will your seed be.”
19) Without being weakened in faith, he didn’t consider his own body, already having been worn out, (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
20) Yet, looking to the promise of God, he didn’t waver through unbelief, but grew strong through faith, giving glory to God,
21) and being fully assured that what he had promised, he was also able to perform.
22) Therefore it also was “reckoned to him for righteousness.”
23) Now it was not written that it was accounted to him for his sake alone,
24) but for our sake also, to whom it will be accounted, who believe in him who raised Jesus, our Lord, from the dead,
25) who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.

Here was a man of faith. Put yourself in his position for a moment; 100 years old, a 90 year old wife and no child. God tells you that you are going to be father and you believe it; really believe it. Wow, what faith!! Yet Abraham was a mere man, subject to all the problems that we humans encounter, but being given a promise by God, HE GREW STRONGER! There may never be another man like Abraham, yet his life is an example to us all and his faith can be OUR FAITH. God in heaven, thank you for this man; because of him it is easier to trust in God and have hope. Reminds me of the old song "blue skies", but so far I haven't thought of how the water in the picture fits it. Hopefully, I will think of something; I promise.


A clear view is coming

If you just look in the water, you really can't tell what the reflections are of. Something has disturbed them and it occurred to me when I saw this picture that life is just like it. If something bad happens, somehow everything looks distorted; you just can't see things right. But what if what is wrong is YOU? It may be a problem with an attitude, or sin or stress or maybe a relationship problem, but when it happens the world just looks WRONG!! At times like this, somehow, someway, I always manage to gain encouragement from the word of God. Here is one such example of encouragement.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (WEB)

2 Timothy 4
1) I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom:
2) preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.
3) For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts;
4) and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables.
5) But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry.

Do your best, do what God has told you to do and let it be. It may not be easy; you may fail. So what? The God who has the power to make the entire UNIVERSE, certainly has the power to understand our problems. The worst that can happen is you die and live forever with God in heaven. The best is seeing another GOD-VICTORY in your life. I hope my adopted (informally so) daughter is reading this and realizes that disturbed waters eventually calm. When they do, the power of God to work in your life will be just a little clearer. That brings a comfort that is beyond description.


Is anybody there?

Introducing Nikita, another member of the Jackalope family. You would never know it, but he is the really intelligent one in the family. It has been reported that he actually scored 175 and 190 on tests for intelligence in Russia. He worked for the KGB until the split up of the Soviet Union some years ago, but then moved to the United States to secretly advise president Obama on health care and members of Acorn on how to control the real nuts in their organization. With all his genius, he had a weakness and that was acting. He privately went through surgery so that he could make his antlers removable and used his mastery of disguise to become Michael Waverly on the popular show N.C.I.S.. However, as usual he couldn't control his desire for women and tried to play footsie with a certain Israeli agent. She hit him so hard that he had to wear a truss for a month and when he recovered he ran to the northern forest of Utah to hide among the Mormons. Intrigue, Yes! Reality, No! However all this did make me think of trickery in the Bible and this passage came to mind.

2 Samuel 17:1-16 (WEB)

2 Samuel 17
1) Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight.
2) I will come on him while he is weary and exhausted, and will make him afraid. All the people who are with him shall flee. I will strike the king only;
3) and I will bring back all the people to you. The man whom you seek is as if all returned. All the people shall be in peace.”
4) The saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel.
5) Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says.”
6) When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken like this. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up.”
7) Hushai said to Absalom, “The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good.”
8) Hushai said moreover, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are fierce in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.
9) Behold, he is now hidden in some pit, or in some other place. It will happen, when some of them have fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!’
10) Even he who is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men.
11) But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person.
12) So shall we come on him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him we will not leave so much as one.
13) Moreover, if he be gone into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there isn’t one small stone found there.”
14) Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For Yahweh had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Yahweh might bring evil on Absalom.
15) Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel that way; and I have counseled this way.
16) Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, ‘Don’t lodge this night at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people who are with him.’”

Hushai was a spy for David and successfully countered the good advise of the famous counselor, Ahithophel. David had a very interesting life and although its too long to list here, you might want to go back a few chapters and read the whole story. Like the Jackalope Nikita, Ahithophel couldn't handle the situation, but unlike him, later he committed suicide. Just goes to show you that no matter how smart (or wise) you are, God is smarter and is worthy of both respect and fear.

God is watching

A former boss of mine, Rodger Smith, used to say: "Its really not paranoia, if they are out to get you". This picture proves that the bird has every right to be afraid. Nowhere to run (fly) and a very interested cat just an inch away. Sometimes fear is very justified as in this tale from the Hebrew Bible.

2 Kings 11:1-21 (WEB)

2 Kings 11
1) Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal.
2) But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were slain, even him and his nurse, and put them in the bedroom; and they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not slain;
3) He was with her hidden in the house of Yahweh six years. Athaliah reigned over the land.
4) In the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains over hundreds of the Carites and of the guard, and brought them to him into the house of Yahweh; and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of Yahweh, and showed them the king’s son.
5) He commanded them, saying, “This is the thing that you shall do: a third part of you, who come in on the Sabbath, shall be keepers of the watch of the king’s house;
6) A third part shall be at the gate Sur; and a third part at the gate behind the guard. So you shall keep the watch of the house, and be a barrier.
7) The two companies of you, even all who go out on the Sabbath, shall keep the watch of the house of Yahweh around the king.
8) You shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand; and he who comes within the ranks, let him be slain. Be with the king when he goes out, and when he comes in.”
9) The captains over hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded; and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest.
10) The priest delivered to the captains over hundreds the spears and shields that had been king David’s, which were in the house of Yahweh.
11) The guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, around the king.
12) Then he brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, “Long live the king!”
13) When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the house of Yahweh:
14) and she looked, and behold, the king stood by the pillar, as the tradition was, and the captains and the trumpets by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, “Treason! Treason!”
15) Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks. Kill him who follows her with the sword.” For the priest said, “Don’t let her be slain in the house of Yahweh.”
16) So they made way for her; and she went by the way of the horses’ entry to the king’s house. She was slain there.
17) Jehoiada made a covenant between Yahweh and the king and the people, that they should be Yahweh’s people; between the king also and the people.
18) All the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and broke it down; his altars and his images broke they in pieces thoroughly, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. The priest appointed officers over the house of Yahweh.
19) He took the captains over hundreds, and the Carites, and the guard, and all the people of the land; and they brought down the king from the house of Yahweh, and came by the way of the gate of the guard to the king’s house. He sat on the throne of the kings.
20) So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. Athaliah they had slain with the sword at the king’s house.
21) Jehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.

Athaliah's son was Ahaziah and he was wicked. When he died his mother took over and murdered the royal seed. She was eventually killed because God was really out to destroy all the influence of Ahab of Israel in the kingdom of Judah. Athaliah may have thought all this was treason, but in reality it was the cleansing of evil from Judah. Evil may win for a short time, but not forever, because God is watching!


Point, match, gave over!

This little picture is of an angel; or at least someones idea of an angel. I thought of angel's yesterday when I met a friend in a store with which I had had some conversations about angel's. The Bible has a great deal to say about them, far more than 20 posts could accommodate, but here is one passage that comes to mind.

Matthew 22:23-32 (WEB)
23) On that day Sadducees (those who say that there is no resurrection) came to him. They asked him,
24) saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed for his brother.’
25) Now there were with us seven brothers. The first married and died, and having no seed left his wife to his brother.
26) In the same way, the second also, and the third, to the seventh.
27) After them all, the woman died.
28) In the resurrection therefore, whose wife will she be of the seven? For they all had her.”
29) But Jesus answered them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.
30) For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like God’s angels in heaven.
31) But concerning the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read that which was spoken to you by God, saying,
32) ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

Jesus was a problem for the religious elite; he confronted them and kept on doing so and they didn't like it one bit. So they went on the offensive and asked him a question they thought he would never be able to answer to their satisfaction. A question which, in an of itself, is ironic, because those asking did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Basically, he told the Sadducees they knew nothing about the next life or the God whom they proported to know. At the resurrection we will be like angels and marriage won't matter and that God truly is GOD for the living. Talk about a put down!! This is all very interesting because people (especially the Saducees and Pharisees) have always argued over angels. One of the most famous arguements was over how many angels could fit on the head of a pin, so I guess this tiny little picture really is appropriate after all. One thing is very sure though, if the God you know is in fact the God of the living... then there is life after this life and we can find all about Angels later. Good lesson here: don't try to argue with someone who knows more than you do.... you just might lose. Just a few verses later in Matthew 22 we read:

Matthew 22:41-46 (WEB)
41) Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question,
42) saying, “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “Of David.”
43) He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying,
44) ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?’
45) “If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?”
46) No one was able to answer him a word, neither did any man dare ask him any more questions from that day forth.

Point, match, game over!

The power of the sun (son)

This is one amazing HDR picture! Not only is the contrast great, but the prism effects at the top left and bottom right show something very important; the true strength of sunlight. As for the sun itself, well, the lines protruding from it testify to its power. If you have ever worked outside in July at noontime, you know how really overpowering the sun can be at times. This picture made me think of Paul before king Agrippa, when he made his defense.

Acts 26:1-23 (WEB)

Acts 26
1) Agrippa said to Paul, “You may speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand, and made his defense.
2) “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, that I am to make my defense before you this day concerning all the things that I am accused by the Jews,
3) especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently.
4) “Indeed, all the Jews know my way of life from my youth up, which was from the beginning among my own nation and at Jerusalem;
5) having known me from the first, if they are willing to testify, that after the strictest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
6) Now I stand here to be judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers,
7) which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving night and day, hope to attain. Concerning this hope I am accused by the Jews, King Agrippa!
8) Why is it judged incredible with you, if God does raise the dead?
9) “I myself most certainly thought that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10) This I also did in Jerusalem. I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death I gave my vote against them.
11) Punishing them often in all the synagogues, I tried to make them blaspheme. Being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
12) “Whereupon as I traveled to Damascus with the authority and commission from the chief priests,
13) at noon, O king, I saw on the way a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who traveled with me.
14) When we had all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15) “I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ “He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
16) But arise, and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose: to appoint you a servant and a witness both of the things which you have seen, and of the things which I will reveal to you;
17) delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you,
18) to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
19) “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20) but declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.
21) For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple, and tried to kill me.
22) Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would happen,
23) how the Christ must suffer, and how, by the resurrection of the dead, he would be first to proclaim light both to these people and to the Gentiles.”

A light BRIGHTER than the sun? That is hard for me to imagine! Yet, it happened! Why? Because God wanted it to, that's why. Jesus intervened and changed Paul's life forever. God does things like that because HE wants to. Honestly, Paul never really impressed me; just a Pharisee doing what he thought he must. God must have thought differently, because this man was a chosen vessel to bring light to the non-Jewish peoples. The next time you go outside in the bright sunlight, think of Paul and remember. Who knows, maybe there is a mission for you to perform as well?


Just another sunrise?

One very beautiful sunrise! Its funny, but over the years I have grown to appreciate simple things like this more and more. Life is full of simple things; you go about doing those same things year after year and then something happens and suddenly you see things in a new light. So it was with Zachariah. He was a priest about to minister within the temple and suddenly an angel came to him. Because of his disbelief, he was silent, until the follow episode....

Luke 1:57-80 (ESV)
57) Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.
58) And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59) And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father,
60) but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”
61) And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.”
62) And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called.
63) And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered.
64) And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.
65) And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea,
66) and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67) And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
68) ​​​​​​​​“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people
69) ​​​​​​​​and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70) ​​​​​​​​as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71) ​​​​​​​​that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
72) ​​​​​​​​to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,
73) ​​​​​​​​the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74) ​​​​​​​​that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
75) ​​​​​​​​in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76) ​​​​​​​​And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77) ​​​​​​​​to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78) ​​​​​​​​because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79) ​​​​​​​​to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80) And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Zechariah became the father of John the Baptist, who announced the coming of the Christ. Verse 78 and 79 are interesting to me because they refer to Jesus and I have always like the concept of Jesus as a sunrise (sonrise) from on high giving light. So, how does the picture fit in all this? Well, look at the reflection in the water; doesn't it look like its forming a cross? How fitting, the Son of God giving light from a cross! Just an ordinary sunrise.... there really isn't any such thing!



War! Just look at that cat attack the other one! I wonder what started it? Maybe its over attention from their mother, or over some catnip, or perhaps one of them didn't like the way the other one purrred. Whatever the reason, they do look serious. Which makes me think: What causes wars in the first place?

James 4:1-10 (WEB)

James 4
1) Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Don’t they come from your pleasures that war in your members?
2) You lust, and don’t have. You kill, covet, and can’t obtain. You fight and make war. You don’t have, because you don’t ask.
3) You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures.
4) You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5) Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously”?
6) But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
7) Be subject therefore to God. But resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8) Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9) Lament, mourn, and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom.
10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Pride, power and possessions are the main reasons. The resulting hate leads to death; sometimes on a massive scale. But what about Christians; Do they "war"? If they indulge in the "main reasons", they do. James give the source... the devil and he gives the cure.... purification of the heart and humility. The result: The Lord will exalt you from the low state of sin. Don't pussy-foot around it.... just get rid of the sin (inside and out). Then you will be purrr-fect!!



It has become fashionable to bash every aspect of Christianity and this includes The Holy Bible. Our society has become so perverted, so evil, that in a way I am not surprised at all by this sticker. Someone would have to have a very warped mind to label The Holy Bible as a work of fiction because a large part of it has already been verified by the archaeologist's spade. Its content reflects life accurately and therefore the things mentioned are horrifying. The exposure warning comes from a wicked heart that loves only self and seeks to destroy the truth of God.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (WEB)

2 Timothy 4
1) I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom:
2) preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.
3) For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts;
4) and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables.
5) But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry.

Truth may not be pretty and obedience to it difficult, but disobedience is disastrous. The above picture is just one more indication of how bad this situation has really become. Thank God for those who still proclaim the holy words of God; we need them more than ever!! The real warning of this picture is for those of us who follow God: we need to cease being uninvolved and fight this and every other attack of Satan. As far as warnings go: Satan, your end is near!!!