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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Further Down The Path, Part Eight?

                                 Time is fulfilled

           This may not make a lot of sense to some people, but if you have read my book online for free it may fill in some interesting gaps.  I do not know if it is significant for others, but the time sequences in my life seem to happen in circles.  I kept pondering this and had to write it so I could sleep.

    14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
      Here I sit at my computer at 1:30 in the morning.  Why am I doing that because certain things that have been happening lately?  It has bought me a feeling that I am approaching the end of another circle in my life. My book “A Little Further Down the Path” shares several of the circles I have experienced in my life.  To me the Bible talks and shares things in several circles.  Some long and some short, but they are circles which end up back where they started.  It has been fifty years this month since I left home and started a large circle in my life.

     In Genesis 15 God told Abraham what land would be a big circle in Israel’s experience.  He told them they would go into captivity for four hundred years and then they would "return to their land".in the fourth generation.  Over the years the length of a generation has been a point of discussion in many of my conversations about the Bible. Israel has been removed from their land and returned several times in history. God makes it pretty clear on two points, it will be 400 years and they will return in the fourth generation.  I am not a mathematician or a Bible scholar but common sense tells me those generations have to be more than 100 years.  The only place I find God giving a time frame longer than 100 years is Genesis 6:3 where he says man’s time will be limited to 120 years.  The strange thing is that Moses lived 120 years and yet he never entered the Promised Land.  With the wondering in the wilderness 470 years had passed when they reentered the Promised Land.  Four times 120 would be 480 so they did return in the 4th generation.  You would be amazed how many preachers have told me I am wrong about that number because it does not fit “their” calculations.

       Most of this is in my book and I need to not repeat that stuff but explain why I find the circles of time in my life significant. It is mainly because they are getting much shorter. I tell how I went to Vietnam and returned back to the very point I started.

       Another circle started about 1981 and ended about 1990.  It started when I asked the Lord to show me how he would punish a man if I turned the matter over to him.  I did and he did.  I certainly did not expect it to happen. It was a very humbling experience when it did, because how he did it, which was to give me that man’s job.

        The next circle started on 7 February 1992 with the crash of a military C-130 into a hotel in Evansville, IN.   I was interviewed by CNN and it restored a long lost friendship with a person I grew up with and had lost contact with. I had a heart attack on the 22 January 2004 in Baltimore, MD ending my trucking career. That circle ended when I flew into Louisville, KY and looked down on the fleet of C-130’s parked on the tarmac.  It was the home base of the aircraft than crashed into the hotel. It started before I got my own truck and ended with the end of my driving career.

       In August 2010 my youngest daughter, Glenda Lynn, passed away after a seven year battle with a brain tumor. She left me her Boston Terrier, Forrest Gump, in her Will.  She also left her home for her sister to administer till her children are of age to receive it. Glenda was a nurse by profession.  This month my grandson and his girlfriend who had been taking care of the home moved out. We decided to rent the house rather than let it sit empty. The lady who is going to rent it is the niece of the lady who owned it before my daughter bought it.  She is a x-ray technician and she has two Boston Terriers. A strange coincidence?

       In March 2011 I started a blog with the encouragement of my daughter Angel.  She had done one for a class she had taken. She teaches Spanish. She knew I liked to write and she encouraged me in that direction.  In May of 2012 I went to my first writer’s conference.  It was at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference.  It was a rewarding experience and had many neat people.  I am a bit of a people watcher and one lady caught my attention.  She walked with a large stick much like they used in the Lord of the Rings.  Her attire was a little different also.  While curious I did not approach her.  My mind muddled over the matter for a year.  In May of this year I returned to the conference.  After signing in I went upstairs and sat down.  The first person I had a long talk with happened to be the 80+ year old mother of the lady I had seen the year before.  She informed me of the details of her life and her daughters and all I had to do is listen.  That was another time I had asked the Lord to open my understanding and he did.  The Bible verse that says, “You have not, because you ask not.” has taken on new meaning for me.

       It may mean nothing but my circles seem to be getting smaller and quicker.  On May 5th I went to the Indiana State Gourd show for the first time.  I make crafts from gourds and have started growing my own.  At the state show I saw a neat looking and very large gourd and did not think at the time to ask who made it.  On my way to the writing conference in Ridgecrest, NC I decided to stop by the Kentucky State Gourd show on the way.  Several people I met in Indiana were at the Kentucky Show.  One was the Indiana secretary.  She told me the story of the gourd and then pointed out a man in the crowd.  He was the one who had made it several years before.  I wanted the information because I hope to write an article about it.  So that circle was finished in less than a month.

        All this got me to pondering the meaning of it all.  That was when I realized the fifty year cycle for me. The 50th year of Jubilee is very significant in the Bible.  It signifies the beginning and ending of time.  One of the reasons I did ponder so hard was that the keynote speaker told a story about a man who laid hands on him when he was a kid.  The experience had never left him. It made me ponder a man in my own home town that I had not heard of or thought of since leaving over fifty years ago. Today, well I guess in reality, yesterday I was looking at Facebook and guess whose picture is on my time line.  It was that old man that I thought of at the conference.  It is a strange coincidence, but I could not get it out of my head and so here I sit. This brings me back to the Biblical sequences of time.

        If we go back to my opening statement.  When the Jesus made the above statement he was telling the Jewish people that they had reached a point where the Gentiles would take over world affairs.

             22For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

     It is my belief that when Israel returned to the land in 1948 that prophecy was fulfilled.  Which also remind me of the verse in 2nd Peter 3:8 where it says,

         8 Dear friends, don’t forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day. 9 The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.

     Based on that logic we are entering the seventh day. Roughly two days were before the flood. Two days were from the flood till Christ and two more from Christ till now.  So is it time to enter the millennium and the Lord’s Day of Rest.  I really do not know, but I feel I can now lay down and sleep, having cleared my mind.

       Like I said before I could die before I get out of this chair, but I believe I will be here when the Lord returns in power and glory and I am getting the feeling by looking around me that, that time is not that far off.

      If you should happen to read the free book posted on my blog, it is in seven parts.  Please if you read none of the rest of it, please read part seven as it brings what I am trying to say together.  Hopefully this does not bore you to bad.  I did go right to sleep at 5AM when I finished it. It is now 10AM I am up and life goes on.

          There is a verse in Luke 9:62 that says to never look back when you have put your hand to the plow. The reason is really simple.  In the course of life we travel in the circles and seasons of life and sooner or later we come back to where we started.  We can then see the crookedness of our paths and hopefully correct them as we move on in life.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Obama Care or "Abomnicare"

                           Abomnicare, Will we survive it?

      The title is not a typo.  It is my personal name for Obama Care.  He may care but he has no business background and not a clue at the burden he is putting on average Americans.  While, supposedly, well intended it is quickly being seen for what it is.  It is an abomination of, supposedly, good intentions.  

      The reality of Obama Care is starting to hit home.  It would more properly be called the Abomnicare program.  As it is implemented it is busting the budget of low income Americans.  Worse yet it is actually going to reduce the number of people covered by health care.  As the details are released it is becoming a nightmare for many Americans.  People who have worked with companies and institutions for twenty or more years suddenly have no health care.  If the nation’s economy was in better health maybe it would work.  However the country’s economy is not in good shape.  Many states are on the edge of bankruptcy.  Decisions are being made totally based on the bottom line.  The effect on individuals is not a consideration.  The survival of the system is all that matters.

       How do I justify saying that?  Well I have seen firsthand how it is working.  School systems which have fixed budgets are making decisions to keep the schools running. One of the simplest ways is to reduce the number of people eligible for benefits.  That is done simply by cutting hours so that an employee is working less than forty hours a week.  They then become part time employees. It does not necessarily affect the teachers but the kitchen, maintenance and administrative staff may be fair game.  That is how state and county budgets are considering dealing with the problem.

      Corporate America is using much the same system.  They are passing much of the cost on to their employees.  They are not giving full time positions.  The ones that already are full time are being hit with highly increased cost. Raising the deductible and copay maintains company profits at the expense of the employees.  The attitude of the companies is take it, or leave.  With the economy in chaos and no alternatives the employees are being put between a rock and a hard place.  They have a choice between the frying pan and the fire.  Neither decision is a good choice, but which is the lesser of two evils.  If they keep the job, at least they will still be able to eat and pay their house payment as long as they do not get sick.  The irony is that though they have insurance if they get sick the copays may destroy them economically.  That is not a big change.  Many of the people forced into filing bankruptcy in America do so because of excessive medical bills.  They can’t pay the medical bills and still provide for their family’s needs.

       I am proud of America for rising above its prejudice and divisiveness.  Yet it raises the question of whether America can survive under a president that understands politics and the election process, but has no clue about administering the business needs of America.  Yes the economy is slowly recovering and the market is going up.  Every minor hiccup in the economy causes a setback.  If a real crisis arises it may push us over the edge. Abomnicare may become that crisis.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Why All The Evil? Jesus Said So

      Why is there so much evil in the world today.  Well it is no surprise to anyone who has read the Bible.  The Bible says there will be evil in the world especially in the end time.  Jesus himself warned us that at the end of time it would be just as it was in the days of Noah. He mentioned that people would be marrying and eating just as they were in Noah’s day. With the move toward same sex marriage the end must be near.  If it does not happen soon marriage as the Bible proclaims it will cease to exist.  If we look at what the Bible says about the time of Noah it becomes much clearer why there is so much evil.  In Genesis 6:5-7 it lays it out pretty clear why God destroyed the earth the first time.
         5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.   6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

      Sounds pretty much like this day and age.  So what causes evil or where does it come from.  This sounds strange but it comes from God.  The Bible says so in Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. So why would God create evil?  If you search a little deeper you will get the answer.  Isaiah 54:16 makes it clear God created the waster to destroy.  What does he destroy?  He destroys evil, but he thinks it gives him power.  Ultimately it only leads to his own destruction.

      In Romans 1:18 it makes clear why and how God uses evil for his purposes.  He does it to punish unrighteousness.  If you read on down to verse 28 thru 32 it makes clear God gives up on those who will not listen and lets them receive their just reward.  Let me make it clear I do not think I am in any way above or better than any of those described.  The first step to changing your life is acknowledge that God is in charge. In this day and age most treat the Bible like a salad bar.  I will take this, but I do not want this.  They try to conform religion to what they want.  The truth is that mankind has earned the judgment that is coming on mankind.  Almost all the things mentioned in the following verses are very common place in this day and age.

      18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;   29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 

      So how do we know it is the end time?  In 2nd Timothy 3:1-9 it gives a description of what it will be like in the end times.  It makes clear that men in the end of time will have a form of Godliness, but deny the power of God.   
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.  9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

       Evil is having a field day in America.  This is supposed to be a Christian nation. Yet when we see the evil unfolding daily in bombings and shootings how can this be.  We have a broken government that can’t manage its affairs or finances and allows ungodly practices.  If you stand up and proclaim what the Bible proclaims you will be shouted down.  If you are not shot by some “Christian” who’s rights you are violating.

        There is a price to be paid for not standing up and proclaiming our faith and trust in God, not only as individuals, but as a nation.  As we used to say in the Army, “You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.” There is no middle ground.  If it keeps going the way it is going the Rapture will not even be noticed in America.  Contrary to the popular Left Behind series, God sets the standards and places the bar and this nation is coming up far short.  The feel good version of Christianity practiced by most churches is going to come up way short of the mark on judgment day.

         So who am I to judge America?  I am nothing and nobody and really this is just some stuff I have been studying for myself that has made me question my own walk as a professing Christian.  I am certainly falling far short of the mark.  The thing I am trying to figure out is how do I make a better impact on the world?.  The solution starts with fixing me, but I have to figure out what all I have to fix first.  It is a lot of things I am sure.  What stimulated me to thinking on this whole matter was a movie I recently watched with Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria called The Greater Glory, which was about a leader in Mexico who tried to ban the Catholic Church and the revolution that followed and people dying for what they thought was right. In the end the Catholic Church made peace with the government and abandoned those fighting for the “faith.”  Years later the church declared them martyrs for their faith.  What it got me to wondering was how far do you go in standing up for your faith?  Do you fight and kill for and in the name of God or do you get down on your knees and become a martyr?

        Maybe it will take enduring the tribulation of the last days and martyrdom for many to get it. The purpose of writing this is not to condemn anybody, but to provide food for thought.  Could we do more to make this a truly Christian nation?  The answer is an obvious yes.  The problem is how do we go about it?