WHO DIED AND MADE YOU BOSS?

The other day I was reading an atheist blog about God being a liar.

One of the points he tried to make was that God told Adam that he could eat all the fruits of the trees in the Garden …except one…If he ate from that one tree, on that day, he would die.

The blogger said that living on, working the ground, having pains in childbirth wasn’t the same as death.

I was thinking he missed something.

He didn’t even mention that Adam lived over nine hundred years.

So, what is he missing?

He also mentioned the testing of Abraham in telling Abraham to sacrifice his only son.

He derisively asked what kind of “good” god would do that?

So…what is this guy missing?

As a Christian, I believe that we have “all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

But, how did it start?

Was it because Adam and Eve did a thing they weren’t supposed to?

I have been thinking about this for a while now.

The blogger used Adam and Abraham to make his points.

Between these two guys, there was a big difference.

Adam began with eternal life.

Adam walked with God every morning in the Garden.

Abraham came along after the flood. After the tower of Babel story.

The whole world had gone its own way, doing its own thing, pretending that God the maker didn’t exist, that He wasn’t in charge, making their own gods out of wood and metal.

But, Abraham heard The Voice.

So did Adam.

In Adam’s case, another voice came along, offering an alternative approach to what God had said.

Abraham believed God, and that became his claim to righteousness.

Adam believed the other voice, and he lost his eternal life…on that day.

If you are supposed to live forever…and you don’t…isn’t that death?

My answer to my blogger “friend” is that I don’t yet understand all there is to understand about my God…But I believe Him.

And, every day of my eternal life, I understand Him a little bit more.

And, I’ve got all the time in eternity to get it right.

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A NOTE FROM A CHRISTIAN FATHER TO THE YOUNG MAN DATING HIS ADULT DAUGHTER

(January 17, 2016, three years ago)

Dear_________,

I am glad that you see my daughter’s true beauty. Please don’t be upset if I do not trust you right away.

It’s not you. It’s me.

I have very vivid memories of my life at your age.

My purpose in life, then, was to avoid hardship, and to make myself happy.

I have poured my life into your girlfriend from the moment of her birth.

I have tried to model for her what a man should be.

I have tried to give her every opportunity to receive the Life that God offers.

If you would like to gain my trust, I only ask two things:

1. Care more for the well-being of my daughter than you do for your own life.

2. Live your life, make all your decisions in such a way that will move my daughter CLOSER to Jesus because of His life shining from you.

With great hope for the future,

(daughter’s name)’s dad

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WISDOM, FIND IT. NOT THAT SIMPLE.

(January 17,2018…one year ago)

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding….Proverbs3:13

I was supposed to stand in for the Tuesday Bible Study this week.

Luckily, it snowed. I wasn’t ready.

How do you teach something this basic to men, who are much wiser than you are?

And, just reading about how good wisdom is, does that make you have it?

Maybe, we can’t really get it. I mean, on my own. Reading books, asking questions , seeking wise counsel. Does that do it?

I have seen men of vast intelligence choose paths that even I could see were poor choices, leading to bitter consequences.

(Be still…)

There is a passage in Psalms 131 that says, “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.”

You have to think about these things. A weaned child with its mother is sitting on her lap because he just wants to be there, he trusts her completely, he knows that no harm will come to him when he is there.

(…and know that I am God.)

In James 3, there is a “wisdom from above” mentioned, one that is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

Obviously, that is not my wisdom.

Mine is more like bitter jealousy, selfish ambition; that kind is earthly, unspiritual, demonic, bringing disorder and every vile practice.

My peace can flee in seconds, with one incoming phone call, or forgotten bill, or power outage, or perceived offense.

So, what do I do?

The only thing I can do,

really, the only thing…

since I have absolutely no control over anything.

Anything.

Calm and quiet myself.

Be still…

And, like a weaned child with its mother,

Let my Father, the One who knows all things,

The One who controls the Universe

The One who likes to hold me in His arms…

Likes to?

Loves to….

(If you seek Me you will find Me…)

Be still and know…THAT I AM GOD.

With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding. Job 12:13

With Him!

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JIM

Listen. I’m really not being lazy by sharing something I wrote a year ago.

But, sometimes, when I read it again, I see a message that needs to be shared.

So, from Jan 16, 2018, a story about my good friend, Jim.

The Freezer was full.

“Wendy, I cannot get this chicken and ground beef in here. There is no room! We have twenty bags of the enchilada sauce you made in March.”

(Now, that was an experience! Red enchilada sauce on the walls, the light fixtures….)

Before I knew it, she had offered to share some of the enchilada sauce on Facebook. I would carry it to church with me on Sunday.

After church was over, I had successfully shared with all the prospects. Except one. Vicki had slipped out before I could catch her.

I called her.

“Oh, Randy I looked for you, but I didn’t find you,” she said.

I told her I would bring it by her house.

She met me at the door, thanked me with a smile. “You want to come in and say hi to Jim?”

YES!

When Wendy and I started going to Hollybrook in 2001, we joined a Sunday Bible study class. Jim was one of the teachers. When we had the accident in 2002, the one that took Chelsey to her eternal home, Jim and Vicki were among the first to show up at the hospital.

Jim took me to the cafeteria to get a cup of coffee. He told me the story of his son that had died a few years earlier, on his way home, in a crash.

“ I was so mad at God…’Why would you let this happen?’ I cried out in anger. This anger wrapped me up for quite some time. I believed in God, heaven, even that my son was there…but I was angry that he wasn’t with me.”

He told me how he reached a point one day, where he was thinking about heaven, thinking of the Life that is there, that his son is experiencing.

Someone asked him, “If you could bring him back, right now, would you?”

Jim looked at me across the table. “Randy, at that moment, I was totally aware that that would be the most selfish act I could ever do! I realized that I could not do that, that I would not do that. From that point on, my healing began.”

Jim was sitting in his recliner, a blanket over him to ward off the constant chill. He was so thin, pale.

“How are you doing ?” I asked. “I mean, I know you aren’t feeling good, but how are you doing?”

He smiled. “Randy, one thing I know. Chemo is not gonna be what decides if I live or die. If I live, well He still has something for me to do here. If not, well, I’ve got a lot of people I’m really looking forward to seeing.”

Vicki was standing beside him, smiling. “We don’t know how long any of us have. Jim could outlive me…. “

Jim told me of the cancer in his esophagus that caused him pain every time any kind of food had to navigate its way through. “Even oatmeal. I’m 6 feet tall. I used to weigh 215. I’m down to 135. “

We talked on. I told him of my memories of that day in 2002, how important that conversation was to me, how God had used him and Vicki in our lives.

Now, I’m going to try to describe something.

As we were talking, I looked at Jim’s face, and it appeared to be glowing. The smile was a smile of complete freedom, a peace that cannot be described. He appeared to be someone who, in his pain and struggles, was finding a comfort that soars above the physical, that touches deep inside.

JOY! That is what I saw!

It looked like cancer was winning the battle, if you couldn’t see what I saw.

But, I knew.

Jim was winning this fight!

He had already won!

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BIRTHDAY MEMORY

Yesterday would have been my mom’s 90th birthday.

Two memories came to me.

The period of time she sat beside my bed and read Huckleberry Finn out loud, with expression, before I went to sleep.

And the time she found a short story I had started in the fourth grade (not a school project, just something I had wanted to do). It was about an invasion of earth from Jupiter. They were giants, of course, because, you know, Jupiter is so large. I wrote about four pages before I grew tired of the idea. I must have left them on my desk.

The next day, when I got home from school, my mom went on and on about how exciting a story it was, and how she looked and looked for the rest of the pages.

She seemed really disappointed that there was no more to be read.

No, I did not finish the story.

But, she planted something in me that day.

And, I still miss her.

But, I will see her again.

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LET THERE BE LIGHT

LET THERE BE LIGHT

I know, I know…the Bible is not a science book.

What I wonder, though, do you think it is true?

I keep hearing that the earth is

2. something billion years old…the universe even older than that…

Yeah, God could have created everything, but not just thousands of years ago…billions. Science has proven…science tells us…even God could have used evolution which we have proven to be true.

Don’t be so literal, Randy.

The Bible is a book to teach you how to live. Who cares if it was billions of years or thousands?

Hmmm?

I kinda care.

Here’s what I think. Granted, I have no more weight on my side than anyone else.

Shoot, I didn’t even finish college.

So…consider my opinion.

When God said (according to Genesis), “Let there be light,” that is (according to Genesis) the first time there was light. (oooh, time…interesting) A God who is Spirit doesn’t need light to see…but things he is going to create do need light. So, there it is.. Light…and it was good.

Then, He separates light from darkness, day from night…evening and morning, first day.

Then He separated waters above from waters below and made Heaven. (No, I can’t explain this yet) The second day.

So, the next step…separate dry land from waters, and then, cause vegetation and fruit trees to sprout on the land, all bearing seed so they would continue to spread over the earth. And each kind bore seed that would make the same kind. Evening, morning, third day.

Then, God made the sun, moon, and stars to divide the day from the night. (Wait a minute…how could there have been evening and morning without the sun? I’ve got a better question for you…how could there have been a sun, moon, and stars without light? Good thing God planned ahead.) Evening, morning, day Four.

Now, it gets busy…living creatures to fill the waters, some salt water, some fresh water…bam. Birds to fly in the sky, big ones, little ones…bam. All the birds and the creatures in the water were made to be fruitful to multiply. Good news for future hunters and fishermen. Evening and morning…fifth day.

Now, let’s get cracking…God makes animals for the land. So many kinds. Creeping animals, running animals , dogs, cats, livestock, turtles, elephants, slots, platypus (what is plural for platypus?), unicorns (it’s in the Bible, kjv version), behemoths, leviathan, lions and tigers and bears, oh my, reptiles (dinosaurs? I think so.) And all of them were capable of reproducing according to their kind. But God wasn’t done yet. Caretakers needed. God made man, male and female, that, in small abilities, were kinda made in His image. Ability to think, reason, even figure out how to create stuff. Imagine that.

Then he made them in charge of this earth, giving them “dominion over all living things” (this has got to infuriate PETA. “Animals are people, too.”) But man could think, reason, figure things out, talk to God.

It was all very good!

Evening, morning, sixth day

Now, everything was created, light, waters, dry ground, stars, moons, planets, fish, birds, animals…and humans.

All in six days.

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”

Genesis 2:2-3 ESV

So…did God bless a day…or did God bless an epoch?

I think it was a day.

After all, you can’t have a sun if you don’t have light…right?

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TASTE AND SEE

TASTE AND SEE

(January 9, 2015)

Since I have been married to the best home cook in the world for 42 years now, I believe it is safe to say that I know good food.

As a matter of fact, my bucket list includes being a guest judge on The Iron Chef, mainly to convince my wife that she is indeed the best.

But I tell you what drives me crazy.

Have you ever tasted something that was so incredibly full of so many layers of flavor that there were no words to adequately describe it, and all you could say was, “Oh, man, you have got to taste this!”

You didn’t really want to give any of it away, but you just wanted someone to share the experience with you. Right?

So, this flavor is lingering in your mouth, you’re trying not to moan too loudly with pleasure, and the one you are trying to bless with this incredible taste of food says, “No, I don’t like…”(fill in the blank)

“All right, you have never tasted anything like this! Just taste it. One bite.”

“No, I tasted it once, and I didn’t like it.”

That drives me crazy!

A young atheist one time told me, ” If you can show me some proof that God is real, I will believe.”

Another one said, “Even if God is real, I would never worship Him.”

I have realized that the only proof that will work for the atheist, is to just taste Him.

Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them…so the one who feeds on me will live because of me…whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

I love, more than good food, my LIFE that will last forever, and I just want you to taste it.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8

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