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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 15

ס Samekh

113 I hate double-minded people,screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-6-14-04-am
    but I love your law.
114 You are my refuge and my shield;
    I have put my hope in your word.
115 Away from me, you evildoers,
    that I may keep the commands of my God!
116 Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live;
    do not let my hopes be dashed.
117 Uphold me, and I will be delivered;
    I will always have regard for your decrees.
118 You reject all who stray from your decrees,
    for their delusions come to nothing.
119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross;
    therefore I love your statutes.
120 My flesh trembles in fear of you;
    I stand in awe of your laws.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in religion

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 9

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-5-36-55-amAh, the miracle was done on the SABBATH!  The Pharisees saw themselves as the keepers of the Sabbath and their logic or lack of logic got them into a lot of debates with Jesus over the purpose of the Sabbath.

Jesus did not check the calendar to see what day it was before He spat on the ground, made mud, put it on this man’s eyes, and told him to go wash.  For Jesus the time was always right for a miracle!

The religiosity of the Pharisees blinded them from the truth about the Sabbath, the truth about this blind man, and the truth about Jesus.  Religion has a way of doing that.

Religion can be a substitute for the righteousness that is offered freely in the gospel. Religion can take the place of compassion.  Religion can poison one’s mind and cause one to think that he or she can work their way to heaven.  Religion can seduce one into minimizing God’s mercy and trampling on His grace.  Religion nailed the Son of God to the cross, didn’t it?

There is indeed a God-consciousness built inside each of us that is either met by God’s mercy or twisted by man’s own religious efforts.

The Creator of man, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, stooped to make mud, much like man’s original creation in the beginning.  He can make mud and He can fashion it any way He chooses.  But man can judge Him by man’s religion and condemn His creative intervention into our world of darkness.  In a world of dust and dirt and precious little spiritual water, He spits on the ground He made and does something wonderful.  Which religion condemns. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in religion

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 8

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-5-36-55-am
Why do people want to know HOW something happened? They ought to be enthralled THAT something happened, don’t you think?

The problem here is that process is all-important to the religious leaders — and the people they have taught.  The real issue in this interrogation — for the friends and later especially for the Pharisees — is the day of the week in which this miracle took place.  THE SABBATH!

As the neighbors and those who had formerly known the blind man discover, Jesus had MADE MUD on the Sabbath to put on the man’s eyes so he could go wash and so he could — for the first time in his LIFE! — see!  The man born blind is succinct in his response:  “The man they call Jesus . . .”  He knew next to nothing about Jesus, not even His whereabouts.

“The man they call Jesus” — Soon this man would be calling Jesus “Lord”!  But first he has to go through a series of interrogations — and they will not be pretty.

Thank God that our ignorance does not inhibit the God of glory to do works of power in our lives!  He who made the deaf, the mute, and the blind (Ex. 4) can reverse the effects of the Fall and give sight where there had only been darkness.

Could it be that this man was actually wanting to find “the man they call Jesus” to thank Him?  screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-5-58-44-amAnd his searching gets side-tracked by this series of inquisitions?  He certainly becomes irritated and agitated (as we’ll see later) as the questions are hurled at him like  stones at the public stoning of an adulteress.

But for right now, he tolerates the questions and will be led to the religious authorities, presumably to give their stamp of approval to his miracle.  However, religion can become ugly.  Quite ugly. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in john 9

 

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Time for a Good Joke: Religious Politicians!

Senator Porkbelly and Congressman Redstate were arguing about which of them was more religious.  “You think you’re so religious, Senator Porkbelly?,” the Congressman asked.  Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 6.01.56 AM“Well, I’m certainly more religious than you!”, the Senator replied.  “Oh, yeah?  I’ll bet you don’t even know the Lord’s Prayer!”

“Of course, I know the Lord’s Prayer!,” retorted the Senator.

“I’ll bet you fifty dollars you can’t recite the Lord’s Prayer,” challenged the Congressman.  “You’re on!,” said the Senator.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take!”

The Congressman said with great shock, “Senator, I didn’t think you knew it!  Here’s your fifty dollars!”

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in politics

 

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Time for a Short Video: Protesters Join Forces!

What a refreshing video! I’m so glad these protesters crossed the street and joined forces.

Fascinating that religious language is heard as they embrace one another, don’t you think? Although religion often separates people, here it unites people as they listen to one another.

Your comments?

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2016 in protesters

 

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The Foolishness of Brad Pitt on Religion

pitt quote

What do you think? Does Pitt have a point? Where would you agree with him? What about this quote upsets you? (Post your comment below).

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2016 in religion

 

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Time for a Great Joke: A Unique Funeral Service!

As a new minister, I was asked by a funeral director to hold a grave-side service for a homeless man, with no family or friends, who had died while traveling through the area.

The funeral was to be held at a cemetery way back in the country, and this man would be the first to be laid to rest there.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods area, I became lost; Screenshot 2016-02-29 06.41.36and being a typical man did not stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late. I saw the backhoe and the crew, who was eating lunch, but the hearse was nowhere in sight. I apologized to the workers for my tardiness, and stepped to the side of the open grave, where I saw the vault lid already in place.

I assured the workers I would not hold them up for long, but this was the proper thing to do. The workers gathered around, still eating their lunch. I poured out my heart and soul. As I preached the workers began to say “Amen,” “Praise the Lord,” and “Glory,”

I preached, and I preached, like I’d never preached before: from Genesis all the way to Revelations. I closed the lengthy service with a prayer and walked to my car.

I felt I had done my duty for the homeless man and that the crew would leave with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication, in spite of my tardiness. As I was opening the door and taking off my coat, I overheard one of the workers saying to another, “I ain’t never seen anything like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2016 in religion

 

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