Friday, March 27, 2015

I Think J. Vernon McGee Was Correct

While Glenn Beck* rails and rants about the Obama White House being involved with the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, Jonathan Cahn**, and Joel Rosenberg***, warn that we are in the last days of planet Earth. While listening to and reading what these men have written, I couldn’t help thinking about J. Vernon McGee****, and Thru the Bible radio. My parents listened to J. Vernon faithfully every morning and studied thru the Bible every five years with him up until they went home to be with Jesus.  J. Vernon McGee believed in the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church.  In other words, he thought that all Christians will be caught up into the clouds with Jesus before the terrors written about in the last book of the Bible-- Revelation, come to pass.  I believe he is accurate because God through Jesus Christ has promised that all those who are in Him will not be condemned, Romans 8:1, and John 3:18.

*(Glenn Lee Beck (born February 10, 1964) is an American television personality and radio host, conservative political commentator, author, television network producer,[5] filmmaker, and entrepreneur.)

**(Jonathan Cahn is a messianic Jewish Rabbi and pastor best known for his best selling novel "The Harbinger" in which he compares the United States and the September 11 attacks, to ancient Israel and the destruction of Kingdom of Israel), click here for his website.

***(Joel C. Rosenberg (born 1967) is an American communications strategist, author of the Last Jihad series, and founder of The Joshua Fund.[3] An Evangelical Christian), click here for his website.

****(John Vernon McGee, Th.D., LL.D, (June 17, 1904 – December 1, 1988) was an ordained Presbyterian minister (PCUS) and later became the pastor of a non-denominational church, a Bible teacher, theologian, and was also a radio minister), click here for the website.            

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sausage For Breakfast and Dessert Before Lunch

I have had many happy days in my life—a solid family growing up, a steadfast husband, healthy and wise children and grandchildren, many vacations, numerous loyal friends, and much much more. But one of the happiest days of my life was when I turned fifty-five.  It was then that I could get a senior coffee.  I could get the early bird senior dinner.  I could order off of the senior menu at Denny’s and Shari’s.  I could move into a retirement home.  What’s not to love?

One of the saddest days of my life was when I realized that I no longer had a waist. I’m shaped like a bar of soap, a tongue depressor, a book, a box, or a square tile.  I could no longer snap my pants. Bummer!

 Speaking of happy days, for me, they would include attending birthday parties in honor of a member of my family, or one of my friends.  On one birthday for our daughter it became clear that we would have to serve the ice-cream and cake just after breakfast, and before lunch, due to the ice-cream melting while out camping.  Heather coined the phrase “Sausage for breakfast and dessert before lunch.”  She made it into a joyful time for everyone.

A sad day for me is when I think of the over thirty years I’ve lived with chronic pain.  But the Lord looks after me in many ways.  My friend, Nancy, in Florida, encouraged me to sign up to take the Bible Study Fellowship class next year, as they are studying Revelation.  I thought I was not going to be able to, because the classes were so far away from me, and it caused me more pain to have to drive such a distance.  But a Moms in Prayer friend, Mary Anne, mentioned to me that one class now meets within 3 miles of where I live.  I was able to attend a welcome class and will be placed in a group for next year!

Life is happy and sad. Knowing the whole truth about God is the most important thing in living through good times and bad.  “God is judge, but because of Jesus, we can go to Him as our refuge.” Dave Branson

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mahdi Batto

 My dad on the right at an American Meteorological Society meeting.  

Mahdi Batto (not sure of the spelling) was a Christian Iraqi meteorologist who took part in an exchange program my dad was involved with through his work at the U.S. Weather Bureau.  It was back in the 60’s when my family was living in Alexandria, Virginia.  I remember meeting Mahdi Batto and enjoying the delicious hamburger shish ka bobs, with lemon dressed salad, on flat bread, which he taught us to make.  My dad had taken flat metal strips and cut them into 6 inch pieces.  The hamburger was mixed with flour and patted into a rectangular shape along the metal.  Then it was placed onto the briquette barbeque and grilled to a golden brown.  That is the extent of my memory. 

Because of this memory I’m telling my Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord that you may meet someone from Iraq and they may be a Christian.  Don’t jump to judgment that they are not.

But recently, in my case, I jumped to a conclusion because of my experience with Mahdi Batto.   We had a man who is Persian visit our church.  He had come over from Iran over 20 years ago.  I assumed he must have been a Christian but no—he had not become a Christian until two years ago.  His father is still a Muslim.   So I learned that Christians must work on a relationship first—(this is what Pastor Bill teaches us).  Then as you get to know a person’s story go from there with witnessing.

I hope my youngest brother, Wayne, will have more memories to add to this story.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Being An Idiot For Dummies

Many books have been written for dummies such as— “Business Writing for Dummies,” “Classical Music for Dummies,” “I Phone For Dummies,” etc.  Now another book should be written—“Being An Idiot For Dummies.”  Last week I was an idiot and here’s why.

In my blog I was writing about the need for social justice and truth.  Unfortunately I neglected to check on the definition for social justice---It is defined as redistributing wealth.  See here.  My friend Connie was kind enough to let me know about that explanation. (Also it could be called communism--Communism arose as a reaction to a distribution of wealth in which a few lived in luxury while the masses lived in extreme poverty. In The Communist Manifesto Marx and Engels wrote "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."[10] While the ideas of Marx have nominally been embraced by various states (Russia, Cuba, Vietnam and China in the 20th century), Marxist utopia remains elusive.)[11]

Because of this I changed some words in my last weeks blog.  Then I decided to do some research.  I was amazed at what Albert Mohler wrote back in 20 10 about the controversy when Glen Beck brought up questions about social justice on his show.  (Since Glen Beck is a Mormon I doubt that he has been schooled in the Bible.) See here for the article.
Another blog in 2010 takes on the issue.  Many young evangelicals are engaged in social justice issues simply because it's popular:
Click here to read. 

Next in 2013 John Piper, David Platt, and Matt Chandler discuss the relationship between social justice and the gospel. Click here. Watch the full 10-minute video to see Piper, Platt, and Chandler discuss the relationship between social justice and the gospel, contemporary distortions of love, and more.

The whole issue boils down to the heart.  Do we love others enough to be compassionate and to also tell them the truth?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Delicate Balance

 God is busy in my life helping me to focus on His beauty and not the mess of my life, and the mess of this world.  Through prayer, Bible study, Christian Fellowship, trials and tribulations, God is growing me spiritually, and working in the world to draw me to Him.  I can count on that. 

But understanding God’s viewpoint of grace,  justice, truth, and other issues is difficult at times. However, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth as we trust in His teaching us.

Recently I almost bought in to the thought that David didn’t need God’s help to defeat Goliath.  He just needed the strength to make the choice to use his sling and not the armor others wanted him to use.  In an interview with John Stonestreet, Malcolm Gladwell revealed that this was his conclusion. This is actually Roman Catholic thinking.  It is grace redefined.  See this you tube by clicking here for more on grace.

In our Precepts Bible study class it was pointed out that social justice, or distributing wealth, see the definition here, does not bring people to Christ very often.  Billions are being spent to help end poverty, and diseases around the world.  The hope we have in Jesus is not emphasized for fear of governments,  rejection, or unbelief.  In the past , and currently, it is the Christians who go or stay to help others.  Now political progressives claim governments should be in charge of this work.   Here is a blog written by a missionary to Africa, who talks about a need for changed hearts rather than throwing more money at a problem. Click here. 

There is a delicate balance between Matthew 25:31- 46 and Romans 1: 18-32--between justice and truth:

Matthew 25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 
32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 
33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 
34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
35 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 
36naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' 
37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 
38 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 
39'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 
40 "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' 
41 "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 
42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 
43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' 
44 "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' 
45 "Then He will answer them,’ Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 
46 "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
 ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 
21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 
23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 
24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 
25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 
26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 
27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full
 of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to
31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 
32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

So scripture teaches us that we need to do Christ’s work in both justice and truth.  If we neglect helping others, or if we approve of those who practice immorality, and do not tell them the truth, we will be in danger of the wrath of God. It is a delicate balance.  But if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior there is no condemnation because Jesus has paid the price for our sin!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Satellite Communication

Carolyn, Ruth , and me, 40 years later at Calvary

When we were attending Groveton High school in Alexandria, VA my older brother, Jay, and I attended youth group at Calvary Presbyterian church.    Our advisor was Ray Schall father of Jim and Donna Schall.  ( Ray just recently went home to be with Jesus at ninety-eight years old.)  Jay and I enjoyed youth group and looked forward to attending every week.  I don’t remember what we did but it must have been fun.  The only memory I have was of kidnapping Anna Peeler so that she would come to youth group. 

Years later,  daughter, Heather, attended several different youth groups and enjoyed some of the activities. So when our son was in high school we wanted him to have fun times at youth group. After checking out many churches in our area we decided to go back to the church we had attended twelve years earlier even though it was a long commute.  Jes was more compatible with the kids in Shoreline, WA than he was with the kids in Bellevue, WA. 

On returning to Shoreline Covenant Church I discovered that two of the women I had known and admired had started a weekly Morning Prayer group. They prayed for the church and for our country.  I joined the group and was blessed once again by agreeing in prayer and seeing God work. 

So when we began attending our present church, Martha Lake Covenant church, I started a weekly prayer group based on the pattern of the group at Shoreline. But unfortunately we have several people who are not in good health and can’t make it to the prayer group once a week.   We are encouraging “Satellite Prayer.”   Those who desire can pray along with us at 10 each Tuesday while staying home. Here is a list of some of the topics we pray about:

·      Our Church
·      Our Country
·      Missions and Missionaries
·      Health needs
·      Our Schools
·      Those needing employment
·      Our Military
·      Israel
·      Persecuted Church
·      Salvation for the Lost
·      Businesses
·      Cure for diseases like cancer and Ebola
·      Media

We have cell phones, which bounce off of satellites and enable us to communicate with each other, so we figured that those praying at home would be our satellites, join our prayers, and increase our voices up to God. 

Our pastor is teaching a class on prayer, David Jeremiah has been preaching on prayer; everywhere I look Christians are calling out to God in prayer.  We are living in desperate times. 

In C.S. Lewis’s book, “The Silver Chair,” (click on the link if you would like more information about the book,,) there is a scene that I believe depicts what is happening around the world.   On page 158, one of the characters, Puddleglum, puts his foot in the fire and the bad smell did three things—it made everyone’s brain clearer, the Witch spoke in a loud terrible voice, the sudden shock of pain dissolved certain kinds of magic.  Maybe this is what is happening now.  The bad smell of evil that is happening all over the world is waking Christians up to pray intensely. God has told His people to pray and seek His Face whether in groups or as satellites!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fear Factor

My mom was a fearful woman.  She had many worries.  But she was determined that her children would not be afraid of anything.  I must have known this from the womb.  When I was two I jumped off of a dock at a lake and tried to swim to my mom.  My uncle Ernest jumped in with clothes and shoes on and saved me.  He thought that I wouldn’t do it again as I had probably learned my lesson.  But no, I jumped in again.

When I was about nine or ten I prided myself in never letting the boys see me afraid or screaming.  If I had a frog or snake suddenly thrust at me I held my ground and smiled. 

As a teen I was self-congratulatory when I could figure out the Alfred Hitchcock plot and not succumb to any fear.  My dad and I enjoyed watching the TV show “Mannix” and betting on how many times Mannix would be hit on the head.

Another time a teen cousin tried to make me scream on a ride at Natatorium amusement park in Spokane, WA. The ride cage we were in could be tipped upside down and he proceeded to do so.  I didn’t let out a peep.  I held those who screamed on the roller coaster ride in disdain. I don’t know what it was in me but I didn’t care to be emotional—maybe it was my British ancestry—stiff upper lip and all that, or just pleasing my mother.

But all of this was done in my own strength.  I needed the Holy Spirit to help me when I was in high school and I wished to obey the scripture in Matthew 10: 32 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.

I was wary of joining the Bible club at Groveton high school and being associated with the Bible nerds.  But finally as a senior I joined.  I even rang the bell in the high school cafeteria and led the prayer before lunch.

Today many Christians are afraid to stand for Jesus because they are more afraid of man then they are of God.  I read two blogs this week that I liked.  The first one was written by a missionary to Africa and told of her non-conformity.  Click here to read.

The second blog was on Randy Alcorn’s blog.  Click here to read.

How have you gone against the flow?