A Sermon

Text:  John 8:12-20

Title: An Impasse Made Possible, Where is God?

By: Rodney John Tombleson

Some corrections require exceptional, beyond conventional approaches, not because the problem is dire, but because reality is bigger than the experience of our best thinkers.  Jesus could have been crazy, but if you can do it, it’s not bragging!  “God is my witness?”  Yeah sure.  But in this situation, it was true. 

Number of words: _1929__

Delivered: Ascent Christian Church

Prineville, OR

Date: 3/7/2021

Introduction

—–Here we are again in the wilderness with the ancient Israelites.  Well, sort of.  As was mentioned last week this was one of the 3 main festivals of the Jews at the time of Jesus, the Feast of Tabernacles, Booths, Shelters or Ingathering.  I say one of 3 because these 3 involved pilgrimages to the Jerusalem temple.  Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. This feast was celebrating the successful survival of the people during their desert on the way from Exodus to the promised land.  The camped in tents or booths.  No Winnebagos!  Water was a luxury.  Light was also cherished.  Lights were a huge part of this festival!  When I’m camping, I’ve always wanted to put up one of those big, long strings of lights around my camps!  But every time I see one in a store I get sticker shock and don’t purchase!  God’s presence was in the pillar of fire at night, and candles were lit in the tent of the ark of the covenant.  Even God resided in a tent during this period and did so even for a long time until Solomon built the temple. 

—–The Jewish Festivals all in their own way point to Jesus.  That is a whole study in and of itself. 

Here in this passage, we find Jesus just at the end of or just after the feast.  The 7 candles of the large candelabra had all been lit day by day of the weeklong event but there is no 8th light to light.  It is at this point that Jesus makes this daring declaration, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life.”   So just as the people of God walked often late at night, they had the pillar of fire to lead them, so too will God’s people in the New Covenant have a light to lead them, Jesus himself.  The story starts with light so often, Genesis 1:3 and again, John’s Gospel starts in 1:5 with light. 

—–Note here, “the crowd” is not mentioned from chapter 8:1 until chapter 11:42.  At this point, Jesus confronts His adversaries, the Jewish leadership.  This he does in the temple, the public area of the treasury.  This was also where anyone could enter to bring offerings.  And it was right next to the Sanhedrin Hall, where judgements were deliberated and delivered.  It would have been convenient for the Pharisees to arrest and put Jesus on trial right there and then.  

12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not [a]true.” 

—–Jesus makes this daring and grandiose claim.  And what do the Pharisees do?  They start a lawyerly knit-picking party!  They do not focus on truth or falsehood.  They focus on legality (Deut. 17:6, Deut. 19:15), of the claim.  Are legal value and truth always the same?  My Dad used to say, “It may be so, but it isn’t right!”  Or, “It may be right, but it isn’t so!”    

Lexie is on jury duty.  I remember when I was on jury duty.  I only sat on one case which had numerous associated charges against the defendant.  We the jury knew he was guilty of all of them.  But because of legal technicalities, we could not offer a finding on 3 or 4 of the lesser charges.  It was so frustrating. 

14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I am testifying about Myself, My testimony is [b]true, because I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge [c]according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. 16 But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. 17 Even in your Law it has been written that the testimony of two people is [d]true. 18 I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 

—–Jesus and the Pharisees were talking past each other.  One of them, however, was telling the truth.  Jesus lowers the boom on them by overruling the objection that he needed 2 witnesses.  You’re right he said, even the law says so, I am one witness, my Father is the other!  Furthermore, He didn’t need to judge anyone in this, merely to identify His purpose in coming.  He was sent by the Father.  God has sent His Son, that is the operating model.  Jesus is not going to be bogged down in legal niceties. 

—–Verse 15: Jesus accuses them of judging according to the flesh.  What?  This means “weak and incomplete” (Morris, Leon, p. 440).  Human desires fall far short of eternal purposes.  It was impossible for the Pharisees to understand where He came from or where He was going.  And they were the best thinkers of their time…?

—–Jesus does not back away from judging, but it is clear he isn’t there for judging at that time.  There will be a time for that.  But that judgement is not the fleshly, “weak and incomplete” kind of the Pharisees. 

Now contrast verse 15 with 9:39. “And Jesus said, For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see; and that those who see may become blind.”  (John 9:39). The purpose for which Jesus came into the world will have deep, eternal, consequences.  Rejecting him will produce judgement. 

—–Verse 17 I notice he refers to Himself and God as 2 people or 2 men (“anthropos” generic sense).  Both are persons, and not esoteric concepts, far away notions, made up idols.  And they also qualify as credible witnesses. 

Again, the Pharisees, having been proven wrong, and being more politicians than faith leaders, try to shift the narrative. 

19 So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” 20 These words He spoke [e]in the treasury, as He taught in the temple area; and no one arrested Him, because His hour had not yet come.

Isn’t that a funny question?  It is something like asking where is air?  Who would even dare to ask where is air?  Air is everywhere!  I can feel it blow through my hair!  It’s almost more than I can bear!  There is so much air, we have plenty to spare.  But without air, how would we fair? 

—–Jesus stays on message.   It is only in the Son and in the Son alone that the Father is revealed.  That is John’s key message throughout the book.  Jesus was not to be sidetracked and neither was John as he wrote his Gospel.  He wrote,  “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”   (John 20:30-31)

WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE, 8:12-20, MEAN?

—–Have you ever felt that God is just too far away?  Do you wonder, when I pray, can He really hear me? 

Think of it this way.  If the sun were any closer to earth, could we survive?  Would the light from it be too bright for our eyes?  Wouldn’t God’s light be overwhelming if we were as close to Him as we might want to be?

There is sufficient light to show us the way.  Do we put in the necessary time and effort to see the way?

—–Try an experiment on your own time.  Go 24 hours without any man-made light.  I mean lights at home, including TV, electronic devices, phones, candles, car lights, flashlights, oil lamps, even reflected light and all of that.  No lights.  Create a brief culture for yourself without any light. 

—–I see a culture we live in right now that is gradually trying to turn out the spiritual light that Jesus has provided us.  But it won’t work.  Light overcomes darkness, every time.

—–Light exposes both bad news and good news.  What we do with that, the choices we make is how we live. 

—–Light and law are very different.  We don’t lawyerly knit pick our way through life.  What an unhappy existence that would be! 

—–Having the light doesn’t mean we can solve every problem, but we see so much better!  I would not want to live without my understanding of Western civilization! And especially without the knowledge of Jesus!  What unique changes He has made!

—–What does light do?  It exposes things unseen in the darkness.  Contours.  Details.  Threat or foe.  Guilt or innocence! 

—–Look a little closer at this grand claim that Jesus makes, “I am the light of the world…” there is a catch.  “…he who follows me…”   I missed that the first time through, and the second time…Wait!  What!??  To see the light, I must follow Him???

Ah but there is good news.  Ask Jesus, tell Him you not only want to but will follow Him, and you’ll experience His promise, that you “shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Just like ancient Israel, we will never be alone, as we have the pillar of fire lighting the way. 

Look, there are always resources we have! 

Choices. Enlightened by His presence in our lives!

Other believers with whom to share and encourage us!

Holy Spirit, living in us, bearing witness!

Light from the Word of God!

Light of Jesus Himself! 

CONCLUSION:

—–Jesus could have just been a crazy person with a bold claim.  “God is my witness!”  Yeah sure.  However, in Jesus’ situation, it turned out to be true.  If you can do it, it’s not bragging.  Jesus came to correct the condition of man.  Man is sinful.  The problem was and is dire!  A correction was brought and still is needed by those who haven’t heard. 

—–Some corrections require exceptional, beyond conventional approaches, not because the problem is dire, but because reality is bigger than the experience of our best thinkers. Was Jesus crazy? Could He do it?  Well then, it’s not bragging!  “God is my witness?”  Yeah sure.  But in this situation, it was true.  Jesus and the Jewish leaders were at an impasse.  But it turns out that this impasse was made possible because Jesus could deliver on his claims! 

—–Also, note the greater context of the claim Jesus makes.  Chapter 8 stands just before what?  Chapter 9!  LOL.  What is chapter 9?  The subject there is a blind man who sees only darkness, but Jesus brings him light.  Jesus says what he will do and does what He says.

Against Man-Made Gun Control

In 2021, Democrats in the Oregon legislature declared all out war on freedom in Oregon. Here is one of my responses to but one of the many ridiculous proposals they have foisted upon unsuspecting citizens of Oregon.

Greetings and thanks for your service to the people of Oregon;

HB2543: Thank you for this opportunity.  This bill violates Section 1 (Rights are Natural to people), of the Oregon Constitution and Section 27 (right to bear arms).  It places a natural right below the man-made restrictions pertinent thereto.  HB2543 enacted, would allow the individual(s) in the Oregon State Police to process, or choose to fail to process applications for firearms transfer.  That subjugates rule of law to rule of men.  This is a terrible idea.  In practice, it has caused death or serious injury to vulnerable persons who could have protected themselves had they been able to procure a firearm in a more timely manner.  https://www.foxnews.com/us/no-one-helped-her-nj-woman-murdered-by-ex-while-awaiting-gun-permit

HB2543 would result in unnecessary delays in firearms transfers.  The Oregon State Police must never be allowed to impose their will on citizens because of their individual beliefs about firearms ownership or the right to bear individually carried arms.  Yes they can enforce laws and apprehend criminals.  But this law makes criminals out of the law abiding.  Within it is the assumption that good citizens are guilty of something just because they enjoy a natural right (Section 1, Oregon Constitution, “Rights”). 

You must never coerce a citizen out of a natural right under color of man-made laws!  See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/3617

In short, a citizen in good standing should not have to prove their worthiness to own or bear arms.  They each have that natural right!  This is foundational to the freedom we claim to enjoy.  To do otherwise is to succumb to the idea that individuals are not sovereign as created, but only have rights conferred by government.  This is not so.  Nor is it right.  Individuals are sovereign as created, meaning they have rights that cannot and must not be violated nor infringed.  That is, these rights are inalienable!  Please join me in opposing this Marxist proposal. 

I am a natural born citizen in good standing in Oregon. 

One side of my family was here before Oregon was a state.  The other side came in 1927. This bill is not in keeping with the spirit of responsible freedom the state began with…stop the bill, enjoy the freedom. 

And go after criminal behavior, not law-abiding citizens.  Please. 

Respectfully, Rodney John Tombleson, life time Oregon citizen.

Sincerely,

Rodney John Tombleson  Oregon Citizen, Prineville 97754

“Aim small, miss small.”

     “Beware False idee utilita.”

          “Be humble, with a touch of class.”

               “What will I leave behind?”

1619 Project Has No Credibility

How can the 1619 project be taken seriously?

History is what happened. Sometimes, most of the time, people write what happened, or rather their version of events. Ignoring previous recorders and observers on the formation of the USA is simply creating a new version of events to the liking of one ignorant of real events.

The New York Times (NYT), has little credibility when it comes to fidelity to actual events. The paper hid the Holocaust. They hid the Katyn massacre. Now they promote what are clearly racist lies about the nature and character and even the beginnings of the USA. The NYT has a never ending record of distortion of modern events. They are clearly biased to some liberal view of nearly every matter under the sun. Yet we are supposed to believe their commentary and support for the 1619 Project.

The author of the project, NIcole Hannah-Jones, has little credibility either. She clear has made racist statements to the effect that white people are racists.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/author-of-new-york-times-1619-project-called-white-race-barbaric-devils-in-unearthed-letter

Yeah, ok. Some people being racist does not mean all people are racist. That applies to all people and people groups. While she offers the disclaimer that she herself is not racist, her comments in the article above give up her lie about that.

“the white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world,”

Wow. You can’t make this stuff up. With such a gross and broad generalization, it is clear that her mind is not that of a real thinker, and certainly unqualified to evaluate the events of North American history from 1492 to present. Not, at least, in my opinion.

The founders of the USA were caught in the ugly realities of their day, just as we are. Opportunity was found, however, against great odds I think. That opportunity led to the authoring of truly inspired documents. And those documents have led to the development of the most tolerant, creative, powerful, economically viable, exceptional nation, country and culture in the history of the world.

The real question is, how long can it last, especially when some people are trying so very hard to distort it and destroy it.

God Bless America!

Letter to Oregon Legislators, 2/1/2021

(This is the gist of my recent email to Oregon legislators)

Greetings and thank you for serving our pioneer state!

There is another spate of hate…for gun owners in the proposals before you in the Oregon Legislature for 2021.  SB396, 554, 585, 492, 604, and HB2510, 2543, and 2872.  As though 941 in the past wasn’t bad enough, these are just more attempts to destroy the freedoms espoused in our constitution.  You took an oath. 

I ask you to look up “Project Exile,” Project Exile | PAVE | Programs | Camp Good Days, in Virginia of a few years ago.  Under that project, spiraling violent crime was vastly reduced.  Look it up.  How?  By enforcing existing laws.  Criminals caught in crimes, possessing firearms, were charged locally, and with federal crimes, then punished according to the law.  Mandatory sentences if convicted.  Most crime is committed by repeat offenders.

I urge you to reject the socialist agenda in Oregon, of infringing natural rights we citizens were born with.  I urge you to uphold your oath of office and enforce existing laws. That is how we reduce violent crime in Oregon. 

This Is My Father’s World

Sermon:  This Is My Father’s World

Word Count: 2192

PURPOSE:  Inductive style.  To highlight that despite recent violent events in our culture, God is in control of His creation, His world is still subject to Him.  His love is satisfactory of our needs. It is man who seeks to dominate one another.  God sets us free to be free.  This is our Father’s world.

Prineville, Oregon

Father’s Day

June 21, 2020

This Is My Father’s World

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

So much seems off kilter in the world right now.  People don’t seem to have common sense anymore.  The world seems to have gone mad…but I would say this, Don’t worry, it happens all the time! 

It’s caused by rejection of certain premises.  1. God’s very existence.  2. God’s character.

What you believe about God affects every other matter in your life. 

There are laws, both spiritual and physical that govern our lives.  They are not man-made laws.  First, they are “natural laws.”  They are irresistible, and immovable. These laws operate whether man made laws contradict them or not.  Some will say other things are true, but time is not on their side, becausethis is my Father’s world. 

I want to discuss some political history.  What happened during the 1960’s?  Was there turmoil in this country?  There was, and it was as bad or worse than we have right now.  Many of the same issues were in play then as now.  We had a President assassinated.  We had a 1968 Presidential candidate assassinated.  We had a civil rights leader assassinated.  We were fighting the post-World War II advance of Communism in Vietnam and other countries.  There was unrest all across America. The 1968 Democratic Convention was a disaster with many protests and riots going on in Chicago.  Much of this was organized out of the University of Chicago.

There was the “MOBE,” and the “NEW MOBE.”  (National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, and New Mobilization Committee see Kengor, Dupes, page 286ff)

The CPUSA (Communist Party USA), Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party, Dubois Clubs of America, Progressive Labor Party, Young Social Alliance

And somewhere in the mix was the SDS or Students for a Democratic Society, Anarchists and the Black Panthers. 

There was even a group call “RESIST,” whose goal was to teach young Americans how to “resist” the draft.  (p 290, Kengor, Dupes)

Communists in America organized all these groups to peacefully “protest.”  Their goal was to provide a “loss” in Vietnam to the United States.  Does anything sound familiar here?  Communists were behind much of the dissent, while disavowing involvement.  “Russia did it.”  The truth was they were telling Americans, get out of Vietnam, so “you can live in peace.” 

Therefore, these things we are seeing in our country currently are not new and even some of the players are not new.  You are seeing the same playbook not only from the 1960’s, but literally from the 1920’s. Today, please gain perspective and context.  On surface, “racism.”  On the surface, “police brutality.”  But under the surface?  Agitators who hate this country.  Various agitators, communists, anarchists, common criminals, people holding grudges, you name it.  Please look on the bright side, for this is my Father’s world.

I want to tell you about my Dad.  Born in 1916, he was the oldest of 6 boys, with 2 sisters.  His dad, my grandfather, Roscoe John Tombleson, had the 1919 flu.  In 1928, my grandfather died from complications arising from that flu.  At the funeral, my then 12-year-old dad was informed that now he was the “man of the household,” because he was the oldest boy.  He raised all his siblings but one, his older sister. 

What happened just after 1928?  The great depression.  You may remember certain politicians referring to the 2008 economic slowdown as a great depression.  That’s nonsense.  The depression of 1929 saw people starving and they did not have big screen video games at home to play while they were unemployed.  Dad would scarcely eat chicken for much of his life, because that was the only meat he had as a kid.  My grandmother would butcher a chicken, boil the chicken to broth, and then that was all the meat they had until it was gone, soup, bones, and all.  They were dirt poor. 

Then, socialists in Europe fought among themselves, WWII broke out and Dad was drafted.  He was used to bossing brainless young men around, so during combat he was quickly promoted to sergeant.  Dad knew how to battle. From an early age, he knew how to do his duty.  Doing your duty, your assignment in life is how you earn your way to the end.  It means survival and accomplishment, one day at a time. 

Though Dad was not overtly religious, his mother was, and she prayed heartily for her 6 sons and 2 daughters. Given what they went through, they sorely needed those prayers.  The boys all served in active military and they all returned home alive from World War II.  That was amazing, given the all-encompassing violence of a truly world war. 

What’s amazing to me though, is that Dad came home from the war, found a sweetheart, married her, and raised 3 boys.  He was in some ways an incomplete father, but he had strong character, loyalty, duty, and the conviction of a job well done. 

He was not perfect, but what human father is.  I’m grateful for his role in my life. 

Without good fathers, children are far more likely to grow into immature adults.  They experience less income, lower levels of education, greater moral challenges, more jail time, less marital success. 

If your father was incomplete in some way, find another man who can mentor you, be your father in those areas where you have gaps in maturity. 

No, my dad wasn’t flawless, but he gave me glimpse of what could be, and safe place from which to start.  Finally, I realized that there was more to Fatherhood even than what my earthly father offered.  I realized that:

This is my Father’s world
and to my listening ears,
all nature sings and ‘round me rings
the music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand, the wonders wrought.

I realized that the natural order of things goes all the way from creation and beyond everything a human can invent.  There are laws set forth from God at creation that precede any law thought up by man.  God set things in motion that are compelling, and unbending, even though people think they are so smart they can keep improving on what God has done.  Because we are tolerant and peaceful, we endure man made laws unless they become oppressive and troublesome.  Essential and absolute truths are so embedded in our world, as to seem unnoticed.  Even the doves in my neighborhood sing it every morning and throughout the day:  Whoo Hoo, Whoo Hoo Hoo.  Maybe you hear them too?

When will we realize that:

This is our Father’s world,
the birds, their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white
declare their maker’s praise.

This is our Father’s world,
He shines in all that’s fair.
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

We see the weakness and imperfections in people.  Do we see them in ourselves?  Some do. The wrongs we have committed are so grievous.   Until I realize my sin, it’s hard to see my need for God. 

But if I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord, if I confess my sin,  he is faithful and just and will forgive my sin, if I obey him in baptism into Him, I will enjoy his promises of forgiveness, the abundant spirit filled life, and eternal life. 

Therefore, if you’re here today and wonder about your place in God’s plan, please approach Jim or Bob or me or Tollie or someone you trust.  We will do our best to answer your questions. 

When we see wrongs in the world, when I see the wrongs in my life, it is distracting from what and whom I should remember, and that is:

This is my Father’s world,
 oh let me ne’er forget
  that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
  God is the ruler yet.

We in our culture have many hard-earned luxuries. These are not privileges of one class of people over another.  I reject class warfare.  I reject envy, jealousy and desiring what others have.  Especially if you won’t work for it yourself.  In most cases, they are duly earned necessities or comforts.  Do you have a nice home or vehicle?  Can you afford things someone else can’t?  That’s ok.  Let no one put a guilt trip on you because of who you happen to be. 

Are you unable to afford the things you want? 

Set goals and work toward them.  My father taught me to earn my way.  He taught me the merit system where you get what you work for, not what someone gives you because you want to advance yourself.  These days, too many want to be promoted and co-opt someone who has been working toward that goal by merit.  Co-opt means to take something that was originally meant for someone else.  Do what God has gifted you to do, and then work to sharpen your skills in that.  Let God lead you into where He makes you effective. 

If you’re over 33, the age of Jesus at His death, you’re on borrowed time!  You should appreciate what He has done for you.  I mean he died for everyone, and he died for YOU! 

Ephesians 5:14b-17

       “Awake, sleeper,

       And arise from the dead,

       And Christ will shine on you.”

15Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17So then do not be foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is. 

The battle is not done.  More people are to come to Jesus as His children.  John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,”

God is sovereign, not me nor you.  Someone stands on a street corner with a sign, telling me what to do?  They state that what I enjoy in life is undeserved and not of my own efforts? That I am privileged? That somehow, I should bow to them?  The day must never come when we bow to any man!  To God yes, to man, NO!  I was so offended and angry when I saw on television, an American president bow to a foreign king.  In America, we recognize that every person has individual sovereignty under God who is sovereign over all.  So I say to you, do not disengage from the political process.  That battle is spiritual.  The battle is worked out in our homes, schools, elections, literally every minute of our lives.  Never disengage.  Never, never give up.  Never surrender to evil, for that would say, “Christ died in vain.”

We are still in a battle, even though you and I know “Victory was won on the cross.” 

That day will come when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  Natural law says that I am a free moral agent to make my decisions and bear my own consequences.   Let me tell you:

This is my Father’s world,
the battle is not done.
Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied
and earth and heaven be one.

Revelation 22:16-17
16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”

17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

I know who wins in the end, there is no need for hate and discontent.  I also know that God is near us right now, today, the doves singing outside my window in the morning tell me in their song God is with us!  Those birds singing are saying, “Why should my heart be sad?!”  Let us be glad.

So, I say to you today,

Why should our hearts be sad?
The Lord is king, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad!

This is our father’s world!

Covid-19, Thoughts

COVID-19, THOUGHTS

(April 1, 2020)

Yes, we are all “shut down” and “quarantined” in our respective homes. Only jobs deemed “essential” have employees showing up to work. Healthcare people, law enforcement personnel, transportation staff, sanitation employees, and a few more. Some may be tempted to despair during this season of challenge, illness and death.

Current models show that as many as a million or many more will die without taking preventive measures. With preventive measures (mitigation), there could still be 100,000 or more deaths. This dynamic situation is just what models show us as of 3/31/2020 (Presidential briefing). That will likely change daily as more data is fed into the models. Models are what is or is not fed into them, and must be given value accordingly.

“In all the world around me I see His loving care.” (He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

There are so many predictable reactions to something like this. “It’s nothing!”

“It’s the apocalypse!”

“It was deliberate by China!”

“It was the US Army!”

I must observe that despite all the wearying troubles facing humans, war and pestilence, a wide variety of reactions are predicable. Which reaction is best? Yes, in even the best-case scenario, we will grow weary and experience trouble, fatigue and even death, we can overcome despair! We must see victory over despair!

“And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.” (He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

In listening to Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State, at first, I thought he was making more sense than usual. Then I noticed he complained a lot that the Federal government wasn’t performing to his expectation, all the while asking the Feds to do more and more. But lately, on 3/31/2020, I notice he is making noises about doing away with private health care. I think or wonder if I see his modus operandi. He has been angling all along for more central planning and provisioning of society. Human leaders are prone to this temptation, understandably. They will want to be more effective at everything the are responsible for.

But I think once duty has been done, we must trust the leading of the divine. Faith has its place. While we think we are wise, we are even then using the gifts we received at birth and developed from experience after birth. We follow the path God has laid for us. “It’s not the gale, but the set of the sail that determines the way our ship will go.” As we follow Him, we ought to say humbly,

“I know that He is leading, through all the stormy blast. ((He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

History holds claim to hope! We have dealt with Polio, Tuberculosis, Measles and much more.

What permanent changes will result for our society? Will the handshake go away? Will vote by mail become more attractive? Will hugs as a form of greeting or parting be less practiced? Will families see togetherness as a value or will the experience be a negative for them? Will work from home be even more widely practiced? Will Telehealth doctor visits be more highly used? Will “social distancing” be universally practiced even in the absence of a pandemic? Will governments increase surveillance of citizens in order to utilize contact tracking? (Contract tracking is used to detail the movement of a virus victim in order to see where his infection was caught.)

What I do believe is this: God lives and will bring His lessons to people who are willing to listen and see what He has done among us all.

“The day of His appearing will come at last.”  ((He Lives, www.hymnal.net/hymn)

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HB 4005, Common Sense? or Slippery Slope?

HB 4005 is neither common sense nor slippery slope.  Today, the Oregon legislature holds a hearing on HB 4005, the onerous gun transportation and storage bill.

https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2020/02/05/oregon-legislature-2020-gun-storage-bill/4669859002/

It is not common sense and it is not a slippery slope.  It is a free fall!  We are crashing into branches and boulders on the way down.  Why?  Because if we pass this terrible bill, we are accepting the premise that government controls our property when stored or transported.  Government controls our rights on and about our person.  As the constitution limits the state on this right “…shall not be infringed…,” the state must never limit the citizen in self determination of responsibilities. 

This fight is about individual sovereignty.  If the state can tell the individual when and where to store or carry weapons, the state can do the same with any and every other object you thought you own! 

Supporters of this claim it’s for safety.  I am not doubting sincerity, I’m doubting effectiveness. Safety is always important, but falls below on the hierarchy of values here.  Sadly, neither this law, nor similar laws are effective in reducing violence.  It is not for safety first, it is for compromising the rights of those very supporters.  Supporters are selling out their own rights, my rights and the rights of every other citizen, and our heirs to come!  We must fight this!  Because we are not fighting for our rights only but for the rights of every person everywhere. If we lose the unique freedoms enjoyed by every American citizen here, we have no where else to go. 

The law misconstrues the nature of man.  No matter what happens with HB 4005 in Oregon this year, criminals will find ways to achieve their selfish goals including violence against citizens.  The impulsive will torment the vulnerable.  This is as old as creation. 

The ultimate goal is confiscation!  That way, only government and criminals will have guns.  That may sound redundant.  Those who seek advantage over others, i.e. government and criminals, share this characteristic.  They want to control others to the point of being deadly. 

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2018/11/16/swalwell-gun-comments-n2536106

Regardless of what some say, that their plan falls short of confiscation, (Bloomberg), I don”t believe them.  Every year, more prohibitive and punitive proposals spring from the anti-gun and anti-freedom crowd.  They are never happy and never finished. 

2020 A Brief Response to the State of the Union Speech

“The real test of a man is not when he plays the role that he wants for himself, but when he plays the role destiny has for him.” (Vaclav Havel)

“Discover your purpose in life, then do it on purpose.” (unknown)

A man “…shall not violate his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:2b

I appreciated the speech very much for President Trump’s straight up content and delivery. He wasted not the attention of the nation by attacking his angry political opponents. Instead, he forged into the record his many accomplishments, from domestic to foreign.

While opposition scoffed, and behaved without dignity, President Trump stated that he had kept promises. Indeed, his presidency is marked by such kept promises, promises which predecessors for years have made and routinely broken. As an example, I think of his fully recognizing the capitol of Israel by moving our US embassy there. That’s good, and he values the word of the Lord by keeping Numbers 30:2b. Trump does what Trump says he will do.

I was lifted spiritually and emotionally by President Trump’s hopeful remarks. He sees the state of our USA with a hopeful heart. He looks for the best to come. In a statesman like manner, he heralded citizen standouts among both civilian and military, from radio host to sergeant. He seems to look at challenges as a man who not only knows both his capabilities and his limitations, but that bringing others together with him can exceed all our own expectations. Trump has faith, and by reason, he acts. He is a man of action. He wastes not a minute on political fantasies of power, but expresses purpose through action. Thereby, he expresses more statesman like behavior than his opponents. Indeed, his straightforward statements and actions serve to expose what many call the “political swamp.” Their childish antics during this speech are duly noted, but are certainly insalubrious. Trump’s approach is reminiscent of President Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Margaret Thatcher.

What a refreshing tonic is President Trump! He is openly standing against the attempts of socialism to gain full centralized control of the USA. He does what I’ve been yearning for over a very long time. He calls out the press for their lies and false narratives, supports the second amendment, celebrates the role of faith, eschews red tape, cuts regulation, confounds the regulators, has cut taxes, and respects the constitution. He is restoring the military, and bringing mutual respect of other nations. He hates the murder of the unborn, and loves the life saving medical possibilities for those babies who are born. He celebrates with the successes of the private entrepreneur.

Therefore, I am refreshed and invigorated to see a man in President Trump who has found his niche, his purpose, his destiny. That journey is more difficult than some imagine. Trump reminds us that we don’t have to accept mediocrity in government, and we are a free people. We are a free people to the extent that we stand against socialism of every kind, and act on our faith. As POTUS, he has far exceeded my expectations, and delightfully so.

Oh, What World Will It Be?

I have 4 grandchildren and 1 more on the way!  Of course, they bring much joy as they learn, grow and discover our world, their world.  The experience of observing their experience is exciting and rewarding!  What will their world be?  What will be the opportunities, challenges and life decisions?

Will they be inundated with the usual form of government which enslaves them with those typical demands?  Will they be forced to conform in the name of safety, technological advancements and high financial costs?

Or will they learn the value of personal achievement, and decision making that expresses their individual sovereignty?

I see today so many a downcast countenance resulting from that feelling that one can not improve one’s lot in life due to governmental, and societal corrals built against and around us.  Political Correctness (PC), seems to rule the day on every front.  Mao would be so happy, “Toe the Party Line!”

Is there hope for my grandchildren?  Yes!  We live in the one exception to the ordinary when it comes to our form of government.  Self government!  Self government to be sure, requires of each citizen personal responsibility.

I unequivocally support the second amendment!  Why?  Because it restricts the government and calls upon the citizen for great responsibility.  It demands upon us for high ethical standards at the most critical of human endeavor, the power over life and death in the matter of self defense.  We are born with this right to self defense.  And we must exercise the right to enjoy possession of the right.  Right choices are forced upon each individual in the face of this incredible responsibility.

So I hope for my grandchildren that they will make life decisions that reflect their individual sovereignty.  That they will never settle for less.  That they will reject dependency upon big, bloated, socialistic forms and functions of government.  That they will come to understand in practical ways how unusual in the course of history the United States of America really is.  That they will be personally responsible for the success of themselves and their fellow citizens and neighbors.

Thank you for visiting and reading.

WHAT POSTURE SHOULD CHRISTIANS ASSUME?

What was the mood, the posture or stance of the Christians in Germany during the late 1930’s?

The question is genuine. My sense of the matter is that when most want to be passive, and inner feelings, and intuitions say we should, there are only few who get it, we must stand up for what is right.
What does God expect of us? Defend the innocent, defeat the wicked. We brought the great war to and end, not by passivity, but by well orchestrated actions…actions that have seared our own souls.
Perhaps some want to engage in “white guilt.” Some in “Christian guilt.” I reject both. We are obliged to do what is right. Not what we feel, but what is morally, doctrinally, right.
The future is not pretty. But peace doesn’t not come through passivity or weakness. Peace comes through strength. Enemies and potential enemies must have the clear understanding that we are not soft target victims ready for their plunder and deceit.
I am not recommending a hostile stance. I am merely pointing out that through word and deed, our position points everyone to freedom. We will not accept domination from any.
This is like Germany, 1938-9. It is not a time for Christians to accept the “sit down, shutup” orders of the pc left. It is time to be active in our faith in its every expression. Stand for the right doings and the right sayings, in word and deed be all you were created to be.