Category: <span>Suffering</span>

From an  disturbing article on the meaning of life; New York Times: “when the Hubble space telescoped (sic) pointed to a black spot in the sky about the size of an eraser head for a week it found 30,000 galaxy(sic) over 13 billion years old with many trillions of stars and many many more trillions of inferred planets. (So) how significant are you?  … You are not a unique snowflake, you are not specials (sic), you are just another piece of decaying matters (sic), on the compost pile of this world. Nothing of who you are and what you will do in the short time you are here will matter. Everything short of that realization is vanity. So celebrate life in every moment, admire its wonders, (and) love without reservation.” What? Really? The conclusion does not match the premise! Tim Keller addresses the discrepancy “…given the secular view of the…

Psalm 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Proverbs 11:2  When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. There are no heroes amongst the redeemed. These are just the redeemed, a passive position, implying that some other did the heroic work. Yes Christ, hero, Christ Savior, Christ Redeemer. Heros — “(in mythology and folklore) a person of superhuman qualities and often semidivine origin, in particular one whose exploits were the subject of ancient Greek myths — A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities — The chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.” Far from heroes, nevertheless, we have been placed in Christ, our hero.  Yes, baptized into…

Abraham’s story with Isaac has always miffed me. Why did God ask the elderly Abe to sacrifice his son? — the son of promise. Is there a mystery to be unveiled or a metaphor to be explained? It doesn’t seem possible that Abraham would comply to this “outrageous” demand of God, not to mention how different God, now, must have appeared to Abe. Was it a test? Yes it was. Was there a lesson to be learned? Yes there was. In a previous episode leading up to chapter 21, Abraham had received a promise from God of a ” son of his old age.” Tired of waiting,  Abe tried to produce the promised child through a handmaid of his wife. Dishonoring God in unbelief, the promised couple, Abe and Sarah, made a mess of things. Ishmael, “God will hear,” represented the anti-promised child. Born in the interim of waiting for…

When I think of a person, fellow human sufferer; I well-up with love and compassion. So also did Jesus Matthew 9:36 tells us, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” And again in Matthew 14:14  “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.” Also in Matthew 15:32  “Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.” New testament “compassion” was taken from a Greek word relating to our English word “spleen.” Spleen works in a man as a blood filter and also regulates the immune system…

Jean Valjean, a vagabond in the classic “Les Miserables” was a just released prisoner in midlife. “Nineteen years in French prison have left him rough and fearless. He walked for four days in the Alpine chill of nineteenth century southeastern France, only to find that no inn will take him, no tavern will feed him.” Max Lucado tells the story in “Grace.” “Finally he knocks on the door of a bishop’s house. Monseigneur Myriel is seventy five years old. Like Valjean he has lost much. The revolution took all the valuables from his family, except some silverware, a soup ladle, and two candlesticks.” “Valjean expects the religious man to turn him away. “ “But the Bishop is kind. He asks the visitor to sit near a fire.” “He explains, ‘This is not my house, but the house of Jesus Christ.’””…  They dine on soup and bread, figs, and cheese with…

On this years Labor Day, I can only think of one laborer; our Merciful Savior. He came in the volume of the book to do the will of His Father. He finished the work that was set before Him, and faced a bloody cross and death. Do any of our “works” compare with His? His was “vicarious.” “performed or suffered by one person as a substitute for another or to the benefit or advantage of another.” Not like working for our families, friends, or government which deserves commendation when we do it, but He stood-in as a substitute for a deeper need, the redemption of our fallen souls. Without His work, a sacrifice which led to His death, all of our works would merit little — a few dollars and perhaps a good night’s rest. Yes, a few hours of peaceful mind often appears inviting, as life offers little rest.…

Peter fished: “Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. Matthew 4:18 He walked on the water: “Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. Matthew14:28-29 He spoke well: “Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16 He rebuked the Lord: “Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Matthew 16:22 He queried Jesus: “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Matthew 18:21 “Behold, we have forsaken all,…

We can know that God loves us. How? The Bible tells us so. “Knowing” proceeds on several levels, so “knowing God loves us” is perceived in several abilities. First the mind can grasp a truth from the Bible translated into our language. Our language learning has given us an ability to take hold of meanings. If the Bible has meaning to me, it happens because something in me can relate to something outside of me. The relating brings the Word in. In me are the tools of creation, the faculties of humankind, created in His image and likeness. Outside of me, the Word initiates a friendship. This friendship occurs as we give authority to this Word by lending a worshiping ear to it; this implies that we comprehend it, believe it, reckon on it, position our focus on it, become a willful servant to it. (see Roman’s 6) God Himself…

When disappointments would come my mother would say, “its not the end of the world.” Since those days I have had many “end of the worlds.” Perhaps some of us are having a doomsday even as we write — a grand parent, mother or father, even a son or daughter have gone away. Friends, Jesus is the glory and the lifter of our heads. Psalm 3:3 Robert Nathan wrote his poetic cry: God of pity and love, return to this earth, Go not so far away, leaving us to evil, Darkness is loose upon the world, the Devil Walks in the land, and there is nothing worth. Death like a dog, runs howling from his lair; His bite has made men mad, they follow after All howling too, and their demoniac laughter Drowns like a sea our solitary prayer. Return, O Lord, return. Come with the day, Come with the…

I’m so glad, He saved my weary and wayward soul! I will go to heaven one day, because He came to earth and died. Through His blood poured out, I was washed. Some folks feel He came to give us a second chance. Sorry, that would not be enough for me because I am a hopeless sinner. A second chance would imply that I could change myself; I could not. I write with thanksgiving deep in my heart, but many do not have this. They are still trying hard, religiously dedicated. They feel that some day their fervency will measure up to a reward from God. It will not. More honest are the drunks, addicts, and prostitutes; they are closer to the kingdom. But will they come to God for cleansing in His blood? If not they will die in their sins. A third group have adopted one of many…