Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Song For Your Day!

The words of William Miller, written in "The Midnight Cry" after the "Great Disappointment" have been put to music in a song written by David Huntsinger and sung by Reggie Smith. It was sung at the celebration of 3ABN's 25th Anniversary. Contact 3ABN (618)627-4651, to purchase a DVD of this beautiful and inspirational music. It will give you much more than you are asked to give for the DVD. e.c.

I've Fixed My Mind On Another Time

"I have fixed my mind
On another time, on another time.
And here I mean to stand until
God gives me more light.

And that is today, today
Today until He comes.
I have fixed my mind
On anther time, on another time.

I have set my course
On the narrow way, on the narrow way.
For I know the time is close at hand
For which I watch and pray.

And that is today, today
Today until He comes.
I have set my course
On the narrow way, on the narrow way.

Even so Lord come quickly
This is my fervent prayer;
For I've caught a glimpse of glory
And I'm longing to be there.

When shall the Son of Man appear
The trumpet sound its blast;
And Christ descend in glorious fire
With all the saints amassed.

We'll rise with those who sleep no more
To meet Him in the air.
When shall the Son of Man appear
The Son of Man appear.

Even so Lord come quickly
This is my fervent prayer.
For I've caught a glimpse of glory
And I'm longing to be there;

For I've caught a glimpse of glory
And I'm longing to be there.

I've set my mind
On another time, on another time.

Blessings. e.c.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Hard Part...

Perhaps life would be easier if one could die before they got to the hard part.
While you're trying to figure out what that means, I'll press on.
The problem with trying to avoid life's hard parts is that there are no easy parts.
Some children deserve a pass that reads, "Pass childhood! Go straight to Adolescent St."
Adolesence: Shyness, pimples, in search of a first kiss, trying to break into the clique..(long sigh).
Coming of age: Why that name? No steady income, no real at home.
Marriage: Idealistic, romantic, blue sky, pregnancy, a baby. How did this happen so soon?
Maturation: Hopefully growing from mistakes that you don't want to talk about; or think about.
Turning 40: In the career track, too many kids, too little money, too much responsibility.
Turning 50: Got a paunch, friends looking older, send the kids off to college. Not enough money.
Turning 60: No heart attack...yet. There are some things we can still do...but not well.
Turning 70: Not as bad as expected, except for the prostate, back, shoulder, and knees.
Turning 80: Lord, do I really want to do that....mmmm...I guess so...if things get easier.
My father never lived to see 46. That was hard...for him and me.
Let's count our blessings. You go first. e.c.

Friday, January 29, 2010

As If Your Life Depended On It

"Many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed. Let it be your prayer, 'Create in me a clean heart, O God; renew a right spirit within me.' Deal truly with your own soul. Be as earnest, as persistent, as you would if your mortal life were at stake. This is a matter to be settled between God and your own soul, settled for eternity. A supposed hope, and nothing more, will prove your ruin."
"Study God's Word prayerfully. That Word presents before you, in the law of God and the life of Christ, the great principles of holiness, without which 'no man shall see the Lord.' It convinces of sin; it plainly reveals the way of salvation. Give heed to it, as the voice of God speaking to your soul." [Steps to Christ pg. 21.2-.5].
Advice for the living, while there still is time.
Think on these things. e.c.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wha-cha want fer that principle?

The drive for dollars is dizzying. The banks and bankers want more money, as do the auto makers and the Democrats. Of course the Democrats want to take it from the banks and bankers whom they think are making too much money. So when the banks begin falling and we bail them out....and they start making money and begin paying us back....the next best thing is to punish them for doing well. But this is politireasoning and cannot be translated into English.
People are being swallowed by debt and, if they have to declare insolvency, and they happen to be tithe-paying Christians, the court will deny them paying tithe and demand the creditors first. God comes in second....but maybe the creditors pay tithe on a huge income and it all evens out.
If it's a problem, throw money at it and maybe it'll go away. Let's speak of the Taliban. These guys follow a home-brewed kind of Islam that does not follow the usual way it is practiced in Saudi Arabia; the wahabbist branch, named after a dead guy named Abd-al-Wahabb; or somethings like that; look it up.
What we're talking about here is their religion and their worship. So, the latest brilliant idea to come of DC is to pay the Taliban enough money to convince them to abandon their quest to bring the world under Sharia law and become soy bean farmers. It's not unlike giving a Lutheran enough money to convert to Catholicism....Luther marries the Pope...for a fee of course. Now that would be news. (The Lutheran to Catholic is not so far out these days because many Lutherans have forgotten, or never knew, what they believe).
Interestingly, this "idea" (that's much too kind of a word to describe such suicidal thinking) is actually receiving serious consideration.
Are American and British politicians so naive, are they so stupid, are they so ignorant of the principles of faith of others in this world that they think these men can be bought? "OK! give us some dollahs and we'll give up Allah." The Taliban are probably laughing till they pee themselves. Kind of a "Wait'll ya hear this one" rumor going around Afghanistan. If they truly believe...and they do...that the Koran encourages killing one's self in order to kill infidels, why would any self-respecting, self-murdering, others-murdering, self-sacrificing, radical Islamic fighter willingly sell his soul for a stack of declining dollars. Curiously, the Brits are also toying with the same insane notion.
Perhaps there are enough radical Muslims in the Congress and White House that they're using this as an indirect way of funding the objectives of the Taliban. On this one I can say only, Go Figure. Ooorrrrrr....I've got it....the politicians in DC think the Taliban is as unprincipled as the resident politicians who are a deep and ready source of social infection. Of course! Now it makes sense!
I'm not certain it's healthy to think about this. e.c.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Zechariah speaking spot-on...

Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, writes:
'For thus says the Lord of hosts:'
"Just as it determined to punish you when your fathers provoked me to wrath,"
'Says the Lord of hosts.'
"And I would not relent, so in these days I am determined to do good
to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
These are the things you shall do: Speak every man the truth to his neighbor;
Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,"
'Says the Lord.'
Zechariah 8:14-17.
Love is the language of the church iff* those in the church are in Christ.
*In mathematics, the notation "iff" is understood to mean, "if and only if."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself...unless, of course, they're different

It was supposed to be H1N1; the pandemic that would engulf the world in disease and death. Oh, there are plenty of people dying but flu is not the killer; rabid, rampant, sectarianism is the killer, and very efficiently at that.
The conundrum on the topmost body of a growing heap of bodies is not new, nor is it without precedent. During the "Dark" and "Middle Ages" called...killed Christians also called. Here is the lesson: while self-righteous murder is rampant the world over we can be angered but not surprised. Muslims kill each other at the drop of a sect; Sunni vs. Shia. If the children of Mohammad find it immortalizing to murder self and others, I find this not a lot different from Christian murdering Christian and then going home to a warm dinner after they sanctimoniously wash the blood off their hands.
But the blood is still there.
Scientists worked to produce an antibody for H1N1. There is not an antibody for sectarian hatred and bloodshed. Christ's response to bloodshed past, present, and future was to shed His blood for all mankind; past, present, future. Of course, the message of Christ and His sacrifice is being diluted and devolved both in the world and in the church. The church is trying to reinvent itself and what is emerging from this faulted pupa is a church with a christ smaller to none; not the Son of God, not the salvation of the world, not with a message of hope for all; just a god. [Read "Faith Undone"]
Expect the future to be more vile, more bloody, and more sectarian as hatred cross pollinates from religion to religion, sect to sect, person to person. I say again; don't be surprised, don't be in fear. Be in Christ.
There will be blood on the hands of many and it may be ours. There are those who are waiting. To understand this is to possess 'nous'. Look it up (Merriam-Webster online), but keep looking up. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will return with the vengeance of eternal destruction on the wicked and they shall be consumed with fire as stubble [Malachi 4:1, 2].
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." [Matthew 5:3]

Monday, January 25, 2010

What's in a Name?

Who does not know the story of Daniel in the lion's den? Or who has not heard about Daniel's three friends who wouldn't bow down to the golden image Nebuchadnezzar set up on the plain of Dura? Who does not know that Babylonian mathematics were to the base "6" rather than ours to the base "10?" Who does not know the dimensions of Nebuchadnezzar's image was 60 cubits high and 6 cubits in width [Daniel 3:1]? It had to have depth, so perhaps that too was 6 cubits which would render the dimensions something like 6, 6, 60. Hmmmm. Isn't that an interesting sequence of numbers. But I digress.
The Hebrew names of these four young men were these:
Daniel God is my Judge
Hananiah God has favored
Mishael Who is what God is
Azariah Jehovah has helped
There is a sermon in here and we are going to try to find it. When these young men were put through their intensive "retraining" to render them Babylonian rather than Hebrew worshippers of the true God, they refused to eat unclean meats and pollute their bodies and minds with fermented wine. Ashpenaz, the chief of eunichs, found "...favor and goodwill..." in the young men [Daniel 1:9]. Before revealing and interpreting the king's dream Daniel said to him that "..there is a God in heaven..." [Daniel 2:28]. Daniel was delivered from the lion's den because God found him blameless and he went on to witness as an officer in the courts of Medo-Persia after the fall of Babylon. Kings Nebuchadnezzar [Daniel 4:37] and Darius [Daniel 6:25-27] gave testimony of the greatness of God. Jehovah was helping these young men throughout their lives as political trophy's of the siege on Jerusalem. He never left them or forsook them.
The stories in Daniel are found in the names of these men: God has favored. Who is what God is? God is my (our) Judge, (and) Jehovah has helped. And He who is the only One and True God continues to favor His people whose "names" give praise to Him. He daily helps us and we are longing for Him to judge us and to blot out and forget our transgressions.
What does your name (literally, or by reputation) say about God?
Blessings. e.c.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

RE: Peter Gregory

There is a young Korean-born preacher who, in my estimation, is one of the best I have heard in years. Most probably he would not want me to heap praise on him and he would deflect it instead to Jesus. That is a good thing. My first exposure to PG was on 3ABN on Saturday night. Several programs recycle from Australian 3ABN and a recent AYC series. Its great to listen...and listen again... to Gregory, Asscherick, and others preach the Adventist message in a way I haven't heard in decades. I'll say it again...decades.
Gregory's message about the end times centers on the 2300 days and the sanctuary in a way that is really enlightening. I can't remember hearing it so clearly explained. (Maybe I wasn't paying attention over the past 60 years). There are those who still understand and preach this message that is in the heart of Seventh-day Adventism. That message is Christ our righteousness and the blotting out of our sins. Is that not good news? No monotone preaching here.
Another we like to watch is that of the ten brides maids and the midnight cry. Yet another is from Matthew chapter 24 and Jesus' warnings about the signs of the time of the end. Two of these are on YouTube, so all you have to do is Google which will take you to the site where a blessing is waiting. Check this out! I know you'll like it. e.c.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Words for the day...and every day

"When the Holy Spirit controls the minds of our church members, there will be seen in our churches a much higher standard in speech, in ministry, in spirituality, than is now seen. The church members will be refreshed by the water of life, and the laborers, working under one Head, even Christ, will reveal their Master in spirit, in word, in deed, and will encourage one another to press forward in the grand, closing work in which we are engaged. There will be a healthy increase of unity and love, which will bear testimony to the world that God sent His Son to die for the redemption of sinners. Diving truth will be exalted: and as it shines forth as a lamp that burneth, we shall understand it more and more clearly." 8T pg 211
A Sabbath's Blessing! e.c.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm Probably Just Jealous...

Today's mail brought a slick brochure from LLUSD. The school is celebrating the 50th Dental Student Alumni Convention. My mind is conflicted. LLU is my alma mater (nourishing mother) and I am proud to have prosecuted paths as student and faculty; but my mind is conflicted. The source of my stress is having to choose without judging the 9th Annual Loma Linda Friends & Family Group fourteen day cruise that begins and ends in London. The per person fares begin at $2400 and go up to $3100. I love anything that has to do with boats; doesn't matter whether its big boats or little boats. Like the fellow said today when I stopped by NAPA auto parts; "Everything smells better on a boat." It's true. But still, my mind is conflicted. Why? Well, I'm thinking about the pragmatic Christian issues intrinsic to the whole business of ocean cruises.
If these are the end times; if we have an end time message; if we are the end time messengers; then where should we put our money. It's that simple!! It's that difficult! My mind is conflicted. What should one do when they have the money, love to cruise, and love the Lord? Probably I'm just jealous.
Go figure. e.c.

Killer Couey...and others

I really don't know what to say. Next Wednesday I'll be presenting the 4th in a series we're calling, Conversations About God. This one is problematic because I'm supposed to explain why it is that bad things happen to "good" and innocent people. For example: John Couey recently died in prison while awaiting his death sentence to be carried out. You'll probably recall that this man, a know sex offender, kidnapped, molested and buried alive (along with her teddy bear) a young, innocent Florida girl.

When I think about men like Couey, innocent girls like Jessica, the wrath of Satan, the evilness of evil, and the love of God, it's really...I'll say it again...really hard to try to explain why bad things happen to innocent people. There are forty, dead orphans buried in the rubble of their orphanage in Haiti. Explain that!

I have heard well meaning Christians (read, Adventists) say that God has to allow sin to fully express its sinfulness before He calls a halt to Couey-like atrocities. That explanation is unacceptable. You've heard me say before that world wide, 30,000 children die each day from hunger. So, how many days...months...years...centuries...does just that one thing have to continue to convince man that evil kills.

No! God is not waiting for evil to fully express itself. That was accomplished on the cross when Evil crucified God in His Christ; whom incidentally, is waiting for His people to even want the Holy Spirit, so that the Third Angel's message can be fully proclaimed, so that God can call an eternal "Time Out!" so that all who choose Christ can be with Him, and all who have chosen Satan can perish in the all-consuming eternal fire of God.

Imagine standing next to the family gathered around the small casket of their child; a child stolen, violated, and murdered. They turn to you, tears running down their cheeks, and they ask in an angry, accusatory tone, "Why did God let this happen???" And you answer........what?

That's today's question; what is your answer? What would you have to say that would give comfort and hope to someone(s) suffering an unbearable loss? How do you explain God to others? Is it by words...they fall so easily from the lips...or is it by your life, our lives, our empathetic tears, our sorrow that is too deep to be expressed in mere words.

We should study to show ourselves approved of God and to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us.

Pray for me, that God will give me words that are anything but "mere."


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


In mathematics, the number "1" is represented as "unity." In matters spiritual, Truth is said to be a "unit" [8T pg 174]. I had to think about that for a while last night before going to sleep. Somehow it's easier to think in the dark; distractions are fewer to none.
Christ prayed, "...that they may be one, even as we are one..." [John 17:11, 22].
What say you to this: If Christ is in us ( ...Christ in us the hope of glory... [Colossians 1:27]), then Truth is in us because He is "...the Way, the Truth, and The Light..." [John 14:6a]. And if He is the only way to the Father [John 14:6b], and if He is not only the Truth, but Truth as it only exists, then, outside of Christ, there is no truth but only a mere ethic; atheists, agnostics, humanists, ignostics, et ali, can question, discuss, discourse, and write about truth, without knowing nor understanding Truth.
We may find it difficult to admit to the existence of Truth absolute...usually because of conflict with self esteem choices of personal lifestyle. Our in-admission of Truth does invalidate either its Author nor its existence. Man's inability to yield to Truth obscures his view of God. The sinful nature of man naturally rebels at the thought and instruction of immutable Truth. Simply put, we don't like being told what to do. We've all been parented, some better than others, but all parenting is imperfect and some can not help but identify God with being parented. The only way to free ourselves from this dilemma is to look at Jesus Christ and see the Father who Himself " loved the world that He gave..." [John 3:16]
Truth is a unit; a building of individual stones, each perfectly cut, polished, and placed so that they reflect the love and life of God. The value of each stone is proportional to the Light it reflects. For now, this world is on Life Support that still streams from Christ. Soon, very soon, when iniquity's cup is full and the final repentance is borne heavenward, mercy will be fully withdrawn, Life Support and the world will end.
Jesus wants to come. Shall we join His work in warning the world, or shall we watch TV?
Think on these things. e.c.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Turn up the heat!

Somewhere around 3:00 a.m. the power went out and it didn't come back online until 6:00 p.m. We fared well: lunch of sorts at Denny's; bundled up to stave off the cold inside that should have stayed outside; water heated with a camping stove; and each other. The wife made hot soup for supper and I commented; "Having hot soup on a cold day is like soaking your soul in a hot soapy tub. Mmmmm.
We are blessed. e.c.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Concluding Conjunctions

..."Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil" [Romans 16:19b]
..."Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God ghrough Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them" [Hebrews 7:25].
..."Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it [Exodus 20;11].
..."Therefore I said to the children of Israel, 'No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood" [Leviticus 17:12].
..."Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation" [Isaiah 12:3].
..."Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger [Isaiah 13:13].
..."Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious unto you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him [Isaiah 30:18].
..."Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless..." [2nd Peter 3"14].
..."Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" [Revelation 7:15-17].
...Therefore, find comfort in the Word of God. [e.c.]

Saturday, January 16, 2010


It was 1953. The Lincoln High School Band marched along Broadway Street in downtown Tacoma. Leading the band was a front-line of field drums. Their perfect cadence echoed off what I then thought were tall buildings framing the street. I remember the thrill, the pride, of marching along, trumpet at the ready and playing a Sousa with all my heart.
It was 1953. The orchestra was rehearsing and I was counting measures; 1,2,3,4... 2,2,3,4... etc. Beautiful music; even from high school students. The bass clarinet; have you ever heard a bass clarinet? Unforgettable; better even than a bass trombone.
A church is a lot like a band; a lot like an orchestra. Not everyone plays the same instrument. An orchestra is only an orchestra, a band is only a band, if all the instruments are represented. Two more things are needed; sheet music and a leader; a conductor, if you please. There is always someone whose responsibility it is to make certain that the sheet music is in the right order on the appropriate music stands. (It helps a lot if the band, the orchestra, the church, is playing the same song).
A good conductor keeps the musicians...sometimes a lot of them...on the same page, on the same measure, and on the same time: 2/4...3/4...4/4. He/She knows all the parts and keeps them headed in the same direction, giving emphasis to each section and expression to the music. The conductor is not the band, nor is he/she the orchestra. One can not exist without the other except as silence or cacophony.
What is your instrument? Do we give the trumpet a certain sound or does it blare; drowning out the delicate notes of the violins?
Does everyone strive to be concert master? In every orchestra there is but one; Violin, first chair.
As for me, I am happy to play 6th chair, third trumpet section, in the junior reserve band; not unlike being content to be a doorman in the house of my God.
Play on, for the Lord. Keep your eyes on the conductor. Learn to read music. Play in harmony with the rest of the band.
Blessings. e.c.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ummm...have we stepped in something?

For me, politics has become an emetic (a potion that makes one vomit). I would rather die than have to kneel on the floor before the porcelain throne, resting my chin on the cool rim, waiting the inevitable retching. The mind of the essayist is best exercised thinking about things of the Spirit; things that are intrinsically meritable and of eternal consequence.
In the present climate of Washington (DC), politics is the dog manure on the sole (and soul) of our nation's tennis shoes; so easy to step in; so hard to clean. I could rant about Democrats and Republicans but that would be pointless and purposeless. One powerful Bible verse comes to mind just now: "Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter" [Isaiah 59:14].
Recently I read the following; "Politicians cannot be bought but are easily rented." Senators from Nebraska and Louisiana were easily rented for the price of their vote. The reader already knows these things so we will not waste time on the details. The President is large on labor unions and so, in a show at Home Depot, Obama and labor leaders labored on the details of a plot that granted health plan taxation favors to the unions; imagine that! (Some may know that a hundred years ago Ellen White warned against the destructive influence of unions as she looked clearly into the future) (I can give the citation and the date if you ask).
The White House is concerned that Massachussetts may go Republican and that would be a disaster for the Senate as the imbalance of present power would most probably be lost. The results would be terrible. How then would Pelosi be able to say to us, "Open wide!" and be followed by humble Harry demanding, "Swallow!" In advance of a Republican victory in MA, politicians have divised a plan that would postpone seating a Republican winner until after they accomplish dismantlization of the legislative process and have injected the nation with a nationalized case of health care influenza. I rest my case.
Here is a suggestion that might be adopted by all politicians: promise not to promise. For, to promise, is to create expectations, and when expectations are not met then the promisers are forced to "create" (read, lie) explanations to the promisees and that is always awkward, televised, scripted, practiced, and most assuredly inauthentic. In place of promises, abolish oaths of office and just give a simple, "I'll try," that would be believeable...perhaps.
The Creator and Cleanser of all things is preparing for His return; and He will cleanse the earth with fire. Paul, the great apostle wrote a socio-political commentary describing endtime conditions at the end of the first chapter in the book of Romans. It reads like this: "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge; God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers (gossipers), backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" [Romans 1:28-32].
If I must vote, here is my Candidate: "Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and righteousness shall look down from heaven. Yes, the Lord will give what is good; and our land will yield its increase. Righteousness will go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway" [Psalms 85:10-13].
p.s. God, who cannot lie, needs neither speech writer nor teleprompter.
Blessings. e.c.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Portendeth These Things?

"And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diverse places." [Matt. 24:7]
Who can know, or pretend to know, the mind of God. As the nations of the world stare out the tiny windows of their perspective of world events, especially in light of the Haitian continuing curse of incredible misfortune, who can say that they understand. Some will use the occasion to say that God has done this; that this devastation is an act of God to grasp the earth by la nunca [the neck] and shake it to realization that the time of the end is near. That could be true.
President Obama used the word, "cruel" to describe the recent destruction in that country. I'm not certain that inanimate, geologic tectonics are capable of cruelty. Perhaps the President did not clearly express himself. Certainly, God is incapable of cruelty, though the world in its ignorance, is not slow to accuse God of being just like any another cruel, pagan god who issues orders from whim rather than Righteousness.
My wife posted the 91st Psalm on the window above the sink; the window that looks out on the lake. Raindrops, not unlike the lives of those lost in Haiti, exist only until they disappear into the dimpled surface that swallows them whole. Is this different from the life of any person. Is there a special fate for Haiti? ....Anyway, back to the Psalm, I asked her, "How does one rationalize the video streaming from Haiti and this Psalm?" She responded (very wisely I thought) that the Psalm is spiritual; that our salvation is secure in Jesus Christ.
Most probably there were the wicked and the righteous who were killed by the crushing avalanche of debris as the earth reeled under their feet. As I write, I know that there are the wicked and the righteous who are injured, homeless, hungry, thirsty,and exhausted. Is there a difference between the two? I choose to believe that the righteous Haitians will rest in the Bible promises they have committed to memory; promises of God, who cannot lie, that He will never leave them nor forsake them.
I ate well this morning; but as I sat pondering my plate of food I could not help but think of the people of Haiti--especially the children--who had no food, nor as yet, even the promise of warm food and pure water. When Jesus comes again...soon...He will have many tears to wipe away; especially for those unfortunate enough to have lived and died in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
p.s. I ate well this morning but was unable to enjoy my food knowing how Haiti suffers. It was as though children were standing near, watching me eat and waiting for me to share. Our Commission emerges all the more strongly these days..."Go ye into all the world..."
Haiti needs our prayers...but where is their food and water coming from.
Think about this! e.c.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Psalms 107:1-9 [NKJV]

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

They wandered in the wilderness in a desolate way;
They found no city to dwell in.
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted them.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
And He led them forth by the right way,
That they might go to a city for a dwelling place.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul,
And fills the hungry soul with goodness. [Emphasis added]

Blessings on the day. e.c.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All "bugs" are insects...but not all...

I attended Walla Walla College in the 50's. I know, I know, the name has been changed; so that makes a difference? Anyway, while majoring in Biology I was able to go through the entire insect collection and focused on the dragonflies; right down to genus and species; identified them all. But there is a new species of dragons that flies straight into the living rooms of the saints. Its sting poisons the minds and characters of its victims. Scientifically speaking, the genus is Televisioni and the species is violencius.
Every Christian knows...or should know...that watching violence portrayed in movies or on television is poisonous to the mind and thus the character. (Right about here some are losing interest in further reading...just so they won't know...and won't feel guilty). For those still on board with my train of thought...keep a log of regular programming that you and/or the family watches each week, and make a simple entry; Yes, or No, for violent content. Guys (and some women) think it OK to watch sporting events where the meanest team wins...take hockey, for example. It's supposed to be a bonding thing to eat potato chips, hoot and bellow at the TV when "our team" scores a point. Put Christ on the couch between us and our buddies and watch the mood change. Why is that?
Here is the abrasive part; keeping a log includes ALL television including dramatized depictions of real or fictional violence, reported violence, sports-related violence (fights, brawls, etc.) and cartoon violence. There is a very good question in the Bible that one should repeat to themselves (and answer) every time we pick up the remote: "What fellowship hath light with darkness?" [2nd Corinthians 6:14]. When the answer comes...and it will...and we obey, we will have done well. If not...
In these last days of earth's history, with what food shall we feed our minds and spirits? What will build us up in Christ? What things will dull (or kill) our appetite for the Word of God?
Ask the Holy Spirit to give wisdom and discernment in all matters and in all areas of life. It is, we know, truly a matter of eternal life or eternal death.
Think and act on these things. e.c.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Owning a Pit Bull is much like keeping a loaded gun in the nightstand. Sooner or later something will happen. The protestations of Pit Bull aficionados are a dim defense in support of breeding and keeping these animals.
A family is in mourning because the "family" Pit Bull killed their 3 year-old child. When officers and paramedics arrived the dog was aggressive towards them and a sheriff's deputy shot and killed the animal.
Sadly, there will most probably follow lots of backward-looking, accusations, and denials between family members. Breeders will blog, froth at the mouth on TV, and generally come to the defense of the breed and perhaps even this dog. Who will speak for the dead child?
I remember a trip we took up to Bishop, California in our camping van. Our wire-haired terrier (Sassy) went along. She was just a puppy and so was energetic and rambunctious. After we found our assigned spot and were settled in, Sassy and I went for a walk. Of course, she was on a lead. As we rounded a corner in the campground road a medium-sized dog rushed at us. I jerked Sassy up into my arms while the attacker leaped up over and over trying to bite Sassy. I stood there yelling at the dog and kicking at it (never making contact...sigh) when this short, pudgy, red-faced man came running (as much as a short, pudgy man can run) from his trailer.
Fiction: he called off his dog and apologized over and over again for his dog's behavior and immediately tied the dog next to the trailer.
Truth: he came puffing up to us, screwed up his face and yelled, "If u hrt mah dog, I'wll, keal u!" delivered in an accent from a place where mean dogs and mean men are soul mates. Go figure.
That was the end of the walk, and within less than ten minutes the ignorant pudgy little man, his truck, his trailer, his dog, and the rest of his kin were gone.
People choose blindness, very much like tobacco executives who denied (for profit, of course) that nicotine is "non-addictive." Perhaps you remember the Senate hearings a decade or so ago when a table full of (probably non smoking) tobacco big wigs took turns leaning into the one microphone and parroted their agreed-upon bottom line: "non-addictive."
Denial is not a river in Egypt. Denial is a tool we use for personal or pecuniary profit; usually at the expense of others. Those who deny the lethality of Pit Bulls live in the State of Denial which is southwest of the State of Jefferson in California (tongue in cheek).
Pudgy little people (small minds, small values, small principles, small concern for anyone but themselves) like their dogs, might best be dealt with at a hypoxic altitude. Did I say that? Did I mean that? I think about a three year-old child being mauled to death by a Pit Bull.
This tragic incident illustrates how important it is for parents to protect their best they can...from the evils in the "neighborhood." What kind of Pit Bulls do we permit in our homes? evil dogs that devour our children's hearts and minds. Soon enough, the time will come when they go out and make their own poor decisions...adopting a Pit Bull of another color that might maul and perhaps destroy their lives.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

All the more reason...

I've been reading an online Time Magazine article written by E. Benjamin Skinner. He makes the frightening statement "...that there is more slavery in the world now than at any time in history..." The piece opens describing a 17 year-old girl curled up in the fetal position in hospital bed #7. The sheets are blood stained, the bedposts rusty... and the room in this government run hosital is decorated with well-used fly strips between fluorescent lights and flaking light blue paint. She has full blown AIDS, tuberculosis and is pregnant. She is sweating and can barely speak. After being orphaned at age 15 she sought employment and was driven 8 hours north of Cape Town, South Africa, where she was sold to her "employer." The seller got $150.00 and crack cocaine.
The investigator in the story says that in this kind of slavery a child is usually sold for about $45.00 and can make up to $600. per night. Children are held by intimidation and beatings if they try to escape. When they contract disease and are no longer "profitable" to their owners they are thrown back into the streets like a dead or dying animal.
One such "buyer" says "I'm really looking forward to doing more business during the World Cup." Speaking of which, the world's cup of iniquity is ready to overflow the brim. Michael will stand up, lay aside His priestly garments and bring His words on the heads of these animals who trade in children; "It would be better for them if a millstone were hung around their neck and they were drowned in the depths of the sea." [Matthew 18:6].
The entire story can be found here...

(Note: the story has been moved so the link is not valid. Type in 1st 5 words into search engine)
South Africa's New Slave Trade --- And One Man's Campaign to Stop It

Just change the Law

Moving right along...

We have been reading "Desire of Ages" for our morning worship, and at the pace of a few pages a day we are nearing the end of the book. The chapter, "It is Finished!" engaged my mind like none other in the far. From Christ in Gethsemane to Christ on the cross is to experience radically conflicting feelings; deep sadness and guilt over His intense sufferings, and yet, relief and joy that His sacrifice gave us a way to escape the condemnation He carried.

One atheist argued that if only suffering and sacrifice is necessary for salvation, then one person's suffering can be another's salvation. What this poor soul did not understand is this: The sufferings of Christ were greater than any human had ever borne in the history of the universe. Why? Because "...He was made to be sin, who knew no sin..." We can't let that verse just slide off to one side of our realization; it has to sink in...deeply. Christ became sin. The sin of every man and woman who has ever lived was laid on Him. His suffering under this terrible weight in Gethsemane was greater than His suffering on the cross. This realization should carry a sobering sense of our responsibility to respond to Christ with whole heart, whole mind, and whole body.

If the law of the government of God would have been changed in any way Christ would not have had to suffer and die. This is borne out by the fact that three times Jesus prayed, "...Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me..."

The only answer Jesus got from heaven was silence...because...there was no other way. The Bible says that the death is the penalty of sin. Christ paid that penalty, in full, (and with interest). To iterate; Christ suffered the crushing weight of sin, and the ignominy of the cross, by choice, because He loves each person who ever lived as a result of His creating this world. Change the law just a little (change the speed limit, so to speak) and there is no sin.

Along comes man...again...and has the arrogance to change the Law that heaven would not, could not change. It's a little like a man going to the barber and asking him to "just take a little off the sides." God, in Jesus Christ, died because he would not alter the foundation of His government to accommodate Lucifer and those whom he deceived. Man, speaking in place of Lucifer, painted over the articles of God's government and spray painted a graffiti-substitute for the Words of God.

"And he shall think to change times and laws...speak pompous words against the Most High and persecute the saints of the Most High." [Daniel 7:25]. The "little horn" squeaketh.

God Bless. e.c. (Always obey the speed limit)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just change the speed limit!

Once upon a time we owned a Mazda MX6 GT Turbo. It shifted into 4th gear at 100 miles an hour. Somewhere between Shoshone and Baker (CA), on a straight road that went to the horizon, I said to my wife, "I'll watch the road, you watch the speedometer and call out the numbers." (This was a 2-door coupe with a four cylinder engine). There was not a car in sight so I stopped in the middle of the road on the dotted line. The pedal went to the metal, the turbo cut in and off we went. Sure enough; 4th gear at 100 mph. The numbers started coming: ...105 ...110 ...120 ...130 ...133 ...135 ...137 ...140... "That's enough!" I said. "There's more in there but I've seen all I need!" So we slowed to 70. Never before and never again do I need to go that fast.
Assume that a CHP (California Highway Patrol) would have...could have caught me. Then what? "Let me see your license," and the usual question, "Do you know how fast you were going?" I'd have to say, "Of course!" He'd take out the ticket book, open it, flip back a few pages and start scribbling.
"Wait a minute, wait a minute!" I'd protest. "There's nothing out here...nobody...who would know we were speeding and if they did, why would they care?" "You broke the law" he's say. "Well, why don't you just change the speed limit!" I can see him take off his sunglasses (slowly), fold them, put 'em in his shirt pocket, push back his hat...just a little... and say, "The law wouldn't be law if it changed for guys like you who want to do their own thing." Uhhh...good point.
More tomorrow. e.c.
Thank you Lord nothing happened to us.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Was that a gunshot?

The church...perhaps better said... the Doctors of Theology in the Church, are killing off Christianity one shot at a time, one (new) book at a time, one denominational vote at a time. If laughter were fatal, Satan would be dead and that would be a martha-stewart-good-thing. There are enough theologians who do not believe that all or parts of the Bible are the inspired word of God. They think they can easily and officially greet all sorts of abominations at the door on Saturday/Sunday morning with an enthusiastic, inclusive, all-embracing, accommodating, and profane, "Velkomen til kirken!"
In any language, the language of the church is no longer apostolic but apostalytic; a corrosive re- translation and re-direction of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Listen (again) to Dr. Marcus Borg who is Distinguished Professor in Religion and Culture at Oregon State University. Borg writes; "Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world." [Source: 'The God We Never Knew (New York, NY: HarperCollins, First HarperCollins Paperback Edition, 1998), pg. 25. Cited in "Faith Undone" Roger Oakland, (Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Silverton, Oregon, 2007, pg. 106.]
The thing that is undistinguishing about Borg is that his "theology" is not an outlyer; his is not the only voice untying and undoing the words of Him whose hands were tied behind His back while the Doctors of the Church looked on approvingly. Antichrist is in the church. He has always been in the church. His best work is accomplished where foolish, politicized, novel-inducted Christians least expect to find the church. It is the foolish virgins...those who were in the church but had not the Holy Spirit...that were Left Behind.
Who needs atheists or agnostics at large when Antichrist lives in the parsonage. Distinguished doctors of the church are killing or disabling the teachings of Christ one a-scriptural, intellectual shot at a time. Sadly, their learnedness and distinguished positions will condemn them as surely as it did the High Priest Caiaphas.
While many Protestants are searching for a safe and consistent anchorage, but are drifting about with every wind of doctrine; Rome says, "Here it is! Here it always has been, and here it always will be!" There is reason to admire their consistency; their not letting go of error. (This is their story 'n they're stick'n to it).
What is written here today is an in-arguably blatant example of what Jesus meant [Matthew chapter 24...see earlier post] when He said. "Take heed that no man deceives you."
Think on these things.
God Bless. e.c.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Words. I've always been fascinated by words; their origins, how they came to be part of our vocabulary, their life span, synonyms (same or similar meanings), homonyms (sounds like another word but has a different meaning, antonyms (opposite meaning), heteronyms (share the same spelling but have different meanings), capitonyms (two words, same spelling, but one capitalized changes its meaning as in March, and march), neologisms (new words...even made up words). So much for words
"Definition" and "meaning." This post is centered on the meaning of "definition." That's not an editorial slight-of-hand, it's a question posing as a statement. More clearly; How does one define themselves? Is it done by our possessions or our purpose? In my view--one that sees these as the last days of earth's history--anyone claiming the name of Christ should be earnestly laboring and witnessing for Him and should be defined by those labors.
There was a time when I chose to be defined by my boat; a thirty foot trawler. And even though she was documented "Third Angel," clearly I was more interested in being admired for the boat than for any alleged witness for the third angel's message (Revelation 14: 6 and onward).
Some are defined by a collection; it doesn't matter what they collect, they are recognized as a collector of ______________(fill in the blank). Some collections have intrinsic value; others are valuable only to the collector (like the family friend who collected beer bottle openers).
Stuff. That's another thing altogether. Almost all of us have too much stuff, very little of which could be called a collection. Stuff is ubiquitous. It is everywhere. In the garage, in boxes, in the attic, under the bed in containers designed to hold stuff. It's on the shelves in all the closets. Some of us even rent storage space for our stuff where, if it ever had any value, deteriorates and diminshes with every payment to the stuff-storage-place.
Ellen White had words of encouragement for those who would be privileged to live in these days: "My dear brethren and sisters, I speak to you in words of love and tenderness. Arouse and consecrate yourselves unreservedly to the work of giving the light of truth for this time to those in darkness. Catch the spirit of the great Master Worker. Learn from the Friend of sinners how to minister to sin-sick souls. Remember that in the lives of His followers must be seen the same devotion, the same subjection to God's work, of every social claim, every earthly affection, that was seen in His life. God's claims must always be paramount. Christ's example is to inspire us to put forth unceasing effort for the good of others." [8T pg 47. 2-.5]
What is your definition; your stuff or your purpose?
God Bless. e.c.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Matthew Chapter 24: Watch Therefore...

Very probably we've always thought of this chapter as giving a check sheet of signs that we can "tick" off one at a time; it is and yet it isn't. Christ does give a list but if we check it once, twice, thrice, and a fourth time we will see that there are certain things He emphasised repeatedly. Notice: the disciples ask; Question 1) "Tell us, when shall these things be?" Question 2) "And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" [verse 3]. The very first answer to both questions is..."Take heed that no one deceives you." [verse 4]. Then He adds "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many." [verse 5].

Jesus does give a list that includes wars, rumors of wars, nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. [verses 6, 7]. He adds that "All these are the beginning of sorrows" (birth pains) [verse 8]. Another list follows that includes tribulation, being killed, being hated, offending, betrayal and hating one another [verses 9, 10].

Another warning comes: "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many" [verse 11]. Skipping over to verse 23 we read "Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it.'" [verse 23]. (Comment: those saying "here" or "there" would be taking part in deception). Reading on..."For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" [verse 24].

And finally, "See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, 'Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or 'Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it'" [verses 25, 26]. Again, Christ is describing conspirators in deception. What emerges here are ongoing attempts to deceive the elect. No doubt, many will be deceived; it is happening before our very eyes in religion and in politics. The world is unprepared for the time when Satan comes down showing great power masquerading as an angel of light. "Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" [Revelation 19:20].

In closing, what is it we are to watch for and avoid? Being deceived! "By whom?" one should ask. False preachers, false prophets, and false teachers.
With thanks to P.G. for not prosecuting this blatant theft (smile).
Study to show yourself approved to God! e.c.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

E.C. is silent, to let the Bible speak

"O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is His also. The sea is His, and He made it: and His hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker." Psalm 95:1-6

"O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless His name, show forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people. For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: He is to be feared above all gods." Psalm 96:1-4

The Lord adds blessings to the reading of His word. e.c.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Just Tell Me The Rules...

I was reading Janie B. Chaney in "World Magazine" and was stopped in my tracks when she said; "Chains can look like freedom. 'What's liberating about Islam is that one is spared from having to think,' claimed a recent convert to a Norwegian journalist. 'There are rules for everything....I just have to learn the rules, and then act. So I know that I'm doing the right thing.' "
Well, if you're thinking the say I think...actually, that's very improbable...the things that come to mind save one from having to think...I think. Things like, 1) one ought not go to movies; 2) Adventists don't (usually) dance; 3) don't drink alcohol; 4) smoking is bad for you...don't do it; 5) pay an honest tithe; 6) absolutely don't eat pork; 7) study the Sabbath School lesson daily.
I'll stop a seven because that's enough to make my point: Any and all Adventists who are content to abide by the rules, and do so in order to know they are doing the right thing, are most probably doing the wrong thing.
A relationship with God that one builds on following rules is not a relationship is not building anything authentic or lasting. Anyone content with not having to think is in danger of dispensing cliches rather than sharing the Gospel and the Love of Jesus Christ. When God says; "Come now and let us reason together..." this is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this would be the God of the Jews whom they managed to reduce to hundreds of rules. They ended up killing God; the One who wanted to engage His people and call them His friends [See John Chapter 15].
Make no mistake, I am conservative because I choose to be. Being liberal is not a sign of freedom in Christ; it's more a sign of retreat; of changing the rules and moving away from God rather than being engaged in thoughtful study and worship. Sadly, a non-thinking Adventist, one satisfied with a list of rules, is very probably a lost...or at least....misplaced Adventist.
Think on these things.
God Bless. e.c.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Art of Anchoring

Paul writes, "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil." [Hebrews 6:19] NKJV
Serious boaters are those who understand that on any vessel, if something can go will. Once, while motoring from Chula Vista (CA) marina aboard the MV (motor vessel) Third Angel we heard a distress call from a sail boat that was dead in the water without power from breeze nor engine. Her name was Indigo. It gets more interesting. Indigo lay beneath the Del Coronado bridge and coming from astern was a cargo carrier; a monster of a vessel, which when underway even at low speeds, takes a quarter of a mile to stop.
We pulled along side and offered assistance; among boaters, that's not just a courtesy, its an understood rule of boating. We hip-towed (side by side) Indigo two and a half miles into the marina and into the fairway with just enough way on so that when we slipped the lines she ghosted into her slip.
Indigo had an anchor but couldn't use it because where she was adrift there are signs posted saying, "No Anchoring" because of all the power cables and telecommunication lines that run between San Diego and Del Coronado Island.
Anchors come in lots of sizes, shapes, and weights and one has to choose the most appropriate one for their vessel and intended anchoring. The holding power of an anchor depends on more than just the anchor; it also depends on the rode (nautical name for rope and chain to anchor). There is a rule that the minimum length of the rode should be 7 times the depth of the water. One has to think about high and low tides when calculating the rode. So the captain doesn't just stop the boat and drop the anchor to the bottom. The anchor has to be "set" and this is done by slowly backing down until the vessel stops. It is then that one can release more rode as needed.
There is always a length of chain between the anchor and the rest of the rode. The chain serves to keep the anchor in place and prevent the rest of the rode from exerting force on the anchor. It's then that the captain and crew can sleep...but not all night. Any sailor worth his/her stripes will check for swing (tides go in and out) and will have made mental reference sightings so they can check for drift.
Our neighbor across the finger dock anchored off Catalina and awakening in the night thought that things were just too quiet. When he went above to check on things he discovered that MV Island Gypsy had slipped her anchor and was adrift in open ocean...with 200 feet of chain and anchor hanging straight down. Another lesson learned. Remember I said, "...if anything can go wrong it will..."
Paul says that our "hope" is the anchor of the soul. Is the anchor of solid strength and design? Is it planted solidly with enough rode so as to not be loosed by tides nor storms? Storms are forecast (Daniel, Matthew, Revelation, etc.) and as I look across the horizon I see dark clouds and rain squalls heading our way.
It's time to check the anchor; make certain that tide change hasn't set us adrift. Every day we read the tide tables (Scripture), take regular readings of the anemometer (wind speed and direction) to know what evils are blowing across the land and (perhaps) through the church. [Read the book of Jude. Obviously he was an experienced harbor pilot].
We should daily yield the wheel to Jesus Christ who knows these waters like the back of His nail-scarred hands and will pilot the Ship of Zion from blue waters (open ocean) to her slip in Home Port.
Will your anchor hold? New Year's Blessings. e.c.