Thursday, December 31, 2009

Things Just Get Curious'r 'n Curious'r

Yesterday I sent an e-mail to an old friend (of 63+ years) and was startled with his reply. He sent a link ...Dies Domini...which is a group of (many) former SDA's who now embrace the Only, Holy, Roman Catholic Church.
Their raison d'etre (reason for being) is to aid Catholics in 1) their understanding of Adventists, and 2) to enable Catholics to better defend their faith. Good idea...actually. Adventists could adapt the idea to be better informed about themselves in order to better defend their faith.
We had a Catholic neighbor in Massachussetts who was, and is, a wonderful person...emphasis, person. She lived one house beyond our Adventist neighbor whom, I swear, didn't speak ten words to us in the year that we lived there. There has to be a lesson here somewhere. Right about here I should probably say something like, "...some of my best friends are Catholic, Jews, Blacks..." Isn't that the expected (patronizing) line?
Of the few Adventists who go to heaven there will be none who are critical, judgmental, self righteous, or smug in their possesion of truth. Said another way, those who believe they possess the truth will be left waiting at the gate while those who are possessed by the Truth will go in. There are many things that deserve to be scrutinized in all churches...but sincere believers are not one of them.
If Adventists want to better understand why Catholics believe as they do here is a (partial) list of suggested reading: 1. All Sixty Canons of the Council of Laodicea. 2. A Converts Catechism to Catholicism. 3. The Catholic Catechism (2nd edition). 4. Dignities and Duties of the Priest by Fr. Alphonsis Liguori. 5. John/James Cardinal Gibbons (in original as pdf). 6. Dies Domini 1998 John Paul II (actually written by now Benedict XVI). All of this is available online.
(You might also read Caritas in Veritate [Charity in Truth]). Benedict gave a white leather-bound copy of this to presidents Obama and Medvedev.
It is true that one does not need to study error in order to know the truth. It is also true that one should study the truth in order to know what is true.
Go figure!
Blessings for a new year. e.c.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Call for Prayer Warriors

Some time ago I volunteered to become a Prayer Warrior for 3ABN. Every week I receive long, really long, lists of requests for healing of all kinds: cancer, addiction, strokes, heart disease, mental disease, needing jobs, repossession of home, divorce.....
The hardest part about being a prayer warrior is reading the stories about sick and dying children: parents and family crying out to the Lord.
Anyone out there with the heart, the will, and the inner fortitude to "listen" to these voices crying out for help are encouraged to either go online and contact 3ABN, or to be a "closet" warrior and pray for those you know and those you don't. Joining the battle for Christ as a PW is heart fulfilling and heart breaking. I will say to you what one sports company says to consumers; "Just do it!"
Blessings for all that you do for Jesus Christ. e.c.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shari Law: "Thou Shalt Kill Whomsoever Thou Will

Iran is a spectacle of the other-worldly principle of man's inhumanity to man. Joseph Stalin (whose real name was, Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvilli) studied to be a priest but instead chose to be a dictator and murderer. (Roosevelt and Churchill called Stalin, "Uncle Joe", to soften his brutal reputation). Adolph Hitler also studied to be a priest and he too elected dictatorship and murderer to be his epitaph.

Doesn't it seem curious that those who are the designated spiritual leaders of Iran are also essentially dictators and murderers. (Iran is singled out here because it is so prominent in the news; little of which seems to be good news.)

There is an ugly, internal moral disconnect between spiritual leadership and political power in a country with thousands of years of history that traces back to Darius of the Medes and Persians who brilliantly overthrew ancient Babylon on the night of Belshazzar's debauched feast. Iran is the cradle of Zoroastrianism (Zarathustra) a central tenent of which is belief in life immortal based upon good works. Somehow there is a paucity of good works coming out of Iran.

If I were to opine (and, of course I will) there has never been a time in the sanginous (bloody) history of the world when politics and religion made good bedfellows: Not Babylon and Ishtar, not Persia and Mithra, not Greece and her multi-deities, not pagan Rome and her polytheism, not Rome and the bloodstained hands of her bishops, not the Holy Roman Empire, never in Russia, never and not now* in Germany, not in the many branches of Islam that slaughter each other going to and from worship in the mosque: Not now! Not ever!

The mind and heart of man is too small to balance politics and religion on anything other than brutality. That opinion-come-fact is written in the blood of millions of men, women, and children over thousands of years. Whoever believes they have a red-phone to God is destined, by the dictates of history and human nature, to be, and to perfect the art and science of suppression, oppression, dictatorship, and death; in that order, for that is the Devil's MO.

God does not send secret military militia to kill; men do that. God does not instruct his followers to behead and burn those who have a question needing an answer. Men do that. G-d does not put bullets into the brains of men and women whose minds do not resonate on every point of the leadership. Men do that.

Which reminds me; wasn't it Nancy Pelosi who said that anyone who opposes Health Care Reform in America is "Un-American?" Scary!

A final posit: the union of religion and a politik lies in the path of America's future. What will that look like? Should that (when it) occur(s) will look the same as it always has; authoritative, bullying, coercive, despotic, evisceratory, fatal, and godless. And that, friends, is how we will spell the union of religion and political power; ABCDEFG!
God help us! e.c.

*Berlin, 01 Decemer 2009: German Supreme Court overturns all local laws permitting Sunday shopping and ordered Sunday observed as day of national rest and worship. (A gift to Benedict XVI).

Just Open Your Eyes!

Are there any who do not believe that Christ is coming soon? I'm not asking the question of those who do not believe in God; the question is aimed squarely at those who wear the label of "believers." Perhaps the word "squarely" sounds a bit too confrontational; too challenging. But in all honesty, that is what I am trying to do; challenge those of us who are asleep in the pews because we are tired of hearing "how near we are" to the end of all things.
Certainly we don't want to be among those who cynically question, "...where is the promise of His coming? for all things continue as from the beginning of the world..!" (a crudely paraphrased reference to 2nd Peter 3:4. Adventists...Seventh-day Adventists...people whose very name is an abstracted sermon of two core beliefs, should be awake to the times eagerly sharing what they know is coming on the earth...that is, if they know what is coming.
Some of us are historical Adventists. We've been in the church for decades, yet some of the some of us couldn't give a Bible study on "soul" or the "state of the dead" or Righteousness by Faith if our soul depended on it.
Some of us are cultural Adventists. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, on-and-on...were all SDA's. So, what does that make me...or you? just another lukewarm body on the bench who admits truth but is not really committed to truth. Cultural Adventists (name any church) like to play church but don't really care to be a lively and living part of the church.
Some of us are Adventists-of-great-balance. We stand, and have stood, with one foot in the church and the other in the world for the greater part of our life. But like the Fe, Fi, Fo Fum giant above the bean stalk, we are asleep...but with one eye open a tiny bit so we can see just in case something happens and needs action.
I hope this does not come as a shock to anyone, but those who are alert and taking action before the fact of His appearing won't be as surprised as those who are, so to speak, "wretched, poor, miserable, blind, and naked" [Rev. 3:17]. But both will be surprised; one unto salvation, the other unto condemnation. you understand more clearly why and how I intended to use the word, "squarely," when I sighted-in on this topic. Sometimes I just have get rid of the weight on my mind...or perhaps, my alleged mind.
Blessings, still. e.c.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

In Defense of, From The Mind...

I ask myself; "Why do I feel compelled to write?" and "Who really cares about what what I may be thinking about today...or any day, for that matter?" I know the answer, and have known it since before I began this Blog.
The reason is buried in 60 years of writing poetry, essays, and other avenues of expression to put the world on notice about what I think is important. But you know, as I know, that the "world doesn't really care what I think about issues spiritual, or political, or ethical. But to me this is serious have an opinion on issues that matter; that make a difference to those who temporarily inhabit this waning planet.
The burden shifts from time to time and presently rests on what is happening in Protestantism at large: a huge shift away from the cause(s) that killed many reformers signaled by a surrender of fundamental pillars in their church; exempla gratia, the divinity of Christ, inspiration of the Bible, centrality of the Gospel, immutability of truth, and Jesus Christ as the only Way, Truth, and Life.
Driven by the Enemy of all Truth, the minds of many men (their names might surprise) are bent to reinventing and redesigning the church and its worship so as to resonate with the world. In the physics of sound (music) resonance is heard as harmony and when have the church and the world harmonized? If they have, and when they have, the only result can be a dissonance in purpose and outcomes to our God.
However clumsily stated, however awkwardly worded, however meagerly designed, now you know why I write. More than that...why I have to write. Sorry, I am unable to talk about sports, cars, TV, or most other "stuff." I was designed differently than most; not better, just different, and I will be (perhaps) the first to recognize and acknowledge that "difference."
God Bless. e.c.

Friday, December 25, 2009 Destroy Ourselves

I've been thinking (this Christmas day) about what might be the greatest gift God has given mankind. Many will say, "Salvation and eternal life!" And I will not argue against that answer but I will suggest a qualification: Perhaps the greatest gift God has given to this earth, to all His creation in all the universe (all the worlds) [Hebrews 1:1-3], is the gift of freedom of choice.
There are (at least) four things God cannot do: 1. He can not coerce any being (angelic or human) to love and serve Him (Satan is the apogee of examples in this matter); 2. He can not forgive sin without the shedding of blood (Christ is our Perfect example in this matter); 3. He can not save without faith; and 4; He can not lie [Titus 1:2]. [Thanks to David Asscherick, from whom I stole two of these].
Joshua--a type of Christ--led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. Jesus Christ will soon lead His children into the heavenly Promised Land. That is...all who exercise the choice to follow Him both here on earth and (very soon) into the eternal life He has promised. Every person is free to make the choice between eternal life and eternal death. Joshua said to the children of Israel,"Chose ye this day whom you will serve; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" Joshua 24:15. This is the way it is because this is the way it has to be.
If Christ were to coerce any being--earthly or heavenly--He would be acting outside the boundaries of everything understood about Him and His divinity. In other words, He would be very unlike God and more like a god. Satan has always wanted to be like God but he cannot because he was the first to possess and exercise every character trait that is the antithesis of God.
In His pure, holy, perfect love, God is bound to Himself: He cannot lie nor can He be a lie. Therefore, each of us is free to choose destruction. But it doesn't end there because those who choose destruction too often take others with them either by perverted example or by coercion. The only thing Satan has done perfectly is to distort the character of God by his perfect example of evil and to coerce untold numbers of mankind (and one-third of the angels) to reject God and elect self destruction.
More anon.
Blessings this Christmas day and every day. e.c.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Purpose Driven Strife

Many of us have succumbed to the seemingly innocuous call of Rick Warren's, Purpose-Driven Life/Church. We ask, "What's the problem?" and follow up with an, "I was blessed!" But here I come strolling in and add, "Or so it seemed."
And that is the point, precisely.
Warren has been wildly successful in selling books, books about churches, how to grow bigger churches, how to do and accomplish more things, etc., etc., etc. But there is poison in Warren's piety and it is evident in these words; "If you want to advertise your church to the unchurched, you must learn to think and speak like they do." [Purpose-Driven Church (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995. pg 189)].
Wait right here for just a minute...OK, I'm to speak. What about this verse Mr. Warren? "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." [Philippians 2:5]; or how about..."These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. [John 15:17-19]. Or how about what Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians, chapter 6. Here is a small offering; "Do not be unequally yoked....And what accord has Christ with Belial?...And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?...Come out from among separate..."
I can hear someone(s) thinking, "Well then, how do we spread the message of salvation? How do we seek the lost? Answer: (too simple for some) we do all that by preaching the Word of God and His Christ as the ONLY Way and the ONLY answer to sin. Remember the commission to the church? "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." [Mark 16:15].
We do the will of God when, by preaching the Gospel, we bring the unchurched into the church. It is not well done nor done well if we seek to adapt our minds to the mind of the world.
Does a person of the world find the church more appealing, more to their liking, if the church tries to get inside their head and become a broader evenue of "understanding" by which they can find an easier door to salvation? No! That approach, in its unconverted core, is mere marketing. The Holy Spirit does not "market" the God and His Christ and neither should the church.
Had there been an easy or easier way for Christ to bring salvation to mankind don't you think He would have taken that path? Of course; but there was no easier way. Before His crucifixion He asked three times..."Father, if it be possible?...but all He heard was silence because it was not possible. There was no other way to save mankind. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light, and no one goes to heaven except through Him.
It is not done with gimmicks, with marketing, with psychology, or by reinventing the church. It has, and will, be done by the preaching of the undiluted Gospel, telling them the Truth as it is in Christ, and letting the Holy Spirit work. There is no course in "Bonehead Salvation" for those unwilling to be weaned from milk to the meat in the Word of God. Jesus is still the only Way, and it is this that the world doesn't care for. This is the explanation for the books that try to show an easier way. There is none.
Think on these things. Blessings. e.c.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Mark, the Cussing Pastor"

Relax....I'm not talking about the writer of the Gospel of Mark; this is a different Mark; way different. I've been talking about the "Emergent Church" and Mark may be a poster boy for emergent's and their philosophy of fitting in. First a quote from John MacArthur: "The recent wave of popular books written by leading figures in the Emerging Church movement has unleashed an unprecedented flood of vulgarity and worldliness onto Christian booksellers' shelves. Obscenity is one of the main trademarks of the Emerging style. Most authors in the movement make extravagant use of filthy language, sexual innuendo, and uncritical references to the most lowbrow elements of postmodern culture, often indicating inappropriate approval for ungodly aspects of secular culture. In the popular book Blue Like Jazz, for example, Donald Miller writes of his experience in one of the best-known Emerging churches in the Pacific Northwest, referring to the pastor as 'Mark the Cussing Pastor,'" [Miller writes; "Even though Mark said cuss words, he was telling a lot of people about Jesus, and he was being socially active, and seemed to love a lot of people the church was neglecting, like liberals and fruit nuts. About the time I was praying that God would help me find a church, I got a call from Mark the Cussing Pastor, and he said he had a close friend who was moving to Portland to start a church and that I should join him. Rick and I got together over coffee, and I thought he was hilarious. He was big, a football player out of Chico State. At the time we both chewed tobacco, so we had that in common. He could do a great Tony Soprano voice, sort of a Mafia thing. He would do this routine where he pretended to be a Mafia boss who was planting a church. He said a few cuss words but not as bad as Mark."
[Source] The Truth War; Author, John MacArthur, pgs. 139, 140. Thomas Nelson, Pub. 2007
This was/is not typical of pastors. I find myself digging through the detritus of this dialogue in search of the Christ; His Spirit, and His methods. They are absent. If the church is built on Jesus Christ, the Rock and Chief Corner Stone, and if those claiming to represent Christ more accurately represent the world and its present ruler, in whom do they believe? ...those who flock to these churches...who are attracted because they can cuss, chew, be common and overtly sensual. Are they following Christ - or... Emergents want numbers; numbers they are getting...but not the numbered.
God Bless, e.c.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Postcard from Judah

The short epistle, Jude, like its neighbors, 2 eye'd and 3 eye'd John, are called postcard epistles (obviously) because they are short and to the point. Jude was written by Judah (a common name those days) who declares himself to be the brother of James. Scholars believe these two men were step-brothers of Christ.
The introduction is very short and after saying what it was he had intended to write about ("our common salvation" vs. 3a), Jude doesn't make it out of that verse without changing the subject by declaring intent of "...exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (vs. 3b)
With that as background let's move on to his chief concern; contending for the faith.
There is no peace, neither will there be peace; not in the world and especially not in the church. Satan is intent on destroying the faith that was once delivered to the saints, and he began his work as Jesus ascended to heaven.
The early church was plagued with one controversy after another; heresy upon heresy. Jude says that "...certain men have crept in(to the church) unnoticed, that they are ungodly and are turning the grace of God into lewdness while denying the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 4).
Online dictionary definitions of lewd(ness) includes " lust, low, ignorant, common, vulgar, base, vile, wicked, bad, worthless...
All this they brought into the church...unnoticed. They went unnoticed because they were correct in attire, vocabular, demeanor, and they knew all the right words; like, Happy Sabbath, Ellen White, prayer meeting, etc., and most probably some of them were elected to church office because the church was more interested a peaceful church than one in contention.
I'll happily agree that peace is preferable to contending, but avoiding contentious issues for the sake of peace is to surrender the truth to Satan. Do we want to do that.
Is the Essayist saying that we should be looking for a fight and be eager to contend? No; of course not, so that can be put out with the garbage. What I am saying is that the church and every righteous person in the church should not run from a fight just because even the thoughts of discord gives them dispepsia.
Just across the page from Judah I see that John is talking about ..."Diotrephes, who loves to have the preminence among them.." in the church but does not receive John and his companions.
The question comes to this: which is more important; a peaceable church or a pure church? Some will ask, "can't there be both?" "can't we have peace and purity?" I answer, "No! Not this side of heaven and not as long as there is a devil and not as long as unconverted, unChristian men and women choose to join the church.
There are those today who prefer a good looking and right acting church (orthopraxy) over a righteous church that teaches....and LIVES...the truth (orthodoxy). Orthopraxy will most probably result in there being more people, bigger offerings, more programs, etc., all of which would make it seem that the two ortho's were living together.
Today's megachurches are filled with thousands of people and we mourn at the (sometimes) paucity of people in our pews. But consider this; the demands of Christ are not popular because they cut across the paths of our natural (and sinful) inclinations. Had Christ made it easy to be a Christian; no self denial, no cross-bearing, no sacrifice, walk the wide highway, etc., etc., there would be a hundred where now there is one.
So what does the Lord want us to do and to be? Shall we contend or concede? Do not confuse contending with mean spirited argument. Remember the balance: Jesus, John, Jude.
God bless. e.c.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Everybody to get from street...

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! That was the name of a movie...back when... way back, when I used to watch movies or in times of desperation, go to a movie. The actors, adopting the thick Russian-English accent, announced themselves with; "E-mare-gen-C, E-mare-gen-C; everybody to get from street."
(Swift segue)...into Operation Church Emergent. And quite the operation it is; more like a radical truthectomy, faithectomy, Christianityectomy (pronounce that neologism)! I finished Roger Oakland's opus, "Faith Undone," and had to go back on my antidepressant meds. (Thats a joke!
The (alleged) minds behind this iatrogenic wound to Christianity in America and thereabouts, persists in postmodernism's efforts to reinvent religion; but in the absence of confidence in God's Word viz. The Bible.
Clarity and confidence are to be shunned and all things believed and believable have been traded for a newer model of uncertainty which is deemed much less arrogant than certainty...about anything. Pillars of churches are being taken down by the gods of disbelief and replaced with tent poles. The idea is temporality and mobility; leave what you believe today in search of long as it is different from what was believed today.
As an example of just how corrosive this movement has become I will post a (credited) citation.
"Marcus Borg is a key force in the emerging "new paradigm" of Christian faith." (1) Borg explains, "I let go of the notion that the Bible is a divine product. I learned that it is a human cultural product, the product of two ancient communities, biblical Israel and early Christianity. As such, it contained their understandings and affirmations, not statements coming directly or somewhat directly from God...I realized that whatever "divine revelation" and the "inspiration of the Bible" meant (if they meant anything), they did not mean that the Bible was a divine product with divine authority." (2)
1, 2. [Cited from "Faith Undone" pg 196, Roger Oakland, author, Lighthouse Trails, pub. 2007]
So we are to understand that Borg, Distinguished Professor in Religion and Culture and Hundere Endowed Chair in Religious Studies at Oregon State University, is a thought-leader in the Emergent movement.
Somehow thinking of Borg as a "thought-leader" who does not think the Bible was derived from any divine authority evokes a 'me-thinks' the poor soul has lost his way. But never-the-mind. There are many just as confused as he.
This E-mare-gen-C in your church and my church is real and it is right now! The Christ on the cross as sacrifice for our sins is thought too bloody and repulsive to evoke worship and witness. Emergents believe that a God who would do this to His Son simply "...does not exist... [Ibidem pg. 194]
Emergents are inclusive if they are anything. Emergentism includes pagan traditions (darkened rooms, lots of candles, icons, drumming, deep contemplation [void of thought] etc.), Eastern religions, New Age, mainline Protestants, Evangelicals, and Catholics. Listen to one New Age writer: "Jesus was a historical person, a human becoming Christ, the Christos, is an eternal transpersonal condition of being. Jesus did not say that this higher state of consciousness realized in him was his alone for all time. Nor did he call us to worship him. Rather, he called us to follow him, to follow in his steps, to learn from him, from his example." [Ibidem pg. 197]
Did you get that? Is anybody out there?
But...don't believe me. Buy the book. Like a fox, I report, you decide. Immmm sorrrree; sort of. ec

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Enemies Become Friends--A Prophecy?

Christ had been arrested by the representatives of the synagogue, and was being interrogated by both Pilate and Herod. Each of these men had not found Him guilty of any crime against Rome. Nevertheless, just to pacify the obvious hatred of Him, shown by the rulers and others, Herod and Pilate each took their turn to humiliate, mock, curse, and beat the Christ.
As I thought about this (thank you, HaRuwach HaKodesh), I began to see a possible prophecy in this unholy union of enemies; Pilate and Herod. The thing that started me thinking about all this was a verse in Luke Chapter 23 that one could simply slide over without notice. It almost gets lost in the drama of what is happening to Jesus. I'll quote the verses [Luke 23:9- 12] and you can decide whether or not there is an end-times prophecy in these words; especially verse 12 : "Then he [Herod] questioned Him with many words, but He answered Him nothing. And the Chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. Then Herod with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, and arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other."

We believe that in the end times--the dust of which already appears on the horizon--former, bitter enemies will reach across the gulf of their historical, theological differences, clasp hands, and league to pursue and persecute those 'who keep the Commandments of God and [have] the faith of Jesus' [Revelation 14:12].
So what do you think?
God Bless. Shabatt Shalom!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sleep with dogs and you get.....Go to bed with the EU, and you may wake up cross(less).....or something like that. This will be all over the news but it is interesting and portending nonetheless. It seems that an immigrant family moved from eastern Europe to Italy. They sent their child to public school, and guess what; there was a crucifix on the schoolroom wall. Imagine that. So the family, being politically, properly incensed, filed suit.
The EU court has handed down their politically correct atheistic/agnostic/ignostic opinion and has ruled that a crucifix is an offense to the privacy and sensibilities of parents and children.
Italy is angry!
The Pope is angry!
So what are Adventists to make of this, if anything?
Here's what I think: The (essentially) godless countries of Europe are trying to hold sway over other nations in matters of conscience and (essentially) a national religious preference. I can understand the EU having opinions in matters of currency, trade, war, politics, etc., etc. But in this case what (I think) we are seeing is a "preview" of things to come; a little like the previews in the movie theater I used to go to as a kid.
Virtually all of the Scandinavian countries are godless. France led the way a couple hundred years ago or more. Churches are converted into other uses; like taverns, grocery stores, fish markets, etc. (In Malmo, Sweden a former church is now called the "fisk kirken," or the fish church. I visited Malmo, so I know this is true).
What is the point? Godlessness and single-person-rights will continue to grow and hold us by the throat until there is an uprising and backlash that will unwind what the godless have done. Then.....the tide will turn under political and popular pressure as the Beast of Daniel and Revelation and the two-horned nation that unites with the Beast and together they raise a common voice and prosecute a common path of persecution.
Either way, a crucifix taken down, or one put nailed up; the Beast will begin rousing her faithful to put a nail in the heart of the present trend of dismantling God.
It's going to start getting very interesting. God Bless. e.c.

Friday, October 30, 2009

There are those who would pit God the Father and God the Son against each other in the judgment as the world ends. The Father is made out to be the harsh Judge and Christ our intercessor who "pleads" in our behalf. And we are supposed to wait while the Father ponders the issues, puts our lives on His scales, thinks, and then issues an almost grudgingly, "Well, O.K.!"
When one goes to trial in court there are two attorneys; one for defense and one for prosecution. Question: who is "...the accuser of the brethren"? Who is it that "opposes" (NKJV) and "resists" (KJV) our Lord in His work of Salvation, Justification, and Sanctification of the saints of Jesus Christ? Right! It is Satan. This is clearly demonstrated in the first seven verses of Zechariah chapter 3.
It was Satan who contended with Christ over the body of Moses. Satan is always the one who prosecutes (pursues) those who choose the Christ.
The broad principles of the struggle between Christ and Satan are outline throughout the Bible but are especially clear in Zechariah and in John 3:15 and 16. The God of the Old Testament (I Am) is the God of the New Testament [Exodus 3:14 and John 8:58]. Christ told His disciples, when they asked to seen the Father, '...if you have seen Me you have seen the Father...' [John 14:9].
It is not as though the Christ has to position Himself between us and the Father in order to protect us from His wrath: No! Not at all. If we believe that and think that we have a completely distorted picture of the Oneness of the Father and His Christ and the grand solution to the problem of sin, worked out before the foundations of the world were hung in space.
Any attempt to picture the Father as harsh, vindictive, always ready (and willing) to send His consuming fire, then we know not either the Son nor the Father, and are more likely to serve from dread than decision.
Thin on these things.
God Bless. e.c.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

By Your Patience Possess Your Souls

Jesus is speaking to His disciples, listing things that will happen in Jerusalem and in the earth before the end. We will pick it up at verse 11 of Luke chapter 21. "And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. " "But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you; delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. "But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. "Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. "But not a hair of your head shall be lost. "By your patience possess your souls."

In closing; "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12
God Bless. e.c.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Words From 'Yesterday' for Today and Tomorrow

"The life of Jesus gave evidence that He expected much, and therefore He attempted much. From His very childhood He was the true light shining amid the moral darkness of the world. He revealed Himself as the truth, and the guide of men. His conceptions of truth and His power to resist temptation were proportionate to His conformity to that word which He himself had inspired holy men to write. Communion with God, a complete surrender of the soul to Him, in fulfilling His word irrespective of false education or the customs or traditions of His time, marked the life of Jesus."
"To be ever in a bustle of activity, seeking by some outward performance to show their superior piety, was, in the estimation of the rabbis, the sum of religion; while at the same time, by their constant disobedience to God's word, they were perverting the way of the Lord. But the education that has God back of it, will lead men to seek after God, 'if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him.' The infinite is not, and never will be, bound about by human organizations or human plans. Every soul must have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will and ways of God. In all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, its practice, or its experiences. Through study of the Scriptures, through earnest prayer, they may hear His message to them, 'Be still and know that I am God.' When every other voice is hushed, when every earthly interest is turned aside, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. Here rest is found in Him. The peace, the joy, the life of the soul, is God.' " [Source] Fundamental of Christian Education pgs. 440.5-441.3
God bless. e.c.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sorry About My Absence

I have been absent for a while--busy taking care of things here at the place-on-the-lake. In the past I have shared with you items that I glean from World magazine; the one that writes on national and international politics and religion. Well, I have another. This one is by Janie B. Chaney and she is writing in the October 10, 2009 issue. The article, "All The President's Men," can be found on page 32.
Chaney writes; "In late August, a report surfaced on the "Big Hollywood" website, a gathering of conservatives in entertainment and the arts. Patrick Courrielche, an entrepeneur and consultant, had received an email from Yose Sergant, Director of communications for the National Endowment for the Arts. It was an invitation to a conference call of movers and shakers in the creative community, scheduled for Aug. 10, to be hosted by the NEA, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and United We Serve. The purpose was finding ways to "work together to promote a more civically engaged America and celebrate how the arts can be used for a positive change!"
Courrielche dialed in and heard this disturbing rallying call; "Take photos. Take video. Post it on your blogs. Get the word out. Like I said, this is a community that knows how to make a stink. Do it. Do it within your town. Do it nationally. Call on other producers, marketers, publicists, art--you know--artists, people from within our community and get them engaged."
Just four days later the group, Rock the Vote announced a "Health Care Design Contest" and began receiving artwork in support of a government-controlled plan. Soon after, another conference-call invitation went out from the White House Office of Public Engagement."
Are you with me on this stuff or am I the only paranoid one in the house? e.c.
Chaney continues: "So what's wrong with that? For one, the NEA was founded to support excellence in the arts, enlarge their presence in local communities, and increase the quality of arts education--not cheer lead a particular agenda. Over time the agency's mission has bent in the direction of the prevailing political wind, and grants are doled out not necessarily on a work's merit but on its correctness. But this is the first time, to my knowledge at least, that the NEA has attempted to gin up art for specific policies, and in a particularly artless manner: Hey kids! Lets grind out some propaganda."
If there is a message here, is it starting to come clear? or am I still all by myself. Be patient. e.c.
She continues: "Artistic propoganda is hardly new, nor is it always contemptible. Even in the USA, artists have been recruited to help inspire public support during times of crisis: Think of James Montgomery Flagg's World War I "Uncle Sam Wants You" poster. But "Uncle Barak wants to use your talents for his policies" lacks the enduring resonance that qualifies it art as art."
Finishing up Jeanie quotes: "This is just the beginning," participants in the conference call were told. "We are just now learning how to really bring this community together to speak with the government"...
e.c. comments: I would re-translate the phrase " speak with the government..." into what is in store for all spiritual dissidents; id est (that is) to bring the community together to speak for the government.
I see the seeds and sprouts of a movement to shape, collect, motivate, and direct public opinion as an extension of the objectives of the government. From my Christian-Adventist point of view this tactic is (in a musical metaphor) either the prelude or first movement in a symphony of voices raised in an anthem of support to the Beast and the Two-horned lamb-like beast that enforces the words of the Beast and lends its authority to force feed those who would dare to speak against the government.
Abraham would be shocked--not that one, Lincoln--as this present infestation in the White House is remaking a Government, of the Government, by the Government, and for the Government.
p.s. Where will we be made to go to pick up our brown shirts, the arm bands, and ID cards that grant permission to buy and sell? ...Zig--Heil!
God help us. e.c.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Doot-To-Door Salesman...No Sale!

Frankly my dear(s), I'm just a little embarrassed that our president flew to Denmark to knock on the doors of the Olympic Committee and sell them a package marked, "Made in Chicago."
The reason for this feeling is that; 1. while the Olympics are a worthwhile event; 2. while it might have been good for Chicago; 3; while President Obama is a personable and convincing man...meanwhile, back at the Oval Office, there is serious business to be done for this nation.
This jaunt to Denmark ended with a cold shower for our president while the politics of health care, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, a belligerent North Korea, earthquakes around the ring-of-fire (around the circle of the Pacific Ocean), are heating up. It seemed poorly timed and poorly judged for the president of the (hopefully, still) greatest nation in the world, to leave the debate team in the middle of crucial talks and go outdoors for recess and play on the swings of the Olympic lottery.
Arguably, President Obama is one of the best spoken presidents since Kennedy or Roosevelt, whom I clearly remember. But polish, finesse, and attitude failed this time out and I see this as a deliberate slap in the face by the Old World for the "new kid on the block." As I said; this is embarrassing. Perhaps something will be learned.
Just for perspective as to where we are in time and prophetic history, listen to the words of Christ and measure them against what is happening in the world day by day. "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (birth pains)." [Matthew 24:7 and 8]
Let's see; is anything going on between nations? (there isn't enough space to list them all); are there any famines? Thirty thousand children in the world die every day from malnutrition related disease. Are there pestilences? Anybody heard of E-bola, H1N1, HIV, the reappearance of tuberculosis, etc! Any news about earthquakes?
If we put our ear to the door where lives the agnostics, ignostics, and atheists, we will hear something like..." Oh, these kinds of things have been going on for millennia, and this is just another cycle in a world that goes round and round..."
In closing, I view President Obama's absence from his post as a sign of inexperience in his assigned role as leader (I'll say that again) leader, of these United States and the ever shrinking free-world.
In case you're wondering, the answer to the intrinsic, unstated question in all these problems is found in the book of Revelation: "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." [Rev. 22:20].
God bless! We need it! e.c.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Alpha and Omega

John Harvey Kellogg was a physician, writer, and man of great personality and influence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He founded Kellogg foods after inventing corn flakes. He served as medical director of Battle Creek Sanitarium for years. Those were his noble deeds. His most ignoble deed, one that plucked the "good fruits" of his life, was to write the book, "Living Temple."
Pantheism was the basic premise of this book and Kellogg proposed that God was to be found in everything He created including man. Ellen White quickly realized that this book was poison and set about on a wearying task to "meet it" head-on. Many in the church were deluded by Kellogg, principally because the book contained a toxic mixture of truth and error.
Ellen White called this book and these experiences, "...the Alpha of apostasy..." and signaled that the Omega would be much more insidious and serious in nature; sweeping many into abandoning foundational doctrines of the church.
Having been aware of these polar apostasies for many years, I have been wondering whether or not the present firestorm over the teaching of what is called, natural evolution, may be the Omega rising up and shaking off the prophetic dusts of its metamorphosis.
Here is the issue: if evolution is the explanation of the existence of all living things, then there is no need for a Creator. If Creation as we understand it did not occur ,then the Sabbath, as a memorial of Creation, becomes irrelevant. If the Sabbath is irrelevant then there is no need for our Re Creation in Jesus Christ; (because keeping the Sabbath is a symbol of righteousness by faith [see Hebrews 4:10]), and if there is no Re Creation by the blood of Jesus Christ then there is no hope for man, and as says the Apostle Paul, "...we are of all men most miserable..." [1st Corinthians 15:19].
Rather than listen to whisperings [Romans chapter1] I contacted a member of the faculty of an Adventist college and it was confirmed to me that these sad tales are, we have a problem. The distillate of this problem is that evolution, in the classic sense, is being promoted by some faculty and the church needs to do what Ellen White was called to do with the Kellogg problem and his pantheism; "Meet it."
But there is only one way that Christ condones that we do so; in a spirit that is firm but not mean; in a spirit of love and regard for the eternal destiny of those who teach and those who are taught. Contrary to man's thinking, we are not smarter than God. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than our ways. Pray for the leaders of our church and of our institutions of higher education that teaching, thinking, and learning will find Jesus Christ as the Epicenter of all efforts.
Pray about these things. e.c.

Friday, September 25, 2009

But There IS, Sulphur

All Americans should be thrilled: Hugo Chavez, "The Mouth", (La Boca), The Thug of Venezuela...he likes us! Yesterday, at the UN, Chavez was key of course...of President Obama. Any political person or administration that is popular with international thugs and miscreants of all stripes, must be doing something wrong. Right?
Glad-handing, back-slapping, and rhetoric delivered with the velvet-smooth assistance of teleprompters, does not a president make. Frankly, I am awaiting the emergence something more mature and accountable to the people of the United States than a policy of being a "nice guy" to the world.
If it is up to my vote, this president will be a causality of just one term. But a lot of damage can be done in four years; damage to the national debt, to the elderly who are fully satisfied with their health plans, to school curricula (such as explicit conversations regarding homosexual behaviors)...I could go on but enough is enough.
Pray for deliverance from happy extremists who just happen to also be elected/appointed to posts of governing/advisors.
p.s. I am searching for volunteers to help host a retirement party for Speaker of The House (lingua en bucca).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Prayer of Jonah

"I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction,
And He answered me.
Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
For You cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and your waves passed over me.
Then I said, 'I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.
The waters surrounded me, even to my soul;
The deep closed around me;
Weeds were wrapped around my head.
I went down to the moorings of the mountains;
The earth with its bars closed behind me forever;
Yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O Lord my God.
When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the Lord;
And my prayer went up to You,
Into Your holy temple.
Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own Mercy,
But I will sacrifice to You
With the voice of thanksgiving;
I will pay what I have vowed.
Salvation is of the Lord." [Jonah 2:2-9]

God Bless your life today.
Let us pay Him what we have vowed...our hearts and minds. e.c.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Garage Sale That Was, But Was Not

Yesterday we had a Garage sale in an attempt to get rid of stuff that has been accumulating for years. The signs went up and we prayed. And did God answer our prayers? In a mighty way; Yes. One young man showed up and stayed from about 9:30 through lunch (which he greatly enjoyed). I was so impressed with him; the way he thought, his knowledge of healthful living, the Bible, and what is truly important in life. The G-sale sort of got in the way of our conversation at times.
And then there was an older couple-but younger than us-with whom we witnessed about healthful living. He has had a stroke, two carotid endarterectomies (cleaning out the carotid arteries in the neck), cardiac bypass surgery, and back surgery. Jeane and I outlined the benefits of a plant-based diet-did I mention he was diabetic-and how this could decrease weight (which would help back pain anb hypertension), possibly allow him to decrease or discontinue diabetes meds, lower cholesterol, and aid in removing plaque deposits in his arteries. Jeane poured out her expertise as a vascular nurse, and we gave him and his wife a complete verbal outline of the diet and suggested he try it for just 28 days and evaluate the results after checking with his physician. Well, praise the Lord, he left here saying "I'm gonna do this!"
The G-sale? We made a few dollars and will put the stuff back that didn't sell, but in our hearts and minds it was an outstanding success for the Lord! What could be more important?
God Bless and praise His Name.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


In the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, Christ tells the story of the "Wheat and the Tares." He says that during the night after the farmer had planted the good seed (wheat), an enemy went into the field and sowed tares. As the seeds began to sprout the workers noticed that something wasn't right. They reported to the farmer and volunteered to pull up the tares. He said, "No; don't do that because you might also pull up some of the wheat." [paraphrased].
The farmer thought it better to let them grow together until the harvest; that is when the separating would be done.
Later in the chapter Christ explains [vs.36] the parable to the disciples because they didn't get it: "The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age."[vs. 38,39].
Everybody knows about wheat and how it is used to illustrate one point in the story [parable]. But the bit about the tares is interesting: I looked up the Greek word used for "tares" and here is what I found; "Zizanion" is a kind of darnel that resembles wheat except that the seeds are black. Interesting!
Christ said the field is the "world" but I have to ask, could it also refer to the church? The lesson would be the same, don't you think? We ought not to try to pull up or root out anyone(s) in the church just because we think they might not be the "right kind of persons".
Not by gossip, not by criticism, not by innuendo, not by ignoring them, not by shunning them, not by any means or method. Because we do not know the heart of man as does the Lord. Here is what we are to do: "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples; if you have love one for another." [John 13:35]. the way, "darnel" is a cockle and..."...a weedy annual grass (Lolium temulentum) with very long awns on the glumes and seeds sometimes considered poisonous that often occurs in grainfields and other cultivated land -- called also cheat." [Courtesy of Mr. Webster].
Think about this today. Pray and plan to be wheat instead of cheat.
God bless. e.c.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Just Coincidence??

I am not a proponent nor a believer in numerology, but I do believe that the Word of God contains coherent number-related red-threads on certain topics. What do you think about this?

Elijah, the Old Testament prophet of God spoke to King Ahab and delivered the message that there would be no more rain because the king had led all Israel into the pagan worship of Baal (the god of the sun and weather). The drought was three and a half years (Luke 4:25 and I Kings 18:1). Question: In the Hebrew calendar, how many days are there in three 3 1/2 years? Answer: That would be 42 months of thirty-day months, and that comes to 1260 days. Interesting! So in Israel there was a literal drought and a literal famine and a famine for the word of God, as the crops failed and the food supply failed. Hmmm. Daniel prophesied that the little horn would rule for 1260 days (years) and during this time (a.d. 538-1798) there was drought and famine of the word of God because the Medieval Church forbade the reading of the Bible and suppressed, persecuted, tortured, and killed those who did. Coincidence? I don't think so.
How about this one? Revelation speaks of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (Revelation 16:13). That would be three; and these three make up the counterfeit, evil "three" that are opposed to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God (Jesus Christ) created the Sabbath as a memorial to creation and as a symbol of Righteousness by Faith (Genesis 2:1-3 and Hebrews 4:9 and 10). Under the direction of the dragon (Satan) the beast set up its own sabbath and re-wrote the law of God. God says that salvation comes only through the Christ (Acts 4:12). But the beast says that salvation only comes through his church. God says, ..."if we confess our sins He...will forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness..." (I John 1:9). The beast claims the right of man, through a priest (alter Christus), who places himself as substitute for God, and is authorized to forgive sins. God said of the forbidden tree, "You shall not eat of it nor touch it, lest you die." (Genesis 3:3) "Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die.'" (Genesis 3:4) Now if a woman is the symbol of God's pure church, and if the serpent represents Satan, then, seeing as how the serpent gave power and authority to the beast (Revelation 13:4), the beast has declared (as did Satan in the garden) that men do not die, but their souls live on in heaven, hell, or purgatory. And so, spiritualism was created and man's true condition in death was obscured.
That is quite enough to digest in one day, and if we fully understand these things we know enough to tell the truth to our friends and neighbors about Jesus the Christ and His character.
God Bless. e.c.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Way it Ought to be...

I was watching 3ABN and pastor Kenneth Cox was speaking during an evangelistic series. He told an intriguing story and made a serious and awesome point as to how people "ought" to be treated when they come to or through the doors of our church.
A couple came to Cox's meetings who were not members of any church. He arranged to visit them at their home. Shortly after his arrival they lamented, "Pastor Cox, we can't join the church!" and he asked, "Well why not?" "Because we smoke," they replied. Kenneth Cox answered [this is beautiful] "I didn't come here to ask you to stop smoking; I came here to ask you to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior."
In seeming shock they asked, "We can do that?" Cox answered, "Of course you can do that." Then they came back with another question that would, at first appearance, seem to put a lid on the whole issue; "Well, what about our smoking?" Cox's answer doesn't sound Adventist but it certainly sounds Christ-like: "If you want to smoke, then go ahead and smoke." They were stunned.
Cox went on to tell how whenever he saw them their attitude was completely changed. They were joyous and buoyant. But they would ask, "But what about our smoking?" and he would give them the same answer; "If you want to smoke, then go ahead and smoke." This happened several times over the course of the next few weeks and Cox always gave them the same answer. He made the point that he knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to the hearts of this couple, else, why would they keep raising the issue.
The story ended on this note: One more time they expressed their new-found joy in the Lord and finished with the question; "But what about our smoking." Cox gave the same answer but added something; "If you want to smoke, then go ahead and smoke; but if you want to quit then go ahead and quit." They quit.
I guess we church members (read, sinners) feel better about those who join our church if they come all cleaned up looking, talking, eating, and acting like third generation Adventists. Jesus didn't work that way during His ministry here on earth and neither should we. "Come unto Me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." [Matthew 11:28].
Think and labor after the manner of Jesus Christ!
God bless. e.c.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Most Important Thing

What do you think? Is our salvation the most important thing? The answer might surprise you. Actually, the most important thing is that our lives, our service to God (good works) bring glory to God.
Moses realized this, because when the children of Israel were journeying from Egypt to the Promised Land, they were disobedient and rebellious. Moses might have easily become so tired of dealing with these "stiff-necked" people [Exodus 32: 7-14] that he would give up and give them over to their rebelliousness; but he did not.
Instead, he said to God: "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin--but if not, then blot me out of the book You have written." [vs. 30-32, Exodus chapter 32]. God did not destroy the Israelites that had sinned nor did He blot out Moses' name from the Book of Life. God did say: "Whoever has sinned against Me I will blot out of My book. Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and My angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin" 'And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.'" [vs. 33-35, Exodus chapter 32]
Conclusion: it is more important that our lives reflect the love and mercy of God and that He receive glory as the One who is our Creator and Redeemer.
Truly, it is more important to give than it is to receive [Acts 20:35]. It is more important that our life and testimony gives glory to God than it is that we receive eternal life. But God, in His mercy, grants us eternal life and writes our name in His Book of Life because we live to give Him glory.
Think on these things. e.c.
With thanks to M.V.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just Another Alarmist

Noah preached and worked for 120 years, urging anyone who would listen to "...get on the boat..." because the world was going to be destroyed by a flood. Number of converts? Zero. Jonah preached the destruction of Nineveh for a few days and the whole city repented. The prophet Elijah said that God would withhold rain for three years because of the sins of the people. He was rewarded with having to run for his life, be fed by ravens, hide in a cave then go to a far city where he stayed in a spare room in a widow's home. But it didn't rain. Jeremiah was called the 'weeping prophet' because of his deep concern over the sins of the people. He was punished for his preaching by being lowered into an old well where he sank in the muck to his armpits. Isaiah powerfully foretold the coming of the Messiah and so rankled the people with his preaching that they sawed him in two.
Toward the end of his earthly ministry Jesus cried out, " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee..." [Matthew 23:37]. Except for John, all of Christ's disciples were martyred for their preaching and teaching. The apostle Paul was beheaded.
It's dangerous to fight against the Dragon and his evil army; It can get you killed. And if you aren't killed it's clear you will be hated " all men..." for His sake [Matthew 10:22].
So here we are 2000 years later preaching much the same as Noah, Jonah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, John the Baptist, the disciples, Paul and the many millions of believers who came after them. Millions were killed by stoning, hanging, the sword, or burned alive. Who wants to be hated by all men. Popularity! That's what it's about today and many, now in the church, will choose to get along, so they will choose to go along with the crowd that fills the wide one-way street that leads to perdition [total destruction].
Much of the religious news I read these days laments what is essentially a world-wide persecution, prosecution, and hatred of Christians; particularly the alarmists. Adventists are alarmists; both by virtue of doctrine and commission: "Go ye into all the world..." [Mark 16:15].
Jesus is looking for committed alarmists; those who will proclaim His soon coming despite hatred, persecution, and prosecution (to pursue). Who will joint Him in this battle. "Here [am] I; send me." [ Isaiah 6:8].
God Bless. e.c.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Growing India

Last Friday's mail came with a flyer from Maranatha; an Adventist organization that builds one-day churches, digs wells so the village can have water, and other beneficent projects. Amazingly, eight years after a missionary effort was held in one part of the country, where there were about 4500 church members there are now more than 100,ooo. The number of churches has climbed from 20 to more than 450. Surely, the Holy Spirit is working all over the world...but not enough here where I live.
So who is going to take responsibility for the lack of effort(s) and the slow growth or even negative growth right here in River City. I guess I'll have to because I know I have not done as much as I could or should.
Probably you folks as much as I or even more as to why the church is exploding in many parts of the world.
Not everything is bad news however. I saw a program on 3ABN called the Las Vegas Miracle (of all places). I got a copy of the program on DVD and am making preparations to find out how to copy the DVD. I have permission from 3ABN to do this and distribute as many as I wish because the DVD is non-encrypted; but I can't re-sell them.
So...if you would like a copy of the DVD (at no charge whatsoever; postage included) let me know and as soon as I get my computer up and going--and perhaps get a new program--I'll send one right off to you. I know you will be inspired to do more for the Lord.
God Bless! e.c.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Out To Lunch!

Dear reader(s); my computer is showing signs of going South so I am going to have to send it off for some TLC. During the time that it is in the shop I will try to use another computer (you know who's). So if you want to keep checking on what I have to say I am going to keep writing...even if there is only one who wishes to read my thoughts. God Bless. e.c.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wise In Their Own Eyes

This is profane, unpleasant to learn, angering to read, and upsetting to believers in all colors of Christianity. This work of Satan has now been released in DVD in order to further spread Satan's lies through his minions. The devil is enraged because he knows his time is short Consider this a "Parental Warning" about objectionable material! e.c.
Bowling for Columbine did it to the gun culture.
Super Size Me did it to fast food.
Now The God Who Wasn't There does it to religion.

The movie that has been astounding audiences in theaters around the world is now available on a high-quality, feature-packed DVD. Own the taboo-shattering documentary that Newsweek says "irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed."
In this critically acclaimed film, you will discover:
The early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus-
The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and the figureheads of pagan savior cults-
Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion-
Fundamentalism is as strong today as it ever has been, with an alarming 44% of Americans believing that Jesus will return to earth in their lifetimes-
From exposing the hidden history of Christianity to lampooning the bloody excesses of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (which caused Gibson to attempt legal action against the documentary), The God Who Wasn't There pulls no punches.
Directed by award-winning filmmaker (and former Christian) Brian Flemming, The God Who Wasn't There includes stimulating interviews with:
Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation
Robert M. Price, Jesus Seminar fellow and author of The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man-
Alan Dundes, Professor of Folklore at the University of California at Berkeley-
Richard Carrier, historian and author of Sense and Goodness Without God-
Barbara & David P. Mikkelson, authors of the Urban Legends Reference Pages at
And many others.
Dazzling motion graphics and a driving soundtrack propel this uncompromising film that the Los Angeles Times calls "provocative - to put it mildly."
Special Features
The special features on this DVD are both generous and carefully selected. As DVD Talk puts it: "This DVD delivers the film in a quality presentation, with extras that quadruple the amount of content in a positive way with no filler."
The superb commentary tracks on this DVD are not the usual "making of" chat but instead consist of original material that director Brian Flemming crafted to deepen the experience of The God Who Wasn't There. The two separate tracks are:
"The Atheists." This lively track features evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion). Topics discussed by this towering atheist figure range from the horrors committed in the name of God to the power of science to combat "religion and all other forms of superstition." Relevant audio from other interviewees is also woven into this timely and candid examination of irrational beliefs.
"The Scholar." This track delves deep into the Jesus Myth hypothesis with pioneering scholar Earl Doherty (The Jesus Puzzle). If you are intrigued by the possibility that Jesus Christ did not exist at all, you will find this audio track fascinating. Doherty has been studying for decades the evidence that mainstream academics are only beginning to discover. Prepare to be astounded.

e.c. here; As you ponder the profanity of this project, remember this: "I overthrew some of you, as Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning; Yet you have not returned to Me," says the Lord. "Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel. " [Amos 4:11, 12]

If ever there was a time when time was short and growing shorter, this is it. Stay close to Christ and take care lest you be deceived. [Matt.24:11,24].
God Bless! We need it in these days.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Prayer? Shame on Them!!!

Florida Principal, Athletic Director Could Go to Jail for Prayer Before Lunch at School
Saturday, August 15, 2009
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A principal and an athletic director in Florida could be charged with crimes and spend six months in jail after they prayed before a meal at a school event, the Washington Times reported.
Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman will go on trial in federal district court Sept. 17. They're accused of violating the conditions of a lawsuit settlement reached last year with the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Times.
Local pastors and some students and teachers are outraged that Lay and Freeman face criminal charges, and they have protested during graduation ceremonies, the newspaper said.
"I have been defending religious freedom issues for 22 years, and I've never had to defend somebody who has been charged criminally for praying," said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, the Christian-based legal group that is defending the two school officials.
But an ACLU official said the Santa Rosa County School District has been guilty of "flagrant" First Amendment violations for years, the Times reported.
"The defendants all admitted wrongdoing," said Daniel Mach, ACLU's director of litigation for its freedom of religion program. "For example, the Pace High School teachers handbook asks teachers to 'embrace every opportunity to inculcate, by precept and example, the practice of every Christian virtue.'"
The case stems from a Jan. 28 incident in which Lay, a local Baptist church deacon, asked Freeman to offer mealtime prayers at a lunch for school employees. Staver said no students were there and the event took place on school property after hours.
Mach countered that the event was held during the school day and Lay has admitted in writing that there were students present, according to the newspaper.
The ACLU contends that the allowance of the lunchtime prayer was a breach of last year's settlement, in which the district promised, among other things, to prohibit all school employees from promoting prayers during school-sponsored events, espousing their religious beliefs and trying to convert students.

More on this later. e.c.
It's later now, and I'm back trying to think of rude things to say about the ACLU. The suppression of religious expression in this country is going to backfire in the faces of the atheists, agnostics, and ignostics who delight in using law--so called--to advance their humanistic agendas.
The result will be an awakening of the sleeping giant of religious conservatism in this country who will then use the laws (already on the books in many states) to enforce their edition of persecution.
Whether atheist or wild-eyed religious zealot, they hold a shared genetic flaw; intolerance of the opinions and beliefs of others. [Do I do that? Do we do that?] I trust the answer is, NO! But alas, I must admit how comforting it is when others agree with me...(smile). We need to be consistent in our treatment of others; at least some of the time [now that was a bald faced pun]. OK, I'll go home now. You might not want to think about any of what I've posted today.
One thing you can take seriously: God Bless. e.c.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Lift up your hands in the Sanctuary and bless the Lord." [Psalms 134:2]
The Psalmist encourages us to bless the Lord; to bless Him during worship in our church(es); to lift up our hands and bless Him.
Strange looks and sideways glances are the usual fruit one has to pick if they lift their hands in church. At some point in the history of our church we turned shy and self conscious; so much so that to be overt in one's worship (lift up the hands, say "Amen" too frequently, stand up during especially moving music, stand up during Spirit led preaching, and other modest signs of being inspired and moved during worship, and one may be accused of intentionally drawing attention to themselves.
And that's why I really love black churches and black preachers. They are not hobbled by the man-made traditions of Protestant, puritanistic propriety, so-called. We could call it "undignified" to exhibit enthusiasm for our Lord. We could be called exhibitionists for yielding to emotions of Holy love and gratitude for our Saviour. We could be called, 'fanatical.' Do we care?
Yes. I think we do care enough about the opinions of others to allow ourselves to be subdued into not caring enough to send Jesus Christ 'the very best.' I find that sad and sorrowing.
I've mentioned this before (so forgive me) but if you remember the beautiful paintings by Harry Anderson, one shows a family looking heavenward as Christ returns to the earth. Inspiring as it is the painting contains a curiosity; one character (obviously the father of the family) is wearing a suit; like he just came from church rather than from a ..."time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation..." [Daniel 12:1]
Honestly, I can't really remember, but I'm wondering if anyone in that painting has their hands raised in praise to God. I think there is...perhaps in the lower left corner of the piece. If anybody out there knows for certain, or if I'm mistaken about the 'suit thing' I'd like to know.
Just once today lift up your hands and praise the Lord. If we tried it we might like it; we already know He wants our praise.
Blessings. e.c.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Political Gyre

There are, in various parts of the world's oceans, areas where currents intersect, intermingle and become directionless. The waters tend to; not like a whirlpool, but simply circulate endlessly. What goes there remains there.
In the age of plastics, sewer lines that empty into the ocean miles from shore, and things that are either lost or thrown overboard from the thousands of vessels on the sea, currents carry this detritus either to other shores or where it is trapped.
One (North Pacific) has been featured on the news in the past year.
Oceanographers, and other concerned groups estimate that this one contains millions of tons of trapped, floating, materials and is so large that there is nothing that can be done about it.
Some of the trash consists of large pieces but the larger problem is the smaller pieces; some of which are nearly microscopic. Fish and birds that have died and have undergone scientific autopsy have been found to carry (astoundingly) hundreds to more than a thousand particles of plastic in their systems.
There are particles so small that they make their way into the cell where they can mimic certain hormones. These are called xenohormones.
Which brings us to our point after the tour around the barnyard.
Politics and politicians in Washington make up our very own national, toxic, dangerous. There too, things go round and round and nothing can be done about it...or so it seems. The simile of the in all things political in all parts of the world is perfect for illustrating the way the toxic events on this earth are winding down to what the Old Testament prophets referred to as "That Day."
As Seventh-day Adventists we understand why and how our nation is going the way it is. We grasp the spiritual significance of national and international events. We are Adventists! which means we are looking for the return of Jesus Christ. Millions of other believers over the world are waiting for the Lord to return and take them home.
Oh! I almost forgot: There is the health-care debate.......never mind.
I guess I'll just ' ...shut up and get out of the way...'
Be a blessing to someone today because for some, today will be the end of their days. e.c.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fifty-Two Years Ago Today

There was a quiet celebration at our home today; fifty-two years as husband and wife. The day was spent writing cards and letters to each other and joining in simple projects around the cabin; projects designed to bring joy to this day and in days to come.
It was in Burbank, California that we were married by Elder Euel Atchley. I was 20, the bride was 21. Our reception was held in Glendale at the home of a physician and his wife who graciously offered to host the event. They were Dr. and Mrs. Otto Neufeld and the address of their lovely home was 3030 Chevy Chase Boulevard.
That evening was a blur; the wedding, the reception, and the gathering at my wife's parents home after the reception.
A funny thing happened at the reception; we went to a room upstairs to change our clothes, and by force of habit I said; "I'll go change in the next room and you can change here." And the bride responded, "Buddy, we're married! We can change our clothes in the same room!" We still laugh about that. (I did say the evening was a blur, didn't I?)
So young; so much in love. And now, all these years later, so much in love, but not so young. Sometimes I study her face, her hair, and I think to myself how beautiful she is. Her beauty runs deep and courses through her soul because it is the beauty of devotion to God. As for me, I was and am, high maintenance.
I'm thinking about the words of a song; a Christian song; and a repeating phrase that goes..."Through it all, through it all, I've learned..." I guess that will suffice as the theme of our lives so far and will continue as far as we go...together...through it all. Thank you Lord for my bride; the bride of my youth.
Blessings, always. e.c.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ecclesiastes 3:18-22

"I said in my heart, "Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them, that they may see that they themselves are [like] animals." For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? So I perceived that nothing [is] better than that a man should rejoice in his own works, for that is his heritage. For who can bring him to see what will happen after him?
At Creation God breathed life intoman and he became a living being (soul) [Genesis 2:7]. The "spirit" of man that "goes upward" at death is the breath of life that returns to God who gave it. (The word translated 'spirit' is the Hebrew word, 'ruach' which refers to 'wind, breath, mind' [Strong #7307].
Solomon writes with a pensive tone as he considers the lot of mankind; in fact, the fate of all living creatures: "For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing." [Eccl. 9:5].
Reading the news on the computer this morning I was impressed (and a little frightened) by the reported violence that is going on in the world and that is escalating as the time is approaching when God will call an eternal "Time Out!" on sin and its baleful effects touches every family and eventually, every person.
So why am I this moment?
Because I know that as all things unwind, run down, and stop, so does man; so will I. But for the rest of today I will follow Solomon's advice (given through the Holy Spirit) and I will rejoice in my own works; building a gate, straightening my office, writing this post, and witnessing for Jesus Christ.
There! I feel better now.
God Bless. e.c.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"When you are converted, feed my sheep."

Christ spoke these words to Peter. For a long time I have wondered about their precise and practical meaning. Peter was one of the chosen twelve disciples, but why would Christ single him out and admonish him; perhaps in front of the other eleven men.
From the writings of Peter's two books and his role of leadership in Jerusalem he evidently and obviously was converted. But I have questions: When did Peter's conversion take place and what was the event that brought it about.
I realized that this conversion must have taken place during or shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus.
Peter was distraught when Christ's words were fulfilled and he ended up denying Him three times, and threw in a few fisherman-kind of swear words just to underline his denial and get that young woman out of his face; the one who kept at him about his Galilean manner of speaking and having been seen with Jesus.
When the rooster finally crowed Peter fell apart and saw himself as he was; one who was, so to speak, in the church, had lots of (first-hand) knowledge about Jesus, His life, His teachings, etc. Knowledge, Peter had. Experimental, practical, knowledge and a sanctified love relationship with Jesus, he had not.
So what was it that pushed Peter over the edge from having knowledge, having information about Jesus, to knowing himself and knowing Jesus in the deep sense that typifies conversion?
I think I finally understand it. Peter saw the Son of God on the cross suffering a physical and mental agony for him. Peter realized that the Man he had identified as the Son of God was going through the mocking, scourging, and pain of separation from His Father for him. Peter took it personally and it broke him. Putting it another way, it converted him; it changed him from the inside out.
Ellen White says that it would be well if we were to contemplate the final hours of Christ's life. I now know that to see Jesus on the cross, and to take it personally , will work a daily conversion in our lives (in my life).
Our hard hearts need the softening influence of our Saviour every day. The powerful image of the cross and the suffering Christ changed Peter and I want it to change me.
Blessings. e.c.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Just in Case You're Wondering

From the Word of God
"These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may [continue] to believe in the name of the Son of God." [1st John 5:13]

A word from EGW
"Only one day at a time--think of this. One day is mine. I will in this one day do my best. I will use my talent of speech to be a blessing to some other one, a helper, a comforter, an example which the Lord my Saviour shall approve. I will exercise myself in patience, kindness, forbearance, that the Christian virtues may be developed in me today. "If you are right with God today, you are ready if Christ should come today." In Heavenly Places, page 227.

Different words, different sources, same message. There is no need for the people of God to be uncertain or fearful about their standing with Jesus Christ when they are "...right with God..." But what does that mean? The Bible answers the question; "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." [1st John 1:9].
The Gospel is profound and it is simple. It's profundity is a study into which the heavenly angels desire to look. And yet, it's simplicity is such that the least of God's children can grasp it's meaning and understand that they are saved by faith in God's grace. Like the patriarch Abraham (Avraham), their belief and trust in God and His word(s) is counted as righteousness. [see Genesis 15:6].
Here is reason to shout! Hallelujah, Lord
Thank God for His blessings and for the Sabbath, which like the Christ is coming soon. e.c.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Who/What is The Antichrist?

In today's Christian religions there are diverse views about the Antichrist. The division of opinion comes in two basic colors; 1) those who see the issue as spiritual, and 2) those who interpret it as political/spiritual.
In the first group are those (including Seventh-day Adventists) who recognize the existence of a cosmic war between Christ and Satan; between the forces of good and the forces of evil. They/we also understand that this war began in heaven with the rebellion of Satan (nee, Lucifer), who garnered the sympathy of one-third of the angels. Lucifer and his lot lost the war in heaven but have been winning here on earth to the extent that since the war began, billions of souls have been lost to Christ; souls for whom He died.
Those in the second group believe that Antichrist comes onto the world scene as a charismatic person who at first seems to be benign and but later turns sinister. This is the basis of the plot in the wildly successful Left Behind series of religious novels.
Novels or not, these books capture much of the essence and highlight the polarization of the spiritual vs. political perspective in the continuum of beliefs regarding Antichrist.
If one bothers to read the Bible rather than novels loosely based on fabrications from Biblical truths, they will find that both John and Paul wrote about the Antichrist. Paul uses the phrase son of perdition in the second chapter of his second letter to the Thessalonians. John, recording the prayer of Jesus in chapter seventeen of his book, also speaks of the son of perdition. Clearly, they cannot be the same person because Jesus is speaking of Judas Iscariot who was long dead when Paul was writing. So what is the connection?
The phrase, son of perdition is code for Satan's plan for the Christ (to kill Him) and for the church (to kill it). Satan failed to murder Jesus because He gave up His life for all mankind [John 6:51].
Here is the most significant and important point of this post: Judas Iscariot was not an outsider. Judas dwelt among the chosen of Christ; he was one of the twelve disciples. Antichrist dwells in the church as an apparent chosen because it is within the church that Antichrist is able to accomplish the following; 1) persecute and kill the saints, 2) think to change times and laws, 3) blaspheme God by claiming to be God's representative on earth, 4) claim to forgive sins, 5) nullify the daily ministration of Christ as it is carefully outlined in the book of Hebrews (a book written well after the death and resurrection of Jesus), 6 divert worship from Jesus Christ to mere humans (Mary) and institute the veneration of pagan symbols and pagan days of worship [Ishtar (Easter), Dies Natalis Solus Invictus...Birthday of the Invincible Sun (Christmas)].
No, the Antichrist is not some man [Henry Kissinger, Obama, or some bloke in Spain]. He sits in Rome in splendor misleading the world's billions of believers into offering him worship and veneration.
One more thing; Antichrist is not a single person because as John writes [1st John 2:8] there were many Antichrists. Antichrist is two things; a principle that works to counteract the true Christ and, this deadly work always has been and always will be carried out through the hands of men willingly in league with the original Antichrist; Satan.
Here is a need to know so that each of us can explain this important issue to those who do not know; those who (as I have said) get their theology from novels written by men who pervert the Truth of the Word for pecuniary gain (read, money) and who themselves have swallowed either Futurism or Preterism in one continuous gulp.
Think on these things. God Bless.
p.s. Steve Wohlberg has written about the history of Futurism and Preterism. It is worth knowing. You need to know. I will say only this; the roots spring from followers of Ignatius Loyola.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Never Part Again

There is a hymn only us older folks recall or, perhaps, sing a few notes. There is a phrase that repeats and it goes like this; "...we'll never, never part again..."
This morning was bitter-sweet. Our son, his wife and four children left just moments ago for Sea-Tac airport in their odyssey-like return trip to their home in Maine. It's bitter because we haven't seen the whole family at one time for years. It's sweet because eight people cooking, eating, showering, dressing, and doing all the things that one's daily ablutions demand are very demanding in a 360 square foot cabin we call home.
Mercifully, we have three other outbuildings where they can sleep; all of them cozy, warm, and not too far from the cabin. The silence now is eerie, a little welcome, a little saddening.
But there is coming a time...soon we hope and pray...when Jesus Christ will take us to His house where there are many rooms. You know the verse; "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be also." [John 14:1-3]
So we come back to the words of the song, "Never Part Again". As I recall, there is point and counterpoint in the chorus that goes something like this;
Never part again?
No, never part again
We'll never, never part again."

We waved goodbye to those we love but could not see behind the darkened limousine windows . Just before it disappeared from sight, a hand (my son) waved their last goodbye. Walking down to the cabin I thought about this song and was cheered by the closing words of the chorus..."We'll never, never part again."
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus." [Revelation 22:20]
Goodbye Scott. Goodbye Delores. Goodbye Chris. Goodbye Nathan. Goodbye Beniah. Goodbye Aryona. We love you!