Fear of the Dark

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Are you afraid of the dark?

Maybe you fear what could be in the nighttime darkness.  

Fear not.

The darkness is only temporary!

“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever (Revelation 22:1-5 NASB).”

 

 

North and South

The War Between the States, (north & south) holds a place in America’s history. 

In scripture, (1 Kings 12-16) we read of conflicts and separation between northern Israel and southern Judah.

“When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying,

‘What portion do we have in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse;
To your tents, O Israel!
Now look after your own house, David!’

So Israel departed to their tents.  But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.  Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.  So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day (1 Kings 12:16-19 NASB).”

North or south, God is in control.

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all it contains, You have founded them.
 The north and the south, You have created them (Psalm 89:11-12a NASB).”

What a Friend!

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“and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,’ and he was called the friend of God (James 2:23 NASB).”

‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus’ by Joseph M. Scriven/ 1855-Public Domain

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.

 

Woe is Me…

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Woe is me…

Were you a Hee-Haw fan?

Maybe you still are.

If so, you likely recall a regular segment.

Several of the cast regulars were sprawled out on the floor. Sometimes, guest stars joined in the singing lament. 

“Gloom, Despair & Agony On Me (If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all)!”

What a pity party.

The group needed a good dose of old time religion.

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (James 1:2-3 HCSB).”

It’s easy for me to fall into the devil’s trap of despair, despondency and depression.

That’s when I need to turn to God.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
and delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.

Many adversities come to the one who is righteous,
but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:17-19 HCSB).”

 

But God!

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“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst,  just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power (Acts 2:22-24 NASB).”

He’s Alive!

“and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, ‘Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,  saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:5-7 NASB).”

Palm Sunday… where will you be?

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“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest (Matthew 21:9b NKJV)!”   

Palm Sunday… where will you be?

Most of us will remain in our homes; worshiping through television, radio or internet connections. Others will gather at church drive-in Palm Sunday worship services.

We may not be waving palms.

We will be praising the LORD Jesus.

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:

‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!’

And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:

‘Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever (Revelation 5:11-13)!”

 

Shut In

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COVID-19 has us shut in.

Don’t fight it.

God shut Noah in.

“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.

And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth Genesis 7: 13-17 KJV).”

The LORD protected Noah, his family and the animals.

“And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

And God spake unto Noah, saying,

Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth (Genesis 8:14-17 KJV).” 

The earth is in the grips of Coronavirus. It’s in multiplication mode.

Fear not; wait for the rainbow!

 

 

 

Census 2020

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Watch for your incoming mail.

It’s time to take part in the 2020 census.

Your information is important to your community as well as our nation.

“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.  Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7 NASB).”

Times are changing. We can now give census information at our door; by phone and via the Internet.

Scoffers

 

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Many scoff at Biblical prophecy.

I’m not surprised.

“First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.’ They willfully ignore this: Long ago the heavens and the earth were brought about from water and through water by the word of God. Through these waters the world of that time perished when it was flooded. But by the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat.  But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell (2 Peter 3:3-13 HCSB).”

 

 

 

Validity of a Vow

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“I Adam, take you Eve, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part.”

The groom swooned over his bride and tried not to reveal his confusion about the vows he had made.

How could it get any better than this? What is worse?

I live in paradise and every day is sublime!

God provided all his needs: he walked in the midst of riches, fruits and even gold was easily gathered. He never even gave a thought to being poor. He enjoyed perfect health and had never been a witness to death.

“Eve, I take you as my bride.”

Eve remembered that commitment and wondered how she could have been so naive as to believe the serpents lies. Eve would experience worse than she could have imagined. God banished them from the garden, Adam toiled endlessly, food was scarce, and labor pains in birth for two sons were nearly unbearable.

She craved more of Adam’s love.

The love for Adam, Cain and Abel sustained her. As both wife and mother, she felt needed. God had promised death for disobedience; what was death?

She learned death was the cruelty of Cain, the victimization of Abel, blood crying out from the ground and an emptiness even the love of Adam could not fill.

Eva placed a bookmark in the Genesis chapter, closed the Bible and placed it on the nightstand next to her bed in the cramped Nursing Home room. She had been daydreaming again.

The characters in scripture were as real to her as the nurses who kindly cared for her. The Bible was not merely history; writers shared details of lives of real people. She had empathy for Eve.

Her own heart had felt the joy of becoming a bride and the wedding vows still rung in her ears though she could hardly hear a rap at her door.

Eva slowly turned her head to the left and saw her mate of over 65 years with his head slumped over on his chest. He was asleep setting up in his wheel chair, in front of the window, where the nurse left him. .

He had paid no attention to birds outside and little to Eva during the last three years. The doctors diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s disease and he slipped away to a world of his own. To Eva, the walls of separation were formidable. She felt the heartache of death long before any preacher would share a eulogy.

Preacher Gray knocked on the open door, entered and greeted Eva with a smile, saying, “Good morning Eva. What have you been up to?”

“I’ve just been reading from Genesis, thinking about Adam and Eve, the vows a man and wife make to each other during their wedding service and how little they understand what they mean. It seems like just yesterday… “I, Eva take thee Charles.”

Her vow trailed off across space and time.

The squeaking of a small movement of a wheel chair broke the silence and preceded Charles’ faltering voice declaring, “Till death do us part.”