In the nick of time!!!

Out in the nick of time!  Saved by the bell!  Just in Time! All cliches, but truthful!!  Today is the last year of 2010; we can't do it over, we might as well accept what has happened, move on and get over it... that sort of thing.  On a day that we are prone to reflection, let us think about how we LIVED 2010 and learn from it.  Solomon was the greatest Earthly king that Israel ever had and he was a person prone to reflection.  Here are a few of his thoughts....

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 (WEB)

1) For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
2) a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3) a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4) a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5) a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6) a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7) a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8) a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
9) What profit has he who works in that in which he labors?
10) I have seen the burden which God has given to the sons of men to be afflicted with.
11) He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can’t find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.
12) I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice, and to do good as long as they live.
13) Also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labor, is the gift of God.
14) I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; and God has done it, that men should fear before him.
15) That which is has been long ago, and that which is to be has been long ago: and God seeks again that which is passed away.
16) Moreover I saw under the sun, in the place of justice, that wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, that wickedness was there.
17) I said in my heart, “God will judge the righteous and the wicked; for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”
18) I said in my heart, “As for the sons of men, God tests them, so that they may see that they themselves are like animals.
19) For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity.
20) All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.
21) Who knows the spirit of man, whether it goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, whether it goes downward to the earth?”
22) Therefore I saw that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his works; for that is his portion: for who can bring him to see what will be after him?

A little fatalistic for me, but from an Earthly perspective correct.  If a heavenly one is considered, then he is short-sighted.  If I could wish you one new thing to do in 2011, it would be to think of heaven more!  It has been and will continue to be my goal; 2011 will be no exception.  Who knows, the emphasis on heaven may cause you to do things that will actually get you there....just in the nick of time!!!


Hot Air!

What?  That was my initial reaction.  Then I realized: Hot Air!!  All is hot air!!!  No matter what happens, politicans, yes, this includes Barak Obama as well as ALL OUR CONGRESS, will try to make things look as good as possible.  America is in trouble and no one will admit the truth.  Taxes, taxes and more of the same is our future.  Less growth, few jobs, WAR ON EVERY FRONT, an old age without the entitlement programs we have been paying for.  HOT AIR, ALL IS HOT AIR!!! Have you heard hot air before??  I have, and I know where....

Jeremiah 14:10-15 (WEB)

10) Thus says Yahweh to this people, Even so have they loved to wander; they have not refrained their feet: therefore Yahweh does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.

11) Yahweh said to me, Don’t pray for this people for their good.

12) When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and meal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.

13) Then I said, Ah, Lord Yahweh! behold, the prophets tell them, You shall not see the sword, neither shall you have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

14) Then Yahweh said to me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name; I didn’t send them, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke I to them: they prophesy to you a lying vision, and divination, and a thing of nothing, and the deceit of their own heart.

15) Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, and I didn’t send them, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land: By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

God speaks the truth to the people.  Sometimes it is hard, sometimes not, but it is the truth.  Refreshing, simply refreshing!!!  Yet amid all this depression, there is hope.  We can count on God, no matter WHAT!!!!    In the days ahead, this is a good thought to remember.  In the meantime, our country is STILL HOLDING TOGETHER, we are OK.  That is wonderful news on this cold Christmas day.  My wish for America is that we never get so far away from God that will not let the godly pray for this country!  May God bless America!!!!!


Better than the biggest of the big

This just has to be the biggest rainbow I have ever seen!!!  When I saw it, immeadiately I thought of God's blessings.  How very appropriate, considering the holiday season is upon us!!!  I couldn't help but think of how blessed I am by God; how much he has given me, in happiness, long life and marital bless.  Soon to have grandchild number nine, and that by the OLDEST daughter!!!  Life just keeps on handing me surprises and the best blessing of all???

Ephesians 1:3-14 (WEB)

3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ;

4) even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love;

5) having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire,

6) to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved,

7) in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

8) which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

9) making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him

10) to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him;

11) in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will;

12) to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ:

13) in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

14) who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

You guessed it; the Love and provision of God for my eternal well-being.  If I can recognize Earthly blessing, how much more the HEAVENLY!!!  Not EVERYTHING in this world is about money, not everything is about power, position or relationships.  Really knowing what will transpire beyond the grave is the greatest blessing of all; better than a thousand rainbows, even ones as big as this one!!     


Warning! View at your own risk!!!

Unlike other posts, I am not putting the picture first.  The reason is that it is very graphic in nature and I wouldn't want to disturb anyone without warning.  So, do not proceed any further if you are the sort of person who is easily disturbed.  Why would I put something that is potentially upsetting on the blog in the first place? The answer is pain is a reality in this life and my hopes are that those who ultimately do page down and view the picture will be forced to think about the following topic...

Mark 9:35-48 (WEB)
35) He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.”

36) He took a little child, and set him in their midst. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,

37) “Whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, doesn’t receive me, but him who sent me.”

38) John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone who doesn’t follow us casting out demons in your name; and we forbade him, because he doesn’t follow us.”

39) But Jesus said, “Don’t forbid him, for there is no one who will do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me.

40) For whoever is not against us is on our side.

41) For whoever will give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ’s, most certainly I tell you, he will in no way lose his reward.

42) Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he were thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck.

43) If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having your two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire,

44) ‘where their worm doesn’t die, and the fire is not quenched.’

45) If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life lame, rather than having your two feet to be cast into Gehenna, into the fire that will never be quenched—

46) ‘where their worm doesn’t die, and the fire is not quenched.’

47) If your eye causes you to stumble, cast it out. It is better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna of fire,

48) ‘where their worm doesn’t die, and the fire is not quenched.’

During the past few months, I have become reacquainted with pain; pain that for awhile did not stop, that did not abate, that allowed neither rest or peace of mind.  Suffering, constant suffering, which seemed like it would never end.  Thankfully, I am getting better, although I just wish it could be faster because I hate pain.  But, what if never stopped?  What if it never stopped?  Hell must be like that; Gehenna hell!  The shear impact of something like burning, something so painful  that  the mere thought of it, or a brief  glimpse of the suffering  involved would make the body physically react and the mind reel.  The only thing left to say is... do whatever you have to do to avoid hell.     

And then there is this picture.....

Any Questions???


Reality can change

If you have ever seen "Star Wars" then this picture will look familiar to you.  Its not from the movie, however, but from the university of Southern California.  You guessed it; they can now really make holograms.  Perhaps someday I will live long enough to see all of the science fiction of the 20th century come true.  Today, anything seems possible.  When this though settled in my mind, I remembered one of the first Bible verses I ever learned (highlighted in bold below).

Matthew 19:16-26 (WEB)

16) Behold, one came to him and said, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
17) He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18) He said to him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’
19) ‘Honor your father and mother.’ And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20) The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?”
21) Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
22) But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.
23) Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.
24) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”
25) When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
26) Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I guess this passage keeps coming back to me because it is fundamental to my concept of God.  God can do anything; and if that is true, then he can do it in my life.  The problem is: I have to let him!!!  The rich man couldn't give up his riches and as a result, failed to see the power of God in his life.  I wonder, what does it take for us (for me) to trust God enough to unequivocally follow God?  Probably not something as wild as a Star Wars hologram, but... who knows?


The sign

Not your normal everyday picture.  Taken with a fish-eye lens, this picture is also different because there is a ring around the moon and its winter.  I don't see too many outside pictures taken in the coldest part of the year, but this one displays a beauty that is unique.  I especially like the ring around the moon, as this is a sure sign that precipitation is on the way.  When it comes to snow, its always good to know what is coming your way.  As I was thinking about "signs", this passage came to mind.

Genesis 4:1-15 (WEB)

1) The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with Yahweh’s help.”
2) Again she gave birth, to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
3) As time passed, it happened that Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground.
4) Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Yahweh respected Abel and his offering,
5) but he didn’t respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell.
6) Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen?
7) If you do well, will it not be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.”
8) Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” It happened when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.
9) Yahweh said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?” He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10) Yahweh said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground.
11) Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
12) From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”
13) Cain said to Yahweh, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14) Behold, you have driven me out this day from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. It will happen that whoever finds me will kill me.”
15) Yahweh said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” Yahweh appointed a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should strike him.

The first murder and the first punishment for it.  I really don't understand why Yahweh didn't slay Cain, but perhaps the mark was almost as bad.  I mean, Cain would be reminded over and over and over and over about what he did.  Isn't that quite a punishment?  I wonder how Cain's contemporaries would know what the sign meant?  Something universal probably, like the "A" for adulteress in the novel, "The Scarlet Letter".  Isn't it a good thing we aren't branded today! In a way though, we are; because God knows our heart more clearly than any ring around the moon. 


In your wildest dreams

Imagination; it is the stuff of wonder, the memory of a mind set free to soar above the confines of reality.  Sometimes our imaginations are dreadful and others they are fantastic beyond description.  So it is with this beautiful picture; fantasy become reality.  I really would like to meet the person who drew (painted, photo shopped ?) this.  Can you imagine what he or she would be truly capable of.  There are times though, when reality sounds like fantasy.  Take Jesus for instance.  Walked on water, transmuted water to wine, healed the sick, raised the dead and remembered for over 2000 years... right.  Right, indeed, and true.  Read on...

2 Peter 1:3-18 (WEB)

3) seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue;
4) by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.
5) Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge;
6) and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness;
7) and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love.
8) For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9) For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.
10) Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble.
11) For thus you will be richly supplied with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
12) Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth.
13) I think it right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you;
14) knowing that the putting off of my tent comes swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me.
15) Yes, I will make every effort that you may always be able to remember these things even after my departure.
16) For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17) For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
18) We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.

Today, Christians are ridiculed in public.  Whatever you believe is OK.  Everyone is right; no one is wrong.  Ethics is what you decide it to be.  We live in a society devoid of truth because how can there be truth (I mean THE TRUTH) when there are no standards.  Yet; Jesus lived; Jesus is NOT A MYTH.  There were many, many witnesses.  Untold numbers suffered and died for what they knew to be true.  Christianity is not fantasy land; IT IS TRUTH!!! Believe it, defend it, and hope for heaven.  You won't be sorry a thousand years from now!  God will bless you beyond anything you can think of in your wildest dreams!!!!!!!!!


To the point

I like this mouse!!!  If you look at the bottom of the maze you will notice that the entrance really wasn't an entrance at all; the mouse had to chew his way into this problem.  What does he do? He ignores the problems ahead and chews a path right to the cheese.  I think I will name this little guy "Alexander the Great" because of his tactics.  He really knew how to get to the heart of the matter (the maze).  Jesus did too and here is one example:

Matthew 19:16-24 (WEB)
16) Behold, one came to him and said, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?”
17) He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18) He said to him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’
19) ‘Honor your father and mother.’ And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20) The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?”
21) Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
22) But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.
23) Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty.
24) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus saw the man's problem and gave him the opportunity to overcome it.  Too bad he didn't listen!  Life presents many chances for change, for improvement.  Its up to us to look for the way to victory.  By the way, if you want a bit of interesting reading, check out Alexander the Great's victory over the Persians at Granicus; truly unorthodox.  He was a great man; the mouse deserves the title as well, but neither can compare with the greatest of all: Jesus!!!



Photo shopped or real?  Good question!  As soon as I saw this I was reminded of the book of Ezekiel, which I am currently reading and the vision in the first chapter.

Ezekiel 1:3-24 (WEB)

3) the word of Yahweh came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of Yahweh was there on him.
4) I looked, and behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with flashing lightning, and a brightness around it, and out of its midst as it were glowing metal, out of the midst of the fire.
5) Out of its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. This was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.
6) Everyone had four faces, and each one of them had four wings.
7) Their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot; and they sparkled like burnished brass.
8) They had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and the four of them had their faces and their wings thus:
9) their wings were joined one to another; they didn’t turn when they went; each one went straight forward.
10) As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and the four of them had the face of a lion on the right side; and the four of them had the face of an ox on the left side; the four of them also had the face of an eagle.
11) Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above. Two wings of each one touched another, and two covered their bodies.
12) Each one went straight forward: where the spirit was to go, they went; they didn’t turn when they went.
13) As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches: the fire went up and down among the living creatures; and the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.
14) The living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.
15) Now as I saw the living creatures, behold, one wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, for each of the four faces of it.
16) The appearance of the wheels and their work was like a beryl: and the four of them had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel.
17) When they went, they went in their four directions: they didn’t turn when they went.
18) As for their rims, they were high and dreadful; and the four of them had their rims full of eyes all around.
19) When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.
20) Wherever the spirit was to go, they went; there was the spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
21) When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.
22) Over the head of the living creature there was the likeness of an expanse, like the awesome crystal to look on, stretched forth over their heads above.
23) Under the expanse were their wings straight, the one toward the other: each one had two which covered on this side, and every one had two which covered on that side, their bodies.
24) When they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of an army: when they stood, they let down their wings.

Difficult to explain, harder to understand.  For me, perhaps the best explanation is the inexplicable.  That is, God wanted to communicate the impossible and this would be the only way humans can understand.  God works in ways we will never comprehend, no matter how hard we try and sometimes the best thing we can do is just to MARVEL!!!  I haven't a clue as to how either the bubble in the picture was made or the EXACT MEANING OF EZEKIEL'S VISION.  One thing I do know and that is they both are beautiful and maybe that is enough for now.


What's in a name?

Remember the Batman TV show?  In retrospect, it was stupid and simplistic and even the dullest amongst us could get the message of good against evil.  This "Batman name" picture has to be one of the most stupid things I have seen on the net so far.  But, don't worry, I sure something will come along that will be worse than even this.  Which reminds me of the stupidity of the Corinthians; read what Paul has to say in chapter 10 (especially verse 12)

2 Corinthians 10:7-12 (WEB)

7) Do you look at things only as they appear in front of your face? If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ’s, so also we are Christ’s.

8) For though I should boast somewhat abundantly concerning our authority, (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down) I will not be disappointed,

9) that I may not seem as if I desire to terrify you by my letters.

10) For, “His letters,” they say, “are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is despised.”

11) Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such are we also in deed when we are present.

12) For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding.

Dumb, really dumb; no, beyond dumb, its sheer stupidity.  The Corinthians were thinking more of themselves than they should, even to the point of putting an apostle of Christ down.  Duh, how dumb is that!  I especially like verse 12 because it gets to the heart of the matter.  They were just to wrapped up in themselves to be of any good to OTHERS.  So, just as your Batman name will always be "Batman" according to the chart, so will those who are self-absorbed be just like the Corinthians-- worthless.  By the way, if you want to here something really irritating, listen to the theme from the Batman TV show; its right up there alongside the picture---stupid!