Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Are Antibiotics Not Working Anymore?


INEFFECTIVE ANTIBIOTICS: IT'S A GROWING CONCERN FOR GLOBAL HEALTH and the situation is only getting worse. Much worse. We live in a world of  individuals disconnected from nature, living with diminished immune systems and and making daily lifestyle choices that are not life-supporting. Then too, we run and get antibiotics prescriptions for any-and-every thing, rather than letting our bodies' immune systems fight most of the good fights and in the process get stronger, healthier.

Do you know where 90% of your immune system is?  Sure you do.  And if you don't,  I'm happy to tell you if you'll email me at my sidebar address.   It's altogether possible to strengthen your immune system against all the abuses that are coming down the road. It's simple but not necessarily easy. Thanks for coming by.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday: Christian Stewardship With Randy Alcorn


RANDY ALCORN WHO WROTE THE BOOK AMAZING BOOK HEAVEN is one of my favorite Christian speakers and writers.  He brings the written Word of God to life in so many ways for the modern Christian.  I love to listen to his talks and book CDs when I'm on the road, when I'm up, and especially when I'm down and discouraged.

His messages are encouraging, inspirational and oh so biblically based.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday of Joy: Have You Found What You're Looking For On Life's Perpetual Easter Egg Hunt For Happiness?

ON THIS JOYOUS EASTER MORNING, it's good to remember that happiness comes from external things.  However no matter how good they are, they never tend to last.

Joy, on the other hand, comes from a heart that's tapped into the only lasting joyful reality there is:  believing in Christ's one-time sacrificial suffering and death on the Cross to mankind and His eternal triumph over our sin and death. Blessed are us sinners who know we're sinners in need of a Savior. Blessed is the joy this brings in spite of our earthly struggles, even as we await its eternal fulfillment one day.

Here is a wonderful piece from Desiring God:

LIKE CHILDREN SCATTERING around a yard for Easter eggs, you and I are on a hunt. We all hunt. Our thirsty souls rummage through every nook and cranny of this world, in search of shiny pleasures and saccharine delights. Every such joy seeker, in pursuit of treasures that will not fade or rust or break or be stolen, must pay careful attention to Easter — not with a nod-off-through-the-sermon kind of attention, but with a real, earnest, eager attention riveted on Christ.

If we miss the significance of the resurrection, we scamper past the greatest joy in the universe. The Joy of Jesus As the dark shadows stalked the soon-to-be crucified Christ, he turned his attention to joy. Throughout this Holy Week of his crucifixion, Jesus had foreshadowed his death for his disciples who struggled to make sense of it all. He addressed their concerns directly in John 16:19–24. Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

We rewind Holy Week to hear Jesus forecast the changes to come in his resurrection. He wanted his disciples to anticipate Easter Sunday as the cataclysmic dawning of true joy. And here’s what it all means for joy seekers......


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday With John Piper, The Greatest Prayer In The World---Jesus In the Garden Before His Crucifixion


It is Thursday, the night before Jesus’s crucifixion. This evening has been laden with teaching (John 13–17), shocking with foot-washing by the greatest for the least (John 13:3–20), epoch-making with the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:20–30Mark 14:17–26Luke 22:14–20), and pivotal with the departure of Judas (John 13:30).
Now Jesus and the eleven have gone to the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:1;Mark 14:32). Here Jesus prays the greatest prayer in the world. What hung in the balance was the glory of God’s grace and the salvation of the world. The success of Jesus’s mission to earth depended on Jesus’s prayer and the answer given. He prayed with reverence and his request was given.
The question I would like to try to answer is: How does Hebrews 5:7 relate to the prayers in Gethsemane? Hebrews 5:7 says, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” He was heard. He got his request. What does this refer to in Jesus’s life?

Loud Cries in the Garden

Nothing in Jesus’s experience comes closer to this description than the prayers of Gethsemane. “Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears,” corresponds emotionally to Luke 22:44, “Being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” “Loud cries and tears” is a description of the “agony” of Jesus.
What was the content of Jesus’s “prayers and supplications” in Hebrews 5:7? If we assume the content was: “Remove this cup from me” (Mark 14:36), then what would it mean that “he was heard because of his reverence” (Hebrews 5:7)? Hebrews teaches that, precisely because of his “godly fear,” Jesus “was heard,” that is, he received his request.
But the cup was not removed. He suffered the fullness of physical pain and divine wrath. So in what sense was Jesus “heard because of his reverence”?

His First Prayer and the Angel’s Help

Both Matthew and Mark portray Jesus as praying three separate times, and each time returning to the sleeping Peter, James, and John. Luke, on the other hand, gives a single summary description of Jesus’s prayers, and includes a detail that points to an answer to our question, namely, the visitation of the angel. Luke writes,
He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41–44)
Before the angel came “to strengthen” him, Jesus prayed that the cup be removed (Luke 22:42). Then the angel came, “strengthening him.” Strengthening him for what? Presumably to do what he had to do. In other words, the angel was God’s response to Jesus’s first prayer. The angel bears God’s message that there is no other way, but I will help you. Do not turn from your mission now, in spite of the terrifying prospect. I will help you. Here is my angel to strengthen you.
Then the question is: What was the content of the prayers that followed? Luke 22:44 says, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly.” Does this mean he kept on saying: “Remove this cup from me,” even more earnestly? That assumption would be unworthy of Jesus. What then was he praying? And is this different prayer what Hebrews says “was heard because of his reverence”?

He Prays a Second Time

According to Matthew, when Jesus went away a second time to pray, he did not say the identical words as the first time. The first time he said, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” The second time he said, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done” (Matthew 26:42).
May we not assume that the angel had come to Jesus the first time he prayed, and had made plain to Jesus that it was, in fact, not possible for the cup to pass from him, but that God would help him drink it? Which is why, in his second prayer, Jesus does not ask for the cup to be removed, but instead asks for God’s will to be done in view of the revealed fact that “the cup cannot pass”: “If this cannot pass unless I drink it [which has now been made plain to me by the coming of the angel], your will be done.”
When Mark says, of the second prayer of Jesus, “And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words” (Mark 14:39), it need not contradict this, as though only the same words were spoken all three times. “The same words” may simply refer to, “Your will be done,” which indeed Jesus prays each time.
If we are on the right track, then the content of Jesus’s supplications after the angel came was not the same as before. He did not go on praying: “Let this cup pass from me.” It says, “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly” (Luke 22:44). If he was not praying more earnestly for the cup to be removed, then what was he praying?

His Greatest Act of Obedience

Hebrews 5:7 says, “Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.” If “save his soul from death” does not mean, “Remove this cup from me,” what does it mean? For he was certainly heard and received this request.
Jonathan Edwards answers,
This was the greatest act of obedience that Christ was to perform. He prays for strength and help, that his poor feeble human nature might be supported, that he might not fail in this great trial, that he might not sink and be swallowed up, and his strength so overcome that he should not hold out, and finish the appointed obedience.
He was afraid lest his poor feeble strength should be overcome, and that he should fail in so great a trial, that he should be swallowed up by that death that he was to die, and so should not be saved from death; and therefore he offered up strong crying and tears unto him that was able to strengthen him, and support, and save him from death, that the death he was to suffer might not overcome his love and obedience, but that he might overcome death, and so be saved from it. (“Christ’s Agony”)
Jesus did not go on praying for the cup to pass. He went on praying for success in drinking it.
When Paul says, of Jesus’s resurrection, “Therefore, God has highly exalted him” (Philippians 2:9), the “therefore” refers to Jesus’s unwavering obedience unto death: “Being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore . . .” (Philippians 2:8). God saved Jesus from death because he was obedient. His prayers were answered.

The Father’s Answer

If Jesus had not been obedient unto death, he would have been swallowed up by death forever and there would be no resurrection, no salvation, and no future world filled with the glory of God’s grace and God’s children. This is what Jesus prayed for “to him who was able to save him from death” — that is, save him from a death that would not succeed its saving mission.
“He was heard for his godly fear.” God did save him from the threat that such a death posed to his obedience. Jesus did succeed. There is salvation for all who believe. There will be a new world full of the glory of God’s grace and God’s children.
And all of this is owing to the greatest prayer in the world. Every hope of the gospel succeeds because of Jesus’s reverent earnestness in prayer, and the answer of the Father. “Being in an agony he prayed more earnestly . . . and he was heard because of his reverence” (Luke 22:44Hebrews 5:7).
Evidently, by the time Jesus was done praying in Gethsemane, the Father had not only made clear that there is no other way than the cross, but also that this way would succeed. The Lamb would have the reward of his suffering. He will “see his offspring; he will prolong his days; the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he will see and be satisfied” (Isaiah 53:10–11).
Surely this is why Hebrews 12:2 could say, “For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross.” Beneath the terrors of present agony was the taste of future joy. The angel had come, “strengthening him” — clarifying, confirming, connecting the coming joy.

This is the fifth post in Desiring God’s 2014 Holy Week series “The Final Days of Jesus,” inspired by the new book of the same title by Justin Taylor and Andreas Kostenberger. Holy Week illustrations provided in partnership with Crossway Books and Adam Greene. Previously in the series:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Week: The Maturing of the Apostle Paul Has Life Lessons For All of Us


I HAVE TO SAY, OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS,  I've not been in the best of spirits. That's often to be expected during the annual period of Lent. The good news is, over the past few months, a far deeper subject than my/our unpleasant condo situation has gripped me:  I've become deeply and genuinely interested in learning more about the life of the Apostle Paul and his amazing missionary journeys preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the Roman Empire.  You will recall that Paul, the Jewish Pharisee who condemned new followers of The Way, had a dramatic on-the-road-to-Damascus experience where he was struck blind and met the risen, living Christ.  His life and conversion are chronicled in the Book of Acts and also in his many New Testament Epistles.  It is a topic worthy of several lifetimes of study and application.

My current obsession with Paul is literally saving my sanity and inspiring me beyond my wildest dreams.  Praise God for this gift, at this time.

When a pastor recommended  Neil Cole's book, Journeys to Significance, several weeks ago,   I immediately put it on my top-ten reading list and ordered it from Amazon.  After receiving it,  I threw it in the back seat of my car hoping for a good time to read it while on a road trip to Texas. Finally, this week---Holy Week---I have sequestered myself far away and am reading this book--- literally one of the most significant  reads of my life.  Haven't been able to put it down and don't want it to's that good and instructive---truly.

If you think you've reached your maximum maturity level (I certainly don't!) or that the Apostle Paul began his missionary journeys at some semblance of  high-level maturity, then don't kid yourself,  please think again.  All of us----especially those of us who call ourselves Christians---can and should continue learning and maturing until the day we meet our maker. It never stops, nor should it.  God didn't put us here to make us happy all the time, so much as to form us into maturing individualsk who know what love is and can make a difference in this dark and darkening world, now groaning, waiting for the return of Christ.

This is ostensibly a book about leadership for church leaders.  However, it is a book for anyone who desires to learn more about genuine leadership that begins and ends with the leading of our Lord.  The only true maturity for any of us is from the trials,  tribulations, loneliness, fear, sufferings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit. As Cole states,  God's  paintbrush strokes on our lives and unique destinies began before we're even born.

I simply cannot say enough good things about Neil Cole's book though it is not for everyone, especially those not consciously on a spiritual journey.  Some criticize Cole for inserting too much of his own autobiographical
material within the context of Paul's life and journeys.   I don't,  and really got and identified with one of Cole's basic life decisions:  to live life as an adventure and learn, learn from it and our many mistakes, rather than just reading about the mistakes and adventures of others and avoiding pain and involvement in life.

I leave you to read about the book yourself, if you're so drawn.  As for me,  I am deeply grateful to Neil for helping me continue to understand the trials and tribulations of Paul and how it relates to my own life adventures in and out of suffering leading to greater aliveness.  Trying too hard to protect ourselves from pain  deadens our lives and makes us much more superficial, dull and unauthentic.  If you want to finish well and be deeply wise, then you will do well to read Cole's marvellous book to continue your journey.

Thanks for coming by, as always.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday---The Mysterious Who, What, When, By and To Whom of The Book of Hebrews


LON SOLOMON OF MCLEAN BIBLE CHURCH talks about the great questions  of Hebrews. 

When Lon answers questions like these,  I always listen and learn.  Most of all, I tend to agree with him. This is a terrific series!

Sorry to be missing-in-action this past week. So much is going on in my life right now, so many changes and travel, that I simply haven't been able to write anything more recently. I will be here as I can, am just fine for the most part, and will write more soon. Thank you for coming by.

Back to Hebrews---below is another excellent video teaching on the book. Remember this was Paul writing to the Jews or Hebrews believers who still believed in the old, Mosaic Covenant, but also  believing in the New Covenant instigated by Jesus Christ in his crucifixion and resurrection:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday, Great Reminder How God Fights For Us Against What Seems Like Impossible Odds



The next time someone says that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, point them to Judges chapter seven. God instructing Gideon to take on over 100,000 enemy soldiers with just 300 fits in the “more than you can handle” category. Imagine how Gideon and his servant, Purah, must have felt trying to come to grips with a humanly impossible assignment.

Standing on the side of Mount Gilboa, Gideon gazed over the Plain of Jezreel, which sprawled beneath him northward toward the Hill of Moreh. The plain was a sea of tents, teeming with more than 100,000 Midian warriors.
That morning, the Lᴏʀᴅ had judged Israel’s army of 32,000 too big to face Midian’s. Israel would think more highly of himself than he ought to think when God gave him victory. So Gideon had sent home whoever was afraid. When 22,000 hit the road, Gideon had to quiet his own fear. Now Israel was outnumbered ten-to-one. But God was with them and armies had overcome such odds before.
Oddly, the Lᴏʀᴅ considered these odds still too much in Israel’s favor. So in obedience to the Lᴏʀᴅ’s instruction, Gideon brought his small, thirsty army down to the Spring of Harod. And he gave his servant, Purah, the strangest command of his brief military career: “Observe all the men as they drink. Have every man who laps his water like a dog stand off to the side.”
Gideon supervised the selection, but when so few were being chosen he just let Purah finish the count and he climbed back up Gilboa to pray and survey.
It wasn’t long before Purah emerged from the trees. “So what’s the total?”
“Three hundred, sir,” said Purah.
Gideon chuckled to himself. “Three hundred.” He looked back toward the human hoard in the valley and was quiet for a moment. “That’s less than I expected.”
“Yes, sir,” said Purah. “But thankfully, three hundred doesn’t reduce our strength much.”
Gideon breathed deeply. “No, Purah. The three hundred are not the reductions. They’re the army. The others are the reductions.”
Purah stood dazed for a moment staring at Gideon. “The three hundred are the army?”
Gideon nodded slowly, still looking into the Midian-infested Jezreel.
“But that’s not an army! That’s how many should be guarding an army’s baggage!”
Purah stepped up beside Gideon. Together they watched smoke columns rising from ten times more cooking fires than they now had warriors. Purah shook his head and said, “Even if we were all like the mighty men of old, three hundred could not overcome 100,000.” He paused. “And we aren’t mighty men.” Another pause. “And there’s more than a 100,000 down there.”
Both were silent for a while. In the quiet, the Lᴏʀᴅ spoke to Gideon, “With the 300 men who lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hand, and let all the others go every man to his home.
Then Gideon said to Purah, “During the Exodus, how many mighty men did it take to destroy Egypt and its army or part the Red Sea? Purah thought briefly. “None.” “How many did it take to tear down Jericho’s walls?” “None.”

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Totalitarian Radical Gay Left: Debate Closed? No Dissenting Opinion? A Shameful Bore




Intolerance Over Tolerance.

 Nothing is ever enough for these people---no victory satisfies----with radical feminism,extreme  gay rights, radical environmentalism/climate change. It just goes on and on. No dissenting opinion is ever too small to disrespect and try to annihilate and degrade. In the beginning, middle and end, these people are radical bores and radical anti-Americans.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Stunning Time-Lapse Photo of Jets Taking Off At LAX



Not exactly the same direction stocks went today, as in made a crash landing. Can't ever remember seeing the Nasdaq go down quite so hard.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Yellowstone Bison Fleeing For A Seismic Reason? Do They Sense A Humongus Seismic Event?

I TRULY DOUBT THIS IMMINENT CATASTROPHIC EVENT.  But you can see for yourself and decide. I've hiked and fished on and around this super caldera for years and known of the super explosion that happened there perhaps millions of years ago, but have never thought it was in any danger for going off in, say, the next 200,000 years. Summers in Jackson Hole and surroundings may have just gotten a bit more interesting.