Category Archives: Random Musings

Animals Do It

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7)

A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed an outing to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska. Like all zoos, they have a wide variety of animals from all over the world – birds, reptiles, mammals, and marine creatures. The “Desert Dome” houses all kinds of animals that make the desert their habitat. The dark catacombs beneath the dome feature an assortment of nocturnal creatures like bats and other mammals and reptiles that prefer dark places. The aquarium exhibits penguins, sharks, sea turtles, and a multiplicity of exotic fish. There is also a jungle enclosure set up to resemble a rain forest with all the creatures that would inhabit such a place. A butterfly enclosure offered an array of beautifully colored insects that flitted about from flower to flower displaying God’s artistry in design. Even butterflies of the same species varied in design; no two were alike. Outside, in open enclosures, we enjoyed large animals like giraffes, elephants, rhinos, zebras, etc.

All the animals did exactly what God created them to do. There were no surprises. The elephants did not behave like giraffes, and the giraffes did not behave like the rhinos. Monkeys swung from tree limbs and picked fleas off one another. Whatever they were created to do they did, and in keeping with their design purpose, they glorified their Creator.

Walking around a crowded zoo offers opportunity to observe the behavior of humans that come to observe the animals. Without going into specifics, it is interesting to note how so many humans fail to fulfill the purpose for which they were designed. One way is in the way they distort their appearance by markings, piercings, artificial coloration (hair color and makeup), or immodest dress. Another way is in their speech, conduct, or behavior. Having been created in the image of God, they do not glorify God in their actions.

Animals glorify God by doing what God created them to do; however, God says, “my people know not the judgment of the LORD” (Jeremiah 8:7). Humans designed and built the habitats for the animals in the zoo, and as humans, we can appreciate the beauty in the work of human minds and hands. The animals miss the aesthetics of the creation and only react in the way they were designed to act. Humans enjoy the aesthetics of the place and find entertainment in seeing all the animals, but they attribute it all to time and chance, rather than give glory to God who created humans with the ability to create and appreciate beauty, and who created all the animals for our enjoyment and His glory.

“Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel” (Psalm 22:23).

“If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart” (Malachi 2:2).

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

“Having your [conduct] honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12).

Glorify God with your life. Be what God created you to be. Do what God created you to do. Animals do it!

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Remember

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:7)

The familiar rendition of Psalm 20:7 reads, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (emphasis mine) as equivocated by the New International Version (NIV). The first “trust” in the verse does not appear in the original Hebrew, but has been supplied by English translators for ease of reading and understanding. The addition of the word is in keeping with the context of the entire psalm which looks to God for provision, protection and salvation.

The second word rendered “trust” is from the Hebrew root zâkar which means “to remember, recall, or call to mind.” Other versions translate zâkar as “boast, depend, honor, mention, praise, rely, remember, shall call, take pride in, and trust.” The literal translation of zâkar is “to remember.” The Hebrew verb is in the Hiphil imperfect stem, so literally it means “to cause to remember,” but that would give it an awkward rendition in English.

However, we could argue that “trust” is a valid rendering, but only by going through some mental gymnastics. As we go through trials in our lives, God provides, protects, and saves us from harm. We may not sense God’s presence while we are going through our troubles, but when we look back on our lives, we can “see” and “remember” how God’s hand has been upon us to guide, direct, protect, provide, and ultimately, to save us from those times. My favorite Bible verse says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). As we “remember” the working of God in our past, we can “trust” Him with whatever we face in the present, and we can “trust” Him with whatever may come to us in the future.

Reader, if you are feeling insecure about your future, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

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Romans 13

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)

January 20, 2021 saw the first successful coup d’état to unseat a legitimate sitting President of the United States in history, and replace him with an illegitimate puppet of the left. I realize that is a strong statement and many may disagree, but, for the time being, the First Amendment to the Constitution still grants me the right to say it.

I heard from a friend earlier this week who was upset with his pastor for condemning the President Trump supporters that showed up in Washington DC on January 6 as unlawful rioters. Trump supporters showed up by the thousands to “encourage” lawmakers to only count “legal” votes. They met on the Mall about a mile away from the Capitol and listened to speeches and raised their voices loudly hoping that “their representatives” in Congress would hear their voices. Their protests were vocal but peaceful. President Trump also spoke to the masses. He encouraged them to “fight” but the context, which the media overlooked, did not imply physical violence, but rather to struggle (“fight”) for the right through the means made available by our Constitution. President Trump did not incite the riot for which he has been accused.

Meanwhile, while President Trump was still speaking, a mile away from the Capitol Building, ANTIFA thugs dressed as Trump supporters surrounded the Capitol and began their assault on the Police guarding the Capitol. Later, many of the Trump supporters made their way to the Capitol to continue their peaceful protest. Several of them unwittingly got swept up with the ANTIFA thugs and ended up going into the Capitol Building with the real rioters. Because a small number of Trump supporters were implicated with the ANTIFA rioters, the media found an easy scapegoat to blame for the riot and assault on the nation’s Capitol. The Trump supporters got the blame and ANTIFA went unmentioned.

So, Pastor Bob (not his real name), my friend’s pastor, ignorantly hopped on the media bandwagon and condemned the Trump supporters for rioting and behaving unlawfully. Biblically, I believe that is called “bearing false witness” against your brother – brother because I am sure that many of the Trump supporters are Christians. From there, Pastor Bob launched into a sermon on Romans 13 that deals with a Christian’s responsibility to submit to the governing authorities.

I have wrestled with this passage for many years, probably since President Obama first took office. On its face, the passage could not be clearer. The “higher powers” are ordained by God and resisting them is resisting God.[1] God placed these rulers in place for our benefit.[2]

At the time Paul wrote this letter to the Romans, the Roman Empire ruled the western world. Nero was Emperor at the time, and he was no friend of Jews or Christians. All prior empires were ruled by a single monarch possessing absolute authority. Some early civilizations had codified laws, but they were laws made by the monarch. Subsequent to the Roman Empire, nations continued to be ruled by one kind of monarch or another. Romans 13 makes sense in all of these instances. The subjects of these kingdoms had no choice in who ruled over them. They had to submit or forfeit their lives, so the best advice was to submit.

The United States does not fit that pattern, although, arguably, there are those now working to change that. The United States is unique among all the nations of the world throughout world history. We do not have a ruler. We have a Constitution, a national code of laws, the “Law of the Land.” The preamble to the Constitution opens with the words “We the People.” Our form of governance comes from the people by way of representatives that legislate, supposedly, according to the dictates of the people. The Constitution makes clear that, while there are three equal branches of government that keep each other in check, the only rule comes with the consent of the people. We have no monarch ruling over us. The law of the land, the Constitution, ensures, supposedly, that those that govern and those that are governed are subject to the law.

So, how do we apply Romans 13 to our unique form of government? All citizens of the United States are subject to the Constitution, not to legislators, presidents, or judges. When our elected officials make laws that violate the Constitution, we, as Christians and citizens, are not bound to submit to laws that violate the supreme law of the land. We, as well as our leaders, are subject to the law. If our leaders fail to uphold their oath to the Constitution, then we the people are obligated to remove those leaders from office. We should not submit to unlawful legislation.

This new administration, empowered by a Demonrat Congress and Senate, a feckless Supreme Court, and promoted by left-wing media, will destroy the Constitution, and soon, the United States of America will become a nation like all the ones that have gone before. When that happens, Christians will have to take Romans 13 as Paul originally intended, but while the Constitution remains, Romans 13 implies that we are to defend it and submit to it. However, it could be that our time to do that has expired. If that is the case, Christians need to prepare for persecution as we wait for our Lord’s return. We need to pray as Jesus did in the Garden, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Notes:


[1]  Romans 13:2

[2]  Romans 13:4

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Happy New Year?

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)

I really do not feel like writing. I am feeling rather sad, but I try to post something every week, so here goes.

The year 2020 has been the worst year of my 70 ½ years on this earth. I am certain that many of my readers share the same feelings. Now we are looking ahead to a new year. In the past, the New Year offered hope for improvement, but this year, the outlook, at least from my perspective, looks dismal.

Last year started out looking promising, but then COVID-19 hit and threw the entire world into a panic. Without recounting all the details, our nation suffered a great loss economically, socially, and religiously. Our shadow government, the unelected bureaucrats that seem to be the de facto legislators, instituted irrational mandates about wearing masks, social distancing, prohibitions on public gathering – all unconstitutional, by the way – and the public just fell in line like lemmings. What makes me really sad is how our pastors have willingly gone along with these (yes, I will say it) stupid regulations and closed their churches or instituted ridiculous rules on how we do gather – reduce attendance, wear masks, social distance, no “fellowshipping” inside the church, come in, wait to be seated, leave only when your row is dismissed, etc. Seriously, I have lost my desire to attend a “live” service. I know, Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but one would think our pastors would look a little harder at that verse and consider also the one that says we should obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

I get it. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can be deadly, but so can the flu. As 2020 came to a close, the death rate from all causes in the United States did not increase even with COVID-19 (the CCP Virus). In fact, the complicit media suppress the statistics published by the CDC that those that contract the disease have a better than 99% expectation of surviving it. The relatively small numbers that do die of the disease have other underlying complications that contribute to the death. And yet, the general public is paralyzed with fear of contracting the disease. I have to laugh (although it is actually not funny) when I see people driving in their cars or walking outdoors in the fresh air wearing masks. It’s funny, but it’s sad.

The ones making the rules (I will call them “the Swamp” because they are indeed swamp creatures) do not care about the welfare of the public, although they would have you think that they do. (By the way, have you noticed that none of them have missed a single paycheck while the rest of the proletariat are losing their jobs and their businesses?) Their interest and intent is complete control of the populous so that we will fall in line according to their dictates. The first step was to incite fear of an invisible enemy, the CCP Virus, and make everyone shelter in place, wear masks in public, and social distance. That worked. The next thing will be to force everyone to take a vaccine for a disease that has a 99% survivability rate. You might object, “The government isn’t making anyone take the vaccine.” You would be right about that – now – but it may happen in the near future. Consider that airlines are already talking about requiring proof of vaccination before they will allow passengers to board their airplanes. Many “Big Box” stores, like Amazon who does not even have “stores,” are saying they will require proof of vaccination before they will sell to you or allow you into their stores. It sounds a lot like the “Mark of the Beast” (Revelation 13:18). It is NOT the Mark of the Beast, but it certainly paves the way for it.

On top of that, 2020 was an election year that gave us what is arguably the worst case of voter fraud in history. The abundant evidence of fraud in a variety of forms clearly shows that President Trump handily won, but the Swamp persists in robbing him of a second term. Even many of those who claim to be on his side, starting with the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, encourage the President to concede the election, claiming that it would be in the best interest of the nation. Inhabitants of the Swamp include many RINOs.

Three days from the posting of this blog article, a joint session of Congress will meet to count the electoral votes. There are two Constitutional ways that President Trump can secure a second term. According to Article II, Section 1, and the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution, the President of the Senate, VP Mike Pence, is responsible for counting the votes. If he determines that elections for certain states were improperly and unconstitutionally conducted, he can choose not to count the electoral votes from that state. We have at least five or maybe six states that conducted fraudulent and unconstitutional elections, and if VP Pence rejects those votes, it is quite possible that neither candidate will have a majority. In that case, the vote goes to the House where each state is allowed one vote for President. Since the majority of the states represented are Republican majorities, President Trump will get the majority of votes, and he will win a second term.

The second option is for a member of the House of Representatives to challenge the legitimacy of the votes from those states in question. That would certainly be a Republican Congressman. This would require a second to the motion by a member of the Senate. The two houses would then divide for debate, and if the challenge stands, again, the vote would go to the House of Representatives where each state would get just one vote, and again, the majority of states being Republican, President Trump will win a second term – if everything is on the up-and-up.

I have said this before; neither option for President will improve our nation’s situation. If Biden wins (God forbid!) our nation will rapidly sink into Socialism and submit to a One-World government. If President Trump wins, the Swamp will rise up like nothing we have seen to date.

The year 2020 was not a good year. The New Year, 2021 does not promise to be better. In fact, it will probably be worse. Can we have hope? YES! Signs around the world and our nation portend the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For those who have placed their trust in Him, He will soon take us out of this world before the Seven-Year Tribulation devastates the planet. After the Seven-Year Tribulation, He will return with His saints to rule and reign on Earth. Then, and only then, we will have true world peace. Joy to the World! But for those who have not placed their trust in Christ, this year will be nothing compared with what is to come. If you do not know the Savior, read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Happy New Year?

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When Foundations Move

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

Several years ago (I do not recall the exact year because I do not keep a diary), my backdoor neighbor, Tim, had the slab foundation of his house leveled because he noticed cracks in the brick mortar and wall separation on one side of his house. He caught me outside one day and pointed out that my house had the same problem as his and suggested my house needed the foundation leveled as well. I could not see any problem because I had not noticed any mortar cracking or wall separation, but my friend swore that he could see it. He worked in housing construction most of his life and has an eye for that kind of thing. I do not, especially if the defect is minor (to my eye). So, I ignored his advice.

Not long after that, I noticed that the sliding glass door leading to our backyard was developing some fogging between the panes of glass. These were very expensive insulating doors installed by Champion Windows & Doors ™ that came with a lifetime warranty. I called Champion out to see about replacing the doors. When the technician arrived, he informed me that they would not be able to replace the door because it needed to be reframed and the foundation had shifted. He said I needed to get the foundation repaired first, and then they would return to replace the door.

Convinced now that my neighbor was right all along, I called some foundation repair service to come to inspect and repair the foundation of my house. They came out and confirmed that the foundation sunk about three-fourths of an inch on the east side of my house. It took eight piers on the east side of the house to bring the foundation back to level. With that done, Champion came back and replaced our sliding glass door without any problems.

Fast forward to the year of the COVID-19 and the first year of my retirement, June and I decided we needed to do some “minor” renovations to our house. I avoided it as long as possible because, while I can do the work, it takes me a lot longer than it does a “pro” and besides that, my knees are not up to a lot of the getting up and down required by this kind of work. I convinced June that it would be better to get a “professional” to come in and do the work. Because they know what they are doing, they should be done in three to four days – two weeks at the most, while it would take me a month or more. The job was relatively small: replace five interior doors, replace the carpet in our bedroom with laminate flooring, and extend that flooring into our master bath.

June, being the ultimate bargain shopper that she is, found a “highly recommended” contractor on our “Neighborhood” web page, and she gave me his contact information. I procrastinated for several months until I finally called the man over to give us an estimate shortly after Thanksgiving. I had just accepted a very time-consuming and challenging teaching opportunity at church, so hiring this guy to do the work seemed like a good option. The estimate, for his labor only, seemed reasonable enough, so we hired him to do the job. While looking the job over, he recommended replacing our existing tile shower with a poly “shower kit” that would look so much better than our moldy old tile. That sounded good to me, so I bought the kit and included that with the “upgrade.”

Well, to make a long story short and to get to the point of my title, the man knew nothing about hanging doors. The floor and the shower he subcontracted out, and the men that did that work did an excellent job, but anything my guy and his workers did was very poor quality. I do not want to be too critical of the man, but it seems that he did not know the purpose of a carpenter’s level. The reason he had trouble hanging the doors was due to my original foundation problem. When my foundation settled, all the framing of the house shifted to the east, not much, but enough to throw everything off “plumb.” Had my contractor put a level on the door frames, he would have seen the problem and corrected it (or not). As it was, he wasted my time and his (a little over a month), and the job was ended by me in an incomplete state. Tim, my backdoor neighbor, came and helped me get the doors hung properly. In the past when Tim was working, all he did was install windows and doors, so with his expertise, we were able to correct all the problems. All the doors open and close properly. One problem still remains. The shower doors do not hang correctly for the same reason, but I know now what to do to correct it.

Jesus once said, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved” (Luke 5:37-38). Of course, His application had a different purpose, but the adage still applies. You do not put new doors on old door frames.

The movement of our house’s foundation was very subtle, almost unnoticeable. The walls “looked” perfectly straight and “plumb.” However, when a “square” door, a plumb line, or level – a perfect standard – is placed against, it exposes the defect. Corrections can be made to make things “look” straight, but the fact remains that the foundation moved and the whole building is now “off plumb.” Nothing can correct that without tearing down the whole structure and rebuilding from the ground up on a level foundation.

Our nation was founded on a firm foundation. However, in the 233-year history of our nation’s founding, so many extraneous laws, regulations, and edicts, the majority of which are unconstitutional, have been attached to our Constitution that the foundation is leaning and cracking. We hear of the “swamp” that is deep, wide, and far-reaching, that operates unfettered by the Constitution, and which makes and enforces laws and edicts of which most citizens are unaware. Our beloved President, Donald Trump fights against the swamp, but the swamp creatures are numerous, stealthy, and vicious. Some even appear to be “straight” (as in “upright”), but they expose their “swampiness” when they vote to enact perverse legislation, like the latest COVID-Relief Bill, against the good intentions of our President.

The moisture and soft marsh of the swamp weakens an otherwise solid foundation. The black mold of the swamp putrefies and decays the framework of any structure causing it to lean and eventually fall. This is where we are. The year 2020 has been the worst year of my lifetime, but it exposes the weaknesses in our nation’s once strong foundation. When foundations move, the building will eventually fall. I do not look forward to the year 2021 except for the fact that our Lord, Jesus Christ, will come for His Bride very shortly. He will destroy the foundations of this world, lay down a new foundation, and build an everlasting structure thereon. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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