Thursday, August 30, 2018

THE ELECTION THAT KILLED


  In May of 1902, the election season was heating up on the Caribbean island of Martinique. So was the island volcano Mount Pelée. As the volcano belched smoke and fire, the citizens of Saint-Pierre, at the foot of the volcano, regarded it with mounting concern. The governor of Martinique however, was more worried about the upcoming election than he was about the volcano.

  Governor Louis Mouttet feared that a panic would hurt the candidates of the ruling Progressive Party.  So he directed the editor of the local paper to downplay the danger of an eruption.  He set up roadblocks to prevent people from leaving the city. He suppressed telegrams warning of the danger.  And in a grand gesture, he paid a visit to Saint-Pierre three days before the election to assure everyone that things were just fine.

  The following morning. at 8 A.M. Pelée erupted.  The blast of superheat ash killed the governor and thirty thousand others in less than two minutes.   There were only two survivors (Source: Rick Evans The Greatest Stories Never Told).  

  It seemed destruction didn’t care what party was ruling.


  Politics is always a “hot” issue. Let me give you a warning. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you fall, what party you back or what policy you support, ultimately our citizenship is in heaven (Philippian 3:20). Our friends and neighbors are in a greater danger than just electing the wrong guy; they are in danger of hell.  We need to make sure we don’t get so caught up in playing politics that we don’t forget to sound the warning call.

  Lots of folks don’t mind posting on Facebook or knocking doors in town to get their candidate elected yet would hesitate to say anything about the fate of someone's soul.  What does it profit a man if gets a majority in the legislature or controls the Supreme Court, yet loses his soul?


  Destruction is coming. It will rain down fire on everyman regardless of party affiliation. Are we prepared? Have we given warning to other? Are we making roadblocks to people in coming to know Christ? Do we tell everyone it will all be fine if we vote this way and ignore that something greater than the election is at stake, our souls?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

By The Numbers


By The Numbers

I'm counting on you

  1. Who killed 1,000 men with the with the jawbone of a donkey?

  2. David
    Jonathan
    Nimrod
    Samson

  3. Who caught 153 fish in one casting of a net?

  4. Peter
    Jonah
    Paul
    Joseph

  5. Who was shipwreck along with 276 persons?

  6. Jonah
    Paul
    Elijah
    Peter

  7. Who 5 times received from the Jews 39 lashes?

  8. Jesus
    Elisha
    Peter
    Paul

  9. Who healed a man by the Bethesda Pool that had been ill for 38 years?

  10. Jesus
    Peter
    Moses
    Elisha

  11. Who had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 donkeys; and he judged Israel 8 years?

  12. Samson
    Abdon
    Gideon
    Jair

  13. Of what animals did Jesus say was sold "5 for 2 cents"?

  14. Pigs
    Dogs
    Sparrows
    Mice

  15. In what city were magic books burned that cost 50,000 pieces of silver?

  16. Jerusalem
    Corinth
    Rome
    Ephesus

  17. Who turned water from 6 stone waterpots containing 20 or 30 gallons each into wine?

  18. Jeremiah
    Elijah
    Jesus
    Paul

  19. What happened on the 17th day in the 2nd month of the 600 year of Noah's life?

  20. The flood began
    The rain stopped
    Noah left the ark
    Noah got drunk

Thursday, August 23, 2018

And It’s Still Just Blinking 12:00


  A typical microwave oven consumes more electricity powering its digital clock than it does heating food.  While heating food requires as much as 100 times the power as running the clock does, the microwave heats food less than 1% of the time while the clock is typically always running. Therefore, in total, the clock uses up more electricity.

  There is a lesson there.  Many of use a lot more of our resources (time, energy, effort, money) in the mundane things of life rather than in our real intended purpose.  It doesn’t seem like much but often it is the little things that add up to keep us from being fruitful in the Lord kingdom.

“but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
Mark 4:19

  These trivialities become common excuses for many Christian. I just don’t have the time. I’m just so busy. When things settle down. When I've got less on my plate.  Lots of little things to why we don’t have the energy to be active in the Kingdom. But what did Jesus tells us?

"And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying.  "For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. "But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
Luke 12:29-31

 If we focus our efforts on the main purpose, the little extras will cover themselves. God didn’t put us on this earth to run out the clock, he gave us the power to transform the world around us!

  Do you know how a microwave works? The magnetron excites the particles in an item to movement that generates heat and cooks the food. Sound familiar? Christians are to stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews10:24). We can't do that if we wasting our energy on the little things.

  Is your power being directed or just dribbling away?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Here or Him


Here or Him

I'll give you a Biblical name; you choose if it is a place, a person, or both

  1. Israel

  2. Place
    Person
    Both

  3. Amaziah

  4. Place
    Person
    Both

  5. Capernaum

  6. Place
    Person
    Both

  7. Sinai

  8. Place
    Person
    Both

  9. Manasseh

  10. Place
    Person
    Both

  11. Amnon

  12. Place
    Person
    Both

  13. Shechem

  14. Place
    Person
    Both

  15. Sanballat

  16. Place
    Person
    Both

  17. Jubal.

  18. Place
    Person
    Both

  19. Malta

  20. Place
    Person
    Both

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Keep Praying


  If there is one aspect that Jesus seems to emphasize in his teaching about prayer, it is that it is not a one and done thing. (Luke 18:1-8, Luke 11:5-13)

  Prayer takes constancy to work. If I ask and don’t receive, it shouldn’t be taken as a reason to not pray anymore. Take the example of Elijah:

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.  Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
James 5:17-18
  Here James gives him as an example of the effective nature of prayer. He changed the weather! But exactly how did that work?

  In 1 Kings 18:42-45, we see Elijah praying for the rain to come back. In verse 42, He is confident that it will rain by his proclamation to King Ahab. That’s important (James 1:16). But notice how many times it took.

  Not after the first prayer or the second attempt but after seven times! Seven times he prayed and even after all that there was only a cloud “as small as a man's hand”. Yet that cloud became a downpour.

  Effective prayer isn’t a last-ditch effort. It isn’t a whim off the cuff. It is a confident continual effort.  Only when we truly trust in God and our connection to him, will we be willing to ‘labor’ over things in prayer.


  If we can’t bother to keep praying for something, do we really even want it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Horse & Hound


Horse & Hound

For those that bark or neigh

  1. Whose sores were licked by dogs in Jesus's parable?

  2. Poor Lazarus
    The Rich Man
    The Tax Collector
    The Unmerciful Servant

  3. Who was led on horseback through the city square much to the consternation of Haman?

  4. Jesus
    Paul
    Mordecai
    Esther

  5. Who was eaten trampled by horses and eaten by dogs in the district of Jezreel?

  6. Abner
    Nathan
    Jehu
    Jezebel

  7. According to James what is put in a horse's mouth to make it obey?

  8. A goad
    A lance
    A bridle
    A bit

  9. What did Jesus say not to give to dogs?

  10. Bones
    What is Holy
    Table scraps
    Unclean items

  11. What was the name of the rider of the white horse called in Revelation?

  12. Megaddon
    Hades
    Death
    Faithful and True

  13. What group did Paul describe as dogs?

  14. Gentiles
    Roman officials
    Pagan idols
    Those of the false circumcision

  15. How many of Gideon men lapped water like a dog?

  16. 300
    700
    5000
    10000

  17. What rich king had  4,000 stalls for horses?

  18. David
    Omar
    Solomon
    Herod

  19. What prophet's prayer allowed his servant to see the horses and chariots of fire surrounding them?

  20. Jeremiah
    Daniel
    Elijah
    Elisha

Thursday, August 9, 2018

There Is No Stopper You Can Put In Death


  Norway had a plan to keep death from coming to the country.

  Now they knew they couldn’t stop all death but in 1349 the death they feared was the Black Death or The Plague. Bubonic plague had ravaged Europe taking over 60% of its population. However, Scandinavia was isolated enough that had been spared and Norway was determined to keep it that way.

  Since the disease was transmitted by fleas that live on rats, Norway made every ship that came into its port go thru quarantine. If the ship had signs of rat or flea infestation, it was turned away; otherwise, the crew (if in good health) and supplies were allowed to disembark as planned.  It might have worked except for one ship that refused to stop and be checked.


  The reason? They were already dead.

  A ship had left England healthy but during the journey, the disease began to take the lives of the crew, but only the crew. The creatures that brought the plague onto the ship -- the rats, fleas, etc. -- they survived. The "ghost ship" crashed into the Norway coast. The rats got out and spread the plague throughout the country.  From there, the Black Death spread into Sweden and Russia, too, leading to countless more deaths.

  Death cannot be contained.

  Today we have gotten pretty good at keeping ourselves alive. We conquered many diseases and injuries, elongated the average lifespan, and made our world safer and more secure. Yet still, death comes for us all. We might outrun the reaper for a time but he catches us all in the end.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned
Romans 5:12

  You can’t stop death but it can be overcome. We all will face death, but to the ones whose are in Christ, death loses its sting. The resurrection of Jesus and our connection through it by baptism gives us the power to live again. We may die but we will live again

 No matter how much you exercise, eat right, take your victims, avoid dangerous things, death will still catch us. Maybe we should put our effort not just in delaying it but defeating it.


 Death will come, we better be ready to face it when it does.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

TIME


Time

This shouldn't take too long...

  1. How long did darkness overtake the land on the day of Jesus crucifixion?

  2. From the third hour to the fifth hour
    From the sixth hour till the ninth
    From the second hour till the tenth hour
    For less than an hour

  3. At what hour did the fever leave the official's son, the same hour he had met with Jesus?

  4. Sixth
    Seventh
    Eighth
    Tenth

  5. In Revelation, what causes silence in heaven for about half an hour?

  6. The women are removed
    The beast is revealed
    The seventh seal is broken
    The rapture starts

  7. How long did the Egyptian weep for Joseph's father Israel?

  8. 40 days and nights
    Thirty-five days
    Seventy days
    One year

  9. In the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector, how often did the Pharisee say he fasted?

  10. Twice a week
    Every month
    On the Seventh day, the Sabbath
    Each and every year

  11. How long was Jonah in the belly of the Sea Monster?

  12. Two Weeks
    Three days and nights
    A day and a half
    A long hour

  13. How long was Noah in the ark?

  14. Forty Days and Nights
    Over a year
    Ninety days
    Seven Seasons

  15. How long did Israel wander in the wilderness?

  16. Three and a half years
    Forty Years
    12 years one for each tribe
    Four score and seven years

  17. Who lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years?

  18. Moses
    Lamach
    Methuselah
    Kenan

  19. To what is compared to a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away?

  20. Kingdoms of the earth
    Our lives
    The pleasure of sin
    The time of the wicked

Thursday, August 2, 2018

You Can Observe A Lot By Watching



  I am amazed by how oblivious people can be. It might have always been this way and I never noticed[i] but lately, it seems to be everywhere. Maybe people are more self-absorbed. Maybe we are just too focused on our phone. Whatever the cause people don’t seem to have any awareness of what is going on around them.  And that can be a very dangerous thing.


  I’m not talking about walking into traffic because you are not looking, though I see that happen. It is the spiritual obliviousness. Not seeing that your circumstances are consequences of your actions (Gal. 6:7). Not seen yourselves for how you truly are (James 1:23-25). Looking at the speck and not seeing the planks (Matthew 7:3-5). Missing the spiritual opportunities right in front of you (John 4:35).

Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law
Psalms 119:18
   We need to look around. We need to look up. The answers we are struggling for are there if we just use our eyes. Listen don’t just hear. Observe don’t just glance. Contemplate don’t just consider. Study don’t just skim.

  Ignorance will not be an excuse in Judgment. The evidence is all around us.

  Did we even bother to look?



[i] Irony