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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Book Review: Pursuing Justice, by Ken Wytsma

This is a balanced gospel-centric approach: to do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. Pursuing Justice will help the reader to discover her Holy Concern. It is an encouragement to live big.
You will enjoy the read.
**Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Q: What's going on?

Thirty-eight minutes and thirty-five seconds of incisive social commentary, pressed and released in 1971.  A lyrical bellwether of the times, have times really changed that much?

Sunday at eleven AM is still the most segregated hour of the week in America.  We talk about being post-racial, while Ferguson burns, and the greatest risk factor for a Black man is walking around town unarmed.

Destruction of people groups in the 10/70 window is increasing exponentially.  Jihad is occurring worldwide at every level of society.

Segregationists and neo-Nazi groups are actively recruiting north of the Mason-Dixon Line, and all we really have are new buzzwords for the same ole jive

Who is not serving "them?"
Who has placed "them" at the margins?
Who has put "these" at so much "risk?"

I was eleven years old when "What's Going On" was released.  Already, I had seen nightly close-ups of the Vietnam War, riots in Watts and Chicago, and the Bronx on fire.  Young, but not innocent.  Jaded, but still holding on to vestiges of hope that the world could be a better place.

Well, thirty-three years later I have come to a working conclusion:  the world, as it stands, can never become a better place.  Through salvation history, there are several periods of recapitulation: destruction and re-creation.  We are on a real downward spiral, and there is no legislation, not one peace summit, and please, not another "We Are the World" essque-type anthem that will change the world.  Destruction is immanent.

This is why the only way out is a spiritual solution.  Just as in the days of Noah......from Matthew 24

 36"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38"For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,…

It was normal life, until it started to rain.  No one believed Noah, and hardly anyone believes the countless voices talking about the end of this age.

Just don't wait until it is too late.  Seek the Lord while he may be found.  Call upon Him while he is near.  God has given us a living way to complete access to Him, and rescue from this crooked and depraved generation.   His name is Jesus Christ.

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."  Eternal life then belongs to you, and you will be delivered from the coming danger.

Danger?  Oh, yes. Danger. Just watch the evening news.

Believe. Follow. Jesus.

Friday, August 15, 2014 just need somebody to raise you up!

Sometimes you've got to trust the process: that God truly has given you every spiritual blessing in Christ, that the heavenlies are seeded chock full of blessings to rain down on you, to nurture you, to raise you up to fulfill the total potential of who you are in Christ. And God does have some funny ways of making His will known. Wonders will never cease in the life of one who has been regenerated to be a sign and a wonder!

This morning, as I was biking, I passed by a fellow sitting in his car, talking on Bluetooth. Nothing special. After I nearly completed my route, that same car stopped on my side of the road.  The fellow stepped out and began walking towards me.  I really didn't know what to think about the situation until he said, "I'm a bike rider, and I was hoping I'd see you. Your seat is too low."  He went on to tell me that if I raise my seat up, I would get a fuller extension and avoid hurting my knees.  He even went so far as to help me adjust the seat to insure my safety, telling me that the bike shop could raise my handlebars to match the new level of my seat.  During all this, I am standing with my mouth agape, because this doesn't really happen - at least not in the Northeast.  At the end, we introduced ourselves, and wished each other a blessed day.  He got back into his car and drove away.  When I pedaled away, I felt a new freedom in my legs, and all over.  I had some new glide in my stride!

Now for the rest of the story.  I had not raised that seat because I was afraid. Afraid of getting back on a bike after many, many years.  Afraid of falling.  
Afraid of failing.  And, if I dig really deep, I guess I was afraid of really succeeding.  

So, if ever you find yourself scared, you might just need another person to come along and raise you up.  I can tell you, that person will be a Godsend.

"17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

(Proverbs 27:17)