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The Visit

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From “The Transforming Friendship” by Leslie D Weatherhead

“I saw in my dream that Jesus came to a great city and stayed in the house of a certain business man. And one morning, the man, thinking to please his Guest, said, ‘I will show you the church where I worship.’ But Jesus said, ‘No; show me the business where you work.’ So the man took Jesus and showed Him round his business, and Jesus took an interest in all He saw. But He was not allowed to see everything. He did not see rooms where men worked like rats in dark and dirty holes. Other things also the man concealed; but Jesus did not say anything. And in my dream I could not tell whether He knew that He was being deceived. Taking Him into a private office the man showed Jesus his books and his last balance sheet. Jesus sat in the office chair, and, His finger on the page, read through every item. At some items He paused, and, though He did not say a word, the man’s face was covered with blushes and his heart throbbed with shame, for he could see that Jesus knew all that had happened before some items could be entered into the credit side. Then, very quietly, Jesus spoke. ‘I will write the true balance sheet,’ He said. I could not see all that He wrote, but on the debit side were entries like this : ‘Men kept overtime so late that they were utterly fatigued, their spirits depressed, and temptation found them spent and exhausted’; ‘The wrong man made fore-man in the workshop; a shrewd man but a bully; the lives of many embittered, the lives of some made fearful’; ‘Practices continued after the discovery that they were wrong.’ And on the credit side were entries such as these : ‘An interest in the personal happiness of certain men’; ‘The refusal to do a big stroke of business by an underhand method’; ‘A little trouble to see that really good work was turned out.’

And when Jesus had finished writing, I could see that there was something the man wanted to say, and at last, after much hesitation, he said it. ‘Business is business,’ he murmured; ‘everybody does these things. If I don’t do them my business will suffer, and with me my wife and children.’ And Jesus looked into the man’s eyes as though He perfectly understood, and, indeed, sympathized. But He said, ‘Don’t lose your life in trying to find it.’ And there were tears in the man’s eyes.

And the man took Jesus and showed Him all the things which previously he had concealed. But Jesus never said a word of condemnation. He just said, ‘You will be far happier when you have altered it all. Don’t be afraid. Your heavenly Father knows what you need.’

And in my dream I was allowed to look into the future, and I saw that the man became much poorer, and many said he was a fool. But there was peace in his heart, and a shining gladness in his eyes, and not a trace of worry in his soul. And I wondered in my dream whether he would become rich; but I learned that the man himself did not even care.

And so my dream of Jesus and the business man ended.

Resurrection Reality and Truth

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Tomorrow is Good Friday, the day we celebrate the death that Jesus died in my place and yours, taking the punishment for our sin that we deserve. On Sunday we will celebrate His resurrection and, if we have accepted His sacrifice, we celebrate our own new life and resurrection as well.

“Or do you not know that as many of us were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised (resurrected) from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so (in the same way) we also we also should walk in the newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”

Romans 6:3-5

Resurrected, not raised. There is so much in this distinction. The teaching of human philosophy is that we are to raise humanity to a higher plane. This is not the Gospel. On the contrary, the teaching of the cross is that humanity must die and sink out of sight and then be resurrected, not raised. Resurrection is not improvement. It is not elevation, but it is a new supernatural life lifting us from nothingness into God and making us partakers of the Divine nature. It is a new creation. It is an infinite elevation above the highest plane. Let us not take less than resurrection life. A.W. Tozer

“He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” I Corinthians 6:17

“If then you were raised (resurrected) with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3

“For I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. And this life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave himself for me!” Galatians 2:20

As we worship on Sunday may we worship in spirit and truth as reborn sons and daughters of our Father.

Hallelujah! He is risen!! (And so are we!)

It’s Over – I’m Done

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It all began to fall apart in 1949 but no one noticed or paid it much attention.

From the founding of our Democratic Republic the Supreme Court had been the bastion of defense of the Constitution that the founders of our  nation created to maintain and safeguard the vision that led them to risk all they had to come out of tryany and create a new nation and a new dream of a government of the people, by the people, for the people. They knew the nature of man would tend toward selfish manipulation of rules to gain personal power and to subject the majority to the tryany of a powerful minority. They were god-fearing men. History informed them and they dtermined to learn from it.

They created the Constitution to be a guide that could only be changed by a process that included the votes of the people through ammendment apart from the government itself. The Supreme Court was to be the ultimate arbiter over the laws that the legislative and execuitive branches passed to maintain coherence with the Constitution and its ammendments. For almost 200 years it worked very well and every Supreme Court decision was based on precedent of prior decisions or, if there were no clear precedents, the default was the intent of the writers of the Constitution.

Then it happened. In 1949 the court made the first of what is, or was to be called, an ex-nihlio decision, ex nilhilo is Latin meaning “from nothing. Few noticed or understood what had happened, but with that decision our democratic republic began to crumble. The authority of the Constitution was effectively set aside and only the opinion of 5 unelected judges would rule the nation. From that decision the SCOTUS broke with precedent and forbid Bible reading and prayer in public schools. They discerned a right to kill unborn babies as a matter of privacy. They redefined a mandate to be a tax and they arrogantly ruled that the clear language of a law duly passed by the congress and signed by the president didn’t matter, and that they could rule based on their supposed discernemnt of the real intent of the written words used in the law to be different, opposite in fact, from the words they used. Garbage. Today the Supreme Court of The United States  ruled with breathtaking hubris that marriage as we know it is history and as if by legislative fiat made same-sex marriage the law of the land. We are undone. There is no longer a trustworthy defender of the rule of law. In truth we haven’t had one for a long time and without one it’s all about politics, money, and power.

My respect for the institutions of our government, the congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court has ever so slowly been worn away and I have none left. I grew up as a patriot. My father served in WWII my uncle died in it. I listened to the president pray for our nation every week in his radio address. I prayed for our victory over evil every night and I still choke up when I hear Taps or The National Anthem. I wanted to believe that America was exceptional and that we were governed by men and women of great character and ideals, and the greatest of them were Supreme Court justices. No more. They are venal men and women. We will never return to the vision of our founders. America has joined Greece and Rome as failed experiments. The return of Jesus is the only true hope for man. Men can’t rule themselves without God. At 76 years old I realize that I have been a fool to have believed they could or would.

 

Why Christmas?

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Historian Richard E. Smith, in his book “The Failure of The Roman Republic” wrote, “famiiy priorities began to weaken, loose sexual relations and divorce became common, discipline in the army slackened, women became more influential in high places, foreign religions and mystical cults proliferated in the capital city, government spending ran wild, and public debt soared.” This slippery slope of immorality deepened rapidly and the greatest power on earth slipped into debauchery and chaos under Nero never to recover.

Sound familiar? It should. It is basically the story of the fall of every great nation/state in history and we are on the very same slope. Rome in its day was the model of justice and restrained power. It was the ruler of the known world. And then….

Think it won’t happen to America? “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Edmund Burke.

It can’t be true that we smug and comfortable Americans don’t know history, we are just too lost and arrogant to believe that it can happen to us. But it is happening, at an ever accelerating rate. Like the proverbial frog in a slowly heated pan we can’t feel the heat as it increases until it boils, and then its too late.

There is only one possibility that could turn the tide. It won’t be found through politics or politicians, economics or education. National repentance and the restoration of God and His ways as our moral base in Christ is the only hope for our nation. Think not? Just watch.

During the reign of Nero, Paul the Apostle wrote:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

God won’t be mocked. But He has made a way for all who will receive it. The way is the why, why we celebrate Christmas. The babe in the manger grew to live and die and live again! He is the answer, and His Kingdom will never end.