Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Animal Writes

The first animal to die on the Earth after sin entered was killed by whom? "Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. [Genesis 3:21].
On the Earth, the first chapter of the struggle between Good and evil was written in the blood of an animal; probably more than one, given that there were two standing naked in their sin. If Biblical typology can be retrospectively applied in this situation, I will posit that the animal(s) that were sacrificed to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve were...lambs.
Given the symbolism of the lamb...the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world...the Good Shepherd...the sacrificial service the Lord gave Moses...and the followers of Christ as His flock: we see the lamb as a recurring symbol of Christ; and it began in the Garden of Eden. 
The death of the first animals occurred in a world newly fallen into sin. Killing the animals prefigured Christ as the Lamb that would die for the sins of the world, and their skins (tunics) represent the robe of Christ's righteousness that we wear because of His death in our place.
Adam and Eve did not die (immediately) for their sins; it was innocent lambs that died so that they could be covered. The same is true of our sins; our Innocent Savior died to pay the price for our sins. Before the beginning of the life on this Earth, He had us covered! ec

Monday, December 5, 2011

In Search of the "Clinical Christ"

Once upon a time when I was young--in my 50's--I directed a pain clinic in a dental school. Eight hours a day, five days every week, they came. The AVERAGE time they had suffered chronic pain was 6 years. That's hard to imagine, but it is true; and it is only an average.
Men and women came complaining of headaches, facial pain, earache, and all manner of disease and disorder. Probably the worst pain was what we call Trigeminal Neuralgia; a pain that is felt in some part of the distribution of the Trigeminal nerve--one of the major nerves to the face and jaws.
When I thought this was the case I would ask a question: "Does the pain feel like you have been stabbed in the face with a hot knife that is plugged into an outlet?" When their eyes widened I pretty much knew I had it right. I knew their pain was excruciating.
For 18 years I saw all manner of hurting people. Most of them were women...but that's a different topic and takes time to explain.
I felt none of their pains and could not truly identify with the patients. My task was to be clinically proficient, search out the problem, and try to fix it as best I could. There were always those I could not help; and they would continue their search for healing. That was the hardest part of the work...not being able to help or heal.
Some of us have a "clinical relationship" with Jesus Christ. We are unable to feel the pain of His humanity; the Son of Man, who was, in His short life, hungry, weary, cold, insulted, taunted, accused, called a sinner, called a liar, called a devil, tormented by the weight of the sin of this world, put on trial, and executed in the preferred, Roman "excruciating" way; crucifixion.
I assume the connection between the two words is obvious, but just in case...
So we read our Bibles, go to a study class and talk about the Christ; often in a disconnected, abstract, intellectual, clinical way. Not connecting, not feeling, not really able to understand in a deep and personal way what our Lord and Creator chose to go through as the only way to rescue us from the spiritual, tumorous, tentacles of sin that permeate our hearts, minds, and bodies.
He chose to suffer and die with one thing in mind; that we would somehow grasp the eternal issues and choose Him as Lord and Savior. Intellectual discussions about diseases physical, mental, and spiritual are OK in their place. The problem is that the patient--that would be you and me--goes away with the same pain that they brought to the discussion.
Verily, verily, we cannot feel what the Christ felt, for no man or woman has ever suffered as did He, because they carried only the weight of their own sin--which can be heavy--while He carried the sin of every person who has ever lived or will live. Past, present, and future, Christ paid full price for our sins in the hope that we (you and I) would say "Yes" to his invitation: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" [Matthew 11:28, 29] [KJV]
Surely, someone will say to Him, "Yes Lord. I believe. I will follow You."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

They shall not cleave...

In the Old Testament book of Daniel, there is recorded Nebuchadnezzar's (King of Babylon) dream and the interpretation. The history of this dream applied both anciently and continues to do so today.
Here's why that is true: The king's dream was of a large statue of a man and consisted of a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, feet and toes of iron and clay. In their order, these various parts of the statue represented the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome, and the nations that followed its breakup; the nations of Europe. The sequence of these nations and their fall is verified by history.
Commenting on those nations Daniel writes; "As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. [Daniel 2:43]
There is a historical witness to this statement: Go to the internet and search a phrase such as this...Intermarriage of European Royalty...
Multiple sites explore the various lines of royalty and their attempts at unity through marriage. None of these have succeeded.
Neither by marriage, nor wars (eg. Napoleon), nor any other attempt has held.
So it is today with the European Union and the Euro. We are watching the failure (default) of EU members on the nightly news. In the last few days Merkle and others have been calling for the IMF (international monetary fund) for more assistance.
Based on the word of the Lord in Daniel, the details given of the prophesied collapse of these kingdoms and their fulfillment over the centuries since Daniel wrote, I will say that we are witnessing the continuing fulfillment of God's Word: The EU and the Euro will fall.
God's Word does not fail! ec

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Will they all say, "No thank you!"

 My mind is perplexed; our witnessing seems to fall on deaf ears.
On the first Sabbath of each month our church has a potluck--C.S. Lewis had interesting things to say about church; the umbrellas, arranging, potlucks, and other such "botheration's." And members of the church bring a well-prepared array of dishes that promote one's appetite for conversation. fellowship, and of course, eating; the least important of the three.,
Yesterday we delivered some small things that were needed to a local fellowship group. Speaking to the gentleman that accepted the items, I asked, "Why don't you folks come to our church tomorrow; there will be plenty of good food and you're certainly welcome." My wife understands how these things work, so she set about cooking while I went to the market to get more stuff. After all, if you're going to have guests you need make certain there is something to put on the plate.
Not one of them came; not one.
This small, but disappointing experience made me think of Jesus Christ; The Creator of all things [John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16. Hebrews 1:1-3, and Revelation 14:6 and 7].
God came to this earth to save us from the ultimate penalty of sin; eternal separation from Him...which will come to those who choose to say, "Thank you God, but no thank You."  The Christ was not well received. Satan (through king Herod) tried to kill Him, but Joseph, warned of this in a dream, took Mary and the infant God of the Universe into Egypt where they lived until Herod was dead [Matthew 2:7-22].
We invite friends to church where they hear the truth about the Sabbath, agree that it is so, and never return. The 7th day Sabbath is that 10% of the Ten Commandments most of the Christian world has rejected in favor of Tradition.
Perhaps I'm overstating my disappointment about a few men missing a meal...but perhaps not. For me, the real issue is jealousy; I am jealous for my God, and with Paul, I am not ashamed to say it [Romans 1:16].
When I read how the Pharisees and crowd accused Jesus of blasphemy and wanted to kill Him [John chapter 10] I don't really have much of a complaint. But there is an issue that won't go away; when we extend an invitation, will the answer be.... "No thank you." ec 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seventh-day Mongrel

It says here on my Baptismal Certificate that I am a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It's true, and yet on reflection, I have to say that it's not true.
There's no head-scratcher here if one thinks about it.
Consider this: In our ecclesiology (beliefs) what did the SDA church have to do with translating the Bible into English? Were we the ones who first brought baptism by immersion back to Christianity where, with its powerful symbolism, it belonged? Where were the Adventists when Luther discovered the truth of righteousness by faith? Was it an itinerant* Adventist preacher who woke up much of the world with his preaching about Christ's soon return? (BTW, those who were awake are asleep again.) Are Adventists the only church looking forward to the return (advent) of the Christ? Was it this church that first taught that good works accompany faith; that works and faith are sisters? (The book of James talks about that.)
So there was Wycliffe, Zwingli, Huss, Jerome, Luther, Calvin, and a host of others who brought truths from the Bible back into the light from the darkness that was the Holy Roman Empire.
SDA's had nothing to do with any of this, and yet, every one of these truths are found in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Each of these men...and a host of others from all faiths...discovered light shining from the pages of God's Word and passed it on; often at the cost of their life. What would my church, what would your church look like had these men not lived (and died) for the truth as it is in Christ Jesus and His Word. Truth never goes on SALE. It is never discounted; 70% off. Truth is never downgraded, though it has been diluted and hidden.
Because people do not know, nor do they care, Seventh-day Adventists are regarded as a cult; an obscure, meaningless, misinformed and misdirected temporary blotch on the page in the history of Christianity; something more in need of "spot remover" than study..."to see if these things were so." Acts 17:10-12
Calling all (more fair-minded) Bereans! e.c.
*William Miller was not a Seventh-day Adventist; the SDA church did not exist in 1844 and was nor formally organized until 1863.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Death of a Bumble Bee

Neither my wife nor I can remember seeing a honey bee this Spring (officially the coldest on record) or during our so-far-Summer. That means the bumble bees have a lot of pollinating to do, and they seem to be doing an OK-kind-of-job.
 Bumble bees (Order, Hymenoptera; Family Bombidae) are fascinating. Going up the steps toward the road, we must get a little too close to the nest, because one...seems like always the same one...will buzz 'round and 'round our heads telling us to stay away.
Sometimes they land on my bright yellow work jacket. I guess it looks like a huge flower and their thinking "There must be pollen somewhere in all this color."
Well, walking down to the lake today I saw a smaller-than-usual bee on one of the steps. I gave it plenty of room so as to not alarm the little thing. A little while later coming back up it was lying on its side;  It wasn't acting like a normal bee, so I stopped and took the time to talk to the little creature. I knew it was dying.
One leg was twitching...palsy like. I picked it up, held it in my hand, and brought it close to my face. Neither of us were afraid. I told her that I was sad about whatever it was that was taking her life. Summer isn't even half over, and there's plenty of big yellow summer squash blossoms that needed her.
She rolled onto her side; just one tiny foot rhythmically twitching. I told her about sin and what it had done to the whole world; everything and everybody in it. I picked  a bright green Salal leaf, put her on it,  and put the leaf in the shade.......... I just got back from where I left her. She's dead.
Her face is a creamy white and the rest of her body is black.
Why do I feel sad about a dead bee? Probably because she represents all the other suffering and dying creatures in the world...and all the sick, suffering, and dying people...names and faces I will never know this side of heaven.
And another thing; there aren't as many birds here this year. I haven't seen one Goldfinch, and only one Humming bird has visited our flowers. The birds should have stripped the Salmon berry bush by now, but there's still plenty of fruit for whoever wants it.
Something isn't right. I don't know what it is...but something isn't right. e.c.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Christian vs. Christ

Like many others, I've been following  the recent, tragic events in Norway. This morning the rhetoric shifted away from the murderer and focused on conservative commentators who protest that the man be called Christian. O'Reilly was today's target for vitriol. I guess that's supposed to make some sort of a logical segue. It doesn't. It seems more opportunistic and exoparasitic, to this writer. When logic fails...attack...whoever or whatever is least liked in the moment!
This event is particularly noisome to me for at least seven reasons:
1. My heritage is Nordic (read Norwegian)
2. The last name is certainly Christian...sen
3. Unashamedly and without apology, I follow Christ
3a. (To the curious, I can explain what that means )
4. Conservative, I am
5. Political, I try not to be, except to fulfill civic duties
6. Politics + religion = the Dark ages, Nazi Germany, Et alii
6a. (Read Eric Metaxas [Bonhoeffer] and see the mix of "a religion and a politik." Hitler appointed his own Reichsbishof
7. In the end, the mixing of religion and politics will bring the end.
The present argument is whether or not the perpetrator (read murderer) is a Christian. Some opine that because he "says" he is Christian, that must be the case.
Hitler used religion to further his evil means. That he was not killed in the bomb blast that shredded his trousers, he took as an omen of his divine appointment.
Stalin studied to be a priest...and what does that conclude?
Between the two of them, their religion, their manifestos, their politiks...add whatever else you wish to this list...they murdered tens of millions of innocent people.
Christ captured the essence of what it means to follow Him in very simple words: "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples; if you have love one for another." [John 13:35].
Ummm, where in this verse does one find their ticket to take the lives of others in the name of God and His Christ?
It's not there! It's not anywhere. Therefore, we know the conclusion of the matter: Those who are "Killers For Christ" are "Hell's Angels"...not the motorcycle gang...no, something much more sinister, deceitful, and evil than those graying old men. This misguided farmer in Norway...all his blogging aside...was a faithful servant of Lucifer. "By their fruits you shall know them." [Matt. 7:16]
And to finish with an Irish flair, "What say you?" O'Christiansen. ec

Monday, July 25, 2011


"I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no peace till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth," [Isaiah 62; 6, 7]
As I see it, the time has come to "...give Him no peace..." Yesterday I received an email which can only only be described as interesting. Does anyone remember (or care) about all that Adventist stuff the church has been preaching for over a hundred years? You know; Sunday laws, labor unions, nations and churches uniting on common points...stuff that I believe BTW...well, the European Sunday Coalition [ESC] represents everything we've been talking about. Imagine that...the Seventh-day Adventists are (evidently) spot-on again. That will probably anger some and frighten others.
So, this watchman is just doing what we're supposed to do. I never offer up this kind of material without first making certain that it is authentic. It is. Yesterday I googled this much [european sund...] and up it came. So I clicked on ESC and the entire first page was literally nothing else.
I guess you thought I would put up a link...right? You are right. This is not the email, this is an original source. All the skeptics should google ESC and follow each and every link just to see where it goes.
This event captures one's attention because of the following events that are taking place in the United States;
1. Political unrest...now there's an understatement
2. Labor union political unrest...remember  Madison, WI?
3. Washington DC's admiration of all things European
4. The Supreme Court's interest in European law
5. etc., etc., etc.,
As you will read (should you choose) you'll find that this coalition is made up of existing national Sunday alliances, trade unions, civil society organizations, and religious communities. The last one should read, churches.
Anyway, without further delay, here's the link. [Nice work, EW!]

That's enough to think about for this morning. I have an assingment on the wall today; watching. e.c.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Christian? This is what Norwegian police are calling the farmer who killed more than 100 people on Friday; both in the city of Oslo and on an island near Oslo. Not only are they calling him Christian, but are saying he was a conservative...Christian.
The message seems to be this; that conservative Christians are suspect and possibly dangerous. We are lumped together in very much the same way as the various species of Islam are put into the same pot, stirred up, and served up as desperate and probably dangerous..
I am Norwegian. Perhaps one of my lineage was slaughtered, and for what? It was done to make a political statement...by an alleged "conservative" against liberals.
There will come a time in the history of the world when those who follow Christ as true disciples will feel the wrath of those who do not.
I think of Glenn Beck (whom I have not followed) when he and his wife were attending an outdoor movie in Central Park, New York. His wife was attacked (a thrown object) by some poor savage who screamed, "We hate conservatives!"
The shadows that are even now playing on the walls as political in-fighting in our nation's capital portend the future of greater meanness at all levels. Pathetically, this will come packaged in  three colors: Politics, Humanism and Religion.
We are a humanistic nation in spite of the religious rhetoric. If the reader wants to learn more about humanism, it goals, methods, manifesto, etc., follow the link; probably after Sabbath. e.c.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Two Questions

Yesterday was an interesting day. It started out like most others; at 5:30 am the little one (Domino) licking my hand, to wake me up and go out for "our walk."
As readers well know, I'm not shy about my religion nor my relationship with the Christ. I don't tout it, it's more effective to live it.
About the questions: Yesterday I had two people stop and engage me in conversation about spiritual matters. One works at a local lumber store, the other is a neighbor. One asked about end-time events, the other wanted Bible texts about what happens when you die.
The Lord and I had an exceptionally close walk and talk yesterday morning...I always talk out loud to Him while walking along the road...who's to hear, except the Lord and the deer?
Anyway, to one question I e-mailed a letter and to the other I attached a Power Point study to an e-mail. I say, "Praise the Lord for the opportunity!
I almost forgot; there was a third but there was no question. At the reception desk in a doctor's office the lady was telling me she had diabetes. So what did I do but tell her to Google


I told her, chances are good that if she decides to follow this diet for just thirty days her doctor may decide to lower her diabetes meds; and that would be a good thing.
If anyone is diabetic and interested enough to make a lifestyle change, check out the Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet. This would be a good thing to do. Of course, like everything else in life, one has to choose to do this.
So, that was it; two questions, one "consult." Thank You Lord.e.c.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vacations: an unusual departure, but still serious

 Everybody likes a vacation. We used to get vacation pay while we had jobs. No more. Next year...we've already had our vacation for 2011...instead of taking a vacation, I hope to give one as a gift. And who do we hope is the lucky winner? Barack Obama!
The man has sauntered through these few years puffing away while jobs and the economy go up in smoke. Obama loves to holiday and golf while millions are unemployed and either have lost, or are loosing, their homes.  So, spread the word and give the president (small case in this case) a permanent vacation from public service...or whatever it is he thinks he's  doing...certainly it's not service for the nation, and more certainly, it's not well done. ec

Monday, July 11, 2011


Our walk this morning (5:15) was more inspiring than usual; it must have been the incredible quiet that surrounded us. There was no wind, not even a breeze. Nothing. There were no sounds of birds singing or dogs barking. None.
Now I understand more clearly why it was that Jesus went out to pray in the early morning while the rest of the world was asleep.
It was so quiet that when I talked to Him I whispered, and He heard every word. Mostly I prayed for the Holy Spirit to come into my life more fully and more compellingly. These are the last days and the world is teetering on the edge of time...but does not know it...and sadly, does not care. This is a world that believes it can get along "just fine" without God.
Lord, while it is called, Today, give me both a person and the privilege to speak to about You. Someday...soon I pray...Today will evaporate into eternity. And because of this the top of my "To Do" list reads; "Tell someone about Christ; His love, His character, His sacrifice, the price that has been paid (in full) for the salvation of each soul...tell them the truth about God; while it is still, Today. [Hebrews chapter 4] e.c.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Five Days Maketh Fat

Once a year comes a week of dreadful days; especially to those old, cranky, and generally out of sorts with those, and things, younger, happier, and noisy.
Noise is what it's all about; firecracker kinds of noise. I'm as patriotic as the next old man...but only for one day. Here, the 4th of July goes on and on like a middle-eastern wedding;days and nights of reveling in an explosive Iwo Jima-like assault on the senses...nights mostly...noise and debris is everywhere.
We have neighbors (nice young people) who find it not at all unusual to buy $1,000.00 of pyrotechnics. Do you know how long it takes to shoot of that much stuff?
For the next six months I'll be picking up pieces of plastic and cardboard that are the "smithereens" of the show. Sadly, we were not here, but at Potlatch State park among tall, ancient fir trees.
If campfire smoke were carcinogenic I would be worried. What is camping without a campfire? Five days eating and napping is a recipe for weight gain. Two days; I will wait two days before I even look at the scales, and then...maybe.
Anyway, we're back and this blather will pick up pretty much where it left off...somewhere in the middle of nothing. e.c.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Digging my "Rut"

I promised not to complain about the weather, so I will merely "report" that this computer tells me it is 38 degrees in Shelton, 58 in Victorville, CA, and 80 in Mesa, AZ; but we have fog...so there!
My great-grandmother (Leticia Virginia) used to say "I feel better when I'm in a rut." Only, she had that nasal, "old South," Luray, Virginia twang in her voice. In my head I can hear her but I can't put it on the page. O, that's right! Luray is in Page County, VA. (sorry).
But we were talking about a rut. I'm back...in a foggy sort of way.
Here, for the fascination of all is "My Rut."
Awaken somewhere between 5:15 and 5:45 by a little dog sitting on my chest, licking my forehead. When I peek out under the covers she's still there, usually about 3-5 inches away...two black eyes staring at me saying, "I gotta pee."
So we...me and the two dogs...get up and go for our walk. For me it's a prayer walk...a conversation of sorts. Back home the little one goes into her Tasmanian Devil routine, running the length of the cabin, jump on the couch, spin around a few times, growl ferociously, and do it all over again.
Do the blogging thing about important issues of the day.
Read from the Bible...today is 2nd Peter, 2nd chapter.
Fix my breakfast...something ugly like lentils, a tomato, and toast.
Decide whether or not to shower...I guess not. I did that last evening. Besides, how dirty can you get sleeping?
Go to work somewhere on the property. The present pressing project is moving dirt onto the drain field where the rains have eroded it away. Fine grading, putting down a mesh material over the dirt, cover that with playground cover (that's thin pieces of cedar strips and shavings, yada...yada. (Is everyone asleep yet; maybe I can just stop right here....."
So, that's my rut, but I don't feel any better by talking about it, and now I have to do it.
Thank you Lord that I'm still able and don't need a cane. (Sorry). e.c.
p.s. I said to my wife, "Would you publish my post?" And she said, "You do that! That'd be a crime!"...the lonely, sorry, life of a writer...and no respect.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poetry of Praise

Righteous are You, O Lord,
And upright are Your judgments.
Your testimonies, which you have commanded
Are righteous and very faithful.
My zeal has consumed me,
Because my enemies have forgotten Your words.
Your word is very pure;
Therefore Your servant loves it.
I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Your precepts.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Your law is truth.
Trouble and anguish have overtaken me,
Yet Your commandments are my delights
The righteousness of Your testimonies is everlasting;
Give me understanding, and I shall live.
[Psalm 119:137-177] [TSADDE]

Blessings. e.c.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Promise...perhaps just for today

I hereby promise to cease and desist complaining about the (lousy) rainy weather here in western Washington. The reason being...for this (sort of) repentance, is this: Thinking of Minot, Joplin, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, the folks along the recently flooding Mississippi River, frigid New England, water shortages in the Southwest, hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, and half-mile-wide tornadoes that tear up whole towns like an airborne rotary mower... There is really little or nothing to complain about, though complain I do. My neighbor was right when he said, "I love the weather here, when you compare it to what's go'n on in the the rest of the country." He's right.
So, no more complaining.
Unless of course it rains on the 4th of July...which it almost always does.
Note: this will be the last weather-related post for 2011. e.c. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What to Wear...What to Wear?

On any given day I don't spend a lot of time wondering what to wear. If it's not raining the choice is easy; work clothes. There's always work to be done on the property.
Today's answer to the question comes from the Apostle Paul; this clothing never needs changing, cleaning, or laundering, and never goes out of style. In fact, the longer you wear it the better it looks; and it wears well. 
"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection."[Colossians 3:12-14] [NKJV]
Enough said. e.c.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Real Coin, Really Lost

This is a true story. A man I know inherited a coin collection; gold coins. Generous soul that he is, he decided to give each family member one coin. Somehow, one happy recipient "lost" his coin before leaving the house.
Everyone in the family looked and looked but alas, no coin. He that received the coin felt terribly badly about losing it; he that gave, gave again after a week or so with consoling "Don't worry about it" words of kindness.
It was...I think...two months later, while looking for a particular DVD that the real coin that had been really lost, was found.
We serve a loving and generous God who loved His children so much that He gave the most valuable gift in His treasury; His only Son. And if we choose to accept the gift we will inherit not just one gold coin...or a bucket full...but eternal life. We will walk where gold is used for paving the streets.
Each of God's children is more valuable than a gold coin; more valuable than all the gold in the world. Think of the price that Jesus paid for our salvation...God (in Christ) died so that we can live for eternity. He comes looking for us; searching in all the "lost" places for even one soul who will believe and accept the gift.
What is our answer to Him who came seeking to save those who were lost? Do we want to be "found?" e.c. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Kind of Unkind Kindness

Yesterday we traveled to the city. I guess Olympia is "the city;" if you live by a lake in the woods (as we do) any more than two people is too many.
Anyway...there we were in Lowe's waiting to check out when I noticed the man behind me had no cart and I couldn't see what he wanted to purchase. "Do you need to pay for something?" I asked. Without saying anything he opened his hand and showed me what he was buying. I don't remember what it was, but it doesn't matter; it was one small item.
Feeling large-of-heart and wanting to showcase my pious, Christian self I said "Why don't  you go ahead of me." Without saying a word  he went ahead..and it was then I got irked. Thinking "he should have been grateful and said something...like 'Thank you'...or 'Thanks'...anything but silence. It was then I opened my mouth and said "You're welcome." No, not in a snide or rude tone...I had already been rude. It was more of a teacherish, parenting kind of way. Looking at me, he spoke very softly, thanked me and expressed his (extracted) appreciation.
Well, my wife witnessed the entire episode and quietly pointed out that if one does a kind deed and then is upset and rude about it, the kindness is undone.
She was right.
My poor wife; the index finger on her right hand is arthritic from pointing out my misdeeds and rude words over the last 54 years. (Sigh)...there have been many, and I am slowly bleeding out from their small bites as they come to mind. Satan 1, Ed, 0; Jesus Christ gets a 10...a perfect score. Thank you Lord. e.c. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Only a Word

Is a good memory a good thing? Perhaps. There are things I want to forget...things I long to forget...things, heart-breaking things I pray to forget; but I don't; I can't.
There is a word, and while it's only a word, it touches the inner parts of our being...our soul.
The word is remorse, and the meaning comes clearer when we think about it as not one word, but two words. Morse: From Middle English mors, from Middle French, morse, bite, from Old French, bite. Think of a morsel of food: It's not a meal, just a small bite.
Remorse comes back to bite again and again...re-morse. The foolish things we did as children or as grown up children are stuck in muck of our memories. And oh how we wish we could undo the past, and more so with each returning small bite
But thank God, He will not remember our sins. Some of us are cursed with too much memory. The prayer of David is my prayer: "Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindness, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me for Your goodness' sake." [Psalms 25: 6, 7]

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Long Drive Home

It was a long drive home from the memorial service for Evy. There were probably one hundred people in Skokomish Valley Grange; husband Paul...he's 91...children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren. Of course there were lots of friends, who like Evy had been born and and fed from the fertile fields of the valley.
Every once in a while the Skokomish River floods, carrying rich soil over the banks and onto the fields. Where other plants won't grow, in the Skok they don't have much of a choice. Evy didn't have a choice. Like everything else in the valley she grew and blossomed into not just a woman, but more of a character...with character.
Evy never did quite grow up. I don't mean that she didn't grow older, she did, but always kept some...perhaps a lot...of the child that is curious, excited, playful, and sometimes breaks the rules and gets into trouble. Yes; that was Evy.
Our pastor (Jennifer) preached a fine memorial "sermon;" the kind that makes people sit up and think about their own life and destiny. Folks were invited to share their memories of Evelyn, and they did. One old saint (95 years old) was seven years Evy's senior and she had lots to say...mostly about herself and graduating from the eighth grade right there in that Grange Hall.
After the prayers and testimonials we did what people always do after a funeral or memorial; we ate. What is there about food and funerals? It's like a full stomach takes enough blood from the brain that for a while at least you can forget that a precious soul has died and that your turn is getting closer; which was one of the points in Jennifer's sermon...it wasn't really a sermon, more like a question; "What will be your answer to God's call?" 
Will it be "Thank You Lord!" or maybe "No thanks, Lord. I like it right here where I am." 
I'll spend the rest of the day thinking about that. e.c.                 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Smarter 'n me

I bought a "Droid"... it's a phone...a smart phone. Within minutes of showing off the phone to my wife she said, "It'll take you the rest of your life to learn how to use it."  She's probably right; after 54 years I know that.
Actually, it's not just a phone; it's a computer, camera, video camera, hand-held TV, radio, GPS, telephone directory...and Bible. In fact, there are five Bibles (different versions) including Strong's Exhaustive Concordance! During Bible study at church I just touch the app and there it is...the study lesson, complete with links to all the texts in the lesson.
Why is this important enough to write about it? It has to do with the soon coming of Christ; it's all about Him. Anyone with a smart phone--and that's a lot of people--can tune in to Seventh-day Adventist programming--audio or video--anywhere there is a signal and that's almost everywhere. Speaking of which signs of the times are everywhere; lift up your head, our redemption is drawing nigh.
Here's a question: when in history has the whole world been in such turmoil? militarily, politically, morally, monetarily, ecologically, meteorologically (weather)...when?
The news is bad about the food supply...or should I say...dwindling food supply. Much of the world is hungry and if we are paying attention we can see it's getting worse.
On the other side of the ledger it means that the second coming of the Christ is very near, and that is what believers have hoped for since Jesus left this earth after His resurrection.
Why I-phones, I-Pads, I-Pods, Android smart phones? It is for such a time as this; to spread the Gospel around the world at the speed of light; the truth of God and about God is available 24/7.
One missionary from Madagascar told me that there are cell phones where there is no electricity...really? Yes. One person is responsible for collecting phones in a village and charging them at night.
If you want to watch streaming Christian TV on your computer Google these websites...

These links can be a real blessing. It's the Truth. Check it out. Christ is coming...soon!e.c.