Foolish Arrogance

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check. Proverbs 29:11

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Me: Hello Father!

Abba: Good afternoon, Jon!

Me: Father, what is the relationship between being foolish and being arrogant?

Abba: The scripture points out that “the fear of the Lord” is the beginning of Wisdom. (Wisdom is an antonym of foolishness.)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes (arrogant): fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel [1], and marrow [2] to thy bones.

Proverbs 3

Even as the umbilical sustained you in the womb, your connection to Me will sustain you in life. You did not create the umbilical connection before your birth. That is of My wisdom. You will not sustain yourself in life as I intend if you persist in your own strength.

Me: Thank You Father! I love You!

Abba: You are welcome! I love you!


[1] Literally, umbilical. Figuratively, the center of strength

[2] Marrow produces blood cells (health and life)

Upheld

I am grateful for the revelation that You love us; that You ARE love. This is direction in Deuteronomy, is only right.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Please forgive my frequent inattention and my various distractions from being consciously in Your presence. I am grateful to be in Your presence even if sometimes unconsciously.

Jesus: When I said that I would never leave you nor forsake you, I told you an eternal fact.

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. John 14:17-19

For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people. 1 Samuel 12:22

And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. 1 Kings 6:13

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. Psalm 9:10

For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. Psalm 37:28

For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance. Psalm 94:14

It has ever been thus: I Am Faithful and True.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love you! Thank You for holding Your own so securely!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

No Murmuring

I am grateful for the recent rejection of the OSHA “vaccine” mandate by Iowa and by the Supreme Court for employees of larger businesses.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Philippians 2:14-16

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening Jon!

Me: The phrase “all things” covers a lot of territory!

Jesus: Yes it does. What do you think murmurings are?

Me: Expressing anger under one’s breath?

Jesus: Secret anger. It assumes grudging compliance. Disputings are doubting questions about what ought to be done.

Back up a couple of verses and see the context of these things.

Me:

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:12-13

Jesus: So you see, the “all things” that are to be done cheerfully with a willing heart are those things that I Am working in you to further your growth in salvation (sanctification). How will these actions be done with that kind of attitude, for discipline is not enjoyable in the moment?

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Hebrews 12:11

These instances of exercise (discipline) will only be embraced as you see them as from Me for your perfection. You will be cheerful about them in as much as you delight in your relationship with Me.

Me: I pray health-care workers will find protection from vaccine mandates, as they have been treated differently under the law than other citizens. Please let them find equal protection!

Jesus: Had you not come to the conviction that you would not “practice taking the mark”, no matter the outcome of decisions about the mandate?

Me: Yes, without doubt.

Jesus: And you were trusting Me for the outcome, not the decisions of courts?

Me: With full conviction!

Jesus: Then pray, also, that healthcare workers will be strengthened in their relationship with Me. I will uphold. My promises are true. My plan is steadfast.

For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

2 Corinthians 1:20

Me: I will. Thank You, Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Pastel Sunset

Are We…

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

The story of the arrival of Covid the Cat. He was starving when he came in June of 2020. This morning he weighed in at 12.0#

Late this summer, Vander (below) showed up in the barn. We are nearly sure he is a sibling of Covid due the the apparent age and the similarity of facial markings and exactly matching colors. We don’t know if he had been fending for himself all this time, or was recently put out. He was pretty skinny. This morning, I weighed him at 12.6#.

Vander

You can’t tell in this right-side picture, but Vander has some tan tabby splotches on his back.

Mansions Above are not Real Estate

I am grateful, Jesus, for the place prepared!

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14

Me: Good morning, Jesus!

Jesus: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I thank you for Your prompting to investigate the Greek behind “mansions” in John 14:2! I have never lived in a mansion, and frankly, this passage has never resonated much with me, until now.

Jesus: Yes, many have not felt the desire to seek after a fancy place to call home. But as you found out, I was talking about the marvelous and unmatched privilege of you personally, permanently abiding in relationship with the Father, and with Me, and with the Holy Spirit; all the fullness of God. The culmination of my preparation occurred at the cross, as I told Thomas:

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14

In fact, all the rest of John 14 consists of my efforts to get the disciples to look past the impending terror of the cross to the fullness of the abiding life that I Am making possible.

You should look upon the translators with grace. Words fail any effort to describe the majestic panorama of the union I Am promising and is growing even now.

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! Welcome home! I love you!

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Obedience to (Usurped) Authority?

I am grateful for Your faithful guidance, Holy Spirit!

1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Romans 13

I have probably mentioned it before. This passage has troubled me, since I first read it, many years in the receding past. I also can’t count the times I have been pointed to it by well-meaning Christians, telling me – no matter what – we are required to do what governing authorities tell us, because they are ordained by God. I have a few problems with this simplistic assertion. Let’s first admit that Paul, the author of the Roman Epistle, was no stranger to overbearing government, to Rome’s crucifixions and many other abuses. This passage was probably written eight to ten years before Nero’s worst treatment of Christians and it is not clear how much of Nero’s descent Paul was alive to observe. At any rate, there is little chance Paul was blindly optimistic about about all government. He was in prison for his faith, after all.

However, what type of government is Paul describing as “ordained of God”? Explicitly, one that rewards good behavior and punishes evil behavior; one who ministers the good of God and executes wrath upon the evildoer.

How, then, does a government that rewards or facilitates evil and punishes Godly behavior and conscience reflect on the Creator if we believe such a power is “ordained” by Him? If we believe such an interpretation, what does that tell us about the nature and character of the Ordainer? It took me a long while to recognize that the stance that any and all governing authorities are put in place by God is an outgrowth of the Calvinist theology that everything that happens is enforced by Sovereign God, conveniently absolving men of any responsibility and casting God as dictatorial and less than loving.

I digress. Don’t just think about our current government, rushing headlong to tyranny though it be. Consider also Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, to name a few recent examples. Did God ordain the torture and murder of more than six million Jews (and others) under the Nazis and their collaborators? By no means is the Holocaust the only example of government-sponsored genocide. Stalin may have outdone Hitler. The number of deaths during Chairman Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” tallied forty-five million souls between 1958 and 1961. I was between four and seven at the time, but I don’t remember anyone speaking of it.

No, I firmly believe the thirteenth chapter of Romans describes the proper function of government; that which God ordains. It does not follow that no other type of government can exist. Governors have free will, like all the rest of us. Malevolent behavior in government authority can exist as easily as it can in the heart of the individually governed. If we don’t believe that, then we have put 1 John 1:5 to naught:

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5

A second point that I might make takes it stand, along with Peter and John, called before Annas the high priest and his cohort:

18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Acts 4

One who resists the powers-that-be ought to never loose sight of the fact that the government “bears the sword”, as we read in Romans 13. That fact applies whether the government is of the God-ordained type, or the usurped-by-hell variety. Peter and John received a brutal beating (for which they rejoiced). There will be a cost for resistance.

Consider this passage from the Psalms:

4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. 5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; 7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

Psalm 149

That two-edged sword is a reference to the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12). He who would resist had best be in constant, intimate communication with God. Consider the term “bind” in light of these words of Jesus:

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 16:19

This is work to be done in fervent prayer, offered in full knowledge and conviction of the Word. In the end, we have the government we will accept. We will be victors, or we will be victims.

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On the other hand, if in the flesh we take a stand opposing government, we risk a perilous trap:

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

2 Peter 2:10

Want to know how to pray? Proper government is available within. The immigration policy is straightforward and there is no waiting period.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Revelation 3:19-21

Will you open?

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Something to Keep in Mind

According to a report by StatNews.com, two thirds of the members of Congress cashed checks from Pharma sources prior to the 2020 election.

For Iowa, the report lists $102,000 to Senator Joni Ernst, $32,500 to Senator Chuck Grassley, $1,500 to Abby Finkenaur, and $500 to Cindy Axne. These ties may help explain the response to those of you whom have written to your legislators about any concerns about medical mandates. If I were to paraphrase the tenor of the responses I received, “Thanks for contacting me. Were going to keep on doing what we have been doing.” How about you? Have these contributions damaged hearing in your representatives?

Check out the results for your own state.

Things of Him

Low in the west, crescent descends,
Red-tinged, yet ghostly pale.
On frigid air my breath depends,
Crystalline sharpness I inhale.

Gratitude fills my open heart,
God-flux saturates sight,
Distant canine does its part,
Punctuating chill air of night.

Evening “star” tracks along,
Myriad cousins glitter bright.
Crunch of frost an eerie song,
Retreating back inside.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Romans 1:20
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Reasons to Give Thanks

I am thankful for growth, that we are constantly being built up in You, more firmly established day by day.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: There is a “therefore” in Colossians 2:6. What is that there for?

Jesus: That verse stands upon the whole chapter. Paul was exhorting the Colossians to look to Me for guidance and to be able to put aside those who were bent on introducing misleading doctrines (heresies).

Me: I see some specific examples enumerated in the chapter.

Jesus: What do you see? It will be beneficial to list them.

Me: O.K. –

  1. Comfort, overcoming disquiet
  2. Unifying love
  3. Faith/assurance in understanding (not tentative)
  4. Acknowledgment of the mystery of the Goddhead
  5. Treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge in God
  6. All the above as a guard against being misled or enticed into believing attractive error
  7. Order (I Am is a God of order, not chaos. )
  8. Steadfastness
  9. Faith (in Christ)
  10. Thankfulness/gratitude
  11. Wariness against deceit, philosophy, traditions of men and the world
  12. Recognition that Jesus is the exact (complete) representation of the Godhead
  13. Recognition that we are complete in Him
  14. Recognition that Jesus is Supreme over all powers and principalities
  15. Recognition that we are given power to overcome sin in Christ
  16. We are identified with Jesus in His death (to sin) and resurrection (to eternal life)
  17. In Jesus, the law and its condemnation was fulfilled and no longer contrary to us
  18. In Jesus, we have triumph over those (evil) powers and principalities
  19. We are not to submit to legalism, but see our whole existence in Christ
  20. Jesus nourishes and holds His body together and enables it to increase (if we are bonded to Him)
  21. Those identified in the death of Christ are not subject to the ordinances of the world as a way to serve God
  22. There ought not to be any pride in obeying the ordinances of the world

Jesus: What do you think now?

Me: There is an absolutely astonishing array of guidance, protection, wisdom, and promise to be thankful for in that chapter!

Jesus: Was it helpful to write down the points made?

Me: Yes, it was! Thank you! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Scattered Sheep

I am grateful for the endless nature of relationships; especially with You, God. No matter how I draw near, there are still mysteries and yet-undiscovered delights, heart-depths yet unsounded.

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

Mark 3

Me:
You made that passage come to my attention when we heard it during our workout this morning!

Holy Spirit:
I also made you think of this one:

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me .

John 17

Me:
Yes, Holy Spirit, You did. I believe You are telling me these are related to the so-called demise of the “church”.

Holy Spirit:
I Am. All three of these passages are related to the decline in the human-ordered organization that is the church. As you saw in the Greek for 1 John 2:15, “world” is kosmos and the literal meaning of kosmos is “an ordered system”. That is what the denominational “church” consists of. It is not the assembly that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 16. You can be sure of this, because the very definition of denomination is the differentiation of the values of each piece. (Think of the word when applied to different pieces of money.) This division is the antithesis of the unity Jesus was praying for (John 17:23). Therefore you surely know that these divisions are judgment and fulfillment of the truth that the house divided shall not stand.

Me:
Judgment against what, Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit:
Because the denominational “church” is a construction of man, it is an edifice built to his vain imaginations of what he thinks I Am like and of what he interprets My Word to mean. It is the very definition of that which is of the world. I have only allowed them to build little towers of Babel, as I have no intention of allowing a unified human organization to exist under the heading of the church. They even dare to call each little fractured bit the “house of God”. Do not think that the size of each fragment is an indication the degree my favor rests on it. The larger ones simply have more passive sitters who wait to console their lack of oneness with Me with the speech of their hireling shepherd (John 10:12-13).

When the children of Israel stood before the mountain and saw evidence of My glory, they shied back and told Moses, you listen to God and tell us what He said. (Deuteronomy 5:7) Moses was a prototype of Jesus as Mediator. Now that Jesus has come, placing another as mediator is an affront to His sacrifice. I Am sent to guide each believer into all the truth. Take seriously this passage:

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

1 Timothy 2:5

Me:
I am grateful for our Mediator, and for You, our Guide! I pray You will continue to reveal more to me about the fulfillment of Jesus High-Priestly prayer.

Holy Spirit:
I will.

Me:
Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit:
You’re welcome! I love you!

Deratia