Sunday, March 22, 2009

Meekster is coming (2)

Ya' know, the first time Jesus (the meek) came, He came as a shepherd - to seek and save the lost. He came to be known as a gifted teacher. Indeed, at one point He was invited to speak - and then comment on - the portion of Scripture to be read in the synagogue that day. This is recorded for us in Luke 4:16-22 which goes,
"So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth."
Jesus was, of course, quoting Isaiah 61:1-2, with the NOTABLE EXCLUSION of the last part of verse 2, which says, "And the day of vengeance of our God". This, of course, is to be fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus (yet to happen, though it is not known when...)
Do not associate meekness with weakness! Jesus was not, is not and will not be a wuss! He is the Righteous Judge, tasked with the (ultimate) judicial sentencing (vengeance) of God! As such He is worthy of our utmost repect and obedience, to the exclusion of all else in this sinful world. At His 2nd coming, He will also proclaim, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
May it be so. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's derby day (soon)

A few weeks ago a block of wood, 4 screws (for axels), 4 plastic wheels and four washers were brought home by our youngest child to be entered into his Calvinist Cadet Corps derby race.

Now, I am not a woodworker, but our oldest child went through a similar contest about 25 years ago, and I (as Dad) had fun using my power jigsaw carving out a few different "cool" shapes (our oldest entered a car at least 2 years running). So, here I am an "experienced" shape carver as my youngest trots home the package of goodies.

"Hmmmm", I thought, "I really sucked last time using a hand-held jigsaw. What I need is a proper scroll saw." A quick trip to Canadian Tire solved that problem. Also got some spray paint (red - Critters choice), some spray lubricant, some washers (for extra weight if needed), some Gorilla wood-glue, sand paper and a sanding block. I then spent some time figuring out with Critter what basic design should we contemplate. He had a drawing book that showed several modern and concept cars. We kind of settled on one, but decided it would be better as a pick-up truck.

So then I started to hack and saw the block, taking cut off pieces, hacking and sawing them and gluing and re-aligning, and sawing some more, and drilling and re-aligning and sawing... finally ended up with something that I thought (so did everyone) looked pretty cool.

That was 2 days ago. Today, my grandson Trenton brought over something his other grandfather had made. Now, that man IS a woodworker. The thing was incredible, and makes mine look like something only a real amateur would do. *sigh*. Oh well, at least MAYBE ours will run the course fastest, even if it doesn't compete for over-all design...

I take some comfort in remembering my oldest still has her original 2 derby cars at her home somewhere. Maybe Critter will keep his for at least 25 years, too. And ya' know, maybe that's the most important part - sharing an experience. I cut, he sanded. I painted, he sanded. It's really not about "winning", because how can you lose when you share moments of joy - and the "race" isn't even on till next week.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The sinful absurdity of polygamy...

In some (thankfully only some) Christians, the mindset is that unless God directly and plainly said to an Old Testament personality something pertaining directly to their "sin" (so called today because of principles stated that magnify/clarify OT principles), that such behaviour need not be considered sinful. Their logic goes something like this regarding the practice of polygamy:

"They had a personal relationship with God and God made His will known to them, especially when it came to simple things, such as the number of wives they could have! Had he been displeased with their plural wives, He would have notified them I am positive, and we would know this today because it would be recorded in His Law-Word. It is not."

Sadly, this is faulty logic that will lead to the pits of hell. To illustrate, I want to examine a few incidents in the Bible.

1. Consider Lot and the occasion of the visit to him by 2 men (angels, directly from God, identified as so in Genesis 19:1)

We know the story, the men of Sodom came to Lot and demanded that he release the 2 so that they could have sexual relations with them. Notice Lot's response: (verse 8): "See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men..." In other words, Lot offered to prostitute his 2 unmarried daughters. Nowhere in the following verses is it indicated that the angels objected to this offer, or gave any negative connotation to this act of Lot's.

Therefore, since the logic used by the above mentioned fools would indicate that since Lot received no (direct) condemnation, it is approved by God that fathers prostitute their daughters, especially in the light of the fact that Lot is referred to as "just" (righteous) - 2 Peter 2:7.

2. Consider Lot (again) with his 2 surviving daughters and the incest recorded in Genesis 19:31-38. Again, the logic used by the above mentioned fools would indicate that since neither Lot nor his daughters received no (direct) condemnation, it is approved by God that fathers have incestuous relationships with their daughters, especially when they are drunk (Lot received no condemnation for being drunk) and that it is also permissible to be so drunken as to be totally blotted out from knowing what is going on about you. So drunkenness is a "bonus" added in this incident, since God didn't speak to Lot about it. (Ephesians 5:18 didn't come till later, but hey, we must rely on Lot's example because we can't give any additional 'weight' to the Ephesians reference...)

3. Consider the case of Jephthah (Judges 11:29-40), who in verse 1 it is said, "Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah..." went on to make a stupid (in my humble opinion) vow. As it turned out, the vow obligated him to sacrifice his daughter by burning her to death as an offering. Now, it must be noted that commentators over the years have disputed over whether or not he actually did burn her up, or did he regulate her life in solitude. Nevertheless, using the logic of the above mentioned fools, we have an indication that since Jephthah received no (direct) condemnation, it is approved by God that fathers burn their daughters as sacrifices. (Leviticus 27:1-5) notwithstanding, because, hey, we must rely on Jephthah's example because we can't give any additional 'weight' to the Leviticus example.

Look, absurd is absurd. Twisted logic is nothing but twisted logic. It is sinful, and morally wrong. The above mentioned fools need to repent, lest they fall into the condemnation of Matthew 7:23: "And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"

and/or the condemnation found in Jude 1:3b-7: "I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." (emphasis mine.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meekster is coming...

Ya' can tell - Easter Creme Eggs (available for a limited time) are now on the shelves. Chocolate bunnies, colourful egg-painting kits, the promise of spring - with its natural fever-pitched 'spring-cleaning' rites (woe the poor husbands who are on the receiving end of the honey-do list!) Oh how well is the season to be rejoiced! But, I think we do it all for the wrong reasons. It is not for the glorious feasting of chocolate. It is not for the joy of re-doing the house, or even the joy of shopping for new clothes. It is not the renewing of the earth into its multi-coloured change from drab brown. It is not from the promise of planting dead things and watching them come alive... or is it?

Monday, March 9, 2009

the meek shall inherit (3)

I was listening to the radio the other day about the launch of a telescope whose sole purpose is to examine a particular spot in the milky way to see if it could detect any earth-like planets revolving around a sun. The supposition is that if a planet similar to ours is found, perhaps there are "others like us" in the depths of space.

I was reminded then of certain "scientists" who claim that life on earth was the result of some "super-evolved aliens" somehow seeding life on this planet earth. Now I had to ask myself, in my generation, with the landing of men on the moon in 1969, and various unmanned spacecraft landing on Mars, what is the type of "seedlings" we have left on the Moon and on Mars. The short answer, of course, is garbage.

Let's face it, if aliens came to our world in eons past, they, like us, on leaving to return from whence they came, would have left excess bagage, ie garbage. Now, excuse me, but if the human race derived from alien garbage, there is something wrong with that picture. Meek is meek, but alien garbage is NOT in whose image we are made. It is only "garbage thinking" that would present such a possibility.

In the meantime, let us hope that in 100 billion years the garbage we left on the Moon and Mars doesn't come back to bite us...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The meek shall inherit... (2)

I want to quote from a theology book I am currently reading:

The sixth commandment is in these terse words: "Thou shalt not kill." Its obvious scope is the preservation of life. It forbids all that unrighteously assails our own and others' lives, and enjoins all suitable means for the preservation of both. This command is based upon these two great truths: that life is God's gift, and therefore to be abridged or taken away only at His command; and that life is of supreme value to every man. In robbing a man of life, you would virtually rob him of every valuable thing which life includes. It is committing against a fellow-man every species of robbery in one. The Scriptures also ground the prohibition of taking man's life on his likeness to God. Genesis 9:6b, "For in the image of God made He man." James 3:9 also founds the lesser sin of slander and reviling partly on the same fact. Man's rational, moral and immortal nature is the chief glory of his being; it reflects the glory of God's. Hence, to invade this being is at once the most enormous wrong against the creature, and an act of impiety against God." (end of quote.)

Let this be an advisory to those who let their lives be (overly) influenced by those who seek to tear down or attack others - in whatever guise (though I suspect that "The truth must be told!" is the most common and self-satisfying.)

Those who know me best know that from time to time I like to stir up the pot, but to the best of my knowledge I have never engaged in a personal vendetta against someone who has (for whatever reason - just or unjust) offended me. I may have quietly stewed, or may have encouraged my family not to socialize too readily but to draw back and consider, and above all else, gone to the Scripture for both solace and wisdom.

Oh, tell me the struggle to be meek! "Been there, done that" - not quite! I must confess - and note the word "confess" - that I do have a hit list, that is people on whom I do not wish God's blessings, yet I believe as my meekness grows, the list is smaller, plus I do not get as surprised anymore when others - ESPECIALLY CHRISTIANS - disappoint me.

I just hope and pray that when (not if) I disappoint THEM, they have more meekness than I...

The meek shall inherit...

Part 1

We all know the familiar conclusion to that beginning. For some reason, the beginning of this day saw me with that verse popping into my mind, and from time to time rearing itself into my thoughts throughout the day. Don't you just hate when an idea crops in and won't leave you alone? I suppose that great inventors and/or capitalists and/or terrorists and/or magistrates and/or legislators and/or educators and/or intellectuals get ideas from time-to-time that won't leave them alone either.

What is unique, however, is that the made-up list I have presented would not, generally, include the suggestion of "meek" as THE outstanding trait. Why would, in all the magnificient words of Scripture, the "meek" get it all? See Psalm 37:11, and less some think that was strictly an Old Testament opinion, see also Matthew 5:5.

Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It is not an outward action, but an inward behaviour. It is not concerned with self (how do I look to "them" (perhaps the unwashed masses!)) but is concerned with relationships to others.

The whole Bible Jesus boiled down to basically 2 principles: Love God; love others. The trick is to do it "meekly".

Monday, March 2, 2009

The problem with age

is that you get older and start to run down. Today the truck wouldn't start. Not because of the cold. As soon as the ignition key was turned, there was a pop, and all the lights went out and the truck was a dead thing. Turns out one of the battery terminal ends had corroded, leaving no juice available to all the things dependant on it - such things as lights, starter motor, etc.

Life is a lot like that. When I saw the corroded end, I acted very mature (for my age.) Whereas in years gone by I would have grabbed the closest available hammer and whacked the battery to pieces, and/or the hood, lights, mirrors, doors, windows - all the time vocalizing in no uncertain terms my displeasure - todays it was a mere *sigh* and a slumping shrug followed by a slow retreat into the house and a quiet request for a tea.

Now the question I have to ask myself is, what has corroded in me, and is it such a bad thing that I (generally) don't break things anymore? Is it age? Or "maturity"? Indifference? Resignation? A realization the such a thing was ordained by God - before the foundation of the world - to happen exactly at this moment - just to see how I would react?

Curve balls do get thrown into our lives - especially when we least expect (or need) it. Whether it is things breaking in inopportune moments, or people being terrible jerks (WHERE IS MY TEA THAT I ASKED FOR 35 MINUTES AGO!!!), we all must face the fact that we will react to a situation in either one of two ways. Joy or despair. Fear or hope. Rage or peace. Steadfastness or revenge. Wisdom or thoughtlessness. Make up your own contrasts that you know exist in your own life.

Then choose whom you will serve this day.