My name is Billy Ray Spencer and I was brought up in a family that thought you had to go to church every time the door was opened. So. I went happily along to Sunday school every Sunday; no questions asked! And BOY am I glad I went because I learned some strange things there!
The first thing I learned is that there is no use in going to kinder garden. All they do there is get you to run around, chase each other, and swing a lot; anything to wear you down so you will go to sleep and be quite during church.
Do you remember when in the first or maybe second grade; the very first thing you heard was about this baby they put in a picnic basket, one of those woven wooden things made out of thin, flat wood with a handle and then expected it to float?
It was the first Sunday of the new school year and our teacher said, “Now if everyone will sit down and be very, very quiet, I will tell you a story about a little tiny baby that was put into a basket and placed in the water and how this little baby was kept from drowning.”
Well now, THAT got our attention! So we all plopped down on the floor and got real quite because this could prove to be interesting! How could they be sure that little baby didn’t drown?
It seems there was a bunch of people called Hee’brews, or something like that, and they all got made into slaves to make brick for this bunch of evil people called Egypsies—right out in the middle of the hot, burning sands of the desert. But. They never told me why they needed brick right out in the middle of that hot burning sand. That wasn’t in the story, and to this day, I don’t know why they were making brick out there in that hot, burning sand.
Then the Egypsies declared that all the little Hee’brews babies that were born would have to be killed. Yep! Right then and there. First thing! Right off the bat!
But there was one momma and daddy who decided that they wasn’t going to kill their baby and they thought and thought of a way to save the baby. Then daddy hit upon a plan. He would take some thin, flat wood and weave a picnic basket and put some soft cloth in it and put the baby in that and let it float on the water till he come home from being a slave and making brick all day—then he would go and get the baby.
We all listened pretty hard for quite a bit, but then Bronc, who is pretty big for a first grader, up and jumped on little Jimmy Rice who is a second grader. Well Bronc, who is twice as big as Jimmy—Bronc, he jumped on Jimmy’s back and started choking ‘Little Jimmy’, and twisting his arm up behind his back.
So the teacher could see that she had a pretty bad case of boar-drums on her hands.
Cause after the teacher got them two separated, the girls started having to go to the bathroom, All cept me, ‘cause, I ain’t no girl’—an I wanted to know if that basket with the little baby would float!
But the teacher must’uv already received a prophetic message that things were going to go that way, and she was prepared. Cause she reached down somewhere and whipped out a stack of paper with an outline of a man in a bathrobe, with the sleeves rolled up, and a towel wrapped around his head. Did I say he had a big black beard? Any ways he was standing knee deep in water with all these canes and cattails around him and he was putting a little baby in a picnic basket down gently into the water.
I suppose she had another prophetic message too, we are pretty big on prophecy in that church, not that we would handle snakes or anything like that, but we believed in the strong presence of the Lord. Or, maybe it were an angel that whispered in her ear that this guy with the bathrobe had a lotta’ skin showing on his arms, and both legs, but not too much on his face because he had this beard, and like I said, a towel around his head.
What the prophetic message to the teacher was—’is that even in the big box of 54 Crayolas’ there is still only ONE flesh colored Crayola that is ‘flesh’ colored’. So, she had taken that one little flesh colored Crayola and cut it into 4 parts and stirred it up with all the other broken, and some not so broken Crayolas’ that’us in the cigar box.
So everyone got busy coloring and it sorta’ quieted down while the teacher went on with her story. Then someone hollered, “Whirs’ the flesh? Who’s got the flesh colored cra’nola?”
About that time the pudgy little girl with the two orangy pigtails that’us sitting right cross from me shouted, “Use the pink! Use the pink, it’s just as good as flesh!”
Well now. I don’t know, and I doubt if she knew, if the Hee’brews or the Egypsies or both, had pink skin, but she seemed to think they did, or she was shamming us quite a bit.
Well—right then and there I would’a bet my shoes an both my socks that that little pudgy girl with the orange freckels, was coloring with ONE of the ‘flesh’ colored cra’nolas and had the other three pieces of the flesh colored cray’nolas fast in her other sweaty little hand, and I sure didn’t need no prophecy for that!
That was about as far as we got that Sunday and I’ll swear that I didn’t sleep a wink any that night, or any other night, that week, cause I’d just lay there all night and worry bout’ them allie’gaters and that poor little baby out in the reeds an water all by itself.
Stay tuned and next week When I find out, I’ll tell you if that little baby got ate by the allie-gaters or not.
Billy Ray Spencer
Mama tole me to get ready for Sunday school an church, so I warshed my face an hans an wetted down my hair and this is the way I look at church time.
In case you have not read the story of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt in a while, here is a short synopsis of the story to refresh your mind.
Pharaoh Rameses (The greatest builder in Egyptian History.) turned the Hebrews into slaves after deciding that the Hebrews had became too numerous. He than put them under the hands of Egyptian taskmasters on the construction of the two Treasure cities of Pitham and Rameses, while making their lives bitter with hard services in mortar and brick as well as in the rice and wheat fields.
Moses parents were Amram and Jochebed who were of the priestly line that was to become the Levites, the priests of Israel.
When the child we know as Moses was born, his mother kept him hidden for three months. She then enclosed him in a basket woven of rush and sealed it with pitch, concealing him in the reeds along the river’s edge.
Pharaoh’s daughter came to bathe at the spot and when she saw the basket she sent a maid to fetch it. On opening it the baby started to cry and the princess felt pity for it, realizing it was one of the Hebrew children her father had ordered killed.
Moses’ older sister Miriam had been posted a little distance away to watch the baby. She approached the princess and offered to find a Hebrew woman to suckle the child. This was agreed on and she ran off to fetch Moses’ mother.
When he was older, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and gave him the name of Moses because it means, “I drew him out of the water”. (Ex. 2:10)
Aaron was older than his brother Moses by three years, though younger than his sister Miriam.
However, that may not be exactly how Billy Ray Spencer sees it at all!
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Being Human we tend to spend a great deal more time worrying about how are we going to do this or that, Or, ‘How in the world will we ever afford to pay that bill’? A number of years ago I settled my mind on the Power of God, and that HE will provide for my every need.
Not only my material needs and wants, but the wants, needs as well as the safety of others, if we only ask.
However let’s not overlook the healing power of Jesus Christ upon their, as well as our, bodies and minds. After all; He is ‘THE ALL IN ALL’–The great ‘I AM THAT I AM’ ! (Ex.3:14)
If we spent as much time praying and praising God as we do worrying–things would work out much better!
PS: Stay tuned, Billy Ray Spencer and Sunday school is still coming. It’s taking a LOT more research than I anticipated.
For every man God has a plan; no mans life is purposeless.
God sends everyman into the world to do some definite thing.
Remember: He became what we are–to make us what He is.
William Barclay 1907-1978
23rd PSALMS: Vs. 1
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” (KJV.)
Soldiers sob it in foxholes, preachers recite it at funerals, and, children learn it in Primary Sunday School classes. However, this, the most well know of all verses in the Bible, is also the most all-encompassing promise to be found.
Think about it: “I shall not want!”
But don’t dare think about it for very long — for you will quickly discover that you do have ‘wants’. I daresay that everyone on the earth has wants. A new car, bigger house, better neighborhood, more money, better health, more leisure, travel, love, or a big screen TV.
Even pastors have wants, they want larger congregations, larger contributions, more salvations — the list could go on and on because every single human being on earth has wants.
Could this passage be a provision that was exclusive to David, the writer of this Psalm?
Or—could it perhaps be that it only applies to those who have reached that seemingly unattainable state of bliss in Christ Jesus—that state where all our thoughts are centered on being a servant of Christ Jesus—that place where we have no farther ‘wants’ other than to live only to serve Him?
Or, could it really mean just what it says to us; “All my wants are met by Christ Jesus?”
Remember we are concentrating on ‘wants’ here, not needs. Our ‘needs’ have been promised in Philippians 4:19, where it is written: ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus’. This is further reinforced in 2nd Corinthians 1: 20, that states: ‘For all the promises in God in Him are ‘Yea’ and ‘Amen’.
No other than our Lord himself asked, “Or what man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if fish, will he give him a serpent? If then, being evil you know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matt. 7: 9-11)
I choose to take this verse as a promise and that all my ‘wants’ are met. This word translated ‘want’ in the KJV of Psalm 23:1 is the Hebrew word ‘chacer’. In the ancient Hebrew language ‘chacer’ (khaw-sare’) meant: ‘to lack’, ‘to fail’ ‘to decrease’ or, ‘(have) lack’. Nowhere in Psalms 23:1 does it limit this promise to my ‘needs’; it clearly states ‘my wants’. I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty big ‘want’ list.
And to be honest, my ‘wants’ have not all been met.
But wait a moment! At times some or our ‘wants’ are in direct contrast to the commands of the scripture. Could the answer to this apparent contrast between the scriptural promises—and the reality of ‘real’ life—lie in the first portion of this first verse of Psalms 23? You know. . . that portion about “The Lord is my Shepherd.’
Could it possible be that we are not allowing the Lord to be our shepherd?
Have we allowed our dependency upon our own intelligence and abilities to supersede our dependency on Jesus Christ and His ability to fill both our needs and our wants because of our obsession with our wants?
Think about it!
Additional reading: Psalms 34:9, Psalms 34:10, 2nd Peter 1: 3, Hebrews 11:6
Isaiah 54:6 Part 7
In the past I have written of four methods of interpretation of the scripture.
1. Allegorical. 2. Instructive. 3. Prophetical. 4. The Law of Double Reference. Yet here in verses 6 through 8, there seems to be yet another method of interpret-tation which hopefully we will get around to discussing at greater length in the future. However for the moment let us concentrate on verse 6 only.
“You were like a wife who was deserted. And her heart was broken. You were like a wife who married young. And her husband sent her away. But now I am calling you to come back,” says your God.”
Verses 6 thorough 8 were preached in the context of a broken Jewish marriage with the nation of Israel playing the part of a young, unruly, immature, malcontent bride, while God is the husband, who once sent her away in an effort to induce some sense into her, but is now trying to get her back. To begin we must understand the importance of the Jewish wedding. To them it was Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines’ Day, Fourth of July, Birthday, School Graduation, Palm Sunday and Easter and Prom Night all rolled into one.
The only other celebrations in the year were Holy days established by the Law, and by the time a young man or lady was 14 to 20 years old those days were undoubtedly ‘Old Hat’–Strictly 1950’ish–Like for the 142 time you had to go see your Aunt Mitilda, who smelled of rum, breath mints, old sweat and face powder, but always wanted to pinch your cheek and hold you in a sweaty bear-hug for most of your visit.
Even though a real human-to-human marriage contract, along with monetary compensation, might have been made between two fathers’ years in advance, the betrothal only started one year before the actual wedding. All of her life, since early childhood, the bride had been saving coins of various denominations as well as other items of monetary value. Upon reaching a certain age, probably as young as eight, she was allowed to wear these as a head-band at her front hairline to advertise her availability as a bride. This may seem extremely young, but keep in mind that girls were often married as young as twelve years old.
Yet even at that, the father was obliged to marry the oldest daughter first and proceed down the line of birth ages. Witness: Laban’s deceit in the marriage of Leah and Rachael to Jacob in Genesis chapter 29.
Once betrothed the groom begin construction of a room attached to his parent’s house that was to be the private quarters of he and his young bride. No date was set for the wedding, yet the bride’s maids had to be ever ready for the moment when the groom could come to ‘kidnap’ his bride. (Matt. 25:1-13)
On the night of the kidnapping the groom quietly gathered his closet friends and quietly sneaked up on the house of his ‘Beloved’. Then with a great clamor of shouting and beating of anything that would make noise, the groom would grab his bride and parade her through town with his co-harts banging on doors and making pandemonium in order to awaken the town and announce the marriage.
After rambling through the community he and his bride retreated to the private sanctuary of their bedroom while the assembly of friends might continue the celebra-tion throughout the night, and often for as long as a week or more afterwards.
Early the next morning the groom would rush out to show the blood stain on the sleeping pallet that proved not only was the marriage consummated, but that the bride was a virgin. Then the celebration started all over again. Of course without the presence of the bride and groom, who had by now, long returned to their sanctuary where they might stay for as long as a month.
Following the marriage the groom was released from serving any military service for one year. Additionally for the first year he was not to ‘resume any task that would interfere with his presence at home to cheer up his wife’.
Some materials have it that the women of Israel were more aggressive at promoting sexual activity than were the men. If true, this shows that the act of providing the male heir was the most important thing at that time. Several places in the Bible indicate that the act is a process to be enjoyed by both men and women equally. (After all, neither had TV or Smart Phones with which to occupy themselves.)
When all of these facts, or fantasies, are shaken together and tossed out, they point out the fact that a great amount of love and tenderness was held by each partner in the business of marriage.
In Isaiah’s prophecies it is doubtful that either the upper or the lower half of Israel knew what Isaiah was talking about when he preached verse 6:
“And her husband sent her away, But now I am calling you to come back, says your God.”
Here Isaiah is speaking of the fact that the majority of Israel had turned from God and were worshipping Baal and Ashtoreth.
This is allegorical, as well as prophetical inasmuch as: ‘That God has not yet, but is soon, going to send His chosen people away into captivity into Syria, Babylon and Persia for an extended period of time. After they begged, pleaded and prayed to be returned He would bring them back to their homeland, but only after many years of captivity’.
It would be 26 years following Isaiah’s first preaching before the first of the diaspora would begin. The ‘carrying away’ would begin in the northern portion of Israel which was Jeremiah’s prophetical portion. It would take another 126 years following that before the end of the diaspora with the dispersion of the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Throughout this time God was beckoning and calling his people as if they were young, innocent, brides. Poorly trained, lost to their proper duties, and unable to make the proper decisions.
God had pity on his people and even before the fact, was warning them of the coming calamity and calling them back to himself.
God is a God of mercy and love. A God quick to forgive and forget.
We all have our weaknesses and failures. Sometimes we trip over our shortcomings. Are there currently things drawing us away from your fellowship with God? Are you more involved in community activities, sports, interaction with your friends, social media, more worried about your social status than your ‘God status’?
If you feel as if you are currently engaged in the long walk over the burning sands on your way to India, consider the following words:
‘I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake’. 1st John 2:12 KJV
‘If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. 1st John 1:8-9 KJV
From that you see that it only takes a few words and a change in our thought process to enter into a new world.
TRY IT—YOU WILL LIKE IT!
THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF JEWISH POWER
“For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Isaiah 54:5 KJV
The central thought of this verse is: ‘For your maker is your husband;” Magnifying the central issue that both the Jews as well as the Christians are ‘The Bride of Christ.’
We were created to be ‘The Bride of Christ’. In fact God said that our names are engraved on the palms of His hands. Think about that!
About 760 years before the birth of the Christ, God called Isaiah, son of Amoz, of the priestly tribe of the Levis, who was brother to King Amaziah of Judah, to warn the sub-nations of Judah and Benjamin of the coming destruction of their kingdoms if they did not turn away from idol worship and return to the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah was ignored and 26 years later, in 734 BC, the Assyrians under king Tilgath-Pileser III captured portions of the northern division of Israel, removing the occupants and scattering them throughout Assyria and Babylon.
However it was 136 years before the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin were dispersed. This took place under King Cyrus II of Persia. This involved a period of 24 years and three separate disper-sals. The number removed was reported to be as many as 40,000 men. Women and children were not counted.
In 723 BC the Assyrians deported more Israelites from the northern kingdom replacing them with colonists from Assyria and Babylonia. The ten northern nations of Israel were in essence ‘blotted out’.
Among those displaced from the northern dysphoria was Daniel who survived the ‘fiery furnace’, read the finger writing on the wall, survived the lion’s den and interpreted the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar.
In 597 BC, 126 years later, the Persians made a pact with the Medes and joined forces to wage war against Babylon and Assyria. Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar was no longer King of Babylon, as Babylon was made became a ‘vassal’ state to Persia.
After the war, King Cyrus I of Persia seized the Medes (Afghanistan), and in the process ruled all of the land from Babylon, to India, including Bulgaria, Assyria, Media, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Armantan, the western part of India, as well as the eastern and western coasts of the Gulf of Arabia.
His son, King Cyrus II expanded the territory to include northern as well as southern Arabia and Israel. This included both Judah and Benjamin. They deported a goodly portion of the inhabitants to Babylonia (present day Iraq), Persia (Iran) and Media (Afghanistan and western India).
His nephew Cambyses sacked Egypt and Libya because Egypt replaced a betrothed Egyptian bride to Persian nobleman with a ‘fake’ bride.
Next, King Cyrus’s grandson Darius I captured all of the Baltic States as well as Turkey and Hungary.
Darius II’s grandson Xerxes defeated the Greeks and was knocking at the back door of Rome before they were slowed down by other events. At that time the Persians controlled 44% of the World Population!
In the first year of his reign, King Darius II issued a proclamation stating: ‘The Lord God of Heaven who had given me all the kingdoms of the earth, he has charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah’.
This required that a great deal of Jewish men return to their homeland. The first of those to return were 42,360 men. The journey, from Persia to Jerusalem, took four and one half months . He also had the inhabitants of his own country take ‘free will’ offerings to support the returning Jews on their travels and to provide for their lives until they could grow their own foodstuffs.
One group set to re-building the city of Jerusalem’s walls, while the Levites and the Priests rebuilt the Temple.
It was not until three years later, on a night when King Darius II could not sleep, that he requested the ancient scrolls of the history of his people be brought to his bed chambers in order to occupy himself.
In reading these scrolls he discovered the location where the ancient gold and silver utensils of the Jewish Temple had been hidden by Nebuchadnezzar.
King Darius II had the items retrieved, repaired, cleansed and polished before returning them to the Priests in Jerusalem who at that time were near completion of the rebuilding of their new temple.
This is the true story of ‘The Redeemer’.
He purchased our souls with his blood.
“For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” Isaiah 54:5 KJV
TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS AND PATIENCE . . . . CONTINUED?
PART FOUR: A closer look at Isaiah Chapter 54
In part three, of the past three parts of: ‘Trails, Tribulations and Patience’ I used as an illustration the results of denying the ‘Power of God’ (i.e. the lack of patience.), by Abram and Sarai that produced a son, Ishmael via Sarai’s bondwoman Hagar.
Showing also that this event as presenting the trouble generated by the descendants of Ishmael from about 700 BC– leading up to the present threat to the world today.
In Part Two, I inserted a verse from Isaiah Chapter 54; in which God tells us that ‘it is indeed ‘HE’ that formed the Smith that blows on the coals of our personal forge’.
With this in mind, please join me as we take a closer look at the entire chapter of Isaiah 54. This is a very important chapter that is most often overlooked. It is important in the fact; ‘that not only does it tell us previous history, but also things that will come to pass in the future’.
Chapter 54 is written in four manners. It is part ‘allegorical’ and part ‘The Law of Double Reference’ Also we will find parts as being both ‘prophetical’ and ‘instructional’.
1. Allegorical means: ‘Having hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of a spiritual message.’‘
2. The Law of Double Reference’: Is a scripture that could be one verse, or several verses, that refer to a certain point in time—that might have already come to pass–but also to another point in time that is reserved for the future.
3. There is also a third component of scripter that is called: ‘Prophetic’ or ‘Instructional’. By explanation: ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ is instructional.
Verse 1 of Chapter 54 states: a..“Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear! Break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child! b. far more are the children of the desolate c. than the children of the married wife” saith the Lord. KJV.
a. This portion is allegorical in posture and is speaking to the Christian Gentiles. The Christians never waited thousands of years for their Messiah–simply because without a Christ–there could never be Christianity.
No other nation or group has ever kept such precise record of births and deaths as did the Jewish Kingdom. Although the Law and the Prophets told them from what tribe, and where the ‘King of the Jews’ would be born, they kept these records to determine IF the prophets were correct. Sadly. Even then they did not believe.
Therefore the words, a.“Sing, O barren, thou that did not bear’. Indicates the Gentile are the barren, because they never produced the Messiah, but were ‘grafted in’ to Grace by faith. KJV.
b .‘For more are the children of the desolate’; we, as Christians, are the ‘children of the desolate’. The Hebrew word rendered ‘desolate’ has the following definitions: ‘to stun’, ‘to bring into’, (fig.) stupefy’, ‘be astonished’, ‘lay’, or ‘make’. The Christian should well ‘be astonished’ for ‘being brought into’ the promise of a joyful hereafter that was recognized by only a very few of the Jewish population.
c. The latter part of verse 1 states, “Far more are the children of the desolate than the married wife.” It is a fact that the ‘children of the desolate’ (Christian Followers) far outnumber the children of the married wife (Jewish posterity; i.e. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.)
This verse is basically allegorical in content with the ‘desolate’ representing the ‘bondwoman’ Hagar as the outcast; versus the ‘freewoman’ Sarai as the favored of God. However the latter phrase (c.) falls under ‘The Law of Double Reference’ as well as allegorical, inasmuch as the ‘desolate’ equal the ‘drafted in’ Gentiles, (Representing ALL that are not of the blood lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.) versus the ‘married woman’ representing ‘the chosen Race’.
The second verse of this chapter is instructional. d.‘Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;’ KJV.
d. Even though it is commonly believed that this portion of Isaiah was written about 760 years before the birth of the ‘Anointed One’, Jesus the Messiah; the Prophet Isaiah teaches that the Jewish race should reach out and accept as well as to become part of the Christian movement.
Verse 3. e. ‘For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited’. KJV.
Abraham was promised his descendants would be numbered ‘as the sands which is on the sea shore’. Yet Isaiah, speaking through the unction of the Holy Spirit, predicts the blessing of salvation that belonged to the ‘Seed of Abraham’ shall pass over to the non-Jewish nations and multiply to the extent of making the deserted areas full of the (grafted-in) God-followers. e. Prophecy-fulfilled. Neither allegorical nor double reference. This has already been fulfilled and continues to be fulfilled. As the children of the ‘bondwoman Hagar’ have spread Christianity into all parts of the world. Parts that Isaiah did not even know existed such as Europe, North and South America. Australia and so on.
Thanks for reading, and as always, your input is appreciated. I pray you meditate on these words and wait for ‘Part Number Five’ of ‘Trails, Tribulations and . . . Patience?
Part 5 and following, grow even more exciting as the intent of God is foretold towards His ‘Own Beloved Nation’ and how we (The Gentile Christians) are melted into the eternal mix.
With Christian Love, Larry Camp,
Straight to the Top / Our Walls are Crumbling No right retained. The Word of God is Public Domain! Share it forward!
TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS, AND . . . . PATIENCE?
Somewhere about the beginning of the New Year I was corresponding with Cathy Neil aka ‘Naphtali’ who writes the Spirit driven blog: ‘Did Jesus have a Facebook Page’?
At that time her family had endured some terrible sickness throughout that fall and winter. I on the other hand had two separate PCs crash in two days. (One had malware with a Far Eastern name as the sender. Do you suppose we have Muslim readers?)
Cathy then replied that she was tired of paying repairs bills and just bought a new PC. I countered and upped that by buying an iMac OS-X for slightly under TWO GRAND! It was pretty nice having all the working things inside a 31 inch monitor that was only one half inch thick, which allowed for a lot more desk top space to put Bibles, books and of course coffee cups. Trouble was; it didn’t act like a PC and it was difficult so, I sent it back.
Back and forth we went. Each commensurating with the other but Cathy was continually assuring me that over and over in the New Testament we are told that if we serve God we will have trials and tribulations.
Those are the verses that I like to skip over.
Then, right before Christmas Eve, I had to have major maxillofacial surgery. With that title it HAD to be expensive, right? It turned out that a rear tooth had to have its roots jackhammered out, a piece of bone cored out from another location and grafted into the hole, then a steel screw put where the core was cut. Yeah, it WAS expensive!
In the meantime a Buddhist family I was trying to convert (Along with a little help from God.) called and told me not to come back. Well, THAT hurt more than the Maxi-what-ever!
Jesus told us when rejected to shake the dust off our feet and move on. Well, I wasn’t quite ready to do that because there was six souls involved in that household. With Jesus’ admonition fresh in my mind, the question once again arose: “Why must we be continually tried?”
Obliviously the answer is that God the Father wants to know if we are truly His—or—how far are we willing to go in our quest to bring the gospel not into only our own neighborhood, but into all the world.
Also, are we willing to uplift our brethren with words of comfort and encouragement?
In First Corinthians 12:4-11, Paul names the nine gifts of the Spirit. Later in the same chapter (Vs. 28) he names the 7 offices held in the Church by faithful believers. You fit in there somewhere! No one is left to be a ‘placeholder’; simply holding down a slot on the pew Sunday after Sunday. YOU have a ‘gift’ or an ‘office’, or ‘both’, or ‘several, of each’. It is your bound duty to find it and fulfill it.
Will you be persecuted? You can bet your boots you will! It comes with the territory!
It follows; whether you accept your ‘gift’ or ‘office’ or not, if you are a Christian you will surely have trials and temptations. And the not-so- funny part about these tests and trials is when undergoing one , or several, after you have overcome that particular test—THIS is not the end of the test!
Oh no. For after overcoming that particle one, you STEP UP to the next level which is even more extreme.
WHERE DO THESES TESTS COME FROM?
Well now, that is another story. How about I meet you here in a day or two and let’s discuss that.
You should know by now that I can’t say it all in three sentences like Don Merritt does.
Larry Camp Straight From the TOP
As usual, here I am on a three story scaffold with a two story rope.
This Psalm was written at the point of the first one third of the ‘time-line’ between Abraham and Jesus. (“And from Abraham to David was 14 generations, from David to the ‘carrying away of Israel to Babylon’ was 14 generations, and from the carrying away of Israel to the birth of Christ was 14 generations.”)
It is amazing in the fact that it was written while the Hebrew Nation was still offering burnt offerings for their sins in accordance with the Mosaic Law. Offerings that would never forgive sin, only roll it back one year until the next ‘Day of Atonement’. The writer David, possessed a spiritual knowledge of ‘God’s Anointed One’, who was yet to come, and that He would wipe away the sins of the World.
Hear now Psalm 103 ‘Out of the depths of my misery I have called out to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my cry! Let your ears stand at attention as I plead for mercy. Lord, if you did keep an account of our sins, who among us could hold up their heads to face you on the coming Day of Judgement? (a) But in you there is forgiveness, and because of this we hold you in our hearts in reverence. (b) I wait for you Lord, I wait for the fulfillment of all your promises. And, in those promises I have much hope. My soul waits for your coming; even more than the those who stand atop the protecting walls of our cities and wait wearily for the dawn, (c) O Israel put your hope in the Lord. For in the Lord is love unfailing, and great is His power to set men free. (d) He alone shall set Israel free, for in Him is love and redemption from all our sins.’
(a) The Lord does keep a book of every thought, every sin, every mummer; also our unkindness as well as our kindness and good deeds towards others. On the other hand we are to judge ourelves (1st John 1:10) and repent of our sins. Then our sins will be cast into the ‘Sea of Forgetfulness.’ (b) We owe, and we pay reverence, to, the King of Kings because of his suffering and for the blood he shed to remove the curse of eternal death from our spirits. (c) In ancient times the cities had walls around the perimeter as a defensive shield. Men took turns walking the tops of those walls at night in order to shout an alarm if the enemy approached. (Josh. 2:15, Neh. 4:15-18)(d) In the ancient text Israel consisted of both the southern nation of Judah as well as the northern nation of Israel. after the Hebrew nation refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah, the gentiles (people other than those born of Jewish blood) were grafted into the ‘Royal Household’ and until the return of Christ will serve in place of Israel. Jesus did not know the date and the time of his return because that time will only come when the very last person of a pre-set number of unholy, non Jewish people are converted to Christianity. Then Jesus will return to Earth. .