This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  – Jan 27, 2023

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

I fear that the nation, which I love, is going to collapse.  I fear that the immoral brain washing,* soon to be assisted by artificial intelligence,** is going to kill the America we know.  But I do not fear for myself!

I know that my hope will survive any persecution:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls”. 

1 Peter 1:3-9  Emphasis Added

I know my hope will survive God’s wrath

For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.  But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.   For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” 

1 Thessalonians 5:7-9  Emphasis Added

And I know that I’m in the Father’s all powerful hand; inside the veil!

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 6:19-20

Nations have fallen before.  Pandemics have occurred in the past.  War has spanned the world twice.  Bad stuff happens to people and lands – but God’s throne was never shaken and that’s where my hope is anchored!  So be aware, but not afraid!

Amen?

Pastor Scott

*I’m primarily thinking about the redefinitions of things we know to be true from God’s Word – Genesis 1:26-27; Matthew 19:4-6; but there are lots of morals and virtues that are being redefined or devalued.

**The genesis of this hopeful blog was this video sent by someone who feels a lot of fear.  It’s worth the watch.  Warning: Dr Peterson isn’t a believer, yet, and he is prone to a colorful adjective now and again.

Remember God’s Goodness – Jan 20, 2023

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (v. 17). The change in subject seems abrupt, but the flow of thought is clear. We must not blame God for our temptations because evil desire leads to sin that leads to death (vv. 13–15). Twice James warns us not to blame God for our problems. When we sin, we have only ourselves to blame.

Everything good comes from God

Verse 17 sets up a contrast. Everything good in this world ultimately comes from God. If it’s good, God made it, He gave it, or He sent it. The familiar words of the Doxology state this very plainly: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” I wonder if we really believe that. Not long ago I asked a friend how he was doing. He laughed and said, “I’m upright and taking nourishment.” I laughed with him. But do we realize that “in Him (that is, God) we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)? Do we understand that we are alive right now because God wants us alive? We breathe because He gives us air to breathe and lungs to take it in. If God withdrew His hand of blessing, not one of us would take another breath. We see and hear and move and think and laugh and clap and dream and cry all because of God. I suppose we all know that, but rarely do we think of it. Rarely do we stop to give thanks for the blessing of life itself. 

Linger at the foot of the cross

If you can read my words, you must be alive. If you are alive, it is a gift from God. If God has given you the gift of life, will you not give thanks to Him? We ought to ponder Paul’s question in 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive?” Do you boast of your wealth or your fame or your talent or your accomplishments? Do you think your good looks owe only to your DNA? Who gave you your talent, your strength, your creativity, your ingenuity? Who gave you the blessings you take for granted?

The Gentle Rain from Heaven

James emphasizes this when he says that every good gift “comes down” from the Father of lights. William Shakespeare reminds us of that

“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.”

These famous lines from The Merchant of Venice are true in every way. Mercy always comes down. It starts with God and moves to man.  It begins in heaven and ends on earth. You don’t bargain for mercy because to make a bargain you’ve got to have something to offer, and we have nothing to offer God. Mercy is indeed like the gentle rain that softens the hard soil of the human heart.

We are alive because God wants us to be alive

We need this because we are sinners worse than we know. Even the best Christian would have no hope of heaven without the shining mercy of God. If God did not forgive and keep on forgiving, if he did not continue to pour out his mercy like the “gentle rain from heaven,” we would be utterly and completely lost. What kind of God do we serve? He’s completely good. He’s constantly good. He’s unchangeably good.

God will never not be good

God will never not be good.God could never be less than good. Everything He does is good.

“I am a witness”

I’m sure you’ve been in churches where they do the call-and-response that goes like this: 

Preacher: God is good.

Congregation: All the time.

Preacher: And all the time.

Congregation. God is good.

When I mentioned this in a sermon, someone told me their church does that in a slightly different way. They say it in five parts, one for each finger on their right hand. It goes like this:

In every situation, no matter what

God is good. All the time. In every situation. No matter what. God is good. You should hold up your right hand and say that right now, touching each finger in turn. Once you do it, it will stick in your mind. When I mentioned the basic call-and-response in a written sermon a few years ago, someone in Nigeria wrote back and said that in their churches, after saying “God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good,” the congregation says in unison, “I am a witness.”

“I am a witness”

That’s really good because it brings the truth home. It’s one thing to say “God is good” as an abstract statement, almost like a theological cheer for the home team. It’s even better if you think about those other statements, “In every situation” and “No matter what.” But best of all is to make it personal by adding, “I am a witness.” Sometimes it’s hard to say. Even when we think we know what will happen tomorrow, life can turn on a dime. No one knows what a day may bring forth. That’s a solemn fact. Life is not just one thing. It’s good and bad, sickness and health, weeping and rejoicing, life and death, war and peace, all mixed together. That’s why we need a God in whom there is no shadow of turning. He is the still point in our changing world. He is not good today and bad tomorrow. He does not capriciously change his mind and decide to be kind today and harsh tomorrow.We are like that. God is not. When you are tempted to give up, remember the goodness of God. When you feel like giving in to temptation, remember the goodness of God. When you want to resign from life, remember the goodness of God.

Excerpt from a longer piece written in the 90’s by R. Prichard; and missionary/pastor. I, PS, edited out some dated references

BE KIND, NOT JUST NICE – January 13, 2023

We are teaching the fruit of the Spirit on Wednesday nights at AWANA.  This Wednesday we talked about “kindness” (Strong’s 5544 below).  I contrasted it with being “nice” (pleasing; agreeable; delightful).  They are similar.  It’s not wrong to be pleasing, agreeable, and delightful; and in an English dictionary the two words are used in each other’s definition.   

So let me ask you the question I asked the Awana kids.  If one of my one-year granddaughters, pleased with her climbing ability, gets a hold of a steak knife or a lit candle, and begins running with it, is it “kind” to be agreeably delighted with her climbing and running skills or is it kind to remove the sharp knife or lit candle from her hand?  Of course it’s kinder to remove it!  But what if she doesn’t understand and dissolves into tears?  Wouldn’t it be better to be nice and give her back the knife?  Of course not! That kind of “niceness” could lead to her death or injury!

Saying “no” when someone is on a self-destructive path is much kinder than simply agreeing with (accepting?) their choices.

Prayerfully,

Pastor Scott

5544 /xrēstótēs (“useful kindness”) refers to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing (fashion). Hence 5544 (xrēstótēs) is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). With the believer, 5544 /xrēstótēs (“divine kindness“) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty). “We have no term that quite carries this notion of kind and good” (WP, 1, 92).

Copyright © 2021 by Discovery Bible.

Idolatry of Good Things – January 6, 2023

As Moses ascended Mt. Sinai, God Himself descended and enthroned Himself on it.  Meanwhile, Aaron, at the behest of the people, made a Golden Calf right in front of (before, bedside) God’s earthly throne.  Literally between YHWH and His people.

The very first commandment said – “NO, don’t do that!”  And of course the people struggled with idolatry all through their History – get out your Strong’s if you doubt.

Jesus elevates the thought applying it not just to images that we can cast into the fire, but to money, something we use every day.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;  for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”  – Matthew 6:19-21; 24

You have all heard gazillion sermons on correct use of wealth, but this past Sunday I mentioned other treasures; like ministry and family.  That can be a sticking point.  It’s not that we love our kids more than we love God, it’s that we don’t know how to judge whether they have become our treasure.

One clue for me is the idea of these other gods being “before” – in front of the face of  – YHWH!  In ancient times, and in cultures that recognize their idols as deities, this idea about the physical presence of the idol in God’s face.  But when we consider what I call the “idolatry of good things,” we have to ask what it means if something is in between God and me?

  1. Is my vision of God (worship, devotion) interrupted by my thoughts and worries for my “good thing?”
  2. Does my good thing distract me from doing what God wants me to do?
  3. Is God high and lifted up in my day to day life (Isaiah 6:1-6) or is my good thing?

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;

For how can My name be profaned?

And My glory I will not give to another.

Isaiah 48:10-11

The article below is one I found earlier this week when this question “How do I know?” was first asked.  It’s written by a woman for women – our kids, after all, are often “High and Lifted Up!”  🙂 

https://thefword.us/when-family-becomes-an-idol/

The Christian life is a journey, I’m glad we’re all on the road together,

Pastor Scott

Sermon Notes – 1/1/23

A request was made, via the text line, for the list scripture verses I covered on Sunday, January 1.

Here is the ppt outline – it’s been transposed enough that the formatting is shot, but the verses are available

Return to Cana
John 4:43-54
John’s Second Sign

  • Entering Galilee (John 4:43-45)
  • Having spent two days in Samaria, Jesus loops back to his home turf
    • Where His is not honored (cf. Matt 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24)
    • But the Galileans in Cana received Him
  • No conflict to my mind
  • Healing Requested  (John 4:46-47)
  • A Royal Official (a Herodian?)
    • A deathly sick son
      • Likely the official’s heir
  • Begged Jesus: “Heal my son!”
  • “Unless you see signs”
    • The pleading continues
  • Jesus spoke healing
    • The official believed
  • Faith in Jesus (John 4:48-54)
  • Not in His works (4:44; 48)
  • Not in Seeing  Him (John 20:24-29)
  • In Him!
    • In His Identity (Matthew 16:33; cf. John 11:27)
    • In Him as Savior (Galatians 2:16; Titus 2:13)

SO WHAT?

This is NOT teaching us not to pray! (Philippians 4:6; Matthew 6:33)

We can too easily treat God like we treat a politician

            “What have You done for me lately?”

Jesus says believe in Me because I am God, the Son, period!

I’ve got Jesus, how could I want more?

Saving Faith in Christ is objective

Living in Faith is the challenge

The serpent is still active!

Resolved to be more “Filled” in 2023 (Ephesians 5:18-21; Colossians 3:16)

  • Turn worry in prayer
    • And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?; Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God;Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (Matt 6:27; Phil 4:6; 1 Peter 5:7)
  • Have a plan for Bible reading/devotions
    • In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
      In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch;In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there; My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word. (Psalm 5:3; Mark 1:37; Psalm 119:148)
  • Edit my entertainments
    • I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
      I hate the work of those who fall away;
      It shall not fasten its grip on me. (Psalm 101:3; cf Ephesians 5:1-17)
  • Stop trying to be a lone wolf
    • Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.  For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.
    • Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.   Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Hebrews 10:19-25)
  • Remove and/or avoid all idols
    • Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  Matthew 6:21

þ        Turn worry in prayer

  •      Have a plan for Bible reading/devotions

þ         Edit my entertainments

  •      Stop trying to be a lone wolf
  •      Remove and/avoid all idols

Resolved to turn my eyes upon Jesus; as often as needed

December 30, 2022

Recently  I’ve heard the assertion that the God of the OT is a monster and the God of the New Testament is love and never judges or condemns.  Both statements are sophomoric, but anything that’s said often enough is eventually believed by some.  

GotQuetions some good points about God as a moral monster, so I won’t reinvent the wheel on “Part One.”  Please take the time to read this article!

Is God a moral monster?

When a person rejects the God of the Bible, he often chooses to label Him as immoral. Non-believers have been known to accuse God of being hypocritical, selfish, arrogant, judgmental, hateful, and even homicidal—a moral monster. Part of the problem with responding to these kinds of claims is that they require extensive answers. It takes only seconds to ask certain questions but quite some time to give a reasonable answer. This single question, “Is God a moral monster?” is, in fact, the subject of a book by Christian theologian Paul Copan: Is God a Moral Monster: Making Sense of the Old Testament God. And that work is focused on only part of the Bible.

It’s important to realize how deep this topic can be, since a single article could never really do the subject justice. It’s simpler to look at common accusations against God and see how they fail. More specific details are available for those interested in doing further research, and we’ve included links to relevant articles.

Is God Evil?

The first problem with any “moral monster” accusation against God is that it requires a standard of morality separate from God. In other words, in order to say, “God is morally wrong,” one has to define morality in a way that justifies that claim. But what meaningful standard can exist, other than God, for moral principles?

Apart from God, it’s not possible to have truly objective morality. Opinion is not enough—for the claim “God is a moral monster” to be meaningful, it has to be based on some unchanging standard. Ideas such as “suffering” or “human flourishing” are not objective. There is no rational reason for opinions or subjective ideas to be the source of moral reasoning.

So, the first problem with claiming that God is immoral is that meaningful moral claims require God to exist in the first place. Labelling anything “good” or “evil” requires assumptions that lead inevitably to God. This fact is related to the next common objection about divine morality.

Moral relativism

What is the source of morality?

The moral argument for God

Problem of Good

Non-believers often accuse God of being evil. Just as often, however, they indirectly attack God’s morality by questioning the existence of evil. A truly good God, they claim, would not allow evil. More on this later; for now, consider that this approach creates a much larger problem for the non-believer than for the believer. In short, Christians can appeal to concepts such as free will when explaining why a good God might allow for evil. However, the non-believer finds a much more difficult issue when faced with the inverse of the question: why is there such a thing as “good” if there is no God? Why would human beings believe in concepts like “ought,” if everything that exists is the product of blind, purposeless physics? If things either “are” or “are not,” and there is no actual “ought,” then speaking of good and evil is gibberish.

This follows into a stickier problem: why “ought” a person be good, if there is no God or if God is truly a “moral monster”? Remember, if the ultimate measure of morality is some human opinion, then there can always be different ways to interpret that opinion. “Human flourishing” sounds like a great basis for morality until someone conveniently defines certain people as less than human.

This leads to a major instance of hypocrisy. In claiming that God is morally wrong, people are claiming more than a knowledge of a better moral system; they are claiming to be the standard of morality. That claim not only makes their criticism of God’s morals less impactful, but it makes it meaningless.

Atheism and the problem of good

You’re Not the Boss of Me!

Another common accusation is that God is arrogant, selfish, or egomaniacal. God demands worship, He punishes those who disagree, and He even condemns those who insult Him. According to the common line of complaint, a truly “good” God would let people do as they please, without necessarily obeying His rules, and He certainly would not care how they think or speak of Him.

The quickest response to this particular objection is based on the concept of parenting. Good parents don’t let their children insult or disobey them. This is not because the parents are egomaniacs; it’s because they love their children. Even if the kids don’t grasp why, the parents’ rules are for the kids’ good. There are going to be circumstances when a child cannot understand all of the details; he simply needs to know that “Mom and Dad said no.” There’s nothing unreasonable about God’s expectation of obedience, given that He is a loving Father who wants the best for His children and who knows far more than they do. God cannot be fairly labeled a “moral monster” simply because He has established rules that some particular person does not like, does not understand, or refuses to obey.

The accusations of divine arrogance and selfishness also have to be put into perspective. The reason people have a problem with human arrogance and egotism is simple: we know the egotist isn’t perfect. A person’s arrogance grates on our nerves because of our basic knowledge that the egomaniac isn’t actually perfect—he doesn’t have that much to be arrogant about. God, however, is perfect. If He speaks, acts, and rules as though He is perfect, it’s simply because He is. There’s no arrogance or selfishness involved, as there would be in a lesser being. God’s claims of glory match reality.

Further, according to the Bible, God has demonstrated great patience, love, and sacrifice on behalf of humanity (Romans 5:8). The core concept of the gospel is that God was willing to become a human being, suffer and struggle, then be killed by His own creations. He did all of this in order to provide the means to allow mankind to live forever with Him. That’s hardly selfish, arrogant, or egotistic.

Blasphemy is a critical moral concept

Life, Death, and War

Many who accuse God of being a moral monster mention the wars described in the Old Testament. Or they point to the use of capital punishment for certain acts under the Mosaic Law.

The simplest response to these arguments has the advantage of logical strength, although it means little to the average unbeliever. Simply put, if God exists and created life, then He has the authority to decide what happens to that life. He can set the rules, and He can determine the punishments for breaking those rules. If the entire universe is His creation, then “morality,” including life and death, is by definition under His control.

Another response to the charge that events in the Old Testament are morally reprehensible is to place all of those events in their historical and scriptural context. When God commanded war against the Canaanites, for instance, it was not some random act of genocide. This was a culture that had been warned about their pervasive evil for centuries, and the time for God to punish that evil had finally come (see Genesis 15:16).

When God commanded the death penalty in Israel for certain offenses, it was not in the context of a stable, free, modern environment. It was during a time of great danger, instability, and uncertainty. This same principle applies even in modern societies: we punish crimes in proportion to their damage to the culture. In that day and time, what today would be considered “minor crimes,” if crimes at all, were profoundly damaging to the survival of the culture.

Again, the context of God’s commands is important. If God’s plan was to bring the Messiah, the one and only hope of mankind, through Israel, then it’s reasonable that He would take serious measures to protect the survival of that nation.

What does the Bible say about war?

What about when God kills?

What about Old Testament violence?

Free Will vs. Suffering and Evil

Easily the most common attack on God’s morality is the reality of evil. According to this accusation, God is a “moral monster” since He “created” evil—or because He neglects to do anything about evil. Both claims are contrary to reason and evidence, as well as the biblical understanding of God’s nature.

In the simplest terms, evil is anything that contradicts the will of God. There is a tremendous difference, then, between something that God does not will (but that He allows) and that which He directly and purposefully causes to occur. If it’s logically possible for a fallible human being to allow certain things—which he could theoretically prevent—in order to obtain some greater goal, then God can obviously do the same. This is where the concept of free will enters the equation.

The overwhelming majority of human suffering is the result of human activity. More to the point, it’s the result of human sin—either our own or someone else’s. But without the ability to choose selfishness, cowardice, and revenge, there would be no such thing as generosity, bravery, or forgiveness. Love, expressed by a being given no choice but to love, is hollow. Worship from such a being is meaningless.

It’s also untrue to suggest that God has done nothing about evil. Scripturally, there are many reasons to think that God has limited the level of evil we are capable of experiencing on earth (see Job 1:12; 2:6; and 2 Thessalonians 2:7). No matter what boundary God sets for evil, there will always be a “worst possible thing.” The error is in assuming that God hasn’t set the bar for suffering lower than He could have.

Likewise, according to the Bible, God has gone to great lengths to enact a plan to end all evil and suffering. The fact that God’s plan has not been completed—yet—is not logically a sign that God has done nothing. The end result has not yet occurred, but everything is in motion toward that end.

Though the subject of human free will is complex, even a brief examination shows that there are reasons—at least in theory—why God would allow us freedom and choice in this life. That’s especially true when one considers that, according to Christianity, this life is not all there is. What we struggle with and suffer under in this life is not all we are or all we are meant for.

Why does God allow evil?

Theodicy

Conclusion

While this is hardly an in-depth look at the claim that God is a “moral monster,” it should be enough to demonstrate that the claim is much harder to prove than some might think. There are severe factual, philosophical, and logical flaws in making such an accusation against God.

https://www.gotquestions.org/God-moral-monster.html

A Christmas Thought 12/2023

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone.

Isaiah 9:1

A holy day has dawned. A glorious light shines in our world. It is Christmas! What we have prepared for and longed for has finally arrived. The packages have been wrapped and unwrapped, the delicacies baked and enjoyed. The world comes to a wonderful pause as we stop to savor this height of the holiday season. The manger no longer sits empty. The baby Jesus lies on the straw and in our hearts, replacing our longings with hope. We feel a gentleness about the world and in ourselves. As quickly as Christmas comes, for many it is over. Wrappings go in the trash, crumbs are swept away and the decorations come down. It is back to work, back to bills to be paid and life as normal. It is no wonder that January heralds the blues of winter. But Christmas is not over, it has just begun! The incarnation of Jesus is a grace we get to experience over and over. Here is the hope that we need to be able to overcome the many challenges life throws at us. That hope is ours through Christ. Jesus comes into our world with every prayer we breathe. The celebrations do end, and the decorations get put away, but the life of the party remains. May the light of Jesus shine within us and illumine the lives of those around us. May we experience the goodness of God’s grace reborn in every kind word and every helping hand, not just today, but every day. May the light, the hope, the joy of Christmas remain with us alway.

Merry Christmas to you and your Family!

Pastor Scott
I found this in a Christmas folder dated 2012.  No other attributions, so maybe I wrote it?

Bless Me, Indeed! December 9, 2023

Twenty three years ago, Dr. Bruce Wilkinson of Walk Through the Bible,* published a little book entitled “The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life.“  It became very popular, very fast.  Before too long it was a merchandising franchise and became something of a “good luck charm.”     Over time, the phenomenon crossed the line into something of a prosperity gospel and either fell away, or at least, fell out of our circles.

Recently, I found, not the book, but that passage being referenced in an article about stepping out of our comfort zones. 

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain. ‘ So God granted him what he requested.”

That struck a nerve!  What if you stick “comfort zone” in place of “territory” in Jabez’s prayer.  We all have places we are most comfortable, and people with whom we are most comfortable, but what if “seeking the kingdom” is out there?  

  • “God, help me to love that obnoxious neighbor who needs You.”  
  • “God, help to love that irritating co-worker who needs a shoulder to cry on” 
  •  “Help me to love that fellow congregant who needs a friend!”

“God, please expand my comfort zone!”

And start with me,

Pastor Scott
*Bruce left walk through the Bible shortly after Jabez, and moved to South Africa

Never Enough! 12.02.22

Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:

Not in Unbelief

Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”


Not in Pleasure

Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”


Not in Money

Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”


Not in Position and Fame

Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”


Not in Military Glory

Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent, before he said, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”

Where then is real joy found? — the answer is simple;

in Christ alone.

Yours, Because I’m His,

Pastor Scott

The list above was assembled in 1993 according to a notation

Politics! November 18, 2022

If your listen to the news for too long it’ll make you sad or angry. Sometimes we just need to splash some cold water on our face and take a deep breath! The following is a collection of excerpts from a column Will Rogers wrote starting in 1922 and ending with his death in 1935. I see these a something of a splash of cool water AND a breath of fresh air! Read ’em and smile! There is nothing new under the sun and no matter who is in office; YHWH is on the Throne!

I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.

Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing, nobody listens and then everybody disagrees.

Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don’t hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous.

I really can’t see any advantage of having one of your party in as President. I would rather be able to criticize a man than have to apologize for him.

It’s no disgrace not to be able to run a country nowadays, but it is a disgrace to keep on trying when you know you can’t.

It looks to me like any man that wants to be President in times like these lacks something.

They’ve already started arguing over who will be the speaker at next year’s conventions. What they better worry about is who is going to listen.

There should be a moratorium called on candidates’ speeches. From now on, they are just talking themselves out of votes.

A President-elect’s popularity is the shortest lived of any public man’s. It only lasts till he picks his Cabinet. 

The promising season ends on Election Day. That same night, the alibi season begins and lasts for the next four years.

Our government is the only people that just love to spend money without being compelled to, at all. But the government is the only people that don’t have to worry where it is coming from.

Last year we said: “Things can’t go on like this!” And they didn’t — they got worse.

In Washington, yesterday, everybody I tried to talk to was a Presidential candidate. Both Houses spent all week arguing politics. Did you ever figure it out? They are the only people that are paid to do one job and do every other one there is but that.

Lord, the money we do spend on government, and it’s not a bit better than the government that we got for one-third the money 20 years ago.

This inflation was brought on by the actions of many peoples of the whole world, and its weight will be lifted by the actions of many peoples of the whole world, and not by a Republican or a Democrat.

With old inflation riding the headlines, I have read till I am bleary-eyed. We are living in an age of explanations, but no two things that have been done to us have been explained twice the same way, by even the same man.

When it comes to a showdown, Washington must never forget who rules — the people.

The Best of Will Rogers 1979 by Bryan B. Sterling, Crown Publishing, Inc., NY, NY.