Liberty!

I am grateful for the gift of salvation, believing that You empower me to become more like You!

[For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8;

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. John 4:10;

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12]

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

from James 2

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I have read this passage out of James 2, thinking that James felt that works were preeminent in the life of the believing. That works are evidence, – a litmus test – as it were, of the fidelity of a disciple’s walk in You. It seemed to me to be an outpouring of a lifelong adherence to Judaism as it was practiced by the Pharisees in Jame’s time.

Jesus: Do not miss the earlier unmistakable reference that James made in verse 12:

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” Compare Galatians 5:1 to see what he was talking about:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

James is simply exhorting to consider carefully whether your faith is placed in Me, resulting in a changed heart and changed works or in some idol (self is a common one) resulting in nothing. This is worth constant attention: are you in Me and I in you? If you are, the works will follow of themselves, as Mine do also. In fact, the works that will flow out of your life will be mine. You may walk in them freely.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Finding

I am grateful for Your faithfulness!

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Isaiah 55:6

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: May You not always be found, Lord? Are you not always near?

Jesus: I may always be found by the one who desires to find me:

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Prior to the end, Perception of My presence is up to you. What do you call someone who goes where he is unwelcome?

Me: Intrusive? Unsought? Annoying?

Jesus: Do you think I will win any hearts, if I Am those things?

Me: Not the way You made us.

Jesus: That is right. “Unsought” is the test I use to know if I Am welcome with anyone. I seek a loving relationship with you. I could dominate I chose, but that is not why I made you. Nearly everyone knows someone who is insensitive to social cues. Even though they mean well, they may be seen as selfish and intrusive. Why? Because they are self-focused. You know I Am not like that.

Me: Why do you say “Perception” of Your presence?

Jesus: I am, of course, omnipresent. My existence everywhere and (every-when) is a feature of My nature. David knew this:

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139: 7-16

For those who desire My company, as David (sometimes) did, I Am ever there for them. For those who do not, My presence is not obvious. The part of man that was made to perceive spirit did die in the Garden. It it only restored with the new birth when one chooses to answer My call. Then one can hear my voice. Here is an example of some who did not even when they could see me physically:

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

John 10:24-31

I promised My presence through Moses at the threshold of entering the land I swore to Abraham. Moses related it to Joshua in the hearing of all the people.

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Deuteronomy 31:6,8

I reinforced that promise to Joshua directly. This is who I Am.

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Joshua 1:5

To the disciples and all who would follow, I reassured of My closeness.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:20

My invited presence is the key to a successful and joyful life.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Hebrews 13:5

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Isaiah 55:6-13

Though I allow a relationship with Me to be optional, none should think that it does not matter at the last.

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 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. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3:14-22

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You for helping me to dig into these passages to hear what You are saying about them! I am blessed indeed to have Your promise to be with Me! I don’t know how those who do not know you, navigate their days. I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love You, and I love that you love being with Me!

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

Generations

I am grateful for Your mercy!

Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Matthew 17:17

He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

Mark 9:19

And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

Luke 9:41

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: You know, Jesus, that last week I sat through another of those talks about improving one’s approach to the different attitudes and beliefs of the generations. It seems to me the basis of the books and lectures I have been exposed to is that every “generational cohort” has a set of more-or-less common experiences that shape outlooks.

Jesus: What did they say that resonated with you?

Me: I can certainly see a foundation for the notion that major life events could shape one’s thinking. I thought of my own upbringing during the cold war, complete with nonsensical duck and cover drills in grade school. Many in my generation developed fatalistic attitudes, not expecting to reach adulthood.

Jesus: Fatalistic attitudes are not limited to your generation. Why do you say the drills were nonsensical?

Me: A little later in life, when I had real NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) warfare training in the military, and had seen from close-in video records how the shockwave of a nuclear yield tosses everything in the air and then blows it away. I saw pictures of items further out etched on regular walls by the flash. I realized that ducking under a school desk with one’s hands on his head was really a kind of placebo, not a survival tactic.

Jesus: What did you find most eye opening from the presentation on generational interaction?

Me: One thing was hearing the defining anxiety for the latest generation getting to working age (gen-Z, I think) is fear of the consequences of global warming. That it would be incumbent upon employers to present their best “sustainable” face in order to attract and retain these workers because they had a need to feel they were “part of the solution rather than part of the problem”. Another thing was that at least part of the Millennial generation in the United States was strongly shaped by the events of September 11th, 2001.

I had just finished watching a documentary on the collapse of the Twin Towers and building 7 that brought up a lot of unanswered questions and asserted the discovery of residue of high tech thermite in the debris along with steel micro-spheres, which require molten steel to form. Those assertions (with many others) and those explanations that have commonly been put forth are at odds.

During the section in the presentation relating the different concerns shaping the various generations, It immediately occurred to me that no mater the generation, if these things were the defining events, they were all also highly politicized and the narratives that had been put forth were carefully constructed. They all bear the marks of propaganda designed to produce fear.

Jesus: Your observation about playing on fear is as accurate as it is intentional by those involved. Worse things are coming ahead of My return, nonetheless.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Luke 21:25-27

Yet those who listen to Me hear My admonition to fear not.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

Luke 12:31-33

Perfect Love gets rid of fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1

John 4:18

And fear of any but Me is inconsistent with who I Am. To be made perfect in love is to grow in perfect relationship with Me. That is not of your own doing, but My gift, if you will accept it.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:8

Me: What about the influence of the parents on the next generation?

Jesus: I gave parents the responsibility for raising their children.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Most have vested this responsibility in stewards from whom they have required no accountability. Many have abdicated altogether. Your nation has adopted law pertaining to public schools contrary to My instructions in Deuteronomy 11 for parents. Much more often than parents know, their children are taught that the beliefs of their parents are outdated and wrong. So even if parents endeavor to teach My principles for life at home, they are being undermined in many cases.

I have given plenty of warning that the spiritual condition of parents has long-term consequences.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exodus 20:5

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Exodus 34:7

The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Numbers 14:18

Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

Deuteronomy 5:9

You know anger often comes in response to fear. Consider these instructions.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Colossians 3:21

Me: The presenter of the talk on generational interactions said over and over that different beliefs and outlooks are not wrong and need to be embraced by the other generations, written into policy, and trained into the workforce. It seemed to me an assertion that moral relativism was fine. Just. Fine. Truth? What Pilate said…

Jesus: Here is a truth you can count on.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 14:12, 16:25

I want to talk to you about another passage that you have not recognized is related.

But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

Matthew 11:16-17

Do you recognize the voice of the children of this generation? Saying to each other, “Fall into line with us. Do as we say is right and you will be accepted.”

“Peer pressure” and “Wokeness” are the order of the day. But I Am saying, “Listen to My voice! Set your heart on things above! Be filled with My Spirit! Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:12-14

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You! I pray you will help me have the right attitudes.

Jesus: You are welcome! I Am working on your attitudes as you submit them to Me. I love you!

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Look to Others

I am grateful for air, spoken into existence and maintained by You to satisfyingly fill our lungs, sustaining life at all times. Awake, asleep, running, or resting; thank You for providing!

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (ego, overweening pride); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 (King James Version)

Me: Good morning, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning, Jon!

Me: Considering that passage in Philippians 2, I have to admit chafing if my superiors at work take an opposing stance against any of my ideas of how things ought to be done.

Holy Spirit: Think back to Eve’s interchange with the serpent:

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Genesis 3

What does verse six say about Eve’s rationalization? She “saw” that the tree produced fruit that was “good for food”, which is consideration for sating the physical self. She was going by how the fruit appeared to her, though I had said that it was deadly. Think of how she had to disbelieve My word. She “saw” that it was pleasant to the eyes, giving consideration to the emotional self. You experience, of course, My voice speaking to you and if you consider sinning against My direction, you know how focusing on the object of your desire instead of Me and My word leads to the same kind of decision as Eve made.

I made clear all wisdom is not from above. Let us look at what James says about it:

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

From James 3 (NASB)

Eve was deceived and she desired wisdom from the wrong source. Notice the component of selfish ambition in verse 14? She did not ask Me for My wisdom. I have made it clear to you, also through James, how to get My wisdom:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

Finally, having partaken, Eve gave also to her husband. She was looking after her own interests, putting that demonic wisdom to work, right away.

Me: She was thinking, “If it hadn’t been a good idea, I wouldn’t have done it”?

Holy Spirit: She was. How often the deceived try to convince others to follow them!

Me: I definitely see the similarity to Eve’s deception and my egotistical chafing about being overridden at work. I pray you will help me be constant in seeking You and in putting the welfare of others before myself. I ask You to help me be gracious and convincing if You are guiding me down a path that has been opposed and quick to see and acknowledge if the other person is right.

Holy Spirit: That is a prayer I Am fulfilling.

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Purple Iris with Dew Drops (gracious gift from the Creator)

A Harvest Story

This weekend, I have been laboring at harvesting our redskin potato patch.

We store them in a dark room in the basement in bus bins. I have made a rack so the bins work like drawers. I haven’t had time to wash them yet. Don’t judge.

Bins

To get the bins to the rack, I had to carry them past this little item hanging on a nail in the door frame:

The Masher

I’m not cruel to little potatoes. I told them to hide their eyes.

Divide and Conquer

Lady Justice, modeled on the Greek Goddess Themis, who was regarded as the personification of justice, has been depicted as blindfolded since the 16th century. Her blindfold represents impartiality. I believe this concept has found its way into the judicial systems of many societies because it is intrinsic to the character and nature of God and we are made in His image. Therefore, we have within us the same understanding of the rightness of impartiality in judgement. Listen to Peter:

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

Acts 10:34-35

What American is unfamiliar with at least the beginning of the Declaration of Independence? Here too, the concept of equality is spelled out.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Second Paragraph of the Declaration of Independence

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1868, six years after the end of the American Civil War. The amendment clarified who is a citizen. Clearly the intent was to circumvent discrimination against former slaves. Two years prior, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 declared all persons born in the United States to be citizens, “without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude”. Note, however, there is nothing in the language of the Fourteenth Amendment that identifies any class of persons.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1

Taxonomy is the formalization of a system of classification. Its very purpose is to organize living organisms by identifiable differences. The process has been applied to humans. There are at least eight levels: Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species. The graphic below is a partial illustration. The quotations above are all aimed at the tip of the inverted pyramid – Man (the species). That is, all of us.

Partial Classification of Man (my graphic)

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, continued with the approach of the Civil Rights Act of 1886. The newer act forbade discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin. It had the effect of creating “protected classes” of people. These acts came about because of general recognition of discrimination against some by business owners, landlords, even government officials, to name a few examples.

Additional legislation has been expanding “protected classes” ever since. Race, color, sex, religion, and national origin have been joined by disability/handicap, familial status, ancestry, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status.

These additional classifications amount to subspecies branching out under the point of the taxonomic pyramid which have turned the figure into a pyramid resting on the roots of diversity.

It seems to me our forefathers had more wisdom than our later selves. The act of naming these subspecies in the law and making protected classes of them is antithetical to equal protection under the law. We did not need protected classes. We needed, and still need, equal protection under the law. It does not come by dividing us.

The Merriam Webster definition of “divide and conquer”: [Strategy] to make a group of people disagree and fight with one another so that they will not join together against one.

These problems are not accidental.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

Well, Well.

Back in the land of pseudointernet (service is 1502 kbps down/382 kbps up, woo-hoo!) after more than a week. The ADSL modem went belly up. Windstream doesn’t have a “store” in our state. They first shipped a Wi-Fi extender by warehouse mistake. Today an actual modem appeared via FedEx and well, here we are!

Withered?

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.

20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

from Mark 11
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I sat with an acquaintance (who shall remain anonymous) this evening who was recounting one after another of the things he judged to be perpetually wrong in his life, voicing his anger toward this family member or that one, the failure of mental health people to help him, his various “diagnoses”, why others were to blame for Every. Single. Thing. I found only one thing he said that I agreed with: the failure of those working in the mental health profession to help him. The truth can set one free from all these maladies. Coping strategies are, at best, only learning to live with one’s demons. If one has been conditioned that error is truth and truth is error, well, the steering is going to be off. Neither mental health professionals, nor I, nor anyone else can force someone to walk in truth they have discounted. (Why that condition exists in this case is a long story.)

I did try to get this friend to agree to look at the passage in Mark 11, especially verses 23 & 24. If one has a mountain to move, what are his chances of success if he dissipates all his energy giving voice to his inadequacy and the impossibility of the task?

The passage talks about believing and not doubting. Doubting in this context is simply unbelief. Belief vs. unbelief. Verse 22 says “Have faith in God.” That is who we are talking about here. People who know God. This friend says he is in that category.

I am sure the fig tree in this passage serves as an object lesson for exactly how to have a withered life. (Hoping one would choose to avoid that end, of course.) Where is the wisdom in a man cursing his own existence? If one does so, while blaming God for not “fixing” it, what shall we do with that promise in verse 23 that says, “[H]e shall have whatsoever he saith”?

I have written extensively before about the value of lending one’s voice to the truth the scripture proclaims about the believer. That is, acknowledging who we are in Christ.

My unhappy and misguided friend is applying his energy rushing headlong in a diametrically-opposed direction. We would all still be on that path if we were unable or unwilling to believe Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin is sufficient. Something deep inside recognizes the truth that we deserve destruction, except we acknowledge the value He places in us. Redemption in Christ brings us into His glorious light, even from the deepest darkness.

Lord, please open my friend’s eyes, for things are possible with You which are impossible with men. I know also, that he is not alone. I know what it is like. I thank You for leading me away from cursing my own life with the lips you gave me to express gratitude and Your majesty, and to marvel at all You have made and continually sustain for our benefit. I pray these words might give guidance to any who need to find You and learn to say what You say. Blessing and not cursing.

Liberty and Belief

I want to introduce you to a blogger that I have been following for some time. The link below is to a worthy read. You may have noted a steadily growing list of companies getting on board with the government’s emphatic desire to see everyone “vaccinated” and making getting the shot a condition of employment. I am one who believes God is my healer. I am pragmatic enough to understand that hedging my bets with another belief that does not depend upon Him is (at least for me) an expression of unbelief which works against my seeing that healing – already purchased by Jesus – manifest in my life. I know this may turn some of my limited audience off. But, I think it is important to think this trough from the spiritual perspective. Liberty stands squarely on that very foundation. I ask you to consider well. As things foretold draw nearer, we are going to need all the liberty we can maintain.

https://www.monkeywerxus.com/blog/to-jab-or