Friday, May 29, 2015

Are You A Missing Ingredient?

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that may bear more fruit...Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you aide in Me" (John 15:1-2/4)

Hey Gang:  As I have mentioned before, my daddy was a coal miner and I spent my early years in a coal mining town consisting the three beat up houses.  My dad had to install more than thirty panes of glass before we moved in, in order for the pot bellied stove to do its thing. 

I have also mentioned that we were as poor as church meeses, so one tended to grab hold of anything that could be called their own.

I had a friend whose name was Jake.  Now Jake was not what one might say was of the brain surgeon class.  As a matter of fact, I never heard him speak a word or have an opinion on anything but was faithful and could be counted on to do his job when asked. He, too, was a very essential part of the coal mining crew.   Jake had been in and out of the mines so many times, from total darkness to blinding sunlight so many times that  it had blinded his eyes.

Jake was the mine donkey that pulled the coal carts out of the mine to the loading ramp.  Now most folks would say a menial animal, like a donkey, is not very important in the scheme of daily living but one morning they found Jake dead and the mine had to be shut done.  There was no one to pull the carts to the loading dock.

 What a tragic event that was.  As I think of Jake, I am reminded that every living created being was placed on this earth for a purpose. Every time I come in personal contact with a mosquito or a wasp I wonder what purpose God in mind they would fulfill - perhaps to motivate us. 

During World War II admiral Nimitz was being interviewed and was asked the question, "Who is the most important person on this ship?"  I am sure the reporter expected to hear the admiral say, the captain".  But he said instead he said, “Do you see that seaman down there dumping garbage overboard?  When we are out to sea in enemy territory and he is dumping garbage, he is the most important person on this ship.  For, you see, if he does not spread it perfectly the enemy can follow the trails of garbage to our ship.

Soooo, my young friends, I believe that is why Jesus told His sheep to be goer’s and spreaders of His Word.  Frank Constantine, while locked away in a Georgia prison heard the Lord say, “Frank, you are leaving "Holes in Time" “.    Be advised folks, God may send someone across your path today that needs Jesus as Lord of their life and you are the object that God is going to use to lead that person to Him.  Frank gave his heart to Jesus that night and became a powerful witness for his Lord.   Jesus said "Be a doer of the word and go!”



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In Perilous Times We Especially Need God's Power

God’s Power Principle for Today, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10). 

Hey Gang:  It is 6:03 am and I have already made ten or twelve decisions.  I decided to get out of bed, fix the fire, put the coffee on, check the weather, turn on the computer, prepare the morning message for today, spend time with the Lord and in the Word, etc. etc.  I am now making decisions on what I will do with the rest of the day – stack wood, shovel snow, finish toys, clean garage, start tractor, ashes out, wood in, feed birds, etc, etc, etc. 

Will I complete all of these chores?  Probably, because I am a task-oriented chap who does not rest until my list is complete.  But if I had to choose one project from my list of chores for the day, there is no question, I would choose “spend time with the Lord and in the Word”, for all the others are mundane in nature and only time with the Lord and in the Word has eternal significance and equips me for the battles of the day.

In our work with Voice of Martyrs we are in constant touch with stories of people who live their lives in harm’s way. Many are imprisoned, beaten and even killed for their faith In Yeshua as Lord.  In all of their testimonies they echo the same words of Paul and the other disciples who voiced joy in being worthy to lay down their lives for the Lord.

I often find myself asking the question, “If someone aimed a gun at my head and said “Give it up or die”, would I stand firm in my commitment to the Lord?  I think most people who are locked into God's power supply would answer "Yes", but I confess, until that day finally comes, I am not really sure.  I do know I would have less problems placing my life on the line for my Lord than having to make a decision for my bride, or child or grand children or great grands.

I believe in God's principle: put on the armor of God.  As long as we keep all the armor in place -our head covered with the "Helmet of Salvation, the sword of the Spirit in hand, which is the word of God, with prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, and be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints" (Eph. 6:17-18).

It is when we keep the armor spit polished and in place that we will be "Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light" (Col. 1:10-11).

Soooo, good buddies, I believe we would all agree that these are very perilous times when Satan has turned up the heat and released his minions to do as much damage as possible for he knows his days are very short.  But "For the word of the God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword" (Heb. 4:12).



Friday, May 22, 2015

What An Awesome Blessings - Part 4

"In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south" (Zechariah 14:4).

Hey Gang:  It has been my joy to open up the memory banks and re-live some of those neat experiences that I was able to enjoy in the land of the "apple of God's eye".    When asked what impacted on me the most?  My response, “It changed the Scriptures”.  Now when I read of Jesus teaching and feeding the five thousand, I have a bright and shiny picture of the place and see the thousands of people sitting on the hillside, while Jesus opened His heart to them - not only in spiritual food but in the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

When I was in training to become an air traffic controller, I had an old salt teacher that had been on the firing line for more than twenty years.  He was a seasoned pro that had literally grown up with the development of the air traffic control systems.  As I was nearing check out day he said to me, “One of these days you will not see these strips on the board that identify all you need to know about the aircraft, you will see the aircraft flying around in perfect sequence in your head.”  I was not sure what he meant when he said it.  A month or so later I was up to my armpits with traffic when his prediction came true - I actually saw the aircraft in my mind. 

As I walked the land of Israel on my more than ten trips, I found that same principle to be true.  When I stood in Gordon's Calvary and looked into the tomb where many feel Jesus’ body was placed, it suddenly became bigger than life.  And when we stood on the Mount of Olives, wow, what a fiery sensation went through my heart and soul.

Looking down across the Kidron Valley with the valley of Gehenna to my right and Gethsemane on the left and straight ahead thousands of tomb stones of people that want to be resurrected first and enter the Gate Beautiful (the Eastern Gate) with Him, is a sight to behold.  If you are born again and a child of His, this takes your breath away.  It is there that the stones will be removed and He will enter the gate and take back what has always been rightfully His.

  Are there controversies as to what is the right place or the right time?  Remember the rating system of the guides –“Yes, it might have happened that way, or perhaps it did happen that way or no, it could not have happened that way.”

But you see, it really did not matter what the guide, said for my guide on those trips was that voice inside that said, "Listen to my voice not the voice of a guide who does not even know me as Lord".  Read that sentence again - It does not matter what the person across from you is trying to get you to believe, it is only what God said through His Son and through His Word that will determine if your name is written in His Book of Life and you will receive an invitation to the marriage feast of the Lamb.

People ask, “Are you not scared to death to go over to that place where killing is common?”  After I remind them that forty people were killed in Chicago last week, I tell them, "Yes, I do have apprehension going over (and I emphasize going over) for when you step on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Airport there is a peace that surpasses all understanding that fills your heart of soul - but we do have to go through Chicago or New York to get there!  Besides what better place to launched into the heavenlies than from Mount Zion, or the Mount of Olives or any place else in Israel.

I pray you enjoyed your trip through the Holy Land and you will recall some of these experiences when you come across them in your study of God's Word.



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What An Awesome Blessing - part 3

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her!~ How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! Behold, your house is left to you desolate; and I say to you, you will not see Me until the time comes when you say 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'" (Luke 13:34)

Hey Gang:  The living units at tel Tamar have been repaired sufficiently for the next crew to come in and have place to live while they do major surgery to the facilities.  Most of the junk from the previous wars that were fought here has been removed to the desert and the walls renovated.  We were more than a little pleased with ourselves with what we had accomplished in four days of sun up to sundown labors.

And now it was time to put the grubbies and away, hit the road and visit those places where Jesus walked.  Traveling to Jerusalem we will pass by the Dead Sea - and sort of swim, also and Ein Gedi, the place where David hid from King Saul, before climbing the mountain of Masada.  We were privileged to be on the top of Masada when the Israeli Defense Force graduating pilots’ class were getting their wings and heard them shout, "Never Again Will There be a Masada".   (If you have never read or heard the story of Masada it is a story worth your time).  We also learned the 91st Psalm is the backbone of the IDF. 

Aside:  I mentioned in the last blog that I wanted to share a story about a lady named Barbara but after several attempts to keep it under several pages and failing, I think it is best to remain on track and perhaps do a separate blog on Barbara at a later date.

We arrived in Jerusalem in time to check into the Hilton Hotel which is located at the apex of Mt Zion.  I confess, Jerusalem is my least favorite place in Israel due to its commercialism, crowded conditions and noise.  But there were several things that got deep into my mind and heart.  Friday is Shabbat and, although most Jews are not believers, Shabbat is honored.  To stand on the balcony of the seventh floor of the Hilton and literally watch the city of Jerusalem shut down was a very awesome and neat experience. 

The rich Jews check into hotels in the city so they can continue to enjoy the bangles and beads they enjoy.  But the evening meal was special for us.  The hotel had filled the dining room with large tables, each one designed to accommodate a family.   It was wonderful to watch the patriarch of the family bless his children and then each son   bless his children, even three generations.  I know we are not to envy, but as I sat and watched that process, I envied them. 

After a couple days of visiting the various very special sites in Jerusalem, we boarded the bus once again and headed for our favorite place in Israel, Galilee.  We love Galilee because it is there that Jesus spent his entire ministry and it is non commercial.   Again it would be nice to share every moment that we have walked the shore of the Sea of Chinnereth/Galilee.   There was no other place where we felt as close to Jesus as at those times.

One morning I woke very early and was blessed to see the fisherman preparing their nets to go out into the deep and collect their catch for the day.  Nothing has really change since the days that Peter, Andrew, sons of Jonas, and James and John the Sons of Zebedee tended their nets.  While there a magnificent event occurred.  Due to receding waters in the Chinnereth, a ‘Peter Boat was discovered’.  It was quickly identified as one that very likely was used during the time that Jesus walked the shore of the Sea and the disciples were fishermen of fish and not men.  The boat is now in a museum protected against further decay and vandalism. 

It has been a joy for me to be able to go back to Israel in my memories.   I love the verse in Revelation that is a very distinct promise for all those who committed their lives to Jesus and lived lives of obedience and service to Him, "And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and slowed me the holy city, Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.  Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a crystal-clear jasper".  (Rev. 21:10-11).



Friday, May 15, 2015

What An Awesome Blessing -Part 2

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3),

Hey Gang:  As I so often do, I got a little wordy in the last morning message and did not have room to cover blessings two and three that is etched in my mind from my time at Ir Ovot.  At Ir Ovot  are two very special attractions that Israeli elementary school children, and people from all over the world have placed on their itineraries, since our first visit to prepare the oasis  for visitors.  

The first is a well, a very special well, a very old well, a well that archeologist tell us is thousands of years old.    No longer a working well, but a well that can get deep into your heart and soul.  In Bethlehem, Joseph received a vision in the middle of the night: take his bride and new son and split for Egypt and remain there until he was told it was safe to return home, because paranoid Herod was going to seek this new born king and destroy him.

From Bethlehem to Egypt were two main routes dictated by the availability of water. The main route was the Roman Road along the Mediterrean Coast;  the other was the more direct route that passed through Ir Ovot.  The coast road would have been more controlled by Roman and Herod's soldiers, and the danger for intercepting them greater than the more direct route.

"If", and I emphasize "if" (which happens to be my opinion which, my word and two bucks will get you a cup of java at most hash houses) they choose the road less traveled they would have passed through Ir Ovot and, in all probability drew water from the Ir Ovot well.   Perhaps it was not the route they choose, but just sitting there with my Sword in hand, drinking in Living Water, and believing I was sitting at the very place where Jesus and His Mom and Dad might have spent the night, was a wonderful experience.

The second picture that is etched in my mind is of a tree.  When we arrived on the oasis for the first time we found a tree, a very special tree, a very old tree that appeared to be in its final days.  It was three fourths dead and even the part that was alive was sparsely equipped with leaves.  In all probability it had not be watered for many years.  We learned shortly after arriving that the tree is named Spina-christi -The Tree of Christ.  Why this name? Because it had two inch thorns, and we know the story of the crown of Christ at His crucifixion.  In all of Israel there are very few  spina-christi trees.    Some even suggest that the thorns of His crown came from that very tree.

On day two of our first trip to Ir Ovot,  a crew of workers were sent into the desert to retrieve sufficient pipe and connectors to place an extension on the tel’s water supply and watering of the tree begun.    It was interesting to learn from a local tree guru that we had to begin very slowly.  It was possible that too much water too suddenly would drown the tree. 

In our first week we noticed a tiny improvement in color and even a few buds but, when we returned the following year it was green and even the branch that had broken loose from the trunk was still connected and had begun to produce leaves and thorns again.   We agreed that we were ambassadors send by heaven from America to restore The Tree of Christ.
Oh, by the way, the tree is estimated to be more than two thousand years old and would also have enjoyed having the Lord of Glory enjoy its shade as they drank the cool waters from the well. Archeologists have said this is the oldest tree in Israel, which is why school children visit here.

Well, folks, it is time to move north to the place where Jesus lived His life and did His ministry, but en route I want to share a story about a lady by the name of Barbara.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What An Awesome Blessing!

In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south" (Zech 14:4).

Hey Gang:  Traveling had become a bore to him, being a traveling salesman, he tended to spend much of his life running through airports.  But in this particular trip, God had a very special assignment for him.  As he settled into his seat, prepared to read the daily news, he noticed a elderly blind lady being assisted to a seat across from him. She appeared very nervous, even to the point of being frightened. 

The seat next to her was open so he moved over and sat down beside her and introduced himself.   He asked her if she had ever flown before. "No and I am very nervous", she replied.  The salesman than began to explain what was going to happen: You will soon hear the engines start and the airplane will vibrate a little.  Then you will feel the airplane being backed out from the concourse and begin to move forward. He drew a word picture for her for each step in the process until they taxed on to the concourse at the destination airport and debarked.

He said it was the first time in years that he thoroughly enjoyed a flight. He vowed that he would look carefully for that person who was nervous, even frightened, seemingly be taking their first flight, so he could relive his first flight over and over again.  In a sense that is what I am trying to do with this series of morning messages. I want to share my first flight to Israel –what a privilege.

This morning I want to share three pictures indelibly etched in my mind.  When one thinks of a desert, we think of great dunes of sand, maybe, a palm tree, maybe even sheiks on a great white stallions, as projected by the cinema industry.  With the exception of sheiks on white stallions, I saw all of those things in living color.  Ir Ivot was an oasis in the midst of the Arabah. (Wilderness where Jesus went after His baptism to be tempted by the devil).

As I stood on the top of the tel at Tel Tamar and looked cross the four miles expanse to Jordan, I saw the picture that you see at the top of the page.  Just so much sand, right?   But then again with phenomenal implications for the future.  One of the truly phenomenal attributes of studying God's words is the many trails where one Scripture can take you.  

 Isaiah 63:1-2 tells us of God's judgment of the nations:  "Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."  Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

As we (my bride and I) searched and sought out those Scripture pertaining to Bozrah and the part that Bozrah will play in that final act of human history we were surprised at the depth that it will play. It would take several pages to write out all of the verses pertaining to the importance of Bozrah, but have listed them below for you to do some digging.

As I stood on the tel that day I wondered what it would be like to be standing on that same tel on the day that the Father says to the Son, "Go for it"?.  Would it not be awesome to see this One who comes from Edom with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah?"  As I read and reread the following verse it was like the Balm of Gilead to my heart. 



The Second Coming of Christ (Isa 63:1-6): If this battle wasn't stopped, all mankind would be destroyed; however, the Lord interrupts it, at Petra in Edom, fighting for His remnant of believers. He is described as covered with the blood of His enemies. (Note: His armies are not required in the fighting.)
From Bozrah to the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Isa 63:1-4; Rev 19:13; Isa 34:5-6, 8). The Antichrist is powerless before Christ (Hab 3:13; 2 Thess 2:8; Isa 14:3-11, 16-21). His armies are destroyed (Zech 14:12-15; Joel 3:12-13) at Bozrah (Jer 49:20-22), then Megiddo. Bozrah to Megiddo is 176 miles; 1,600 furlongs (Rev 14:20).
The Victory Ascent upon the Mount of Olives: (Zech 14:3-4; Rev 16:17-21; Mt 24:29; Joel 3:14-17.) His ultimate victorious return to the Mount of Olives is described in Zechariah 14. That leads to the establishment of the Lords Millennial Kingdom on the Earth. Many experts believe the weapons that will be used at Armageddon are in inventory today.

Friday, May 8, 2015

You Want Me To Do What?

"When the Lord will have compassion Jacob and again choose Israel, and settle them in their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.  (Isaiah 14:1)

Hey Gang:  Our task In Israel was easily described: "Turn this mess into a living environment for the work groups that would follow.   As I mentioned, the restoration of the walls was considered a top priority, for it was prophesied that that should happen (Isa 58:12; 60:10).  Our recruiter and leader did well, for we had a crew of seasoned wall-builders present.  But there was a far greater need that had to be addressed immediately - the sewer lines from the main restroom facility were plugged, which rendered the facility inoperable.

When I saw the exulted leader approaching with shovel in hand, I got the distinct feeling that yours truly was going to be the router-rooter man that day.   I could spend a page or two explaining the process in finding the sewer line, and then where it was plugged but will save that for my memoires.  It was not my brain, nor my investigative skills that found the area of the blocked pipe, but rather my nose.  One does not have to be a brain surgeon or rocket scientist to know when they come upon open sewage.

To make a long story very short, finding irrigation pipes to use as a new line was a piece of cake: it was preparing the ground to receive the pipe that was the problem.  When one thinks of a desert they think of sand, at least that is what I thought, before my first trip to the desert.   But such is not necessarily the case. It can be very hard, until you get down six inches or so.    But, due to the liquids that had leaked out of the pipe, the digging process went fairly easy.

Conclusion to the story:  We were able to remove the broken pipe, locate one, the exact same size in the desert, and, as the sun began to set in the west the task was completed and the sewer line was running freely.  At dinner that night, we (the sewer crew) received a standing ovation.

As I mentioned there were no conveniences at the Kibbutz when we arrived, including very limited cooking supplies.  The second night fried chicken was on the menu for dinner.  Problem, there were no frying pans or grills to fry enough chicken for 56 people.  

Once again our exulted leader came to the rescue, he sent a crew of people with torch in hand to cut the bottom out of an Egyptian tank that was located a couple miles from the Kibbutz.  Now, one would think, (I surely did),that the plating on a tank would be so thick it would take forever to get it hot enough to fry chicken.  Such was not the case - it worked perfectly and a fine meal of fried chicken was enjoyed by all.

Ir Ovot, which has been renamed Tel Tamar Now Tamar Biblical Park,  was originally called Oboth.  It is located in the wilderness of Zin, four miles from the Jordan border.  When a town is given the title "tel" it means there are past cities buried under the current city.  Cities were located near water supplies, which are very scarce in the Wilderness of Zin. 

My second assigned chore, no less challenging than the sewer project, was more dangerous.  As I mentioned, there were literally miles of Constantia wire strung throughout the Kibbutz, and remember lighting was a problem.  The second item of business was - get rid of the wire.  Fortunately our leader had included heavy gloves in his inventory, and the wire project was completed without injury.

As I walked around the Kibbitz one morning, it was pure joy to see a banker repairing a light fixture, a doctor, driving a pay loader removing old armaments from the grounds, a school principle replacing windows in the mobile homes.  Someone remarked that it was a wonderful experience to take two pieces of junk and make one piece of junk that worked.

But the pure joy of the experience was "…the joy of the Lord was our strength" (Neh. 8:10).  The only time clock was the sun, when it went down, we quit, and when it rose in the morning, we went back to work.  I believe I learned more pure Scripture during that period of my life than at any other one time.  I learned the pure joy of giving even when given the assignment was to fix the sewer!  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord, not for men” (Col 3:23).



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I Got My Hands Dirty on Holy Ground

 “Behold the tabernacle of God is among men. And He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God himself will be among them” (Rev. 21:3). 

Hey Gang:  If that does not build a fire in the depths of your innards, you had best check yourself into the nearest emergency ward and see if your thumper is still thumping. 

When I was in the fourth grade, we began our days with the Pledge of Allegiance, several verses from the Bible, and the Lord’s Prayer.  We also had a morning update on what was happening in the war zones – WWII.  In one fateful day, the teacher announced that General McArthur had thrown in the towel and left the Philippines, but on his way out he made a vow to return soon, a promise he fulfilled. 

Does it not fill your heart with joy when you read the words of the angels who were there when Jesus ascended back to the Father and took His rightful place at the right hand of God?  “Why do you stand looking into the sky? The angels asked.  This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).  

In the early years of developing the Village we had reached a point of near exhaustion.  God knew that and sent an angel across our path.  You do know that God sometimes uses homo-sapiens to be stand in angels, don't you.  His mission was to expand our horizons and give us a fabulous blessing at the same time.  He said, "I am putting together a crew of people to go to Israel and work in a Kibbutz south of the Dead Sea and prepare it for future groups to come visit and help at the Kibbutz.”

But, let me warn you, this is not a tour-driven escapade where you stay in five star hotels, travel in the elite buses, eat at the finest restaurants and don't get your hands dirty.   He was one hundred percent correct!  In route to the kibbutz our bus had a flat tire and, when we finally arrived at the Kibbutz, the sewers were plugged; the housing facilities consisted of Mobil homes that had been through several wars and they looked like it. The lighting for the entire campus was four candles, one at each corner (just joking of course but not a great deal better).  

We had to be careful where we walked because there were miles of barbed wire strung throughout the kibbutz.   As we drove onto the kibbutz it was pitch black but the lights from the bus sent a clear message that this was not the Hyatt Regency!  After traveling from Chicago to Tel Aviv, from Tel Aviv Airport to Ir Ovot, (the kibbutz), we were so tired we could have slept on the ground. BUT, we had no idea what a mess we had volunteered for.

By the time we reached Ir Ovot we had already had several unique and rather exciting experiences to write in our logs.    I can attest to the fact that we did not have one convenience on arrival at Ir Ovot, but I also want you to know - I did not hear one word of complaint.  Not even when we, who were 56 strong, learned that there was only one rest-room facility operational with two heads. 

The previous day we left our homes, with all the conveniences, traveled for more than twenty hours, arrived at a place that did not have one convenience, but we slept soundly and prepared for what was to come in the morning.  In our first morning devotion our leader made his first assignment by reading from Isaiah 60:10 "Foreigners will build up your walls".    We were about to be ‘fulfillers of prophecy’.  Wow, what an awesome memory!  To be in the land where our Lord lived, died and was resurrected and will come again one day soon, and fulfilling one of the many prophecies of the Word - that my friends is a feeling that is hard to describe!



Friday, May 1, 2015

Blog Anniversary # 4

This blog was started on May 6,2011.  It started as emails of encouragement for our grandchildren for several years.  They added friends and so did we.  Then we began hearing, "Why don't you write a blog.  Our response, "What is that?"  A friend and our computer advisor set this up, posted the blogs which Gramps wrote for several months, until these 'older that dirt' people learned the ropes!

We trust you continue to be blessed. Gramps and Gma 

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Better To Obey Than To Sacrifice

“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” (I Sam. 15:22-23).   No don’t stop, read on “For rebellion is as the sins of divination,  And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.”  
And Samuel did not stop here either – he went on and said “Because you have rejected the words of the Lord, He (God) has also rejected you from being king.” (Verse 23b).  Saul was given his marching orders that he should go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he had”.  (15:3). 
But Saul had a better idea than the Lord’s; “For the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed”.   (15:15).

Ouch!  Been there and done that – and paid the piper big time.  Okay, I confess, in the early days of the village I made far more disobedient than obedient decisions.  I had a good excuse, I was far to busy to take time to get my marching orders from the Lord and as Isaiah says in his 53rd chapter – I went my own way far too many times. 

Now I know I am preaching to the choir and no one out there would make the gross mistakes that I made but you might want to read the 15th chapter of  I Samuel and be prepared to help one of us slow learners to learn God does get upset with those who feel to sacrifice and do good works is number one in God’s hip parade and grace is some lady down the street.      

Notice verse 26 “  But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord had rejected you”.  What a horrendous price Saul paid for his disobedience.

So, my friends in Saul we have an example of the "Head and shoulders" man.  In the eyes of the world he was a choice and handsome man, from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people but in God's eyes he was "wanting."  He did not do what the Lord commanded. 



Many knew our interest in prophecy and asked for a blog relating things happening in the world as related to Scripture: This is the 3rd week for