Washing Feet

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

Washing FeetAnd supper being ended,[a] the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded…

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.   John 13 (Selected Verses)

A fellow student at Heidelberg College washed my feet 38 years ago. He wasn’t even a close friend, just in passing.  I can see his face, but I can’t remember his name.  I’m not even sure why I remembered that recently, what triggered the memory.

I just remember that we were hanging out in my room, talking. Something was bothering me.  I can’t even guess as to what it was.  I just recall that, after listening to me, he asked me to wait.  He’d be right back.

Minutes later, he returned with a towel and a bowl of water. He asked me to sit.  I did.  Then he knelt down to remove my shoes and socks.  I began to protest, but he simply looked at me, maybe said something, and I let him wash my feet.

After he finished, he simply left. I believe I just sat there for a time before doing…anything.

After some thought and reading John 13, I have several, brief thoughts to share with you.

  • He did this for me despite not being a close friend. That’s the kind of servant attitude Jesus was trying to teach His disciples.
  • We often speak metaphorically in terms of “washing people’s feet.” What if we literally did that for people to comfort them, sooth them?
  • I sometimes rub my wife’s feet with lotion when they are giving her pain. Could we do that or wash the feet of people we don’t know well?
  • Many people are Biblically illiterate and may not understand the Biblical origin, but would that have any less of an impact? If they don’t know the reference, that might be a great opportunity to tell them the story.
  • I’m nowhere near being the biggest blogger on the web. I often wonder if I do anyone any good. Just like I can’t remember my passing friend’s name, he likely hasn’t thought of it in decades and never will again. He may even be dead now. But his act is still remembered by me.

And now by you…Man Walking Away

Today’s Eclipse

And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.    Deuteronomy 4:19

If you’re one of those, like me, who will try to view the eclipse, what will your reaction will be?

Will you feel closer to all mankind and all warm inside?

Or will you be awed at what an incredible Creation God had given us to live in?

Oh, and say ‘Thank you”?

Excuse Me…A Total Eclipse of What?

Eclipse TotalAnd take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.    Deuteronomy 4:19

Millions of us will be able to see at least a partial eclipse on Monday. I’m just not talking about the sun.  Let’s focus not on what but WHO is being eclipsed come Monday.  While Ol’ Sol will be eclipsed by the moon, the real event, sadly, will be the Son being eclipsed by us.

Generation Eclipse: How Monday’s Blackout of the Sun Could Inspire Profound Changes to Our Take on Life

I’ll be the first to admit that Creation is a pretty fine thing. God did an indescribably fantastic job of creating this intricate web of systems and life that we call “home.”  Eclipses are one of the most awe-inspiring spectacles He worked into this whole web.

The problem here in 2017 is that the awe is not inspired regarding God. From the article:

“…while a total solar eclipse isn’t rare, this particular one on August 21 has a uncommon coast-to-coast path across the country and is slated to inspire a new age of thinking among youth called ‘Generation Eclipse’.”

Let’s just get this one thing out of the way right now: I’m getting sick of these generation names. We’re teaching people that they are Generation (Blank) and this is how you folks act, this is your identity.  How about we just let those individuals discover and develop their own identities?

While an impressive sight, an eclipse is not something to inspire anything except awe and wonder over the God Who is willing to forgive us for our cruelties to Him and still remain our Father. Do you want to see a truly inspiring sight?  Picture Jesus hanging on the cross to take our punishment for abusing Him and the Father.jesus-on-cross

We need to revere the Maker, not the “made.”

“Totality is said to be transformative as people are said to emote when exposed to the cosmos.”

While I don’t doubt that experiencing the wonders of God can’t transform and increase our appreciation and love for God our Father and His Son, Jesus, staring at it in slack-jawed wonderment isn’t exactly showing ourselves at our best.

Again from the article:

“’Awe-inspiring sights encourage empathy and generosity and group cohesion … and total eclipses always do that.’

This wouldn’t be the first of such occurrence in the nation’s history. In 1878, one such eclipse crossed over the west south into the Gulf of Mexico. It was also the year the nation was split over the election of President Rutherford B. Hayes and that summer Congress also held hearings over voter fraud allegations.”

Wait, wh…wha…WHAT? Non-sequitur doesn’t even begin to cover how ridiculous that quotation is!  Why follow an observation with a paragraph that decisively disproves it?

If it’s empathy, generosity, and group cohesion you’re after, how about trying God all the time instead of an eclipse every few decades or so?

Eclipse WatchersFor citizens of the 21st Century, how is the that we stare skyward in aboriginal awe at an admittedly large ball of burning gasses and a huge rock?

The country is going to stand in awe of one passing in front of the other for a short time. I stand in awe of the fact that the country is eclipsing God with His own creation.

We All Die, However…

God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day. 12 If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready. 13 He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts.

14 Behold, the wicked brings forth iniquity; Yes, he conceives trouble and brings forth falsehood. 15 He made a pit and dug it out, And has fallen into the ditch which he made. 16 His trouble shall return upon his own head, And his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.   Psalm 7:11-16

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American Deaths from Drugs, Alcohol and Mental Disorders Have TRIPLED since 1980

We all die. We start dying at birth. Life is terminal. How we die, on the other hand, is telling. The above article from last December shows how Americans have drastically changed the way they die.

“More than 2000 US counties witnessed increases of 200 percent or more in deaths related to substance abuse and mental disorders since 1980 The worst affected counties were in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio, which saw alarming urges of more than 1000 percent.”

My first thought was “coal.” With the drive to eliminate coal usage, I figured that had something to do with it. Unemployment, depression, then drugs. But then I looked up the top coal-producing states and found that Ohio and Kentucky are not in that top ten list. And the western states didn’t show that sort of explosion in drugs and mental illness. states-most-reliant-on-coal-fired-plants

Here some facts from the article and a quotation from my blog:

  • Cancer is the leading cause of deaths in early age, while cardiovascular disease headed the list overall in 2014.
  • From Pirates of the Sacred Spiral Part 19DNA Pirates Cover
    • The AEC(Atomic Energy Commission) also partnered with the NCI’s (National Cancer Institute) Special Virus Cancer Program. Their joint program was titled The Joint AEC-NCI Molecular Anatomy Cancer Program. Activities focused on unborn human fetuses and their responses to being injected with a variety of viral mutants to cause cancer then allegedly try to find a vaccine. They also bombarded fetuses with ionizing radiation, causing tumor-like reaction later in life. This time they didn’t report on where they did these experiments.
  • The last decade has been the worst for increased deaths from drugs.
  • Roughly half of all counties saw increased violence, have saw a decrease.
  • Drug problems are the worst in rural areas.
  • Kusilvak County, Alaska saw a 132 percent increase in their mortality rate, which New York County dropped 71 percent.
  • Neurological disorders and dementia increased in the majority of counties during the 35 year study.

Best mortality rates tend to by urban, the worst are rural. That’s not an absolute, but the general trend.

The one consistent thing is the time frame for the entire general uptick in mortality rates, catastrophic in most cases, and the ways people are dying. The report indicates that the problem is ever-growing since its start in 1980.

Kicking God Out

1963 or 1965 as far as I can see

What is the other observable trend since the 80’s? Our country as a whole telling God to get out; we’ll do just fine making up our own rules and morals. This study is evidence of just how spectacularly we’ve failed.

 

tattered_american_flagFor example, do agencies like the Atomic Energy Commission and National Cancer Institute conduct possibly terminal experiments on their own citizens without their knowledge – including the unborn – in a God-fearing country?  (Correct Answer: No)

Just as after 9/11, we kick God to the curb after a brief increase in church attendance and then decide we’ll do our own rebuilding, come up with our own solutions. Each time, God let’s things get increasingly worse, trying to get our attention, and we just continue to ignore Him, shut Him out.

Ever since Adam and Eve we’ve been marked for death. There’s no getting around that. But, if we stick to God’s side and seek His answers to our problems, death would be more a matter of infections, accidents, and old age.

Without our focus and obedience directed toward God things will continue to get uglier and more painful!

True Patriotism

Crying Man1For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.    2 Corinthians 5:1-4

This past week I saw two large displays of American patriotism. When was a semi-tractor with a beautiful flag and eagle themed paint job.  The second was an elderly man with an oxygen bottle, wearing a brightly colored t-shirt with Old Glory, a bald eagle, and other American symbols.  Like me not so many years ago, he’s a true believer in the ol’ Red, White, & Blue.

American FlagsI still love The United States of America for what it did in WW II and our good people. But there’s a lot in our history to be ashamed of.  Our government has more and more been populated by people who have done horrible and cruel things to populations around the world and even to our fellow countrymen.  They still do.

DNA Pirates CoverLike me not so many years ago, he’s a true believer in the ol’ Red, White, & Blue. Thanks to the internet, people speaking out, and books being published, a lot of skeletons are being dragged out of our national closet.  See my recent series, “Pirates of the Sacred Spiral,” which started last June 22.

I recently saw “9/11: Experts Speak Out” on Amazon. No airplanes brought down the Twin Towers.  Did you know that maximum burning temperature of 911 Twin Towers Collapsing - Isaiah 30 verse 25jet fuel – essentially kerosene – is 750F?  High heat vulnerability of structural steel?  From Wikipedia – “Pure Iron (‘Steel’ with 0% Carbon) starts to melt at 1,492 °C (2,718 °F), and is completely liquid upon reaching 1,539 °C (2,802 °F).”

911 Cut Support

A perfect, clean cut.  How?

They also found evidence of Thermate, a more energetic version of Thermite. Thermate is manufactured at the molecular level.  We’re talking nanotechnology here.

 

Again from Wikipedia: “As both thermite and thermate are notoriously difficult to ignite, initiating the reaction normally requires supervision and sometimes persistent effort. Because thermate burns at higher temperatures than ordinary thermite, it has military applications in cutting through tank armor or other hardened military vehicles or bunkers.”

We have molecular level manufacturing of a largely military-used product that isn’t easy to set off, going of like clockwork, along with the concrete and steel molten slag associated with a thermite burn. It isn’t too hard to take it from there.

I was very glad to see the movie include several mental health specialists. They discussed why more people haven’t accepted these facts and what they represent.

Listening NOTEssentially, if your world view is threatened severely enough, your reaction can range from extreme stress and emotional problems as you come to grips or simple and compete denial.

Once confronted with undeniable facts, I had no choice but to accept the inevitable conclusions. I often wish I’d never learned these things.  I’d like to go back to my childhood and innocent beliefs.  Sometimes I think I’m a bit nuts for believing all of this and more until I remind myself of the facts and that world experts in engineering and physics are the ones pointing all of this out, not anonymous, internet nut jobs.

So. True Patriotism?  To what population do you truly hold allegiance?  To quote a hymn:

“I’m but a stranger here, Heaven is my home.”

If we want to practice true, unvarnished patriotism, let’s show it for the land that we have citizenship in for eternity. It’s a land that has no skeletons to hide in its collective closet or conspiracies of abuse against its own citizens or other populations.  Practice patriotism for the land that doesn’t need a constitution, because it knows every problem has only one correct solution: God’s Love! Christian_Flag_810_500_55_s_c1