What Would Jesus Do? Abstain! (1)

29 07 2016

WWJD  What Would Jesus Do?

WWJD was a semi-popular evangelical mantra a few years ago. I have found myself pondering that question as we have entered the most confounding election in my memory.

I plan to get to what would Jesus do, but I want to back up and take a running start at it, by considering some of the predecessors Jesus read and endorsed.

So let me start with Moses. WWMD?

moses_ten_commandments__image_2_sjpg637Moses went up on the mountain to deliver to the Israelite immigrants (fleeing Egypt, seeking a land of promise, illegally) the instructions from God. He came down with the “decalogue” (10 commands) once, only to have to ascend the mount a second time to receive them again, since the people, notably, had fallen into idolatry in the form of worship of a calf made of the precious metals and gems which God gave them from the Egyptians who were only too happy (after 10 devastating plagues) to see them depart.

So I think it safe to say that Moses valued these commands, and would see America’s election cycle through the lens of the revelation he received. One thing that came through loud and clear was that God did not want to be considered a peer with anyone else. (“You shall have no other gods before Me” Exodus 20:3). Neither did God want to become another in a line of revered entities (“You shall not make for yourself a carved image…for I the Lord your God, am a jealous God….”). So there is a back-story to election 2016 — America has shrunk God and phased Him out.

WWMD?  He would likely cite the bit about taking the name of the Lord in vain. Likely touch on remembering to take one day in seven to rest and reflect on how good God is to provide. I suspect he would mention the murder thing, and something about adultery. Oh, and coveting. Moses would say: Are you surprised you’re in this fix?

I’m not talking about the scuttlebutt some time ago in the U.S. about taking the 10 commandments off government buildings. No, what matters is that respect for God left our country long ago. The awe of the one true God left our hearts decades ago. Even from the beginning. Our founding fathers were only “Christians” in the (extremely loose) sense that they believed morality mattered. That was something at least. It would be good to go back to that at least.

As I have written before, the “pursuit of happiness” is not one of Jesus’ promises. He promised the suffering of a cross and (for the trouble) an eternal reward. Despite the brothers who now espouse a heaven-on-earth kind of reward, I’m looking for something a lot more glorious than possibly containable on this planetary sphere.

moses notBut back to the election… I think Moses would say to us: Look, human glory fades. Yours clearly has. You are in a real reality show, and it is not going well. You have made your decisions as a people. You have idolized a future with your “rights” and “equality.” You have, with open-eyes, violated every one of the 10 pillars of a thriving society — and have invented some of your own. Now your society has wilted.

Is there hope? What do we do?  Stay tuned… next up is Isaiah

PLEASE comment, like, protest, laugh… something to let me know you were here!

Lyn’s birthday gift

28 07 2016

Here is my sketch of our recent vacation. This was at Heyburn State Park, in Idaho, where Lyn and I had been with the kids in previous years.

campsite sketchDo you see that little Weber grill in the foreground? Let me show you what we made on that!    Paella! and it was fantastic!

paellaNotice the date on my sketch (above, lower right). 7/6/16.  That is Lyn’s birthday, and her dad was having surgery that day. So it was an emotional day anyhow, and we were praying throughout the day. I’m not easily moved to tears — although more so since Lyn died — but I couldn’t hold back my emotions when leafing through the sketchbook I saw this last page — a complete surprise:

Lyn's gift“Before Thy throne we daily meet,
As joint petitioners to Thee;
In spirit each the other greet,
And shall again each other see.”

Discovering this quote on her birthday was a priceless gift!

With all the heartache of losing her, I still believe God is good. Things don’t have to make sense to me. I trust that God knows what He is doing, and I will some day understand.

Would you do me a BIG favor? If you don’t mind, leave me a comment, even a simple “thanks.” (or, “take some art classes!”)

Till next time,

How great Thou art!

27 07 2016

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed!

how great thou art

Jesus is the good news that each person needs to hear.

27 07 2016

I love the incident in which Jesus returns to his home town synagogue and is invited to read a scripture. He opens to Isaiah and reads a messianic passage — to the effect that the messiah would give good news to the poor, heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, liberty for the oppressed, and the year of the Lord’s favor.

In other words, the messiah was full of good news.

Then Jesus said he was that messiah.

Jesus is the good news that each person needs to hear. Many today will say that Jesus is the only one who could deliver them from addiction, or the only one who healed their marriage.  Jesus was the only one who got the kids back, or the only one who healed from tragedy. Jesus was the only one who kept him sane after loss of a child, who got her through a chronic illness.

Hopefully people will hang with Jesus long enough for him to say, “You know, the good news you truly need is forgiveness of all your sins, that you may stay with me forever.”  And that’s gospel.

(Leave a comment would you? How has Jesus been good news to you?)

gospel is

Earth, God’s amazing work

25 07 2016

earth-in-spaceThis planet called “earth” and this solar system, are integrated with the entire, immeasurable universe. Therefore, our God who created the earth surely created the universe, otherwise this system could or would have problems of incompatibility with space and all the movements of galaxies. The speed of light follows the same physics as earthly light. God authored those physics.
Yet God has chosen to focus detailed creativity on earth and its inhabitants. And it is marvelous! It should amaze us, every day, that we are part of this incredible expression of God’s power and love.
And the story of redemption means the creator God wants relationship. He chooses some of us, enabling us to choose Him. Thank You, O God, for Your marvelous work. You have created this place in space, and entered it in order to save us. You are here now, with us, by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus will come a second time, at any time. I look forward to that day, even today!

photocredit:  www.findwallpaper.info