THE COMMITMENT

THE COMMITMENT

 

The barber I go to is a ‘far-cry’ from the others I have had in my life. I remember the first time I had a shave and a hair-cut, after moving to Florida in 1972, by a ‘up-scale’ place in Castleberry (a new Jr. Executive housing area) and was shocked to see Playboy’s latest ‘Pin-up’ on the ceiling. I thought it was quite Avant garde; very pleasing to the eye, and risqué. Today, you can see more on Victoria’s ads.

 

My present barber, John, is a Christian man, he is a big old boy that could go bear hunting with a knife; but, he also sells and trades guns in his shop. He has a Display case filled with knives he sells and trades, and up-scale Fishing-lures he makes and some of his customers make and leave for him to sell or barter. He was guard at the County Jail before he made barbering his life’s work. My wife makes Christmas cookies for friends and he always gets a few.

 

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

 

What is it about commitment that makes Pilgrims cringe? I know Atheists have decided commitment for marriage isn’t any longer a necessity, and their model is now  becoming the ‘First-choice’ in America…as bastard children are littering its landscape…and the Creator is weeping; but, in its essence, what is so challenging about one deciding to make a commitment…about anything?

 

I wonder how many times a week Pilgrims make a ‘silent’ commitment concerning their lives? I’m not going to lose my temper and swear; I’m not going to bring my job problems home; I’m not going to feel disgust when my kids want one more minute of my time; I’m going to shower my spouse with TLC…at least once a week; When I arrive home I’m going to pitch-in and help rather than seek ‘safe-harbor’ for my sanity; I’m going to be sensitive and cognizant the underwear on the floor is mine; the family will prepare for worship on Saturday night; and you can add a zillion other failed ‘commitments’.

 

Perhaps, Pilgrims fail to make commitments because we can’t stand the ugly trauma of knowing we are too weak (spirit is willing; the flesh is weak) to make a dent in a change we deem worthy of our concentrated efforts. If we try and fail, it reveals what we already know too well: desire wans when the prize moves farther away. You do know this is the very same thing that happens with our personal relationship with Christ…right? The question for all Pilgrims: when the relationship wans, who moved the goal?

 

How does a Pilgrim decide to make a commitment? On the spiritual side: a hunger to know more about the Creator and his only son, Jesus Christ. How can this happen? I suggest you commune with the Universe and dig deeper into the holy word of God; and a desire to use biblical knowledge in a way that you overcome your reticence to be a bold witness. On the flesh side: You’ve finally agreed that Satan has messed up your life: i.e. He wants you fleshy, flabby, and encased in fat, and your appearance remits tiny messages…about a thousand times a day, you are inadequate. The entire corporate world reinforces this outcome as billions of dollars are spent on advertising how one can be slim and more desirable. Our Nanny-gate government can legislate it is against the law to discriminate and will punish offenders, but it changes nothing about the absolute known qualifiers the ‘real world’ uses to function. Discipline is a word few truly understand its meaning. Jesus certainly did! Any commitment one makes will never get off the ‘Runway’ without discipline. Excellence in anything will never be produced without discipline. Encased in discipline is bogey-man items that scare the ‘you know what’ out of us. Truth rather than flattery, personal integrity rather than ‘feel-good’ Pablum, love of sweat rather than comfortable sloth,  embracing discomfort rather than chasing ease, and all Pilgrims can write a descriptive narrative to fit their own lack of discipline that would draw you nigh to Jesus.

 

John’s gospel, sixth chapter, records the D. I’s (Drill Instructor) talk to the recruits (Jesus talks ‘turkey’ to his disciples) about what is expected of them if they are going to be worthy of the Mission Charge. Most of the followers go A.W.O.L. and return home with their Dishonorable Discharge in hand. Even those who stayed questioned the necessity for the arduous task he gave them: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”

 

John, the Barber, not the Disciple, told me he weighs just this side of a very large pig’s hind quarter: ( my description) two-forty-three. He has made a commitment to lose as much weight as he can before October first. The reason you ask? He has a much shorter and plumper client; he weighs two-hundred and seventy-three pounds, and each one bet that he could lose more weight before October: the loser has to shave his head. I haven’t seen his opponent; but, John has one of the largest heads God ever put on a man’s shoulders. I fear if he loses, his wife might have grounds for divorce: there must be an ‘Ugly man’s’ clause in those Marriage vows! I told John I would diligently search the Scriptures in case he lost the bet. My wife is interested in helping John: she is going to whip up a kettle of pickled Bees knees and take them to him.

 

Our little hamlet at the foot of the Smokey Mountains is suddenly becoming sophisticated: we are getting a Poppa John’s and a Little Caesar’s Pizza joints; and we have the new fancy, digital ad boards. Maybe our mayor has some new business venture up-his-sleeve and some gargantuan manufacture is coming to our area. This got me to thinking: If John losses the bet, I’m going to suggest John sell ad space on his shaved head.

 

John has put on his ‘Rocky’ shoes and persona. Hope he doesn’t get creamed by Apollo Creed’s commitment. This little Greek Tragedy that is being played-out reminds me that commitment is often easier to come-by if one’s embarrassment quotient is heightened. Perhaps, if Pilgrims considered their lack of commitment to Jesus an embarrassment, we’d see a lot more committed Pilgrims.

 

Doc Christian

 

http://ogradypublishisngcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

P.S.

 

Pilgrims, I made a trip to the barber shop to see John and try to have a moment of quiet prayer for his commitment, sorry to report his competitor reneged on the bet and it has been called off. I suggested John continue with the commitment. He said he didn’t need to lose weight! Pilgrims, there is a biblical lesson in this fiasco: Our commitment to Christ is often just as fickle

 

P.S.

 

On a personal note, please pray for old Doc as my life is running full bore…and I’m aware at least two spark plugs are acting up. I have been having major back problems: MRI shows the end of my spine should be 14 MM; it is a 9…and that doesn’t leave much room for all those ‘tingly’ nerves and other things I don’t know a thing about, to work. I think my next doctor’s appointment is a Neurosurgeon. I have also been suffering unexplained spells that have given me great weakness, a sense of dizziness, and vision that sees white for a few seconds. I suffered my fourth spell in ten days, yesterday. I hurried to E.R. and they checked everything from a brain scan to finding delight is ‘playing Dracula’: the told me I’m in remarkably good health. This didn’t have an answer for my sudden ‘funny’ spells. I’ve lost 16 pounds since January; I haven’t varied five pounds since my basketball days in college. They suggested I seek the answer ‘down-south: Prostate and Colon check-up.

 

On a second front, I’m launching the publishing of two new books next month. Please pray for me that the Lord will lead my stories to new levels of success I haven’t known, and that the books biblical message will reach millions of people around the globe. If Pilgrims are interested in helping me reach this goal, you can read more on my website: www.ogradypublishingcompany.com . You can get signed copies from me; you can download from Kindle, or buy from Amazon. You also can use PayPal.

 

O’Grady Publishing Company

364 Eagle Creek Dr.

Monticello, Ky. 42633

 

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A FATHER’S KISS

A FATHER’S KISS

 

It has been thirty-three years since my Pop died. Different daily events often trigger reminisces of the phone call that signified my father had passed on to the other side of Jordan, and the emotional pain is refreshed and it will require a period of mourning before I’m nearly spiritually whole, again.

 

I have been a foolish man, often in my life, and that day was certainly one of my Red-letter days. While in Theology, Seminary, Graduate School, I tried to fit my golf game into my crazy-busy life: wife, two kids, and a Weekend Ministry. Looking back, I’m convinced I failed at all things.

 

My golf game, which was quite good, was suffering and I decided to have a golf lesson to get a ‘fix’. That fateful morning, I met the pro and in a few minutes, he gave up: said he couldn’t teach a Warlock. His problem was he couldn’t teach!

 

Licking my wounds, I rushed in the front door to answer the phone: in an instant, God gave me a ‘reality-check’. My father was dead.

 

Come July I’ll be seventy-five; three more years than my Pop lived. In reflection, I now know that the worst residue from his death was the boy in me died. I know I wasn’t ready for this to happen. I say a boy; but, I was forty-two. That day I was forced to become a man. As long as a man’s father is alive, he gets to be a boy! For me, being a boy, having a father like mine was God’s greatest earthly gift, next to my wife of fifty-two years.

 

Pilgrims, what does any boy really know about his dad? Unless he is famous, perhaps, just locally, or a business Tycoon, he knows only what is evident. I now believe it is a mystery one has to unravel as the boy grows into a man. If the father is absent, the boy never really learns anything about his father.

 

For thousands of years the biblical model has been given to all fathers, and it is found in Deuteronomy six. The father is told he is to teach his children about God every day. His love for him must be evident, like the process of osmosis, in his daily walk. The neighbors should know he worships the Creator. My Pop drove a Mule (Fork-lift) and operated a huge Crane for a living…yet he didn’t ever have a Driver’s license. I never actually saw him write anything but his name on a check. Townsfolk came to watch ‘Pete’ (his nickname) hit a baseball a ‘Country-mile. At the age of sixty-five he could still kick the light bulb out on the ceiling. He played the ‘Spoons’ to entertain his kids. My Pop could crush soda pop lids with two fingers; I once saw him hang a large man on a hook wearing Overalls where he worked, the Roundhouse for the Rock Island Railroad, when he tired of his obnoxious man’s needling. He coached my Little League Baseball team, He was a ‘Man’s man’, but he insisted all of his kids kiss him on the mouth when showing proper respect and affection. He never talked much about his father, a Conductor on the railroad that died when he was fifteen, and he was forced to quit school and get a job to help feed the family of ten children, so I don’t know why he came to this choice. Perhaps, his father modeled this method of rearing children; or perhaps, his father’s method was lacking of any real affection and he was determined to do things differently and far better. He heeded the instructions from Deuteronomy!

 

Ironically, I kissed my mother, with rare occasions, always on the cheek. We kids always greeted or said good-bye with a kiss for both parents. A kiss on the cheek for mom, a kiss on the lips for Pop didn’t feel or seem strange to me.

 

I was blessed by God to be reared at a time in our country’s history before Atheist, godless people changed nearly everything good thing about America. Young boys held hands in public, seldom did anyone use the word ‘Queer’…and I never heard the word ‘homosexual’ in public until I was in high school.

 

During my Elementary School days, genuine affection between boys was just something all accepted without snide remarks challenging manhood. I know how naïve I was; this ignorance was sheer bliss.

 

My father’s kiss was much more than a kiss. I realized later it was for biblical Fatherly Respect he needed and we needed to be able to maintain a father/ child relationship that was filled with love and devotion. It was his public expression that a kiss for him left him feeling wonderful about his willingness to love and sacrifice for his family, on a daily basis.

 

For me, his kiss was like a warm light being turned on inside me as I was given an assurance my father loved me. Even after disciplining his kids: he believed in God’s Woodshed, he insisted we kids kiss him good night. There were nights I found this repugnant; but kissed him. If we kissed him in the evening, he smelled of Old Spice. I still like that fragrance.

 

When I had my own kids: two sons, I followed this kiss tradition; I confess, by the time they were teens, we seemed to find it more awkward than purposefully driven. We see each other so infrequently, and we do kiss, it seems too contrived to have ever shared the blessings my Father’s kiss empowered me as a boy to be a man. As Pogo said well, “The fault lies not in the stars, but in us,” summed up where the blame lies in my sons and my relationship…only the blame is mine, alone.

 

I think in this dark sinful world filled with the celebration of all things Queer, Gay, Lesbian, and Homosexual, and all of its cultural baggage one can’t avoid or escape, too many fathers and sons/daughters will be too hyper sensitive to the overt or covert fall out from a Father’s Kiss to insist it be their biblical model.

 

I’m not sure my Pop understood the power his kiss possessed; or if he was wise enough to sort out the biblical and psychological implications its outcome produced; we never discussed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAPA

 

Like the wind sweeping down an Oklahoma plain full of power, fury, and grace,

he stood Oak-tree-tall, bronzed from the hot sun, and silent strength caressed

his face.

 

Gazing up at him, his shock of coal-like hair met my eyes as he lifted me up as if

I had suddenly been set free.

 

His easy smile sent security through my frame as the measure of a teen-to-be gained

comfort in his future masculinity, though mirrored in a reflective genetic pond

to see.

 

Flattery as a watch-word when the reflection came back, chaffing to see the imitator

of the man I longed to be.

 

Sod covered foot-prints and a place that time has lost, breathless and gone, except

in my heart.

 

Completing the circle in another time and place is another Oak-like tree.

 

From a Ms. not yet published: Letters from Papa

 

 

Doc Christian

 

http://ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

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CRACKED FOUNDATION

CRACKED FOUNDATON

 

It seems odd that a minister that provided Biblical Counseling for four decades for troubled marriages, families, and complete strangers that blew into my life, unexpectedly, endured internal family strife that seemingly hasn’t an end (not my marriage), and still remains clueless about a biblical principle: all families have Cracked Foundations.

 

Regardless if Pilgrims sit on a pile of money that would make Scrooge envious, have a security-gated home, or live on some exotic island, none will escape the constant pressure of sin’s consequences upon the family’s home until it is cracked.

 

From God’s call to Abraham to leave Haran and travel to Canaan, at age seventy-five, to begin a great spiritual journey where God promised to bless him and build a nation of people suited for God’s desires, it took only a short while to prove to his family and total strangers: Egyptians, as he feared for his life because his wife, Sarai (Sarah) was beautiful, so he told her to lie and tell them she was his sister, his family’s Cracked Foundation appeared.

 

A few years ago we purchased an old Bedford Stone mansion and turned it into a Marriage Retreat Bed and Breakfast. As an investment, it was a foolish thing; as a Spiritual investment to help couples fall deeply in love with Jesus and for their marriage relationship to be biblically enhanced, it paid wonderful dividends.

 

After sinking too much renovation money into this financial Titanic refurbishing the inside, we discovered our Front Porch’s foundation was failing and had many foundation cracks. To my chagrin, it had to be fixed. Do you know there are companies that specialize in restoring Cracked Foundations?  When the job was finished, unless one knew we had a Cracked Foundation, the naked eye couldn’t detect it. It took an expert to fix my foundation.

 

Their son got into some minor trouble at school and he was given ‘Detention’ and after school punishment. He was “grounded’ by parents. The following weekend he shot himself. He was molested as a child; shared the information with his parents, at nineteen; he rears his children with a ‘Compound-mentality’. She gave a ‘personal-witness’ testimony for a Women’s Luncheon of the sorry state of her marriage…until they had a ‘house-invasion’: she was raped; her husband nearly beaten to death. They discovered how important each one was to one another. This terrible event rekindled love and devotion and they recommitted their marriage to Christ. Son born with a ‘golden-spoon’ in mouth, marries and soon, wife is pregnant. After two Mayo Clinic visits, discovers he has Lyme disease: he can’t ever live a normal life again and it changes Grandparents retirement plans for they become ‘care –takers’ for child and son. Youth Minister molests Minister’s two youngest sons: youngest one never lives a normal Life. He marries and is divorced in a year; never marries again. He lives an ‘isolated-type’ of life. Her parents’ marriage is so dysfunctional she moves out of house as a teenager: she marries and harms all in her life that she can’t absolutely control; at ninety-five she remarries, her children discover she never loved their father like she loves this old man. She is like a giddy school girl; never saw this with their father; she wasn’t affectionate towards him; and last, but not the least…a teenage girl cuts herself and marks her body with profanity to punish those she thinks owe her big-time…for trying to love her.

 

 

 

Every Friday night I preach a message to a room full of criminals who have a collective profile that includes sexual abuse; physical abuse; evil parents, and a hostile environment for success. These men know they are broken inside. I believe they come to worship because they are desperate to find that magic elixir that will miraculously fix what is broken.

 

Sari (means bitter) forced concubine, Hagar, upon her husband; she gives birth to son; Sari remains barren. Abraham abandons the concubine and son, whom he loved (Esau is half-breed Muslim race) i Rebecca lies for her son Jacob and he steals Esau’s inheritance and blessing. Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery; tell their father he is dead. Moses brother Aaron betrays him for Golden Calf. David steals Bathsheba; has her husband murdered. And, who could forget Jezebel and Ahab stealing poor Naboth’s vineyard to prove she could. And many people say the bible is a boring book!

 

Old Doc has lived amongst those who pay others to go to the ‘Wailing wall’ for them; and has sat in sackcloth and ashes’ too often and too long for him not to finally understand a salient biblical truth: there aren’t any prefect families; all have Cracked Foundations. Some families are able to hide this imperfection better than others…for a time. Like every foundation that possesses cracks in the foundation, sooner or later, it is going to collapse. Sometimes, sin isn’t the progenitor of an outcome; it is just happenstance: being at the wrong place at the right time where you suffer unfairly: accidents that maim or kill. Just last week we had a family of six killed because of another driver’s stupidity.

 

Births, weddings, and funerals expose the rancid underbelly fueled by anger, malice, hatred, jealousy and a plethora of things all Pilgrims can conjure up, as mixer-events that force all to admit the family has a cracked foundation; it spills out into the public streets. In the majority of cases none care to see the foundation repaired. “Burn the house down and let the foundation stand as a memorial for how the cracked foundation left us miserable, ashamed, and forced to deal with the consequences of sin that changed a house from a place for a family into a place to forget.,” can be an apt epitaph..

 

Isn’t the world blessed; Jesus shows up in his ‘Hard-hat’, carrying a cement trowel, wearing the latest Levi Jeans: designer holes in the knees, Oakley Sunglasses, and just for the summer, a shaved head like Mr. Clean, a Gideon (New Testament and/the book of Psalms) stuffed in his back pocket, and announces: “Come unto me all you who are heavy laden and I’ll give you rest.”

I can see you built your house on a foundation of sand rather than rock: not good! What were you thinking?

 

The one thing I want all Pilgrims to focus upon is that these miserable biblical failures, and most are those we Pilgrims consider God’s favored heroes, still were used by the Creator to accomplish amazing things for his Kingdom and for man’s history. Flawed as they were, God evidently didn’t concentrate upon how they had failed, only upon the spiritual work that lay before them to complete his plans.

 

Pilgrims, this means you can ‘crawl out of a bottle or your personal favorite type of drug and stop living stoned; you can put away your sack cloth and draw nigh to God and begin to equip yourself for the new mission God is going to send your way. You can forgive your first spouse and even yourself, and begin to make amends for your sin and sloth regarding your sorry past life; You can reconcile your heart that you can’t control anyone, and you can begin to live beyond your ‘self-loathing’ for your perceptions of failing at the job of Mother or Father concerning your adult children because they remain estranged; finally, as an adult child, you can let the disappointment of not ‘meeting parental  expectations’ flow out of your heart and mind, and concentrate upon building a closer relationship with Christ. The cracks in your foundation (circumstances of life) can’t limit your spiritual horizon; only you can do that. Just think…Christ turns all ‘ugly ducklings’ into beautiful swans.

 

My opinion, our once great biblical country has its Cracked Foundation showing its fatal flaws. Despite all efforts by Pilgrims, its pitiful condition is exposed daily. Every known ‘Expert’ and voodoo type of magic elixir has been tried to shore it up sans a biblical solution: Jesus’s blood sacrifice stands at the ‘ready’; yet, few are wise enough to choose the correct Foundation Contractor.

 

Whom do you call when you notice you have a Cracked Foundation?

 

Doc Christian

 

http://www,ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

 

www.ravens-nest.cc

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RESPECT SATAN

RESPECT SATAN

The teenage girl came out of the bathroom with a big smile on her face. Blood streamed down from both arms from the sharp end of shower curtain rod that she had used to ‘cut’ herself, once again. “Ain’t I pretty?” she announced disdainfully to her counselors.

Though family, friends, and professional counselors have sought nearly every means possible to keep this girl from ‘cutting’ herself; writing profanity, with cuts, on her thighs, she has defied every attempt to help her find peace in a world of self-inflicted violence.

My prediction, unless she allows the love of Christ to heal her, she won’t see her sixteenth birthday. From the spiritual event filled with the light of Christ at her baptism a few years ago, she has steadily chosen to seek the ‘dark’ things of this world. It is true, her parents are worthless and their ‘parent’ card should have never been allowed to be punched, and it has left her angry and searching for answers why she was abandoned, but, she is loved; she was taken in and given a good home. She was spoiled rotten and does live an affluent life-style from the blessings those people in her life provide for her; but she has chosen to dwell on those things she doesn’t have verses all the blessings she does possess. If she had been left on the street, forced into Foster homes, and forced to live ‘hand to mouth’, her choices of self-degradation and physical harm might hold a bit of logic; but, none of those things have happened to her. Her steady streams of lies and false accusations about events, even sexual abuse have altered her relationships with those trying to save her. There are many other events that sadden all, but, I’ll not detail them. The pertinent question: Why?

She, like many Pilgrims have failed to respect Satan. This may sound blasphemous and biblically incorrect; but, believe me, it is one of the consistent mistakes all Pilgrims make as they experience their lives spin out of control and crash and burn at the feet of Satan.

The Apostle Peter directs our attention to how a Pilgrim should conduct a relationship with Satan:

“Be self-controlled ( sober) and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. I Peter 5:8-9

All Pilgrims are enemies of Satan! Satan is God’s enemy. It might behoove all Pilgrims to be acutely cognizant that Satan desires to destroy our lives. His one mission is to leave us with a sense of failure and disappointment with who we are. If he can succeed, his ‘roaring’ and ‘prowling’ will become capture and eating us alive. Remember, God does not tempt, Satan tempts; but, he can’t devour unless we choose to fall before the ‘enticements’ and choose to sin. James 1:13-15

Now, back to the teenager’s story: when she chose to leave one home to move to another relative’s home, where all thought it would be more accommodating for her, present and in the future, she ran into the reality of life: she had to find a way to fit in with her peers and earn a new positon based upon who she was; and whom she wanted to become. She had to work her way past the ‘new girl’ in school. Evidently, she found this troubling and nearly insurmountable; she opted for those who welcome the ‘misfits’: Goths to start with. Take warning! Any Pilgrim parent who has a teenager that drifts into this disturbed group’s life-style, you are in for a nightmare. Its roots are in the Occult domain; next-door to Satan’s. Its focus is upon the ‘light’ one can find from darkness: it champions and nearly glorifies depression. The pain of emotional suffering, as a ‘collective’ group, empowers the relationship outcome. Their need for black, especially in dress, is a direct correlation to worship Satanic concepts. Its core value is derived from a separation from that which is normal. Seldom does a Goth fail to finally enter into the abyss of Hell’s beckoning: disfigure one’s self to ‘stand-out’ amongst Goth peers. Cutting one’s flesh to demonstrate the depth of suffering one is willing to endure gains ‘street crede’. Each cut is designed to inflict pain and suffering upon those whom they blame for the trauma in their lives. By cutting their own skin, often it ends up as a type of Goth ‘folk art’, provides them with a ‘sick’ type of psychological empowerment. The coup de grace arrives when the utter horror is seen by their loved ones as they are nearly powerless to prevent its intended outcomes.

Beware of those who want to pooh-hoo this fall from grace as a temporary ‘teenage-fad’, the teen seldom escapes with Black clothes spiritually un-burned. If they do make it out, its demonic imprint is only washed-out by the blood of Christ.

While the Heathens of this world fluctuates from dismissing the idea of evil, Satan and demonic worship and possession, or acknowledges Satan is responsible for every mistake and misdeed; “The Devil made me do it”; and is assigned a ‘playful’ place of spooks and hobgoblins freshly minted each Halloween, Pilgrims need to know Satan isn’t one to trifle with since his mission in your life is to break, steal, and destroy you.

Like any adversary, he needs to be respected. You should hate everything about him, but you should never disrespect him. If and when you do, it will be at your peril. How will he do this?

My opinion, he will catch you ‘cat-napping’: you only have one eye on your ‘spiritual fires’. For married couples, it may come from a shapely set of gams and the enchanting smell of strange perfume…or a ready hanky and the strong shoulder of ‘understanding’. It may arrive as a ‘life-ring’ in the midst of a storm you are certain you won’t survive. Perhaps, ‘Southern-comfort’ or some other exotic type of drug will dull the inexcusable failures of your perceived reality, whether they are lies or stone-cold truth.

Satan’s roar is just that; but, he is wily and a master illusionist. The sound can disrupt all in your life. Spiritual intentions run off into a ‘dead-end’. Staying connected to the King’s spiritual power reservoir: Holy Word, is sluffed off and your neglect drifts into many phases of your life’s journey: spouse, kids, job, etc.

It just takes a tiny slip that demonstrates your disappointment with God; and your evident discouragement, for the Devil to pounce. Even if you are 100% FDA inspected, he won’t take a ‘taste’; and if you are Christ’s favorite food: found to be 100% spiritually inspected, you will be too tough for Satan to eat.

Pilgrims, as long as you are alive, you will hear Satan’s roar. If you are dressed for the battles and the war, Satan, will move on to easier prey. How is this possible? Paraphrasing Paul, “You don’t take a knife to a gun fight.” Pilgrims must go to war wearing the proper armament to survive its bloody outcome. In Ephesians six, Paul tells us what to wear: a shield of Faith (should be of iron and your’s is Paper Mache); a helmet of Salvation (he delights in smashing your gourd-head each time you forget to filter Satan’s knowledge from God’s); a sword of the Spirit (and you show up with Darth Vader’s); loins girt with Truth (and you show up wearing a Jock Strap without a cup); a breastplate of Righteousness (your breastplate needs ‘Stop-Leak’); and feet shod with Peace (your warts and bunions demonstrate the tune of anger and malice you march to).. The teenage girl came to do battle with a Goth ‘peashooter’. Too many Pilgrims arrive without any spiritual arrows in their quiver for they compromised their accuracy by walking, not by faith but by sight (David used a Slingshot; you demand a tank battalion)

Kataaptidzo! Cart art tidzo (computer doesn’t make all of the correct Greek alphabet letters, so I improvised) is the word Peter used as a personal reflection of his own life, for it refers to something broken that is mended so it can be useful, again. Satan had had his way with Peter for he failed to be loyal to Jesus…three times; but, Jesus restored him and even gave him a greater ministry. The word means the same thing for a number of different usages: mend fishing nets; to set a broken bone, to find perfection amongst imperfection, and to move from little value to great value: i.e. a broken vase to a mended one that seems brand new. Pilgrim, what is it in your life that is broken because Satan has been messing in your life? You can’t find anything in this world that can mend it except the love of Christ. He holds the power to heal and make new. It is possible nothing you can do can change the outcome because it isn’t dependent upon what spiritual choices you choose; but, you can still discover healing…for yourself. It may be the best offer you will ever receive: when asked, forgive; give forgiveness where none is due.

Misery loves company! It is a ditty I have heard since I was a boy. Peter announces that all brethren are suffering for the faith. I guess that means we should all suffer for the same reason. Does it also mean if we aren’t suffering; we have become a slave to serve Satan while rejecting the idea of being a slave for Christ?

The teenage girl never knew her lot in life as a young Christian was to suffer. Do Pilgrims? My opinion, she never seriously considered Satan could harm her. She never entertained the idea she would cower at the first sign of a test for why she chose Jesus as her savior: her peer review was on parade and the self-image reflection she saw was too ugly in the light of what godless people considered beautiful; ergo, she doffed her ‘Robe of Righteousness’ and fled spiritually naked into the promised ‘feel-good’ darkness.

Pilgrim, how many times, how often have you emulated this biblically immature girl? One of the blessing of old age is I have lost much of my memory about by earlier failures. My problem, each Sunday the preacher trots them out, afresh, as he preaches a message from God’s word, and I stagger out of worship reeling as if I’ve been hit with a ten pound spiritual sledgehammer (by the way, this is how I measure the effectiveness of the message…how about you?)

The teenage girl, like Esau, traded her inherited birthright for a pot of porridge. I fear those who are trying to rescue her are muddled in a haze of mystic heathenism mixed with a dash of biblical salt (it makes the stinking stuff go down easier), and all biblical absolutes are being avoided at all cost so not to upset her too much. When the experiment fails, the girl will spend the rest of her life listening to the roar.

One more thing: Pilgrim women, never forget…Satan wants you fat! Why? God gave men an hour-glass shaped mind.

Pilgrims, I urge you to hate Satan as much as God and I do. I implore you to Respect him as much as I do.

Doc Christian

http://www.ogradypublishingcompany.com/blog/wp-login.php

www.ravens-nest.cc 

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A NEW APPRECIATION FOR GOD

A NEW APPRECIATION FOR GOD

It has been said: confession is good for the soul. I need to confess. After many years of wrangling, excuses, denial, and being obtuse about my need to get Hearing Aids, I finally admitted I didn’t hear well, and was fitted for them, recently.

From the time those huge guns were shot off from our Repair ship, Hector, and I was topside next to the Navigator and the Captain of the ship (I was the Navigator’s Recorder) my right ear was blown apart. My hearing suffered a great loss and over time, it just grew worse.

I can’t speak for other men, but, my stubborn refusal to even entertain the idea of wearing Hearing Aids was in step with the concession I refused to move up to the Senior Golf Tees until I was seventy-three. I’ll be seventy-five in July; I need to find more forward tees; they don’t exist. Well, not yet, but you get the drift. It is a struggle to acknowledge the boy is rapidly dying and there isn’t anything I can do about it. The ‘old man’ living in my house is an interloper and an unwanted guest.

Pilgrims, I can take comfort from the declaration Jesus made to his disciples: …”Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In my case, I had seen but hadn’t heard. With my new hearing I have discovered a world filled with a new appreciation for my Lord. The small creek that runs along the West side of our property makes a delightful gurgling sound when fresh rains fill it. The different bird calls for mates in early Spring give me a sense of excitement as I can’t deny the genius of a Creator that included bird nest instructions. I have a sense of pride about the beautiful red Tulips blooming and adding a dash of color to our rapidly budding flora and it is as if God is speaking and I’m listening. When my wife and I trudge up our long hill each morning for our mile and half walk, I can hear her footsteps and the crunch of leaves or small twigs on the paved road, and still hear clearly her words as we converse to while away the time. We are better ‘buddies’ and companions and we spend more time together watching T.V. for I can hear at the same level she can and we cuddle , hug and kiss more often

My life is filled with a bevy of surprises: I can hear my own footsteps; I can discern faint rain drops on our roof; or the sudden change in wind velocity. I didn’t realize how loud the Microwave door is or the gentle shutting of a Kitchen cabinet door. I didn’t know how loud chewing one’s food is or passing gas can be. I whistle Gospel songs all the time and I’m not sure how well I really can whistle for the sound is new and quite different.

Pilgrims, there are many things I don’t like about my improved hearing: I don’t like the noise inside the car when traveling and it competes with the radio or how it competes with my cell phone. I have played with the same Ping, left-handed putter for over forty years and I dislike the ‘clack’ sound I hear when I miss the ‘sweet-spot’. I hate the sound of metal on meatal when I hit my driver. I faintly recall the sweet sound my Persimmon-wood Driver once made.  I lost my excuse for not listening to my wife when she is conjuring up her ‘honey-due’ list.

Our church music is often too loud; but, now I hear every word our preacher says. My worship experience has been enhanced. I hear the rustle of the pages of bibles being turned, and it does my old heart good to know Christians are still a little hungry for the truth.

My new world has given me pause: what if all people of this nation were fitted with aids that would vastly improve their ability to hear God’s call for mankind to love rather than hate. If one’s ability to hear determined one’s attitude concerning God’s unmerited favor and blessings, might it turn a nation’s heart back to God. Might we seek power from a kneeling positon as we offer up prayers of thanks for a God of ‘second-chances’, and find our land healed of sin and corruption.

I have sought to listen to God’s voice more often. As I look out over the forest of freshly minted green from my screened in back porch, my improved hearing calls me to a fresh approach about my relationship with my heavenly Father. I hear the slight movements of small creatures in close proximity, and it settles my heart that a Creator has forgotten none as he continues to provide care and nurturing with each passing winter. How he must delight at the sight of new yearlings with white tails and white spots that will fade with maturity…as I do, when they come each morning to feed off the corn we put out for them to eat.

If this sounds like a commercial for Pilgrims to get hearing aids, perhaps, it is so. I realize now that I labored with the wrong motives seeking improper ends. My vanity limited the spiritual depth my relationship with God might reach, because I had lost the ability to fully appreciate the panoply of his beneficence. Until I was able to clearly hear his Universe in action, I was unable to plumb the deepest recesses of God’s love for all that he created.

Doc Christian

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www.ravens-nest.cc

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OH BABYLON! HOW FAR YOU HAVE FALLEN (MOTHER’S DAY)

OH BABYLON! HOW FAR YOU’VE FALLEN

(MOTHER’S DAY)

It seems nearly every day I wake up I pinch myself to make sure I’m not some ‘Alien’ from a distant planet. “Beam me up,” is my first thought when I’m forced to handle thl reality of what America has become since God the Creator and his Holy Word has been banished from nearly all public arenas of this once ‘great’ Biblical Nation.

It is a land filled with irony that defies any citizen’s ability to use just a modicum of intellectual analysis. Adrian Peterson is our Nation’s ‘Pariah’ because he used a switch to punish his young son (my mother’s favorite tool was a ‘Fly Swatter’), and a Black Momma becomes a National Hero in Baltimore because she boxed the head off of her Sweatshirt/hoody (hello NBA stars) teenage son who chose to become part of the demise of that Ghetto City, on National T.V. as she dragged him home to keep him from ending up in jail. MOTHER OF THE YEAR! This is what many media pundits are calling her. ‘It’s about damn time some momma did that’ is the collective sentiment pronounced for the listeners to digest. Where were the adult men ‘boxing” the heads off of their sons to keep them out of jail? Oh yeah, they have been missing since birth.

The nearly twenty times arrested ‘Criminal’, Freddie Gray, who was the new ‘Poster-boy’…thug another American City was looted and burned to protest our brutal police’s \handling of an arrest of this punk, is another chilling example of what is biblically and socially wrong with our Socialist/Atheist agenda running amuck in our land. Socialist, Democrat ‘strongholds’, with its agenda of ‘Feminist Social Justice’ fomenting and fermenting predacious fruit none can eat or swallow and live; and our Nation’s love affair with the Feminist agenda coughs up another victim strangled in  its own Godless juices.

Rooted on by Atheists Feminist skanky women who are bedded by numerous ‘sperm donors’ and innocent boys are bred for future membership in Gang-bangers clubs that are certain to fill more prisons, increase danger for our police to try and maintain peace and safety for a black society (good luck with that), and increase a financial burden on beleaguered Tax Payers, while our ignorant, greedy, political powerbrokers ‘fiddle’ why America burns, all holler, “We need a conversation about Race.”

We don’t need a conversation about Race; we need an entire black society to have a conversation about their race. In Baltimore, ninety plus percent of all crime is ‘black on black’! Are you kidding me, a small percentage…it is growing larger as I write, are holding the vast majority as hostages to the Uncle Tom theory. If Martin Luther king rose from the dead, today, his message would be maligned and he would be called an ‘Uncle Tom’. Bill Cosby is because he calls for “Personal Responsibility’ and he doesn’t blame ‘Whitey’. He has proven he has ‘clay feet’; but it, doesn’t negate the truth of his message.

The ‘Hip Hop’ Baltimore Mayor has proven she is unfit to govern; for she has refused to lead her people and city away from violence. Like the mealy-mouthed ‘so called’ preachers the media ‘trots’ out: Sharpton is the worst, nearly all fail to use the bible as a foundation for instruction, rebuking, and training. The Preacher that had his nearly newly minted housing project torched, refused to condemn the criminals. He refused to call for irresponsible parents to ‘parent’ their sons, or to publicly hold them accountable for this disaster in Baltimore. If this event can’t move them to openly condemn thugs and parental failure, what will it take?

The Baltimore Mom who has inadvertently become a ‘hero’, isn’t mine. While the censoring media bleeped out her F-bombs and her nigger phrases, they neglected to note she is part of the problem: she has too many kids by different men who aren’t called ‘Dad’. She is the Poster Girl for the Feminist agenda outcomes.

Our President chooses words to add gasoline to the fire; and he fails to provide a National Platform to call a black society to arms…not against our Police, but against anyone of color who refuses to take responsibility for their actions and choices for one’s life. Black men can’t find decent jobs because by the time they are an adult, they have a criminal record so long no sane person would hire them to work for their company. They bought into the false narrative about being an Uncle Tom: showing the world you are educated, have a moral compass, and refuse to become a criminal). When I was teaching in an Black ghetto high school in Oklahoma City in 1969, the black students were debating that term, then. Now, it still is the linchpin word that keeps black boys from finding success.

We now know that in the past five years as Pilgrims worked forty-plus hours to feed and clothe their families, this hard earned pay was overly taxed and ONE POINT SIX BILLION DOLLARS was sent to Baltimore to end poverty. Today, is seems none of the city’s elected officials can tell you where the money was spent…except for Democrat political purposes. Much of it was supposed to be for enhanced education. I don’t think that plan has worked very well: sixty-five percent drop out of high school. Evidently, the teachers don’t have much influence upon the students…perhaps the Baseball coaches because the teenage ‘darlings’ sure know how to throw large pieces of Concrete blocks at Police and they have learned to gather well, as they used plastic barrels to put the pieces in so they could try to kill the police. Do you think anyone will be charged with ‘Attempted Murder’? While the teachers evidently possess zilch influence upon the hooligans, the Gang Bangers do hold a great amount of influence: they stood in front of black owned businesses, to keep them from being looted and burned, but, pointed in the direction of Asian, Muslim, and White owned ones so they could maximize their burning and looting fun: 200 businesses were burned to the ground. Their esteemed Mayor ordered the police to back off and not confront the thugs. I’m thinking her future Urban Renewal program has just hit a large ‘pot-hole’ for few if any businesses will choose to stay in business in those neighborhoods. When will this carnage and mayhem cease? When the preachers, teachers, politicians and adults in the black communities begin to place consequences upon their promiscuous teen girls who don’t feel any shame for their licentious choices? When the idea of sin, shame, and humiliation for one’s self and family becomes an important part of how one finds success. When boys are told they are cowards and are directly responsible for the sorry plight the black society faces because they consider all girls…bitches and hos; and each impregnated girl is like the Old West ‘gunfighter’ putting another ‘notch’ in his belt, rather than future wives and mothers of their children. When entire neighborhoods welcome the police and help them put criminals in prison so they can experience safe neighborhoods to live, work and play in. When black men begin to stop congratulating young studs for getting ‘strange’ young Nooky, and begin to mentor them to learn the value of self-discipline and to seek to find wisdom (the fear of a God is the beginning of wisdom), needful changes will come.

Sharpton and his ‘band of brothers clergy’ might consider Pauls’ words to Timothy: “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” I Tim. 5:8 Evidently, God doesn’t think it “takes a Village to raise a child”; just a man and a woman exchanging wedding vows till death do us part. They might hone up on Pauls’ warning: “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man woman) commits are outside his/her body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. I Co. 6:18-19 Nearly seventy percent of children born in black communities are sans of a marriage.

As a young white teacher in a ghetto black high school in 1969, black boys had a legitimate cry of racism and ‘the man’ not allowing them a decent bite of the Apple to find success. America was a bigoted Nation; but, today, the failure of the Black society is self-imposed. When opportunity was offered, they chose to listen to wrong voices that still earn a living off the refuse found in our Black society where ‘Victimhood’’ is championed, rather than ‘tough love’ that requires personal accountability and is hailed as a ‘sure-fire’ way out of the drug-laden morass. When the Al Sharptons’ of their world are rejected and spurned as ‘bad medicine’, then and only then will our major black cities stop being looted and burned because some thug criminal loses his life…for whatever reason. All black people need to pray that our police won’t just decide to permanently have ‘Blue flu’ and remove the protective shield they give for black people despite a large percentage of them refusing to provide any assistance to arrest and imprison the vicious animals who prey and devour any decent and honest folk who are caught in this intolerable life…with little chance to escape.

Our Atheists leaders in America have discovered, too late, it seems… that sin choices have consequences. In nearly any Public school system in America upwards to sixty percent of its students are on Free Breakfast and Lunch programs at the Tax Payers expense. Our politicians ignored God’s word: “If a man will not work, he should not eat.” II Thes.3:10 Trillions of dollars have been spent to educate, clothe and provide a ‘hand-up’ for ‘less fortunate’ people, especially people of color, six decades later, things are worse. “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.” Proverbs 12:14  Paul writes: “…rulers hold no terror for those who do right; but, for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from the fear of authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you, for he is God’s servant to do you good.  But, if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant and agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”  Romans 13:3-4

The Black community in Baltimore isn’t concerned about the terrible parenting of Freddie for they smell money: lawyers and law suit. Why hasn’t anyone asked his ‘Preening’, weepy father how he allowed his son to become a Career Criminal? Why hasn’t the Mayor blamed this obvious parenting failure as the main reason why Baltimore burned? The fact that his son, like an evil person, preyed upon the black neighborhood as a Thug, Gang-banger, Drug dealer, and should have been locked up as a Ten to Twenty Time Loser…for life, instead of out on the streets. “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24 “He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored.” 13:18 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.”13:1  “A wise son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother.” 10:1

Our Atheist, Feminist led political, social system has rejected the Creator and his book of instructions: especially the book of Proverbs, for a guide to Godly Parenting; and America’s sons, especially black ones, have been sent to ‘Sensitivity Training’ and ‘Time-out”, so they will be good Feminist ‘brain washed’ young men who have been raised by whorish behaving women and worthless ‘sperm donor’ men who abdicate parental responsibility as the cure-all for what ails the newly defined Family, meanwhile, more cities will soon be burned as rage and anger for failure ravages the innocent.

It is a tragedy when anyone loses his life; but, how many ruined lives would Pilgrims imagine, possibly even deaths from drugs, could Freddie be held accountable for? Might it be hundreds over the past decade? How many elderly black folk, who won’t dare venture out for a common errand, stay locked up with four or five different types of locks and chains on their doors; always stay away from open windows, and lose sleep from hearing gun shots, are living as captives to the black criminals…and evidently, are being protected by their ‘elected officials’, would a Pilgrim find during a visit to Baltimore’s ghetto neighborhoods?

This ‘Socialist’ Government system gone awry isn’t unique to Baltimore. This foolish system is in place in nearly every major city in America. Our jurisprudent system is being held hostage by a new type of Racism that hasn’t any direct correlation to the White Man. It is clear the system is designed to enrich a few black people; and impoverish the majority. Politics matters; ‘Black lives’ don’t matter. Police misconduct matters because it provides “Political Capital’ to allow this failed ‘Bottom-up’ economic, education, and judicial systems to thrive.

Lest some Pilgrims get confused about the “Mother of the Year’ credentials God desires to see manifest in a Mother, I want to direct your attention to Proverbs 31:10 ff. I won’t quote it; but I’ll encourage all to read it several times. Notice, you won’t see any F-bombs, or other harsh language. The mother nurtures her children; her husband disciplines her children. He loves her; she respects him. What a novel idea, huh?

Doc Christian

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www.ravens-nest.cc

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YO! PREACHER!

YO! PREACHER!

Few of the Pilgrims actually comment on my blog; or contact me. One of my Pilgrims recently sent a message and told me how much she appreciated a particular post. I told her my blog had grown to 4,000 Pilgrims in the past four years. She was impressed. I told her this: if all of the Pilgrims recommended a new member each time I posted an article: about 48 times a year, in a year’s time my blog would have a 1,000,000 members. I later did the math and discovered it would only take seven months.

At first blush, my Pilgrims may think my main motive for writing this article is to grow the blog. While I can’t deny this is part of the intended outcome, it isn’t the main reason.

“…How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” The Apostle Paul wrote this in Romans 10:15 In a Pilgrim’s heart of hearts, I can imagine they are a number of times you have secretly wanted to ‘Preach a message’ someone you know desperately needs to hear, but, you’re not a ‘preacher’, nor do you believe you are eminently qualified, so the biblical message gets lost in the wind.

Every survey since Adam and Eve conveys the same message about people being asked to speak in public: they’d rather be thrown in a den of snakes…well, almost. …”And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” Romans 10:14-15 Paul’s charge to Timothy: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke, and encourage—with great patience and careful instructions.” II Timothy 4:2

Since few Pilgrims will actually preach in public or write in public about the risen, glorified savior, Jesus Christ, this doesn’t mean you can’t be a very important part of Doc Christian’s blog ministry. James declares: “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 Pilgrim, you can become a ‘Prayer-warrior’ for my blog. Daily prayers for its ability to biblically challenge each Pilgrim and any reader to draw nigh to Jesus will enhance the King’s influence on earth…and diminish Satan’s.

Why does anyone belong to my blog? My perceptions are that they like the way I think, the way I handle scripture, and the way I do my best to make it come alive in our daily life. Perhaps, they read it to determine how far, in the opposite direction, they want to go; they recommend my blog to others of the same spiritual kith and kin. Maybe, they read it so they can delight in searching for a faux paus they can share with cronies at work or church to demonstrate my stupidity; they may think my interpretation of scripture is made out of ‘whole cloth’ rather than from the divine providence of the Holy Spirit; they may mistakenly think I’m a Republican rather than a Conservative Biblical man (there is a great difference in the two). Just fill in the blank.

I’m working on Baseball’s Hall of Fame statistics here, for, if you like four out of ten blog articles, that puts any batter into the Hall of Fame with a four-hundred average. He would be hailed and feted as a ‘once in a life-time’ player. If you like four out of ten articles I post, will you take the time to share some of my biblical challenge…four times a year, with people at your church, at your work, in your neighborhood, with your Social Network?

Each referral allows you to ‘preach’ a message; and, you can do it in the privacy of your home, in your underwear. How convenient and cool is that?

Since no one can predict what my next article will be about, not even I, until the Lord reveals it to me, you will always be able to know that your message to others may have been the one biblical connect that person needed desperately to be a bold witness; to choose the ‘hard’ thing; to demonstrate courage when you want to flee; to remain faithful when it is so easy to be unfaithful; keep quiet when you want to shout; to shout when others want you to be quiet; to love when hate needs to triumph; to be a cool cup of water in Jesus’ name for someone you will never meet; to acknowledge you have been given the ‘Great Commission’ as much as Billy Graham or me; and have been called to forgive when one asks for forgiveness. Who knows, your message may reach China, Africa, Europe, Asia. After all, Google reaches to the ends of the earth.

All things are possible with God’s help. Have you discovered how God works in our lives? It emulates his Evangelism plan: one man tells another; one woman tells another. If the plan fails, God doesn’t have a ‘Plan B’. My goal to grow the blog to a 1,000,000 Pilgrims doesn’t either.

Now Pilgrims, each week or each month or four times a year, you can tell everyone you know or have contact with: YO! I’M A PREACHER.

You can use the Comments Section to tell other Pilgrims how many Pilgrims you have recruited. This knowledge might encourage others to help old Doc reach the stated goal.

Doc Christian

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WHEN JESUS IS FOUR DAYS LATE, HE’S STILL ON TIME

WHEN JESUS IS FOUR DAYS LATE, HE’S STILL ON TIME

Our preacher had a ‘cracker-jack’ sermon on Resurrection Sunday. He used the eleventh chapter of John to ask the listener to ask the question: if the resurrection did happen, how did it change everything in your life? His premise was that the resurrection changed everything.

As I sat listening to his prepared thoughts, I found myself in the midst of Mary and Martha’s mourning. Four days earlier Jesus had been notified his great friend, Lazarus, was very ill and on ‘death’s door’. He was busy with other ministry needs and didn’t respond immediately to Lazarus and his sisters’ call for help. Their personal plea came from a spiritual experience that Jesus had performed many miracles for complete strangers; why not his friend?

My experience in ministry dealing with family deaths has taught me many things; many hard things, as funerals seem to bring out the Green-eyed monster as the spoils are in the waiting for those left behind; or personal incriminations of various kinds break out amongst those in attendance. Seeking to blame other for their perceptions, often not valid, drive people to say and do things untoward to dull the pain of regrets and self-inflicted guilt; often well deserved.

It wasn’t any different with Mary and Martha because Jesus was accosted, in a genteel manner, about his apparent indifferent attitude concerning their brother’s health and their personal relationships as ‘friends…not mere acquaintances. Martha: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” My translation: Jesus, we sent for you four days ago; why didn’t you come when we needed you. Lazarus is dead, I thought you loved him…loved us.

My article’s title is from a tremendous Gospel song: Four Days Late. The lyrics teach a biblical truth: When Jesus is four days late, he’s still on time.

Pilgrims, how often has that biblical principle struck a chord in your life? Jesus, I’m just a week away from the Food Stamp line, I need this job. Lord, I’ve done everything I know how to do, please don’t let him walk out the door. Jesus, her pain is so awful, and she is wasting away, she is begging me to give her relief. Jesus, death would be better; at least I’d find some way to finally have closure. I can’t cry any more tears over my prodigal son/daughter. Lord, how could she humiliate me? Now, the whole world will know what a miserable failure I’m.

Our sack cloth and ashes heaps up higher with each prayer left unanswered to our satisfaction. Pilgrims, do we really mean, Lord, how could you make me sign up for Food Stamps? How many jobs will I not get? Lord, why couldn’t you make him love me? Jesus, she deserves better than this ugly end…I deserve better. Jesus, you promised in your word I’d win the spiritual war if I taught your bible to my children. Why am I losing? Lord, why did you let her humiliate me? Will I fail at everything? Can’t you let me win at something?

My least favorite scriptures in the bible come from John 16:33 and James 1:2. The former declares my life will be filled with troubles; the latter enjoins me to rejoice when I’m in the  midst of those troubles. I’m like the military recruit that discovers the Recruiting Sergeant is one of the world’s great liars as his picture of what my duty will be verses reality are as far apart as the Sun and the earth: ninety-three millions miles.

Perhaps, a salient point should be made: we believe in the resurrection, why hasn’t everything changed in our lives? When we find ourselves living in a hellish retrospective prism, and we are forced to stop the self-delusions, might we gain clarity and announce: I lost my job; but when I met Excellence on my life’s long journey, I sought Mediocre so I might tarry with Pleasure more often. I ignored the ‘unequally yoked’ warning and married the ‘man of my dreams’ though I knew he was jealous, hot tempered, liked to party too much, and only attended church for public purposes. I now regret I failed to walk my talk in so many little, and I thought insignificant ways, for my children. I wandered away; lost myself, and none of us are safe. Failure was just ‘failure’; I never thought it might possess golden apples in a setting of silver marked: Opportunity.

While Mary and Martha stewed and worried about the tardy appearance of Jesus, he never gave it a second thought. Why? “I’m the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

As I toddle on into old age, it becomes increasingly apparent that part of God’s punishment for choosing a talking Snake’s version of what God’s plan for fellowship with mankind really contained certainly included physical pain. The movie: On Golden Pond glamourized a married couple’s suicide-pact, and it struck an emotional chord with millions of elderly people as the ‘best way out’ of a deplorable situation. It was easily discerned the couple were Atheist and God didn’t have a part of their long married life. If one holds this belief, ‘worm-food’ of any kind is just part of the demise and the ‘food chain’ that leads to ones’ end of life. Pilgrims are left to weigh the ‘greater-good’ for each day of life allows a Pilgrim to potentially change a life forever. It might be a family member, a doctor or nurse, a stranger on the same hospital floor or some hospice. It might be the neighbor. Pain seldom leaves one with any dignity; but, acknowledging that one is grateful for each previous breath from the hand of God can be an eternal witness for others left behind. Can any Pilgrim deny the Creator’s most stupendous evidence of creative work and His desire for fellowship with us is at birth and death? The former leaves all mankind is awe of a new creation different than any other human ever created; the latter forces all humans to  grapple with the question and the Final answer about one’s purpose for having life.

 

Death often finds people choose to demonstrate hypocrisy about one’s belief in a creating God: I had a High School buddy suffer a paralyzing stroke and he lived in a physical world he hated for four years. My wife and I tried to witness to him about he’s need to accept Christ. He declared he was an Atheist. His daughter sought to keep me from correspondence or talking to him via the phone (she was a more devout Atheist). Sadly, when he died, she called to tell me he listed me as one of his Pallbearers. He funeral service was held at the Methodist Church where his parents were members

The stench of your sins has reached to the Heavens (I think they must all be wearing ‘clothespins’ on their noses).Our scripture reinforces this truth: Lord, he’s been dead four days. Pilgrims, do we not recognize the outcome of this truth? Death begins to decompose a body with the first shovel of dirt; sin begins to putrefy our life the second it enters.

Mankind spends an enormous amount of time processing death, though seldom will anyone admit it. Evidently, by the time one reaches the age of twenty-one, they are convinced nothing can change their final resting place. They have fouled up their life with so much ‘stinking-thinking’ sinful choices the world swamped them with they are convinced  that nothing can redeem them from their journey traveling  on a One-way street going the wrong way…to Hell for less than five percent of people accept Christ after the age of twenty-one.

Why was Lazarus raised from the dead? Duh, you say, because Jesus performed a miracle. Not true! He was raised from the dead because he was connected to Jesus. He could answer Jesus’ question: Who do men say that I am? Peter said it best: You are the Son of God. He believed Jesus was God!

Pilgrims are interested in the ‘Good News’…praise the Lord! Pilgrims believe in the resurrection. Jesus changed everything! Why don’t you live that way?

Doc Christian

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www.ravens-nest.cc

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KILLING JESUS (IS IT I?)

KILLING JESUS (IS IT I?)

After wasting three hours watching O’Rielly’s adaptation of his Best Selling book and being left with the feeling of frustrated anger, for how inept they handled ‘just the history’ telling part of the life and death of Jesus, I thought I’d write something appropriate for the celebration of Easter.

I have read some of O’Rielly’s other ‘killing’ books and enjoyed them. I chose not to read the ‘Killing Jesus’ book because I knew if Jesus was presented to the world as just a man, it wouldn’t be worth reading nor my time: I was correct!

Pilgrims… don’t waste your money on the book. There isn’t an iota in the book that Luke and the Apostles didn’t write about. In some cases, they presented a false narrative of the actual history recorded in the Bible: Jesus’ baptism was done in public where many people witnessed it.

From the time he was twelve, his parents thought he was lost, and he was found teaching the Scribes and wise men of the faith in the Temple, he knew he was God’s son sent on a mission.

Like the majority of this world, Jesus was presented as one muddled about his purpose. He was presented as one who had a spiritual epiphany others persuaded him to acknowledge. He was just what the ‘Jesus Seminar’ religious ‘hacks’ of yesterday concluded he was: fully man…not Divine. But, what would one expect from a man of little biblical knowledge: Catholics seldom read the bible; and he believes in Karma. A Christian finds Karma an anathema for it is founded in Mystic Eastern Religions that deny the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul lamented the truth that if Jesus isn’t crucified and glorified we Pilgrims are most miserable amongst men.

All people are ignorant of history if they accept the writings of the early Fathers, the prophets and the slave redeemers of the Old Testament, but reject the easier provable writings of the New Testament about Jesus Christ, God’s only son.

Only a sinful mankind would commence a devoted period of time to holy living and seeking a way to grow closer to the Creator by indulging in a week of Sodomite-like behavior: known as the Lent season. Only flawed and corrupt religious leaders would lend their ‘blessing’ to such a hedonistic display of man’s worst choices with the celebration of Easter on the horizon.

Pilgrims, Jesus didn’t die on a cross so we might choose when we will live holy, he died so we might seek to live holy…every minute we are conscious. Holiness isn’t a cloak we put on and take off to please our whims; it is a ‘Holy Grail’ journey we desperately want to go on. It is an adventure Pilgrims, if missed, would count their life as incomplete.

Scripture’s modal is to prune us, chastise us, and discipline us so we might be properly prepared to truly celebrate Easter. Unless God’s wrath is spent upon us we remain unfit to be bathed in the grace of his love. It is always Friday evening for the unbeliever. The historical record of a man being crucified means nothing amongst thousands of other crucified Pilgrims that lined the Appian Way into Rome’s Emperor’s palace, and even provided the night light for his ‘Garden Parties’ as they became torches, unless there is a ‘Sunday Morning’.

If a Pilgrim is mesmerized by the ‘Killing of Jesus’, then shift your focus to the Savior’s last night on earth: In the Upper-room he settled a quarrel amongst his disciples about ‘Chief Seats’ in his kingdom by washing their feet; he announced his ‘traitor’ dipped his hand in the Sop with him; and he created a panic of hubris as each disciple ask the question: Is it I?

Pilgrims, the answer is ‘yes’.

Our once great biblical nation, United States of America, used to nearly ‘shut-down’ at Easter time as it sought to celebrate the seminal event marked A.D. on the world’s calendar; but, today, it treats it as if it is still ‘Friday evening’.

Jesus’s death (killing) wasn’t a significant event! His torture wasn’t especially more harsh than the punishment of many others. His physical brutality causes Pilgrims to weep; but, it wasn’t especially important…except it fulfilled prophecy: Isaiah fifty-three. Fulfilling biblical prophecy is a ‘good thing’; but if that was all it accomplished, from the writings of the Old Testament, God would be please; the world would still be in darkness

Hollywood and others focus upon the Cross, as they subtly produce a virulent form of Subliminal Seduction directed by Satan and produced by Atheists or misguided people on a spiritual journey void of the declaration: “I’m the way the truth and the light. No man comes to the Father except through me.”

Pilgrims should celebrate Easter because it was Friday, and Sunday morning came. The empty tomb is the only reason to rejoice! The ‘Killing of Jesus’ has been a historical record for thousands of years, any ‘telling of his story’ void of the empty tomb is an abomination for it strips the purpose for a Creator’s love.

Doc Christian

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THE SERVER

THE SERVER

(I want all Pilgrims to know I’m deliberately mixing politics and biblical truth)

A year ago I was foolish enough to be ‘sucker-punched’ by an evil internet band of ‘cut-throats’ that call and warn you about impending doom for your computer. After allowing them to ‘help’ you they hold your computer hostage until you pay a ransom. I didn’t pay…them; but I did pay to have my computer copied, cleaned, and restored. It cost me more than the ransom; I slept better! If anyone calls about Microsoft and Windows, tell them you will strangle them if they ever call again! I would attend a public hanging to celebrate our government finding a way to capture and punish these miscreants. On second thought, turn the other cheek: Paul instructs Pilgrims to ‘pour coals’ upon an enemy’s head: kindness Romans 12:9ff and (Proverbs 25:22). I’d prefer these godless people be forced to listen to God’s bible’s message about Satan, his lies, and certain ‘fires of Hell’ for those who reject the Creator.

It seems our world possesses a great deal of confusion about the very concept of a Server. I admit it does carry many shades, hews, colors and dimensions concerning its utility and purpose. For thousands of years a Server was thought to be anyone weak enough to be forced to do ‘manual Labor’ to enrich another’s life. Slavery enriched the powerful…whether they were African Kings, Babylon rulers, and entire Nation: Israel by the Egyptians, White Slavers, Indentured slaves who worked to win their freedom, or a class of people who choose sloth and remain dependent upon the welfare of others because they rejected the offering of education.

Washington is filled with elected officials who claim they are Servers; yet an entire nation’s people classify the large majority of them as useless as teats on a Bore hog. A multi-cultured faction protests the use of a football team’s Indian name, but nary is a lament heard about the collective corrupt use of our country’s first President’s name. If I were of Indian blood, I protest the use of the word: Washington, rather than ‘Redskins’.

Before a Server was invented, ‘missing minutes’ on a tape recorder called into question a  President’s veracity, and led to a Liberal/and Conservative inquisition that left a President and his legacy in tatters and he was forced to resign.

At a different time in our country’s history, a ‘different’ type of Server was discovered to be active in the White House. Our President conducted Foreign affairs while seated. Though it caused an environmental issue and Al Gore never raised a peep: smoke rings; instead of being forced to resign, he was celebrated on ‘late-night’ T.V., and invited to play his ‘other’ instrument for the bacchanals.

The I.R.S.’s Lois (not Superman’s squeeze) introduced another type of Server into our country’s lexicon and because (my opinion) her shenanigans will lead to the White House’s ‘top-dog’, it has been lost in a maze of lies none probably will ever sort out.

“At this point, what difference does it really make?” is a personification of why the Democrats should lose the 2016 election; but probably won’t, as Hillary’s inability to conduct her duties to protect our Civil servants from the Jihadists manifest the undeniable truth she doesn’t possess a hem as pure as that of Caesar’s wife, Hillary Clinton, has suddenly discovered her Server will soon be held for ransom: Presidential election of 2016. This Democrat purported paragon of virtue has managed to even arouse the wrath of our benighted left-leaning media for her major faux paus concerning her failure to adhere to the law and expected protocol of high-ranking political appointees concerning their Government verses Personal E-mails. Personal opinion, she is either a ‘dingbat’ that is too stupid and clueless to be our next President; or she is too dishonest to be our President. Either way, she isn’t fit to be President.

My opinion, the 2016 election will ‘show-case’ how far our once biblical nation has fallen from an ‘attitude of gratitude’ for God’s blessings to a nation that mocks his benevolence by how its citizens reward those who desire to live the Bible’s principles at the Voting booth. If Hillary wins, all doubt will be removed about God’s efficacy in America’s life for the idea of integrity and veracity will be put to bed…forever.

Pilgrims, contrast the definition of a Geek-Tech Server and its potential deliverable outcomes verses God’s. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” Mk. 10:45 In Mark eight Jesus fed thousands with just seven loaves of bread and a few fish for he had compassion upon the large crowd that followed him to listen to his teaching. His willingness to break cultural boundaries between men and women; plus, race and creed and religion, changed an entire village for the Samaritans when the woman from the well returned to tell about her encounter with Jesus. His parable about the ‘Good Samaritan’ taught the world to reject color of skin, ethnicity, regardless of religious conviction, and seek to meet other peoples’ needs in his name. Lk. 10:1ff On the night before the Cross, he washed his disciples feet to quell a dispute and demonstrate to them how they were to conduct their ministry after he had ascended to Heaven. Jh. 13:1-ff

Since I have had the horrible experience of paying to have my messages retrieved from the Server (hard-drive), where all messages live and never die as long as the server can be accessed, I know the next ‘wanna-be’ president’s server contains messages that she doesn’t want the world to read; if not, why hasn’t she just turned over her server to the proper authorities?

Pilgrims, the other type of Server never loses a message either. All sins are known…past, present, and future. While the rancor and disputes will probably endure about the Clinton’s server until Christ returns, Pilgrims need not concern themselves about the messages known by the one and only true Server: Jesus Christ, for he treats us as if he hadn’t ever received our messages of sin. He has spiritually wiped clean the sinful messages! WHAT A SERVER!

Doc Christian

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