A Modern Day Psalm

Oh Lord, increase my faith; lend me the power of your Holy Spirit.
Let me not fade away in doubt and double-mindedness.
Grant me power to rely solely on You, for I have resolved to do Thy will upon the earth.
Do not blot out my name from your Book.
Let Your faithfulness sustain me day and night.
May your promises guard my path and keep my foot from slipping.
Let the light of your Word shine on me; lead me to the Higher Rock.

The world has grown cold; they have forsaken Your Word.
There is no fear of God before their eyes,
Nor do they give head to Your lovingkindness.
Evil men rush to do evil; treacherous men lay a trap for the innocent.
They gnash upon them with their teeth.
They council together to perform deceitfulness.
Their words are smoother than oil, but inwardly dwells hatred.
As a millstone crushes grain, so do they to their fellow man.
A net is spread for those who would strive to live righteously.
Their words pour forth, a sharpened sickle to reap those who fear God from the face of the earth.

But You, God, will laugh at them; You will remember their deeds on that Day.
Your reward is prepared for them, while they say, “Who sees; who hears?”
They know not that their recompense does not slumber.
Judge them Father; give them their due; break the teeth from their jaw.
Let their arms become useless.
Divide their tongue when they speak treachery.
Let their habitation become desolate and their purposes be thwarted.
Let confusion overtake them, and their counsel be darkened.

But Lord God, are from everlasting to everlasting.
You reign over heaven and earth.
All things belong to You.
The heavens declare Your majesty, and the earth Your power.
Do not forsake those who love truth; let the righteous man be unmoved.
Sustain your servants; let those who love peace fear not.
May the light of your countenance shine upon them.

For Thou are the King of kings above all the nations.
All power and dominion belong to the Most High God.
You will not suffer evil to triumph over good, but will redeem the one who waits for You.
Surely those who love peace will be rewarded.
He who orders his life aright will see Your salvation,
And his habitation will be in Thy house forever and forever.

Amen.

Godlessness: The Road To Destruction

… it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official Act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the Universe, who presides in the Councils of Nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect…

No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

The words above are from the Inaugural Address of President George Washington on April 30, 1789. President Washington surely believed in the power of Almighty God, having been miraculously saved during a particular battle of the French and Indian War on July 9, 1755. He believed that the hand of God guided the creation of our great nation. His will demanded it. America was founded on the belief in, and the reliance on God Almighty.

As I watch and listen to the news today, it has become sorrowfully evident that we as a nation have strayed far from that belief. God is no longer allotted His rightful place in the affairs of the nation. Instead there is an insidious effort, continuing without respite, to remove Him from the lives of the American people. This will ultimately lead to the destruction of the United States of America, the last great hope of the world.

Think about it. How is it that dozens of people each weekend are shot, killed or injured in the streets of our major cities?

On the web site of the National Institute on Drug abuse it says that we lost 172,000 to drug overdose in 2017. Those numbers are rising. How is that possible?

We kill 125,000 babies per day in our country; and worldwide 40 to 50 million per year. Again, how is this even feasible? The answer in each instance is admittedly multi-faceted. However, entwined therein, within the bowels of each, is the irrefutable fact that we are growing increasingly godless. It’s applauded, lauded and taught.

During the Democratic National Convention of Sept, 2012, the Democrats voted to remove God from the platform. It was a deliberate and strategic step to separate God from the people. People who pursue righteousness cannot be controlled by ungodly tyrants. Therefore, any trust in Him must be done away with.

In 2011, in Washington DC, Georgetown Waterfront Park, then President Obama scolded Congress for wasting time by enacting legislation to affirm “In God We Trust” as our national motto. How dare they be concerned with such an inconsequential effort?

Educators rarely teach or discuss morality in the classrooms of our educational system. It’s simply avoided or legislatively prohibited. Children are taught to have faith in themselves, via secular humanitarianism, rather than faith in God, even tough the latter concept is far superior for fostering loving cooperation and care between peoples and nations.

If we continue down this road, we are doomed as a nation. Consider the following scriptures from the Word of God:

Hosea 4:6

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

2 Timothy 3:1-7

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,  treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.

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,

Without God we are less able, if not wholly incapable, of loving one another as He demands. There is less room for compassion in our hearts and minds, less caring, less seeking to take care one’s neighbor. Ultimately we will pay the price for rejecting God.

What can we do? In a word – pray. Every day make an effort to pray for our leaders. Ask God to appoint men and women who love Him and treasure His word. Ask God to reinstate Himself into the hearts and minds of our people. The Good News Only is that God promised He would return to us, and restore us, and heal us if we would only repent and turn towards Him. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says:

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
 
As long as we are living we can make that choice. If we don’t, I fear we may lose our nation.
 
We would wise to remember the words of preacher/patriot George Duffield, which he spoke before several companies of the Pennsylvania militia and members of Congress four months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence:
 

Whilst sun and moon endure, America shall remain a city of refuge for the whole earth, until she herself shall play the tyrant, forget her destiny, disgrace her freedom, and provoke her God.

Greenhouse Magic

I Corinthians 3:7

So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.

In the early 1960s I attended Horace Mann Junior High School near Florence and Western Avenues in Los Angeles. I remember hardly a blade of grass once past the outside fencing. I’m sure there must have been a blade somewhere, but mostly I remember acres of blacktop. Thick rubber mats kept you from breaking a bone if you fell from the “monkey bars” as we called them back in the day.

However, I do remember somewhere on campus there was a small plot of soil devoted to gardening and horticulture. It was an actual class offered to us “less capable” students. Yes, I was in there, but truly it is one of my fondest memories after some 60 years. I doubt if it is still there now. Too bad – I think that single class profoundly affected me in a very positive way. The magic and wonder of putting a seed into soil and reaping an actual plant with fruit attached has never forsaken me. Praise God for His creative ingenuity.

Romans 1:20 says

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.

Whenever a plant a seed I have to give thanks and praise; it is truly God at work.

Since we’ve moved to our new home our gardening efforts have changed. The weather is much cooler, the growing season is shorter, and the deer compete earnestly for all things edible sprouting from the ground. We have taken everything indoors to the greenhouse. It is so awesome to make a salad from lettuce and cucumbers, peppers, and radishes you grew yourself. The taste and colors are amazing. Here are a few pictures of our efforts so far.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Looking into the greenhouse.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Lettuce.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Bell peppers.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Beets! My favorite.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Radishes and carrots.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Cucumbers.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Tomatoes.

gardening, greenhouse, greenhouse gardening, vegetable gardening, gardening in pots

Salad fixings.

I can’t wait for the beets and cucumbers and carrots. I’m even trying broccoli this year. It’s fun, rewarding and delicious. Thank you Lord for everything. 

Amos 9:13-15

Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When the plowman will overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; when the mountains will drip sweet wine and all the hills well be dissolved. Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, and they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, and make gardens and eat their fruit. I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,” says the Lord your God.

Amen! I’m ready to see that garden right now! Sounds like Good News Only to me!

 

The Power of Accusation

Have you ever been accused of a crime which you did not commit? Suddenly, someone loudly proclaims your involvement in some unsavory deed which you know nothing about, and you are guilty as charged. There’s no chance to refute the accusation, and often your reputation is permanently ruined.

However let’s consider the alternative. What if your accuser is accurate? What if you are truly guilty? Now your heart rends, you are embarrassed and horrified, because you know  the accusation is truthful. Now your crimes are laid bare, and you have to choose one of  two possible choices; denial or acceptance. Acceptance brings guilt and shame. You forfeit your standing in “polite society”. Family and friends may distance themselves. Guilt brings punishment.

Denial, on the other hand, leaves you mired in your crime. You may experience depression and hopelessness. The heart is rendered cold and hollow, the conscious forever burdened. In either case, it’s not a pleasant place. In the hands of an enemy, accusation is a powerful tool.

Accusation is the power that our enemy, Satan, has over us. It’s actually his job title.

Zechariah 3:1 says:

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.

Revelations 12:10 says:

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.

The problem is that Satan knows we are guilty before God, never mind that he is the author and father of lies. His accusations carry some truth. He is the ultimate tattle-tale.

Praise be to God, the Almighty, the Alpha and the Omega, the great I AM, the One who was and who is to come, the Word of God. He knows us to the foundation of our souls and remembers that we are but dust. Though we are indeed guilty as sin, He provided a way out.

Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, then offered up that life, a sacrifice for our sins. He was then resurrected by His Father, who raised Him to His own right hand, giving Him all authority, power and dominion over the living and the dead. He forever resides there as High Priest an Advocate for everyone and anyone who confesses His name, thereby receiving forgiveness of sins and eternal life to boot.

Romans 8:34 says:

who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

We see Christ’s priestly authority in action when He encountered the woman taken in adultery in John 8:10-11:

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

Satan’s power of accusation has been broken, defeated, rendered useless. Through trust in God, with whom it is impossible to lie, we are transformed into the righteousness of Christ through faith in Him. Christ promised that the good work started in us will be completed in Him. He has the power to make us stand before the Father, clothed in His righteousness.

As Christians we must remember that on a daily basis. Our job is simple, trust God’s promises, and to go and sin no more. The Spirit working in us will protect and strengthen us. Never forget that we are His, purchased with His own blood. No one can snatch us from His hand, nor can any power on earth separate us from His love. 

We don’t have to live in fear or guilt when Satan points the finger of accusation. We can have boldness when we approach God in prayer, because all of the redemptive work has been done for us by His son. Amen!

Thank you Lord. That sounds like Good News Only to me.

 

To He That Overcomes

I love to read the book of Revelations. It’s an awesome description, a painting of what will go down when the Lord Jesus returns someday soon. Reading Revelations reminds me of why it is important to persevere at all times.

During a recent reading I noticed seven promises given by Christ to those who persevere, who overcome, who “hang in there” if you will. I’m sure I had read them before many times, but for some reason I suddenly noticed them this time. They are all contained within the first three chapters.

Revelation 2:7
To him that overcometh, to him will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.

Revelation 2:11
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

I really like this next one.

Revelation 2:17
To him that overcometh, to him will I give of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and upon the stone a new name written, which no one knoweth but he that receiveth it.

Revelation 2:26-28
And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father: and I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 3:5
He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Revelation 3:12
He that overcometh, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go out thence no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and mine own new name.

Revelation 3:21
He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne.

In that it is impossible for God to lie, that is some very exciting news. But faith is required, thus I have been praying mightily lately that God will increase by faith. I must trust and believe that my sins are truly forgiven; the blood of Christ Jesus has removed them and far as East is from the West. As it says in Hebrews 11:6,

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

May our faith ever increase to accept God’s love towards our own sinful souls, to believe He truly loves us above all else, and that he will be the righteous Rewarder of those who seek His face. That’s Good News Only. Amen!