Stuck In The Muck and Mire

“But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” – LUKE 22:21‭-‬22‭, ‬40 NASB

When I turned on the radio this morning, and a new song by Matthew West was playing. It’s called “Unplanned.” I was unplanned. My 2 younger sisters and my younger brother were unplanned. Should we then not be allowed to live? How many of you, my wonderful readers, were unplanned by your birth parents? I can’t hear the song without being brought to tears. What a slap in the face of the Creator it is each time an unwanted, unplanned baby is destroyed! We betray our Lord with each abortion that is performed. I supported the abortion industry for years until I realized exactly what I was supporting. I wasn’t supporting women’s rights, I was supporting a massive industry that was all about money. As a society, we are stuck in the muck and the mire of political correctness, in which there is very little that is correct.

“…. behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table…..”

That hand was my hand. Betraying the God of the Universe; betraying His Son, and putting His life on the line, just as we put the life of every single innocent baby on the line with each abortion performed. Jesus had to bear that sin on the cross!

Charles Spurgeon, one the greatest evangelists to ever live, said this, “for those claiming to be Christians, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper will also deceive you, if you rest your salvation on them; when you are near death you will find them too frail to be supports to bear the weight of an immortal soul’s eternal interests. It will be worthless when you lie dying, if your conscience prompts you to say, “I went to church or to prayer meetings so many times a week.” You will find it a poor dressing to your soul’s wounds to be able to say, “I made a profession of godliness.” Oh, your facade will all be torn away from you by the rough hand of the skeleton called “Death”; you will need a real Savior, vital godliness, true regeneration, not baptismal regeneration; you will need Christ, not sacraments; and nothing short of this will do “at the end.”

Are we merely claiming to be Christians, the Christians Charles Spurgeon talks about, resting our ‘Christianity’ on an outward show of rituals and attendance, or have we put Jesus in our hearts and our consciousness? Are we listening to our Lord apeak in our lives? I am a massive failure at hearing God in my life. Many times, I hear Him and then I do what I decide to do. I know one thing: I do not want to continue to be that hand on the table betraying my Lord! Abortion – or rather, the opposition of it – may not be your ‘sword’, but I believe it should be in every Christian’s arsenal.

Please hear this: There is forgiveness for having an abortion, or for having facilitated one (or hundreds). That doesn’t mean it’s okay to sweep our participation under the rug, so to speak. I am grateful I didn’t have an abortion, even though I was not prepared in any way to raise a baby*. I was blessed beyond measure that a family member was there to step in and adopt my child, and I know that there are hundreds of Christ-followers who would give almost anything to be able to have those unplanned, unwanted, babies. (*I wanted my baby, but was emotionally, physically, and financially unable to care for the child…. and the father was even more ill-equiped than I.)

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” – PSALMS 139:13‭-‬16 NASB

“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” – ISAIAH 53:4‭-‬7 NASB

Jesus bore the weight of every single child lost through abortion. Like Him, they are lambs, and we are the sheep that are silent. We will do well to immitate Him. As Peter tells us,

“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, And His ears attend to their prayer, But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit ….. ” – 1 PETER 3:8‭-‬9‭, 12,18 NASB

Matthew West announced this song on Twitter with the following message, “As long as my God holds the world in His hands, I know there’s no such thing as Unplanned. Watch the music video for Unplanned from the @UnplannedMovie at the link below. https://t.co/hsd7HT0ruT pic.twitter.com/yg1bU2L3WN

Oh I don’t believe in accidents
Miracles, they don’t just happen by chance
As long as my God holds the world in his hands
I know that there’s no such thing as unplanned

The GLORY

“The heavens proclaim the GLORY of GOD. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” – Psalms 9:1‭-‬4a NLT

WOW.

Verse 3: “There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” The heavens, the skies, the sun and the moon and the stars; the planets …. the clouds all display the Majesty and the Glory of GOD! It isn’t just the heavens, either.

“Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! The gods of other nations are mere idols, but the LORD made the heavens! Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice! Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy! Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for He is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with His Truth.” – Psalms 96:1‭, ‬5‭-‬5‭, ‬11‭-‬13 NLT

Throughout scriptures, everything that we (humans) see as inanimate comes alive in praising the Creator. Picture a black night sky positively bursting with stars, or an impossibly blue sky full of dancing clouds! Can you see the fields and valleys literally glowing with new grasses and flowers and leaves, rejoicing in the breezes? The sea, as the whales and dolphins leap and the fish fly threw the air? Smell the scents of the forest, dirt and pine and newness of life. How can you look at new life, animal or human, and not see the Hand of the Creator GOD?

It just happened?? Who in their right mind could believe it?

The Big Bang, or Creation?

“Behold now, Behemoth, which I made as well as you; He eats grass like an ox. Behold now, his strength in his loins And his power in the muscles of his belly. He bends his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze; His limbs are like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of GOD; Let his Maker bring near His sword.” ….. “If a river rages, he is not alarmed; He is confident, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth. Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?” – Job 40:15‭-‬19‭, ‬23‭-‬24 NASB

Dragon? Dinosaur? Figment of Job’s imagination?

“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with GOD, let him answer it.” – Job 40:2 ESV

For this is the Truth:

GOD created it all: the Universe – Light and dark; stars, suns, and planets. He landscaped the earth with rocks and dirt and water. He added all of the vegetation, then He created all living things. He saved His crowning achievement for last; He created man in His Own Image: Adam, then Eve, and all generations that follow. We were created to worship our Creator; to be His companions, and to be the caretakers of this beautiful world He created just for us! How are we doing in our job? Pretty poorly, in my opinion. We question – and deny – that the Almighty could have created the universe in only 6 days. We are determined to “prove” that man could not have possibly co-existed with dinosaurs. (If you fall into that camp, I would encourage you to read the beginning passage again.) We refuse to be real caretakers; instead, we are trashing the earth, the gift He lovingly gave us. Just look at the oceans and rivers and how polluted and trashy they are, and the dirty cities we inhabit. We aren’t even taking care of our humanity! It’s okay to kill our children before they are born, but it’s horrible to use the plants and animals the LORD gave us to sustain us? Rather than submitting ourselves to our Creator, we act as though we are His equal…..

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’? “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment. From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken. “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this. “Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great! “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass? “Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the frost of heaven? The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together? “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?” – Job 38:1‭-‬41 ESV

Image from wikipedia.com

Morning Has Broken

“In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1 NIV

Gorgeous June morning! Cool breeze from the South, blackberry bushes bursting with fruit; crepe myrtles and lilies, hostas and cannas blooming in all their glory; robins and finches and mocking birds filling the air with their songs…. I can only imagine that heaven must be even more incredible, more beautiful than the most enjoyable morning here on this flawed earth. In 1971, on his album Teaser and the Firecat, Cat Stevens sang “Morning Has Broken,” a poem and hymn first published in 1931. (Written by a Scottish author Eleanor Farjeon). It goes in part:

Mine is the sunlight
Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning
God’s recreation of the new day

Our Creator, LORD of the Universe, Ruler of all things, Master Builder – Healer, Lover of mankind, Commander of the angel armies;and ultimately, Judge of every living thing…. The Supreme GOD of all gods, loved us – LOVES us – enough to give us beauty and life, even after we reject and neglect and deny Him. Yes, it takes faith in order to believe that there is a supreme being that created the universe, and in fact, spoke it into being. It also take faith to believe in the Big Bang, because the matter needed to set it off had to come from somewhere. (I’ll let you in on a secret. It came from GOD’S Mouth!)

Whatever you are doing with your life, take a few moments to step away from the demands and the busyness and breath in the beauty of our world; marvel at the Glory of our LORD and His recreation of each new day. GOD knew that Adam and Eve were going to defy Him, and He gave them (and us!) a beautiful, bountiful world to live in anyway. That’s how much He Loves us!

Photo: Sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico – our Happy Place!

Is God Just An Archaic Idea?

Do you think GOD is archaic? Maybe you consider the Bible to be just an old, musty book, and that the idea that one supreme being could have created everything that exists is absurd; outdated and old-fashioned. The universe just began; there was a ‘big bang’ and it happened without any such thing as ‘GOD’. Because I have heard these arguments so many times, I decided to do some research and present my conclusions. There’s a whole lot of information out there on the internet, but these two caught my eye: Physicist Victor Stenger says the universe may be “uncaused” and may have “emerged from nothing.” Philosopher Bertrand Russell adopted this position in a debate on the existence of God. He said, “The universe is just here, and that’s all.”

Really? That’s the best you philosophers can come up with? How is the universe “uncaused“? “Emerged from nothing?” “Just here?” That’s so scientific …. If these statements were true, then why can’t we take a container that contains nothing, all atoms removed, and create something; anything? My Dad would say this in response to these critics of creation: Where did the materiel for the “Big Bang” come from? If we humans are indeed evolved from monkeys by way of the ‘primordial soup’ (i.e. mud), then why aren’t we still evolving? If we evolved from primates, why do they still exist? When we look at the so-called evolutionary paths, there are many different ways humans, animals, and plants have changed – not evolved. We aren’t evolving because we were created as men and women (and primates). We (humans) have been manipulating gene pools for centuries, causing tremendous changes in every creature and indeed, in nature.

Ah, but what about the dinosaurs? It has been proven that mankind lived when the dinosaurs with petroglyphs drawings and fossil history. There are carvings in temples and decorative carvings and molded examples you can hold in your hand. We have historical, paleotological, and crytozoological records. No, sorry fellas, even discounting the scriptural evidence (for example, Genesis 1:21 NAS, Job 40:15-24, Job 41), there is too much evidence supporting dinosaurs and humans.

“Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.” – Micah 1:8 KJV

The Bible has been proved as a true history by science many, many times. Why do we fight so hard to make it untrue? It begins with the Truth about how the earth, the universe, came into being, and it ends with the prophecies of John, telling us how the earth as we know it will end. It is full of stories, of historically accurate events. Archaic God? I don’t think so. There’s just too much evidence to the contrary.

“Have Mercy on me, O GOD, because of Your unfailing Love. Because of Your great Compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But You desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O GOD.” – Psalms 51:1‭-‬2‭, ‬5‭-‬7‭, ‬16‭-‬17 NLT

“I just need U.” sung by TobyMac….. love this song!

Good Morning, Earth!

I absolutely adore Spring, especially the mornings. Today as I followed the pups outside, the birds were singing and the breeze was tousling the blossoms on the berry bushes while gently brushing through the fruit trees, almost as if they were waving at me. I felt like it was GOD saying ‘Good morning’…..

We live in a flawed world. The earth itself groans and cries as it creates giant fissures in itself and pours out fiery lava onto the land and in the sea. Things of agony, but also things of incredible beauty. Who, having seen the wonders of the Grand Canyon or the surreal beauty of Carlsbad Caverns, the wild beauty of the wilderness of New Zealand, or the rawness of the heights of Mount Everest, can truly believe that there is no GOD? Man has built wonderful and amazing things, but how can they compare to GOD’s handiwork? He has given us the time of renewal, the time we call Spring. After a season where things go dormant or hibernate, a time when the earth rests, we see plants that appeared bleak and dead burst out in blossoms and leaves. Birds start singing and building nests, animals prepare for new life, sea creatures come together, all for the renewal and celebration of life. Can this just be chance? A thing that just happened?

I was reading about the “Big Bang” Theory as presented on Discover at http://www.big-bang-theory.com, and I admit, I laughed when I read the conclusion. Here is what they have to say:

Big Bang Theory – What About God?
Any discussion of the Big Bang theory would be incomplete without asking the question, what about God? This is because cosmogony (the study of the origin of the universe) is an area where science and theology meet. Creation was a supernatural event. That is, it took place outside of the natural realm. [Emphasis mine] This fact begs the question: is there anything else which exists outside of the natural realm? Specifically, is there a master Architect out there? We know that this universe had a beginning. Was God the “First Cause”? We won’t attempt to answer that question in this short article. We just ask the question: Does God exist?

While admitting Creation is, indeed, a supernatural event, they then ask, does God exist. I ask, then, how was there a supernation event, Creation, without a supernatural being? And WHO is that supernatural being? While many scientists (figuratively) scratch their heads and try to figure it out, those of us who know the Creator get to enjoy knowing Him and His Creation. 😁 All of the seasons, for those of us who get to enjoy them, can be almost magical. I imagine that Spring is especially magical for people who have cold, snow-filled, dark winters!

So welcome Spring, whether you are in middle America or deepest Antarctica, whatever part of the Earth. Take time to thank GOD for the amazing world we live in. Even with all of the damage and havoc we have caused because of allowing sin into our world and our lives, you have to admit it’s a pretty incredible place.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1 NLT

Even At The Beginning

From the beginning of the history of mankind, from the time of Adam and Eve, we have opposed God. Do we really believe that the Supreme Being, the God of Creation (and everything in it!), the Designer of humanity, is too small to be hear and obeyed? He designed us down to tiniest parts – look at Lamimin, a basal protein that literally holds our bodies together. (Louie Giglio gives a great speech about it. Look it up!) If God can make something as intricate as the human body, why shouldn’t He be recognized as the genius, the incredibly talented, and completely incomprehensible LORD of the Universe, the God of Existence? But no, we humans, and many of the angels, had to take our free will and twist God’s Words to our own desires.

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “GOD knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both Good and Evil.”
Genesis 3:4‭-‬5 NLT

Adam and Eve chose to hear what they wanted to hear. They decided their wants outweighed anything their God asked of them. How often to we do that in our own lives? It’s just what Paul wrote to the church in Rome, warning other believers to guard their minds against the popular and worldly ideas that were so prevalent then…. and still prevalent today. We know the difference in good and evil, and we know the consequences of choosing each, and we still still turn away from the good.

“Yes, they knew GOD, but they wouldn’t worship Him as GOD or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what GOD was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the GLORIOUS, EVER-LIVING GOD, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.” – Romans 1:21‭-‬23 NLT

We really aren’t that different from Adam and Eve, even though there are 7,000-8,000 years between us. Satan still lures and entices us with beautiful promises, and we still twist God’s Words to suit our own desires. Thank God for sending Jesus to cover our sins with His Blood, cleansing us and forgiving us, in order that we might spend eternity fellowshipping and worshipping with Him and with other believers!

Even before He created us, God created the thing that would bind our physical bodies, and He made it in the shape of the cross. Purpose is in everything GOD does…..