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Recent Writings:

An Italian friend of mine was a citizen of Italy when his home was confiscated by the Nazis and his parent killed. “Pete” has passed now, but he had scrambled into the woods and escaped Italy finally ending up in Chicago. There, he worked as a laborer, began doing side work on his own, and ended up having millions in his estate. Chance in many ways made him. He did not whine about the difficulties he faced in America partly because he knew of much greater difficulties. Chance did not ruin him, but his time did run out.

All of us can learn from Pete’s life-experience. We have an allotted time during which many opportunities – both good and bad – will chance our way.

We all have a period of time, of opportunity that is, and every choice we make can be seen as a risk – or was it an opportunity?

We were raised in a land of opportunity. Some of us ended up with careers; but many of us found comfort in working in factories where good wages were paid and late-life benefits were offered. Only a generation before the Lynden Johnson’s idea of a
”great society” offered Americans the so-called “social security,” either citizens helped the poor or the poor faired – – – poorly.

Just a generation before Lyndon Johnson was president a great many American children were orphans, we had orphanages; old folk’s homes: job security in factories was greatly desired: university education was not common among us. Time and chance were issues quite meaningful and opportunity was seized – thankfully seized. When the word got out that John Deere was hiring, for instance, hundreds of us would gather every day and hope that our name was called.

John Deere had joined the United Auto Workers union whose contracts with Deere & Company brought astounding increase in wages, benefits, and worker protection. Laborers at John Deere, simply according to chance and opportunity, once hired could live at a scale of luxury in comparison to less fortunate citizens. An argument against leaving one factory job and going to work at Deere when they were hiring focused on job stability and layoffs. It was a risk-choice in the minds of many, to choose being a laborer at Deere & Company.

That opportunity has passed: the times are different. Times have always been different in different places. So it is that time and chance does happen to us all. Life circumstances will change; and even if we have prepared for certain employment potential, it could be that the job will not be there when we get there. Planning does not guarantee success, but a person who takes the risk – the opportunity to prepare himself; qualify himself – will more likely take more risk at opportunities and find ways to be self-supportive. It’s who he is, who he has become: we try, we make decisions based on the available information; the available opportunities; and we become problem solving people.

We are being taught that time is endless even though that is meaningless, actually irrelevant because it is not visibly endless to us. We are not being taught to heed the fact that our individual lives are short on earth. We are being taught that life is a journey and that on that journey it is the government’s job to assure us equal opportunities in life. But, we are not being taught about equal effort on the part of individuals. We are not being shown any equality concerning a right to be born. We are being taught of a right to die when we choose to die.

But who has for us a correct law book? Who correctly defines for us what behavior is right and what is wrong? As we ponder and debate, the clock is ticking; and our choices are impacting our world – and other’s worlds.

All of us know that we exist: we think and plan and this we know is life. But our presence is unexplained by the processes we see. “Things that are were not made by things that appear,” and no scientist can without speculation challenge that truth. The Bible explains that time exists for us between beginnings and endings, that eternity past and eternity future do not know death; that choice must be honestly made and with it confession – we have all sinned.

The Bible teaches us what we know in part concerning good and evil. Almost everyone believes some form of the saying, “What goes around, comes around.” India’s historic idea on this is called the laws of moral duty – dharma; and of consequence – karma. The Bible states “God is not mocked, that which a man sows, he shall also reap.”

But something most wonderful, the Bible also teaches: and that is divine mercy and divine forgiveness. Who raise a family with kindness will innately know the value and treasure of mercy and forgiveness – and the need for one coming clean so that forgiveness is transactional: it works wonders.

We have the opportunity in life of making right choices, of turning from the way of wrong ones, of studying God’s word before we allow ourselves to be convinced that it is not His word, of hearing and heeding in our hearts – the same place that love sprouts – the urgings of the Holy Spirit. We have the opportunity to risk and live by our own urges – usually thinking we can escape the consequences – common sense and the Holy Spirit ignored.

Time and chance happen to us all. We can’t avoid that; but we can all seek excellence. We can all be thankful for the help that comes our way. We can admit that we are not entitled – as though we are a special class either incapable; but at least in part lazy or ungrateful. Help is everywhere.

Although time and chance may present difficulties to us; even though we are unsure over opportunities, even when we struggle fully knowing right or wrong, we can know from life-stories that God can give us courage and encouragement, that He will wipe away our stifling guilt and shame – bringing us new hope – being for us the Fountain of new beginnings, that “He is for us” and He is over our lives – there for our faith in Him – directing us through His word.

Although time and chance played their roles, God guided us through them to Him. In a way, they made us what we are; but in a more realistic way, He made us what we will be forever.

Our difficulties turned us to the only sure answer in life and no religion thought of it: it is revealed to us from His word. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but hath everlasting life.”

Time and chance were useful elements as we lived, out of which only one answer was sure: Yes, Jesus loves me – the Bible tells me so.

Buddy

Do we see Israel, God’s people, threatened – not in unity over religious thought – back-slidden; challenged again with extinction?

Or do we see Israel as being chastened and pruned: God’s workmanship?

Throughout a reading of the prophets to Israel, a new day is coming that will eclipse anything Israel has ever known. Abraham’s promise is soon to be happening and Israel’s enemies are soon to receive the fate they wish on others.

What about the church – its members in particular – loved and therefore being chastened: bearing little fruit but being groomed: pruned for the harvest that has to come. Both are God’s workmanship. We will have failed – not completely – but Jesus never!

He can wait. He is waiting perhaps for you dear reader. In love, He is longsuffering, not wanting any to perish, adding daily to the church those who are willing: honest enough to turn to Him.

The enemy will say, “I never saw it coming.” But he should have, could have – wouldn’t, but not couldn’t: blind by choice. Evil, already beyond the reach of mercy: completely evil. Guilty but not interested: the hypocrite who sees not the filth of his own heart: the “mote in his own eye: another Accuser.

What about that we all sin, his fault? Accusing others – perhaps thinking to make himself look good if he can look down his nose at them – not considering the consequence of his own sin. He misses the vast mercy of God. He is not himself merciful. He doesn’t care – literally and honestly – he does not care.

The accuser cries about injustice; taxes others to deal with it, criticizes, —solves nothing, and is all for programs for helping but denies the power of God’s personal salvation. He hates the term: being saved; says it is hypocrisy, nonsense.

He is boastful, selfish, self – centered and thinks himself — self-sufficient. And what about death and beyond? He is willing to take his risks; after all, his view of himself is exalted above his brother.

God’s workmanship does not look like this. His are those with “a broken and contrite heart” of whom Jesus says, He “will not turn away.

He speaks of “those who mourn that (by Him) they will be comforted.
He speaks of “those who hunger for righteousness” and promises, “they shall be filled.”

He speaks to those who are so accused by so many, telling them “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Are you heavy laden? Are you burdened down with care? Is your burden heavy? Do you suffer with despair?

Do you feel defeated? Do you think that no one cares? Dear friend please do listen to those lies. Your God is very near.

Listen to His message. It is not that you are wrong. He will in no way leave you: turn to Him who for you long.

Come to me, He tells you. I will take your wrong on ME. Tenderly I love you, let me carry you.

Then I said dear Jesus, I’ve no right to come to you. But won’t you please come help me: so much has gone so wrong.

Now I sing His praises. He means so much to me. He reached right down and touched me: His love has set me free,

There has been seen two: The arrogant critic and the humble believer. God’s workmanship has always been visible on earth; His help has always been promised to us. Yes, we have all sinned; but some of us have been saved from our sin.

“Name Him Jesus,” the angel told both Mary and Joseph, “For He will save my people from their sins.” This is the truth.

“His people” are His workmanship. Oh how He loves you and me.

Buddy.

God is always monitoring and making adjustments according to His good pleasure. It is not His will that any would perish; however, some people will not let themselves be monitored – governed by Him. So, come to all of us the storms aroused by sin all over the world.

Confidence, whether in storm or calm, is the hallmark of people of faith. This is the constant message in the Old Testament and in the New. These, we are taught, are our examples of how to live our lives – – – through and by — faith.

In a free country faith in faith can seem to work for us and is frequently met with financial success. In America opportunity abounds. Ever hear there’s a sucker born every day that can be sold a bill of goods? That is, an aggressive positive minded person might be selling worthless goods. Maybe; maybe not: the car salesman, the timeshare sales people. Are they caring about us, or just incentivized by big bucks?

The best sales people know that a buyer is facing a need and trying to make a wise selection: selling should be helping. And. more so, if selling -sharing our faith with another.

Is love our motivation? Do we really believe – – – that it is the Lord’s will and desire? This “goodness of God in the land of the living” that we preach? This “All things work together for good” if we will yield our destiny to the Lord in trust? Do we believe He is trust-worthy – always? God forbid that we are trying to build a church: that is what Jesus does. Is our motive as His? “For God so loved the world . . .” do we reach into other’s lives because we care for their best interests?

Do we obey Him and that is why we “Go into the world” and share – preach – teach? Do we touch at least sometimes with healing being the promised results?

Have we even once anointed another with oil because we are told to?

Do we dare to believe that the impossible with man can be accomplished – and will be such that the Lord would say, Because of thy faith? Those examples in the Old and New; they are not stories; they are the history of men who through faith saw miracle happenings.

It is both. God does His good pleasure in bringing many sons to glory: His Son too who surrendered that glory for a season, for Love’s sake.

Study your Bible and you will see often horrific and corrupt leadership – even in Israel – even in the church: yesterday and today; but not forever. There is righteous King Hezekiah standing nearly alone in the world history of Israel. There is his righteous great grandson, King Josiah. There is King David who was a great and righteous leader when he wasn’t a bad one — also. God moves toward the end within it all; but in charge of it all.

Both good and evil serve Him. Consider Pharaoh. God always shines. “He is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.” And His word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.” And darkness cannot put it out. And we can and are told to “walk in the light as He is in the light” . . . and that is our “way” to go “Steady as she goes.”

We lean on Him. We hide ourselves under the cleft in His side. We acknowledge Him; what he has said especially that “He is a present help in time of trouble.” He likes that. He will never let us down.

Positive thinking can’t match faith. It can be – or may not be the truth. “These all died having not seen the promise but believing it afar off.” Until the Rapture, when history reaches its final phases and the dead and alive are gathered in the air with Jesus, every one of us will have yet unseen expectations.

So, brothers and sisters in Christ, if our land becomes over-run with anarchy, God is in it. If we are mocked for our faith, God is in it. Not if – when corruption abounds politically – when claims of government-offered care does not produce cures in our poverty rates, in our education levels, in our defense practicality, in our out-of-control spending and debt – – – God is in it.

Israel was to be known as God’s people through whom peace would come on earth. But corruption seems to have blocked that: ever read about Babylon, about Persia – and Rome? Have we learned that the Jews have been cast out nearly everywhere on earth they have gone. God claims that He orchestrated this: keep watching. It’s not over until the Lord says it is over.

Steady as she goes, friends. Our God is God and He does have us in His grip and He will land us in the Promised Land. Join Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph who in real-time history believed God and will not be denied.

Join Peter, and Paul, and James and John who believed God, left everything else behind and followed Jesus. Follow Him too. Steady as she goes, friends. See you on yonder shore. Love you. Praise Him whom from all blessing flow.

Buddy