Thoughts From 1 Timothy

St Paul

St. Paul

3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,    1 Timothy 1:3-5

 

There are only two commandments that Jesus gave to His disciples and us, both regarding love:

Jesus Smiling34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:34-40

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genealogyAlso, Paul’s warning against genealogies is prophetic when one considers the Mormon preoccupation with them. From the official Mormon web site:

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints use family history records to perform sacred temple ordinances, for their kindred dead if these deceased family members were unable to perform the earthly rites themselves.  That gives deceased ancestors the opportunity to accept these ordinances in the afterlife.

Jesus teaches us through the parable of The Rich Man and Poor Lazarus that our eternity is sealed once our bodies die.  There are no earthly rites, pre or post death, that provide salvation.  There is only one means of securing our eternity in heaven with God and fellow believers in Christ:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:6

Quite succinct with no room for argument.

As for genealogies: we’re all descended from Adam and Eve.

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salvation…the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.    1 Timothy 1:9b-11

For those who believe that Christians are homophobes and gay haters, because God denounces homosexuality, God does not approve of any sexual misconduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

It isn’t a matter of hate, but of love. People were made to operate within certain guidelines.  The list of aberrations listed above are not correct operations of human beings per their Maker.  He would have us forego the pain of improper behavior, both on earth and in eternity.  God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy…    1 Timothy 4:1-2

St Pauls Ground ZeroAmerica started as a Christian nation, but we have obviously lost our way as a country. George Washington began his presidency at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City.  This building still stands at Ground Zero, the only building there not to have suffered any damage.  At all.  Not so much as a broken window.  From the History Channel website:

George Washington PrayingAfter delivering his address, Washington walked up Broadway with a group of legislators and local political leaders to pray at St. Paul’s Chapel. Later, he made the humble and astute observation that his presidency, and the nation itself, was an experiment.

In the 21st Century we ban God’s law from our courthouses, persecute Christians while promoting Muslims, call evil good and good, evil.  We sooner believe in salvation from the cosmos in the form of enlightened aliens than the Son of God.  We say God doesn’t exist while entering into pacts with Satan.

Nothing good has or ever will come from any of this.

20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.  Grace be with you. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:20-21

Unspoiled

26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.    Matthew 27:26

Good Friday is my favorite holiday for a number of reasons. First, it recognizes the climax of our redemption.  When Jesus cries out, “It is finished!” we know that God’s plan for salvation succeeded.

Second, it’s the one Christian holy day that hasn’t been misappropriated and perverted by secular society. Babies and rabbits are just too easy.  But torture someone to death?  The boys at Abu Graib should count their blessings.

The Bible is so succinct and those events are so old that we have hard time really appreciating the magnitude of what we read sometimes. Let’s take a look at what happened, courtesy of Killing Jesus by Stephen Mansfield.

“Pontius Pilate…has not even rendered judgement in the matter of (Jesus), but still he orders the cruelest form of punishment possible shy of death under Roman law… He will give the screaming masses a bloody spectacle whether they want it or not.  What he will not do is free this man…though he already has declared (Jesus) innocent.

“They remove his clothes and tie his hands to a ring that hangs above his head. This stretches the muscles of his arms, back, and shoulders.

“Simple, ingenious, and cruel, this flagellum is a ring of iron or wood to which leather straps are attached. What makes the flagellum so horrific are the bits of sheep bone, rock, or steel knotted into each leather strand.

“…(he) swings the flagellum so as to partially wraps its straps around the victim’s torso… Blood gushes.  Pieces of muscle, even chips of bone, fly into the air.  The body is torn apart.

“With the second strike, Jesus can no longer stand…too stunned and weak to find his feet… Strips of flesh hang loosely, barely attached at one end.”

This is just the warmup. Once impaled through hands and feet on the cross he is a buffet for insects and birds.  He is not stretched out, but rather crouched slightly as though in a partial squat.

“Yeshua’s forearms knot and cramp, the searing agony moving into His upper arms and shoulders.  It is constant, wracking, unspeakable pain.

“Once a victim is impaled, he quickly realizes that if he hangs from the spikes in his wrists, his pectoral muscles paralyze. It means he can take in air, but he cannot exhale.  With his lungs full yet unable to breathe out, he panics…

“The prisoner soon realizes that the only way to keep from suffocating is to push down on the spike through his feet. This lifts him up to relieve the stress on his arms.  It is an unspeakable torturous move.  It rotates his forearms around the spike in his wrists, scrapes his back over the jagged wood of the (cross), and grips his legs in agonizing cramps.  It eases him slightly, though, by allowing him to breathe.  He cannot hold this position long.  Soon, he finds that pressing down on the spike through his feet is so exhausting that he has to lower himself and hang from his wrists again.  Until the panic returns.  Then, the sadistic cycle repeats.  In the barracks, grizzled legionnaires call this “the dance of death.”

Jesus was unspoiled, a Lamb without blemish. He endured this to redeem us from the judgment we deserve.  He stayed true to the bitter end, through all of the agony, all of the humiliation of nakedness and his few remaining possessions being divvied up.  He might have been in too much to even hear the laughter of the crowd and soldiers, but maybe not.

Then God turned His back on Jesus, who cried out in His supreme loneliness and died.

Wondrous Stories!

YES“I beg your leave to hear your Wondrous Stories”  Yes

I don’t know how many of you ever heard of the rock band Yes. They were big in the 70’s along with Emerson, Lake, & Palmer and other classical rock bands.  They had great tunes, arrangements, and lyrics.  I hadn’t listened to them for a very long time and found a CD I have of their greatest hits.

“Wondrous Stories” was always a favorite of mine; lyrical with floating melody, it seemed to lift you to another part of the world…or maybe another world with the idea of hearing someone’s Wondrous Stories.

It’s so sad that we’ve become so familiar with the story of Creation and salvation that we’ve lost the sense of awe and wonder in those true tales, those Wondrous Stories.

star-of-bethlehem1“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”    Matthew 1:23

God came to earth as a human being to pay the penalty of man’s disobedience. The Virgin, Mary, was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, and gave birth to the very Son of God.

But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.    Romans 5:15

Adam and Eve sinned. We are from their very flesh and bones, so sin comes to us all as an inheritance as surely as our genetic makeup.  So, by Jesus, one man, we can be absolved of our sin, joining with Him in faith.

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.    Hebrews 4:15

temptation-of-jesusThis is, for me the Most Wondrous chapter of the story; He endured temptations as we do, but He didn’t give in. He could have gone off the rails at any point, because He had Free Choice.  Think on it!  Jesus could have sinned, He could’ve slipped up at any second and found Himself damned along with us!

So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine.    John 4:46

In prayer, Jesus performed miracles during His short ministry of the Gospel, proving His divinity. He saved a wedding from disaster by making up the shortfall in wine, making it from water.

…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.    Acts 10:38

He professed that He could do nothing apart from God. He began battling against Satan even at this time before the final showdown.

After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. ThenFeeding the 5000 a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased…He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?”… Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”… And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples[a] to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over.   John 6 Selected Verses

Nuff said.

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door,[a] and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”   Matthew 28:1-7

Jesus allows Himself to be captured, tortured, and crucified, suffering the fate we should have.  Having endured that – including being completely forsaken by God in the midst of His suffering – He is raised from the dead by God, shows Himself to His disciples, and just before ascending to heaven, He tells them – and us,

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”    John 14:2

Are those some Wondrous Stories, or what? Easter-Banner3

Battered

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.    Matthew 10:42

Well, friends, I’ve been lax this week as far as getting articles written. Obviously.  It’s just been one of those weeks.  Not enough hours or me to go around.

Now, lest I come off as “Woe is me,” that’s not what I’m saying. It’s been challenging, and that’s what happens.  A lot of people are challenged infinitely more than I am!

I conversed with a friend this week who is dealing with some family issues, and it’s been a challenging time for him too for more than just this past week. He’s moved, changed his whole life around to meet a family need.  Sacrifice and opportunity seem to be two sides of the same coin here, as he went from seeing all that was given up to seeing all that opened up.

We all get battered, bloodied, and torn. In the grand scheme of things, some of us have it pretty easy most of the time.  It may not look like much to some, perhaps, but if it’s the worst you’ve ever been, who’s to say?  That’s all you know.

My friend made me think that you can tell heroes from their condition. Heroes are the ones who cross the finish line ripped and scratched.  Some are a bloody pulp.

John the Baptist? Hero.  Camel’s hair clothing, wild locusts, and honey for dessert.

Jesus en route to Calvary? Bloody pulp territory.  It’s amazing He could even walk at that point.

Pick an apostle outside of John. Uneducated, persecuted, hounded from every direction.  Peter was crucified.  Upside down.

Histories are crammed with stories of 1st Century Martyrs meeting horrific ends.

Not one would make the invitation list to anyone’s dinner party.

But despite all of their own sufferings, they healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons. They did God’s work to help others in need even as they were in need.

Can you give someone a drink? Buy them breakfast at McDonald’s?  Take a minute to talk to them?  Share Jesus with them?  People who can do that are the kind of heroes Jesus is looking for.  He wants heroes who can do those sort of things while struggling themselves.

Are you dog-tired, but a son or daughter needs you? Be a hero.  Are you upset over an calamity in your life, and a friend calls with a problem?  Be a hero.

Because real heroes can do it with blood and sweat…and a smile God gave them.

Help from Heaven

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.    Psalm 68:17

Do you believe that angels exist? Do you believe that they are active in the world today?  You should.  Seeing an angel is not a common thing, but people do see them.  Some coincidences beg a cause, a providence of God and His angels.  They weren’t seen, but their effect was felt.

A recent article from Great Britain shows that seeing angels is more common than we might think: People Who Believe They Have Seen an ANGEL – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3981538/I-just-lying-appeared-two-beautiful-beings-wings-dressed-white-Incredible-tales-people-believe-seen-ANGEL.html

I recently saw a documentary about the Israeli war for independence in the 60’s. They defeated the armies of several Arab nations intent on destroying them and denying Jerusalem to them.  There was no way they should have prevailed, but they did.  History has recorded their magnificent victory, but it has left out the testimonials of the defeated Arab forces.

An entire Arab platoon happened upon a couple of lost Israeli soldiers who were certain they would be slaughtered, caught out in the open. As they steeled themselves for a fight to the death, the Arab platoon laid down their weapons and surrendered.  Why?  Because they saw the Israelis backed up by an army of angels.

This sort of thing happened often in that conflict. What’s amazing is that these eyewitness accounts came from the Arabs who surrendered!

The one thing we need to remember as we acknowledge that angels exist and move in our lives is that they are not the source. Some people tend to worship angels or believe in them, stopping there.  Angels come to us from God the Father.  They are His army for our good.  Salvation does not lie with them.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   John 14:6

It is good to know ALL of the things God does for us, the entirety of the spiritual world that surrounds us and, indeed, battles over us. We thank God for His love and providence as He sends us His help from Heaven.

All Are the Same

The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the Lord, to make an atonement for your souls.   Exodus 30:15

I’m working my way through the bible in order to produce my own biblical timeline. I know I can go somewhere and buy one easily enough, but I figure I’ll get more out of it doing it myself.  That’s been the case so far.

Obviously, I’m not reading in depth. I’m scanning and looking for clues to dates.  Mostly it’s counting the years from one guys birth, all of his begetting, and death.  You do get the odd clue here and there as well.  I pick up a tidbit here and another there, things I’d forgotten about or never really knew.  For example, Exodus 30:15 above.  That struck me as very interesting.

The current exchange rate is one Israeli shekel for .261 US dollars. Half a shekel would be 13 cents.  This is no big deal to a rich person.  It could be a huge deal to a poor person.

At the foot of Mt. Sinai the Children of Israel were getting schooled on all of the rules involved in being God’s chosen. Were there a lot of poor or rich people?  They had started out as slaves, but recall that they plundered the Egyptians on their way out of town.

Maybe some people were better at plundering than others. Who knows?

This is where God is the great equalizer. You want atonement for your soul?  Your ritual offering is 13 cents.  Are you rich?  Do you think you can secure better favor for yourself with much more?  Forget it!  13 cents.  Period.

First, this tells us it isn’t about the money. It’s saying that this is a relationship, and there is going to be give and take.  We don’t have anything that God materially needs.  Still, WE are material.  It’s how we relate.  That’s why it’s a ritual offering.

Second, everyone comes to the table equally. You can’t buy a better seat, so to speak.  Trying to do so appears to be a sin.  Note the verbiage: The rich shall not give more.  It’s isn’t a suggestion.  It’s a command.  God knows us, oh so well!  Likewise the poor don’t get a pass.  There are no excuses in this relationship.

If I can afford to give more at church, am I a better member? If I can’t, am I worse off before God?  No to both!

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.    Psalm 51:17

Try reading the Bible by scanning like I’m doing. You might find something that will speak to you, something you’d forgotten, something to remind you of how you are with God.

My Day Job

So, because he (Paul) was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.    Acts 18:3

Here I am, back on the road.  The New Year has officially started, and the travelling part ofhot-car my job has resumed.  That means less hours to write and keep up with my blog.  I certainly wish that I didn’t have to spend so much time on the road and could replace it with something more…important; like writing posts that try to help spread the Gospel, to contribute something, anything to that message.

Then I remembered that St. Paul was a tent-maker by trade. That was his day job, which allowed him his first pursuit, being a Pharisee, and later on his second calling, Apostle for Jesus.

I wonder how many times he might have resented having to make tents, if ever. His passion for the Gospel certainly should have had him chomping at the bit to be “All Jesus, All the Time!”

I certainly would like to be able to be “All Jesus, All the Time,” but one does need to make a living. Paul even used his vocation as an example to others in humility.  He made the point at least once that he could ask for their support with the authority of his apostleship, but he wanted no back door whispers.  He wanted others to never allow pride to interfere with their own lives and witness to the Gospel.

There were those who did serve as organizers of the gifts given to the early church on a full time basis and lived off the offerings given. Nothing wrong with that.  The Apostles themselves arranged that system.

But Paul wanted to give no on any reason to call his preaching into question. He wanted to set an example to those who might succumb to the temptation of laziness.

I’m also reminded of the curse of sin that became Adam’s lot from Genesis 3:

17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

“Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. weeds18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread

I don’t have thistles, but I certainly have barriers and trials in my job, as do we all.

Clearly, I better not quit my day job. Partly, this is my share in Adam’s curse.  Clearly, my witness is worthless if I lazily mooch off others.  Plus, I’ve witnessed to plenty of people in my travels, whether restaurant workers, hotel staff, or a captive audience in the seat next to me on a flight.

With the right attitude, the right approach, our day job IS our Gospel job!

Happy Birthday!

How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.      Psalm 36:7

Today is my eldest daughter’s birthday! We brought her home Christmas morning.  What a gift!

What can I tell you about her? She’s always had a great, dry sense humor.

When she could only crawl we would play hide and seek. I’d set her down in the breakfast nook and hide as fast as I could, because she just started coming.  Two regular hiding places were behind the recliner and in the front hall closet.  She quickly realized that if that door squeaked, that’s where I hid.  I decided to throw her a curve.

I ran to the closet, squeaked the door, and dove behind the recliner. She comes motoring in, making a bee-line for the closet.  She stops by the recliner, looks right at me, and then keeps going to find me there.

Pavlov thought he was so smart. I did it with my daughter!

She pulls the door open, sees an empty closet, and then it hits her. She looks back at me, and I don’t know who laughed harder; her or me!

She has loved horses from an early age. We took one of our first family vacations to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.  She got her first horse ride on a mounted tour of the entire grounds.  She eventually went to school to learn the equine business.  Today she works at a thoroughbred stable, caring for horses that cost more than my first house!

She’s a true horse whisperer. She talks to them, and they do what she tells them to.

“Now, Rocko,” she baby-talks to the Friesian, “you just leave Mack alone and stop fighting.” Both horses stop, look at her, and just walk off.  Incredible!

Friesian Stock Photo18947219-gorgeous-friesian-stallion-with-long-mane-running-on-pasturage-in-spring-stock-photo

She amazed a barn manager in New Mexico, being the only person who could handle a mistreated stallion, known for going after people.  They developed a game of sorts, where the stallion would try and sneak up on her to nip her – not hurt her, mind you.  When she caught him, he’d bolt off as if to complain, “Curses!  Foiled again!”  Reset.  Round two coming up.

No one else dared to be so familiar with that horse.

Unfortunately, she’s had so many health problems over the years that we can only trust God to provide for her when Julie and I no longer can. She’s been working part time at her current position for just over a year.  She had major surgery a year and a half ago to correct a problem that kept her from so much as walking across the house.  And that wasn’t the biggest of her ailments.

Has she grown bitter? No!  Her suffering has made her an exceptionally compassionate person.  Her faith in God has gone from doubtful to rock-solid.

She’s a God-made miracle from womb to womanhood. We love her with our whole hearts.

Happy Birthday!!

Crystal Blue Persuasion

Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions[a] of God… the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel… a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures… their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning.   Ezekiel 1, Selected Verses

I tend to free-associate. It’s a good news/bad news thing.  Sometimes I’m funny, sometimes I’m brilliant, and sometimes I say something that sounded great between my ears, but bombs offensively and spectacularly when it leaves the stadium…so to speak.  I occasionally wonder if I have high-functioning  Turrets!  Or am I free-associating again…??

I was responding to my favorite blog, Beauty Beyond Bones, as she described her niece with Crystal Blue Eyes. I remembered the old hit Crystal Blue Persuasion (Tommy James and the Shondells), and imagined this sweet little toddler able to play her aunt like a concert pianist with those persuasive Crystal Blue eyes.  So that’s the reference I used, talking about her niece.

After writing to her, I started hoping I hadn’t once again free-associated my way into a huge offense/embarrassment.

Crystal Blue Persuasion, I discovered, was considered by many to be a song about Crystal Meth.

Well done, Jeffrey. WELL done!  Caralyn is going to disallow every note I ever write on her blog for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately for me, that’s about as far from the truth as one can get. Tommy James had a Come-to-Jesus-Moment in a hotel room.  He’d become an alcoholic, a druggie, and blown through two marriages.  He finds a Gideon Bible, which he says “felt friendly” in his hands.  He flips the pages, stopping at Ezekiel 1 and says, “God, talk to me somewhere.”

Think about the selected verses above for just a second. Picture that vision.  Then understand that Tommy James was a UFO freak at the time.  He finds himself “reading the greatest UFO story in history.”  He was blown away by that chapter, and says he KNEW that was God talking to him.    What were the odds that a UFO nut had just been talking about UFOs to someone else just that evening and then, with the entire Bible at his disposal, flips to that chapter?

He knew God was trying to speak his language to him right there to get his attention. He realized “God is in the now.”  What was his first considered action?

He stole the Gideon Bible from the hotel room. Well, not really.  They’re meant to be taken, but he didn’t know that at the time.  Remember – he had issues.

He spends several months just reading it, but has no guidance, no real understanding of what he’s reading. Then he’s in his apartment in New York City, and there’s a Billy Graham Crusade on every night that week.  He had a real hunger for God and started listening.  He listened for several nights running.

On Wednesday night, Graham gave what Tommy describes as the most beautiful, simplest message on why Jesus came. He described that moment as the spiritual equivalent of a fork, striking a crystal goblet, producing the purest tone possible.

He put his nose and hand on the screen, answered the alter call, and was saved that night in the Spring of 1967. The whole band eventually came to Jesus within a couple years.

Crystal Blue Persuasion was that purest, truest, “tone” of the Holy Spirit calling him to Jesus.

Who woulda thunk?!?

Here’s the interview – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR69fuo_Q3k&t=41s

And the song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_P74712qB0

I’m Voting For…

Romans 13:4

For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

I’ll tell you who in a bit. I just want to be clear on a few things up front.  My point is to share my PROCESS, not make a recommendation!  I’ve gone from not wanting to cast a presidential vote for the first time in my life to thinking I should do SOMETHING and then back again to apathy.  Several times.  At this time – IF I go vote tomorrow – I think I know who I’ll pull the lever for.

God institutes governments for His purposes. I’m reminded of Israel’s Babylonian captivity.  God raised that “government” to give Israel a much-need spanking.  Of course, they got theirs in the end.  God also influences the affairs of men, as he did in the story of Esther, when he denied sleep to the king.  The king then had some old proclamations read to him, theoretically to help him nod off, I guess.  That’s when He was reminded of a debt he owed to Esther’s uncle, ultimately saving the day.

We also need to be active to be part of God’s work. I say that not even God can steer a car that’s not rolling.  Perhaps, when we vote, we are playing our part in God’s plan.  Perhaps.

To the presidential race; this has devolved into a “Your mother wears army boots” playground squabble.  Neither candidate’s message has anything to do with how they will be good for the country.  It’s all about the other person being the lowest form of life.

I was listening to a radio show yesterday, and the host quite correctly pointed out that a discussion of whose transgressions are worse is a non-starter. Not saying either set of allegations is true, but if true, how can one “pick” either rapist or traitor?

He made the point that in this whole election it’s all accusations. No one has had due process; neither Clinton nor Trump.  The Constitution says “Innocent till proven guilty.”  The problem is that due process isn’t going to happen by end of day tomorrow.

To me the question boils down to our NECESSITY of playing judge, jury, and voter by the time our respective polls close tomorrow. Since we can’t morally choose if a traitor or a rapist will make a better president, the question, for me, boils down to this; which candidate is least likely to be convicted if indicted?

I will also add this, because until I heard about it yesterday on the radio, I hadn’t heard about Trump being accused of rape. I had heard how he’s been accused of being a misogynist pig, etc. but the rape thing was news for me.  Sorry.  I cut off my cable, and I only read news on the internet.  It’s been a busy week.

IF you think that the rape charge is bogus – where was she all of these years, only to show up now? – Trump is left being a self-aggrandizing, egomaniacal, misogynist pig of a man. According to “The Psychopath Test” by Jon Ronson, all CEO’s of large corporations have at least elements of being a psychopath if not being an out-and-out psychopath.  It has to do with the sort of decisions that need to be made at that level and the lack of empathy that psychopaths tend to display.  To put it another way…

…I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson in the last courtroom scene in “A Few Good Men.”

“My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives!…You WANT me on that wall! You NEED me on that wall!!”  https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=chr-yie11&p=you+want+me+on+that+wall#id=1&vid=e091065a31aecddd737ba0d190d44179&action=click

Would I want to have Trump or Nicholson/Col. Jessup over to meet the wife and kids? Would I even want to go have a beer with Trump or Col. Jessup?  The obvious answer is, “Aw, HELL’S no!”  But maybe – just maybe – a seasoned businessman who spends a fair amount of time dancing along the out-of-bounds line is what’s needed in a world of government leaders with far lower ethics and morals than Trump.

Given the amount of information out there and the idea that too many coincidences turn into a pattern, I think Clinton is criminal; I once read a list of people associated with the Clintons who ended up dead with very interesting timing. For some people, “Benghazi” is the only word needed.  For others it’s “Lewinsky.”

All that being said, Trump would be who I vote for if I go tomorrow. And I reiterate; I’m not putting this out here to convince anyone to make the same choice.  I’m just sharing my thought process in the hope that it might help others at this down-to-the-wire moment.  If you find a hole in my thought process and want to vote for Hillary, please share!  Just be polite or I’ll delete your comments.

Of course, if I decide that Trump really is a rapist, maybe I’ll just stay home tomorrow, eat a lot of chocolate, and watch a movie.

UPDATE:  At 3:54 PM, 11/7, the London Daily Mail Online reports an update on the rape accusations against Trump:

“But DailyMail.com has been told that elements of what Johnson had claimed crumbled at the last minute…

A source with knowledge of the controversial case told DailyMail.com: ‘Katie Johnson’s account had been believable and compelling right up until the last minute. 

‘But new information emerged that suggested she had not been telling the truth.

‘Ultimately it was discovered that Donald Trump’s name had been inserted into this, he was not involved whatsoever. After that she had no credibility.’

“…she also said that in 1994 she had no idea who her attacker was and that it was only when she watched The Apprentice that she came to believe it was Trump, claiming that she could not forget her attacker’s face.”

I figure sharing this update is only fair!