Thursday, May 31, 2012

Famous Quotes

I did not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, not from the freedom of the will (of man).     

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"The Doctor is In"

Into the building they came one-by-one.  Patients of different backgrounds and lifestyles all huddled in one room waiting to be seen.  Some were limping, one had a cane, two had crutches, an older couple and I. 
Truthfully, I did not know what to expect.  My having to see a doctor for an ailment of some kind was unheard of.  My health has been good for so long.  However, the pain in my right foot was getting to be unbearable and I needed relief.    
Normally, I am a bastion of coolness and calm, but today I'm a little nervous. Having worked in the medical field for a number of years I have taken plenty of people to doctor offices and hospitals and what have you.  Now I am the one in need of medical attention.

Tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc, tic toc. That's all I hear as I wait. I tried reading a book I brought with me, no dice. I'm not much for television, so that's a no go.  In my last hopes before outright panic sets in I look around the room and try to figure out 'how' some of these injuries occurred and to take my mind off of my fears.  It felt good as I was the only one in the room not in need of an assisting device to help with my gait. 

Finally just before 10, i am whisked away into an examination room.  On the way back I pass by several other rooms with closed curtains and I felt tempted to stop and yell "I will take what is behind curtain number three."  Much to my chagrin the words failed to come forth and my dignity was still intact.  Whew!!!  No problem, they will get me when I am asked to undress and put on the 'hospital gown', that despite all the advancements in technology and fabrics still, never quite seems big enough to keep my backside from having its own show.  That moment never comes about.  All I have to do is remove my right shoe and wait.

Waiting is no problem.  Having spent some time in the military 'hurry up and wait' is well ingrained into my physche.  What I failed to do is take into consideration the other patients that are there with me.  Case in point.  In the room next to me is a young lady with a walking boot on her foot, she went back just before I did.  Mind you, I am not an ease dropper and there are only two pictures and an x-ray machine in the room with me.  I looked at both of the pictures (of feet) and was left with not much else to do until the doctor arrived.  So I listened.  Read the next sentence very slowly and carefully.  WRONG DECISION TO MAKE.

For the next couple of minutes or so the young lady proceeded to let everyone know, she was not enjoying this office visit.  She screamed and yelled, and cried and offered up some impressive expletives.  Being in the room next to hers did little to calm my nerves.  In fact, it made my foot hurt more.  I jumped several times out of my chair just from the shock of her screaming and the adrenaline sent a fresh surge of blood to my foot which caused it to throb more.   Pain, pain, pain, pain.  Did he have her in an iron maiden?  The little red guy on my right shoulder with the pitchfork and horns was yelling "back door, back door."  While on my left was a guy in a beautiful white robe calmly telling me "to stay."  If anyone had taken a poll, it would have been a landslide victory for the red team.  Yet, despite the attention I was getting, I stayed.

As if on cue and sensing my desire to 'jump ship' the nurse comes back in and takes x-rays of my foot and offer a smile of assurance. "The doctor will be in shortly."
Tea and donuts would have been better.  I continued to wait, the doctor comes in and we have a short discussion on the problem and next course of action.  'My diagnosis' was nowhere near the one he gave me.  So, having the initials DR does not make me an actual doctor?  (I have been mislead).  Well, my visit is over and, after paying my  co-pay, I proudly shuffle into the waiting room and look at my fellow hobbled compatriots and smile.  I have just joined a fraternity.  Mind you, I doubt any of us set out to do so before our various injuries but we are now the weak, hobbled, lame and much less mobile. 

All-in-all I had a good time and got to see and meet some interesting people.  I wonder what we will all look like next year at the reunion?  Haha

Tesla and a Sovereign God

I am a big fan of music, late 70's all the 80's and early 90's heavy metal and rock.  (Hair bands of course.)  Now I don't like all kinds of music and I do think that some forms of music should not be allowed on the radio. That is my opinion.  Back in the 80's-90's there was (and still is ) a band called Tesla. They are a wonderful and highly underrated band.  On the album, Five Man Acoustical Jam, one of their hit songs was called "Signs".  Although it was a cover song of an original 1970's song, this is my favorite version. Chorus went something like this:
Signs, signs everywhere there is signs
blocking up the scenery and raking my
mind do this don't do that
can you read the signs                                                 


In my town of Hazleton, PA right now, construction and road work signs are coming out of hibernation. We have stop signs (which very few obey), do not enter, one way, detour, road closed, vote for this person signs, street signs, business signs and so on. I had not noticed all the different kinds of signs.  Maybe Tesla had it right?

In today's fast-paced world we as a people miss a lot of these signs. Some are talking on their cell phones, texting, or engrossed in a conversion or just choose to ignore
them. I am guilty of these things also, not all of them, but guilty nonetheless.
Of all the signs around us, there is one sign that a great many people are IGNORING, and that is the sign of the times.  This sign is speaking the loudest.  Let me explain.   In Matthew 24 the disciples of Jesus ask a question.
"Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming of the end of the world?
Jesus responded, "Take heed that no man deceive you".
This will be the first step into the downfall of mankind. Further on in the chapter in v.37 and following (Jesus speaking), we read
"But as the days of Noe(Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking , marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that No-e (Noah) entered into the ark.  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be."
Society now says what was once considered wrong is now considered right. Since when did same-sex marriages become the norm? How about living together while unmarried? Just to see if they are compatible with one another!!!!  Really?
Give me a break. All, all these things were going on before the flood.
Is it a coincidence that God said in Genesis chapter 6:3 "My spirit shall not always strive (be with) man."
Verse 5 gives us the answer as to why. "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually".
Are we not seeing those things today? Crimes against children?  Abortion? Lawlessness?   Immorality?
What do you/we think is the cause of the financial meltdown? The abnormal weather patterns? How many hurricanes and tornadoes have we had the past few years?  The droughts? Increase is new strains of diseases? Hmmm
Global warming does not cut it, not to mention it's a bunch of bologna. It is the coming judgement of God upon this land of stiff necked and hard-hearted people. Look at the world around you.  God does not discriminate against anyone.  We are all to blame.


When are we going to wake up to the reality of our decisions? All of this is happening because we have turned our backs on God, the nation of Israel and the laws in which this nation was founded, godly principals.  Yet, in the name(s) of compromise and acceptance and political correctness we have chosen the wrong path to travel and now cannot find our way back.  My friends do not despair.  Jesus tells his disciples in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken to you, that in me you will have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world."
Occupy Wall Street, civil unrest, rioting, economic failures, bank bailouts and anything else in today's headlines points to the soon return of MY SAVIOUR.  What about you?  Is your heart filled with peace or fear?  Is your hope in Jesus Christ or mankind?  Look to Jesus.  If you don't know him personally then ask me how you can know him, personally.  No one in this world is guaranteed anything.  Not our next breath, or heartbeat, long life or riches.  Only two things will remain from this broken world and they are the Word of God and all who have accepted forgiveness through Jesus' death on the cross. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Signs and a Sovereign God I

Another beautiful day out today, this evening rather.  This happens to be my favorite part of the day because the sun is still shining and about an hour to an hour and a half from going down and the coolness of the coming night feels like a salve for my bones.
It has been a blessed day and much time was spent in prayer with the Most High.
Truthfully, it almost seems like the perfect day. Maybe it is a sign?  We'll get to that later. 

Work was a breeze with six people and the bulk of our job was s truck that we got done before noon.  That left four hours to just take extra time to do things we normally do not have a lot of time to do.  Yes, it could be considered a very good day.

Right now as I look at the cars snake their way around town, the drivers seem to be in a jovial mood.  Why?  Could it be the weather?  Yep, 1/3 of the problem solved.  Could it be that the work day is over?  Ditto that, add another 1/3.  Let us try this one.  Could it be that almost everyone is oblivious to what is really going on in the world today?  You have my vote and that is the final 1/3 part to make it a whole.

While mulling this over, a verse of scripture came to mind from Ezekiel 38 verse 11.  This verse applies to the nation of Israel and its last days prophecies but it fits in here.  "And thou shalt say, I will go up to a land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates."  (There are no villages, gates or bars around my town.)

What will happen to this town and these people when the world is turned upside down?  9/11 was a small representation of the things to come.  Untold numbers of people flocked to/back to churches in the aftermath of that terrible day.  Yet, how many decisions were lasting?   We can only guess at a number.  Fear of death drove those decisions and once it subsided they went back to their old ways.  Is this the very same thing that happened in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina?  Undeniable. 
That great and terrible day is fast approaching, when God's judgement, eventually falls on the countries of this world.  Despite all of these things hope does abound.  What is the source of this HOPE?  Jesus the Christ.  My hope is in Jesus and it is my hope that others find Him also.  Until that day comes (salvation for all) I will continue to pray and share the gospel message of repentance, forgiveness, salvation and eternal life.