Category Archives: Random Musings

In the Twinkling of an Eye

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

For several years now, but more so lately, the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ, occupies my mind almost constantly – hopefully not to the point that I am so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good. As a matter of fact, the prospect incites a sense of urgency within me to share, or better, to warn, the lost around me, especially my loved ones, of the menacing peril that looms ahead for those left behind when Jesus returns for His Bride, the Church. Anyone rejecting Christ, whether by choice or by ignorance, faces seven years of unimaginable horror on earth, until Jesus returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to claim His Kingdom on earth for 1000 years (Revelation 20). During that awful period of seven years, people will still have the opportunity to repent and follow Jesus, but they may have to pay for that choice with their lives.

For believers who share my anticipation, I wonder what our call to “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1) will be like? In the starting verse above, the Apostle Paul says that we, if we are not “asleep,” will “be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).  The Greek word translated moment is atomos, from which we get our English word “atom,” and it signifies the smallest, indivisible amount of time. Paul further defines the “moment” as “the twinkling of an eye.” The twinkling of an eye is faster than “the blink of an eye” which is 100-400 milliseconds.[1] I read somewhere that the “twinkling of an eye” is the amount of time it takes for light to enter the eye, hit the retina, and reflect back out;[2] it is a ridiculously small amount of time.

Paul tells us this event takes place “at the last trump.” John the Revelator, who enjoyed a “sneak preview” of this future event, said, “the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1, emphasis mine). Will we hear an actual trumpet call and automatically understand that we are being called home? In another place Paul says that, “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, emphasis mine). Will everyone on earth hear the sound? Perhaps they will, but only those for whom the call is intended will understand the meaning. I recall that when Jesus called Paul into service, “the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man,” (Acts 9:7, emphasis mine). In another place Paul says, “they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me” (Acts 22:9, emphasis mine). The connotation here is that, even though they heard the sound, they did not hear the voice with understanding. The communication was intended solely for Paul and no one else. That is what I think will happen at the Last Trump. Those who are His “sheep” will hear and understand the voice of the Shepherd. The rest may hear something, but not know what it is.

When that call comes, “the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, emphasis mine). In the twinkling of an eye, the decayed bodies of all the saints who are “asleep” (i.e., dead) will be reconstituted, and they will burst forth from their graves and take flight to meet Jesus in the air. In that same instant, “we [who are alive] shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51); in the twinkling of an eye, our bodies will be transformed from mortal to immortal. Will we feel it? What sensation will we experience? Suddenly all aches and pains will cease. Wrinkled skin will return to the firm supple skin of our youth. Grey hair will return to its former natural vibrancy. Heads of skin will be restored to their former glory – without the dandruff! I imagine myself in front of the mirror checking my “gig line.” I look down to check a button I missed, and when I look back up, I am staring at my 30-year old self with a full head of wavy hair! Then in the next moment, my clothes fall off as I pass right through the roof of my house. I look down and watch my house grow smaller and smaller as I zoom skyward like in a Star Wars movie. I look up and see Jesus standing there in space with open arms to welcome me, and I look around me and see millions of others wearing white robes like mine going the same direction I am traveling – toward Jesus. And no one is old. No one is disfigured. No one is bent, broken, or blemished in any way. All those I see are perfect creations like the first pair God made in the Garden of Eden. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye!

Not everyone on earth will go. Behind will be all those who rejected God’s free gift of salvation to face the horrors of hell on earth for the next seven years. Reader, if you have not asked Jesus to be your Savior, you will be included with those who are left behind. Do not let another day go by without asking Jesus to save you. Invite Him into your heart today. In the twinkling of an eye, that matter will be settled, and you can rest secured in His love. Do it now!

Notes:


[1]  “How Fast Is a Blink of an Eye?” http://sciencing.com/fast-blink-eye-5199669.html/, accessed 04/18/2017.

[2]  Question posted at https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/48664/how-long-would-it-take-for-light-to-go-through-a-human-eyeball-and-back-to-the-o/, accessed 04/18/2017.

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What’s Wrong!

dying-uncle-sam

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:3)

            Recently, shortly after the New Year’s celebrations ended, I was listening to my favorite cable news channel, and I heard one of the news anchors, a lady as I recall, lament, “What’s wrong with our country!”  The outcry was in response to the shooting at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport in Florida.

            These days many echo the same lament as our nation morphs from a nation of laws to a nation of lawlessness. One could point to our outgoing President dragging our country into the gutter, but, in truth, the decline began more than half a century ago. However, except for those living in ignorant bliss, it is obvious to the observant that the degeneration has markedly accelerated over the past eight years. My good friend and author, DiAne Gates, details the decline in her recent blog post: “A SYMPHONY OF DECEPTION.”

            What’s wrong with our country! Lawmakers carelessly vomit out laws aimed at curbing the anarchy of the lawless while, wittingly or unwittingly, denying the God-given freedoms of honest, law-abiding citizens. In the meantime, the “moral majority” celebrates victory for their part in replacing one narcissist with another in hopes of turning the nation around. I voted for Donald Trump, and I thank God that he won the presidential election rather than Hillary Clinton; but I am under no delusion that he is the salve to heal our wounds.

            Our nation is sick. That is obvious to anyone having a sense of awareness, and no one has the solution. Anyone familiar with troubleshooting techniques knows that before finding a solution to a problem, one must clearly understand the cause of the problem. What is wrong with our country? The cause and the solution are simple, but the implementation is hard.

            Both the cause and the solution are contained in the verse above. The promise given to Abram (Abraham) is generally understood to apply to the nation of Israel. That is indisputable (except by those with a perverted understanding of Scripture). After Abram arrived in the land of Canaan, God expanded on His promise. “And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him” (Genesis 12:7, emphasis mine). God amplified His promise after Abram and Lot separated. “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever” (Genesis 13:15, emphasis mine). If God’s Word is true, then the promise is irrevocable. The modern nation of Israel occupies only a fraction of the land given to them through Abraham by God. It matters not what the United Nations or the United States say about it, and it belongs to them forever! There you have the source of the problem to the Middle East.

            So, what has that to do with America? Perhaps you missed it. Note that the promise was directed to Abraham’s “seed.” That “seed” certainly applies to Israel, but “the seed” is much more than that. The Apostle Paul made the case that the “seed” applies to Christ more so than it does to Israel. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ” (Galatians 3:16, emphasis mine). Paul bases his argument on Hebrew grammar, which records the “seed” as singular, not “seeds” as plural. The promise made was to Christ, i.e., Messiah, who would come as a descendant of Abraham.

            You still wonder what that has to do with America and the solution to America’s problem. The answer is in our leading verse. “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, emphasis mine). Look first at the last half of the verse: “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” That is the promise of Messiah, our Savior. Through His death, burial and resurrection, Jesus made the way for all nations to be blessed, if they will accept and submit to Him. He is that Seed of Abraham. Contained in the first half of the verse is the cause and solution to our national problem. God said, “I will bless them that bless Thee, and curse him that curseth Thee.” The emphasis serves to highlight the object of the blessing or curse.

            In its infancy, our nation blessed and honored our God, our Savior. At its founding, God took center stage and our lawmakers unashamedly proclaimed that we are a Christian nation. Oh! How God blessed our beginnings! Why? Because our nation blessed Him. Can the same be said today? Not hardly! Today we, as a nation, curse Christ and cast Him out of every area of public life. Then we wonder, what’s wrong with our country? As a nation, we have called what is good evil, and what is evil, we call good. The solution is equally simple. Stop cursing God, and start blessing Him again. Can it be done? I don’t know, but I do know this, “as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

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Burden of a Prophet

Prophet

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5)

As I look back on my recent posts, I think, “Man! Some of that is pretty depressing stuff! I should write something more uplifting, and fun.” I titled my blog, “Ernie’s Musings” because I write about things that engage my thoughts. Lately, the things happening around our nation and the world, and the upcoming presidential election weigh heavily on my mind. Honestly, I find it difficult, if not altogether impossible, to look on the bright side. This stems from the fact that I have a phlegmatic personality with leanings to melancholic and choleric. No sanguine bone exists in my body, and I find those with that personality to be rather annoying. However, God has a sense of humor, and He surrounds me with sanguine friends in order to keep me on an even keel.

Along with my serious nature, God gave me the gift of prophecy (Romans 12:5-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-11; Ephesians 4:8-11). I say that with all humility, not that I “think more highly of myself than I ought to think” (Romans 12:3). This is not something that I dreamed up on my own. Many churches that strive to get members involved in the ministries of the church – and do it right – give a “spiritual gifts assessment” in order to properly “fit” the member in an area for which he/she is spiritually gifted. I have taken at least three such assessments, and I consistently score highly in prophecy, teaching, discernment, and encouragement. The confirmation for my statement comes from external and independent sources, so this is not my own fabrication.

I am a prophet, not a “seer” or fortuneteller. As with prophets of old, I can only say what God reveals. The prophets of old heard directly from God and repeated the message, “Thus saith the Lord,” and they recorded that message in Scripture. Nothing has been, or can be, added to the written Word of God. Thus saith the Lord, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2). The New Testament repeats, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18).

God’s revelation to us is complete and permanent. Jesus affirmed this fact when He said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18). Therefore, when I speak or write, I only say what God has already revealed in His Word. I have no new material. You will not hear me say, “I heard a new word from the Lord,” and then present something that does not already appear in Scripture. I take seriously James’ admonition, “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1). The Greek word translated “masters” is didaskalos, and it means “instructor” or “teacher.” God does not take kindly to those who misuse or abuse His Word and claim to speak for Him. God instructed the people to stone false prophets (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

As a prophet, I must speak God’s Word. I am compelled to do so. In the words of Jeremiah the prophet, “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9). The Hebrew word translated “forbearing” is kûl, and it means to “hold in.” The prophet is saying that withholding (holding in) the Word of God is tiring, and he cannot hold it in. He must let it out. In a note on this verse, Henry M. Morris says:

The Word of God simply cannot be quenched for one who truly loves God and understands what God’s Word has done for him and what it means for the world. Even though that man is the object of reproach and derision because of it (20:8), he must proclaim it to others in whatever way he can.[1]

I kind of feel like that. David, the psalmist, expressed a similar sentiment. “My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue” (Psalm 39:3). The problem with speaking what God has put in my heart is that people will often not like what I have to say. I have learned to expect this. In Jeremiah’s case, he said, “O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived: thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me. For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the LORD was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily” (Jeremiah 20:7-8, emphasis mine). The word “deceived” is an unfortunate translation in the KJV.[2] God deceives no one. It is Satan who is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). The Hebrew word used there is pâthâh, and it means rather “to entice.” God places a burden on the heart of a prophet and entices him, or calls him to deliver that message.

For a modern prophet like myself, God lets me see the condition of the world around me through the lens of His Holy Word; that goes with the gift of discernment that He gave me along with prophecy. The message is not new. This same message has been proclaimed through the ages. God does not change. God’s Word does not change. When I look at the world around me, I do not like what I see. When I see the condition of our nation, I do not like what I see. Then I read God’s Word, and I see the problem. Others may see the same problems I see and shake their heads and go on about their business, but I cannot do that. God, the Holy Spirit that resides in me (and all of God’s children), compels me to speak out, and I must. God has not given me a pulpit from which to preach, but He has given me a blog, and so I write. It is the burden of a prophet that God has given me.

I admit that my message may not be popular, and it may even be offensive at times. Sometimes, even I do not like what I have to say, and I would rather keep it to myself. However, the burden weighs on my heart and mind, and I am compelled to express it. When I consider the message, I look for ways to soften it, but given the conditions, I find that difficult. In those same spiritual gift assessments, I consistently score poorly in the “gift of mercy,” so it is difficult for me to make the message “kinder.”

God also made me an “encourager.” As bleak as my messages may be sometimes, I find hope in God’s sovereignty, in His faithfulness, and in His promise. I know our Lord’s return is very near, and although the world around us grows darker by the day, we have the promise of His coming. No matter what the political climate or social morass, our God reigns, and He cares for the welfare of His children. Until He comes, He will provide for us, pilot us, and protect us. So if my message seems gloomy at times, remember that is just the burden of this prophet, but along with the message, there is hope.

Notes:


[1]  Henry M. Morris, The Henry Morris Study Bible, (Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2012), 1114.

[2]  Many other modern translations also mistranslate this word. However it is correctly translated in others like the Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) translates as “enticed”, New Living Translation (NLT) translates as “misled,” New English Translation (NET) translates as “coerced,” New American Bible-Revised (NABRE) translates as “seduced,” and the Common English Bible (CEB) translates as “enticed.”

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Justice For All

12172967 - justice (greek:themis,latin:justitia) blindfolded with scales, sword and money on one scale. corruption and bribing concept

And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14)

The Pledge of Allegiance of the United States is an expression of allegiance to the Flag and the Republic of the United States of America. Colonel George Balch originally composed it in 1887, and Francis Bellamy later revised it in 1892.  Congress formally adopted the Pledge in 1942, and the official name of “The Pledge of Allegiance” was adopted in 1945. The last change in language came on Flag Day, 1954 when the words “under God” were added.[1]

The closing phrase of “The Pledge of Allegiance” asserts that this republic, “under God,” offers “liberty and justice for all.” This week, following the celebration of the 240th anniversary of the birth of our nation, that assertion proved false when FBI Director, James Comey, succinctly detailed the numerous security violations incurred by former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, when she carelessly handed classified electronic documents. The recitation of infractions enumerated by the FBI director exposed the litany of lies voiced by the Democrat Presidential Candidate.

In her position as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, Clinton repeatedly and flagrantly violated the “Espionage Act” (18 U.S. Code § 793 (f)),[2] and then lied about having done so. She said her emails resided on a single server; there were four. She said she communicated on only one handheld device; there were several. She said she did not send or receive any communications “marked” classified. That was untrue, but even if not marked classified, in her position as Secretary of State, she should have recognized sensitive material when she saw it, so she has no excuse. She claims to have surrendered all emails to the FBI. That was false, and furthermore, Director Comey revealed that Clinton’s lawyers deleted large quantities of emails and then “scrubbed” their devices to render them insusceptible to forensic investigation.

With the mountains of evidence clearly stacked against her, FBI Director, James Comey declared that no “reasonable” prosecutor should find cause to bring charges against Hillary Clinton based on the premise that the evidence did not support “malicious intent.” The problem with Comey’s assessment is that the statute says nothing about “intent.” The fact is that Clinton dealt with highly sensitive material involving national security for which she was responsible, and she carelessly handled that material. The statute in question reads as follows:

Whoever [including the Secretary of State and even the President], being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. (Emphasis mine.)

Mrs. Clinton, in her position as Secretary of State, had “lawful possession or control” of many sensitive documents relating to the “national defense.” Through “gross negligence,” she permitted those documents “to be removed from [their] proper place of custody,” i.e. secured government servers, “in violation of [her] trust.” Then attempted to obscure and obfuscate the fact, first of all, by storing them on a personal servers rather than on secure government servers, and secondly, by deleting (destroying) them from those servers. One should note that nothing in the statute addresses “intent.” In short, if a person is a lawful custodian of sensitive information related to national defense, that person is responsible and accountable for the security of that information.

Many in government have been severely punished for lesser offenses. When questioned by the Congressional investigative committee, Comey was asked if one of his FBI agents were to be charged with such offenses, what would happen to that agent. Comely admitted that such a violator would have his/her security clearance revoked and suffer such punishment as required by law. Yet, no “reasonable prosecutor” should bring any charges against Hillary Clinton.

With that FBI “recommendation,” Attorney General, Loretta Lynch exonerated Mrs. Clinton clearing the path for her presidency. Heaven help us!

In the classic novel, Animal Farm by George Orwell, one of the closing lines says, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Iustitia, the Roman goddess of justice (Lady Justice), is portrayed with a balance scale in one hand, a sword in the other, and a blindfold over her eyes. The image speaks of equality under the law. With her eyes covered, Lady Justice sees no race. She sees no rich or poor. She sees no ruler or subject. Her judgment is weighed on the scale of the law, and the guilty succumb to her sword regardless of status or stature. That is as it should be. That is as it once was in America, but it now seems that the law applies only to the masses and excuses some of a new elite class of rulers. These animals are more equal than others. Anarchy now rules in our land.

Before his death, King David said, “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” ( 2 Samuel 23:1-3, emphasis mine).

Notes:


[1]  Wikipedia, “Pledge of Allegiance,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance/.

[2]  See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793/

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The Problem With Academia

On my commute to work this morning (April 14, 2016), I tuned in to the Mark Davis Show on KSKY 660 AM and listened to a segment worthy of sharing. Mark read part of an article by Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where he addressed a student who felt “victimized” by a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 – “The Love Chapter.” In the article, Dr. Piper “schools” the boy on “how the cow eats the cabbage.” The interview that follows is equally educational.

I recorded this on my dash cam, so the sound quality is not the best, and on top of that you have to listen past the road noise. But, if you listen closely, you will get an education. 🙂 So relax. Turn up the volume, and enjoy my drive to work!

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The Trump Sounds

Trump Sounds

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  (Matthew 7:20)

Regardless of what you may think of him, Donald Trump is a phenomenon. Here is a man who has been self-serving all of his life, and now, over night, he has become the champion of conservative values. He is willing to sacrifice himself to the service and benefit of the nation. What is probably more amazing is how he has managed to convince around 40% of Republicans (I hesitate to say “conservatives”) that he alone can save the nation from its inevitable demise. Trump claims that “he” will build a wall along the southern border and get Mexico to pay for it. “He” will round up all the illegal aliens and deport them all. All how many million? Trump claims that “he” will make American companies return manufacturing plants back to the US, or else. Trump claims that “he” will get rid of Obama Care and replace it with something (?) much, much greater. Trump claims that “he” will convince Muslim nations to destroy ISIS. Trump makes many claims that sound really good, but does not divulge how he plans to accomplish it all. It will all happen simply because he, “The Donald” is the great negotiator that knows how to make things happen and get things done. Trump will “make America great again” because he knows how to do it.

Trump has tapped into the anger that conservative Americans have against the Government, but especially with the Republican establishment that made promises to make big changes when elected, but have only proven feckless in their promises. Americans demand a secure border. Trump says he will do it. Americans want to get back to work. Trump says he will do it. Americans want the national debt reduced. Trump says he will do that. Americans want the economy to grow. Trump says he will do it. Americans fear Islamic terrorism. Trump says he will stop the Muslim hordes. Everything Americans want, Trump will do it. No need to worry, Trump has the plan. What that plan is, is anybody’s guess, but somehow he has convinced the masses. Trump is all things to all people.

More astounding is the apparent attraction Trump has fostered among evangelicals. Evangelical notables like Dallas First Baptist Church pastor, Dr. Robert Jeffress[1], and Liberty University President, Jerry Falwell, Jr.[2] have jumped on the Trump bandwagon in full support of the Republican candidate endorsing him as a strong Christian. Seriously? Two high-profile, supposedly wise and discerning, Christian leaders have evaluated Trump’s character and concluded that he is a strong Christian! I wonder where they got their sources? At TownHall.com, John Hawkins offers “40 Reasons Not to Vote for Trump.”[3] On the list are some things that should concern Christians, like fraud investigations over Trump University, alleged ties to the mob, profits from gambling and strip clubs, cheating on his wife, and he is a chronic womanizer and misogynist. Not on the list was his statement that he has never done anything over which he needed to ask forgiveness of God. I am sure that both of our high-profile evangelical Trump supporters preach that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), so how do they reconcile Trump’s claim to be a Christian with his claim that he has no need of God’s forgiveness? Trump at one time claimed to be pro-choice, even supporting partial-birth abortion, but says he has “evolved” and is now pro-life.[4] Considering his past and his current “Christian” condition should make one wonder if his “evolution” results from a change in environment – businessman to politician – and his need to pander for the evangelical vote.

I do not trust Donald Trump. Trump is a chronic narcissist, probably worse than the current White House resident. Notice how he strikes back whenever he perceives a personal attack. A “personal attack” can be any criticism of Trump’s past because they expose his character flaws. Trump doesn’t like that. In response, instead of defending his actions (because he can’t) he resorts to ad homonym attacks – Cruz is a liar, Cruz is nasty, nobody likes him; Rubio repeats himself; he sweats, he has big ears, etc. He, being the older and supposedly more mature of the top three contenders, behaves more like an immature adolescent than a serious, mature contender for the presidency of the United States. Why would honorable, high-profile, Christian, evangelical leaders, like Robert Jeffress and Jerry Falwell, Jr. endorse such a man for President of the United States!

The Trump sounds! He is all mouth and no substance. He is a self-centered narcissist whose only interest is in winning the best deal for Trump, and he will say anything and do anything to gain his prize. He does not care about the country; he is only interested in himself. Listen carefully when the Trump sounds. Everything he promises, “he” will accomplish. “His” money purchases favors on both sides of the political fence. The “deal,” not the “principle,” is what matters to Trump, which means he will do whatever it takes to win the deal. A man like that cannot be trusted.

Jeffress, Falwell and many other evangelicals got snookered! Perhaps they should have done their homework and read what Max Lucado had to say about having decency in the White House,[5] or how Russell Moore compares Donald Trump to the golden calf.[6]

In the 2012 Republican Convention, Clint Eastwood compared Barack Obama to an empty chair. The only difference between Trump and Obama is that Trump is all white. Two empty suits – one is a Democrat, the other is a Democrat disguised as a Republican (a wolf in sheep’s clothing).

Last week I had a dream that Trump won the 2016 Presidential Election. When I awoke, I sensed God telling me that our nation was getting what we deserved – the Trump sounds.

Notes:


 

[1]  See http://www.star-telegram.com/news/article62778752.html

[2]  See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/01/26/evangelical-leader-jerry-falwell-jr-endorses-trump/

[3]  See http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2016/02/27/40-reasons-not-to-vote-for-donald-trump-n2125585

[4]  See http://www.ontheissues.org/2016/Donald_Trump_Abortion.htm

[5]  See https://maxlucado.com/decency-for-president/

[6]  See http://www.christiantoday.com/article/russell.moore.compares.donald.trump.to.the.golden.calf.in.the.bible.that.israelites.wrongly.worshipped/77021.htm

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What Do I Say?

USS Sperry (AS-12) 1941 - 1982

USS Sperry (AS-12) 1941 – 1982

For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. (Isaiah 60:12)

On the way to a coerced bargain safari with my wife, June, I pulled into the local Quick Trip to silence the nagging Low Fuel warning light on our Altima. At the pump, I popped the fuel port cover latch, got out from driver’s seat, and walked back to uncap the fuel fill port. Lost in the mindless routine of inserting the gas card, making the fuel selection, inserting the pump nozzle into the fill port and squeezing the handle to the start the flow of liquid gold, I hardly noticed the black compact sedan that pulled up at the pump behind me.

As I scanned the rows of gas pumps and observed how others practiced a similar routine, I caught him approaching me from my right side. Instantly my internal alarms sounded as the wiry frame came near. His shirt-sleeve shirt exposed tattooed arms without a hint of normal skin tone. Beneath the tattered ball cap flowed long stringy locks of jet-black hair that hung in clumps of greasy strands just past his shoulders. His face was leathery and wrinkled, probably more from years of too much smoking than from age, and the trimmed portion of his scraggly beard looked like it hadn’t met a razor in weeks. His tattered, dirty jeans, wrinkled, untucked, button-down plaid shirt, and muddy work boots gave him the appearance of a homeless man. A woman, that looked old enough to be his mother, got out of the passenger’s side and busied herself looking around the car for the place to put in the gas.

Without pausing one second to help his mother, he walked directly toward me right hand extended. I thought, “Here it comes. This guy is going to hit me up for some gas money, and he’ll have some sob story about his dad suddenly having a stroke, and he has to drive his mother up to Oklahoma City to see him.” As I formulated my response, his hand invaded my personal space, and I took it. He said, “Thank you for your service.”

What? I had forgotten that I was wearing my Navy-blue ball cap with the white and gold fowled anchor and the bold embroidered USN identifying me as a Navy veteran. “Thank you,” I stammered. I couldn’t think of anything else to say. He nodded and turned around and walked back to his car. I’m sure he was a little let down by my lack of enthusiasm. To be sure, the encounter was not what I had expected.

I’m proud of my service for my country. I often wear apparel that displays that pride like that cap. But after I put it on, I never give it a second thought. I am often approached and offered similar sentiments of appreciation for my service, and I am always at a loss for how to respond.

I enlisted in the Navy in 1970, at the height of the Vietnam War, and served on active duty until 1974. Later I served another eight years in the US Naval Reserves. When I first joined, there was a draft, and my number was up. The Army was in bad need of “grunts,” and anti-war sentiment dominated the prevailing national mood. Many young men my age were getting married or going to college to avoid the draft. Others burned their draft cards in protest or ran away to Canada to avoid service. I had no one I wanted to marry at that time, and I was too poor to go to college. The other options of burning my draft card or running away to Canada were unthinkable for me.

I honestly felt that I owed my duty to my country, but at the same time, I wasn’t eager to spill my blood in a war directed by politicians rather than generals – a war that those in charge did not intend to win. That made no sense to me, yet I still felt a strong obligation to serve my country. So, I joined the Navy and fulfilled my obligation. That is what I did. I did my duty. I did what I was supposed to do. I served, and I was proud to serve. I did nothing outstanding or extraordinary. I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I executed my responsibilities to my shipmates, to my ship, to the Navy, and to my country. I did my job; that’s all.

So when I am thanked for my service, I really do not know how to respond. I only did what I was supposed to do. Why is that so special? Is it that somewhere along the way we have lost our sense of responsibility, our sense of duty, our sense of honor? I served my country. It was my privilege. It was my duty. Next time I’m thanked for my service, perhaps I will just respond with, “You’re welcome. I just did my job.”

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