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God is not the author of lies or of evil (wickedness). (John 8:44, Heb. 6:18)
He does not come to steal, kill, or destroy. Jesus was clear that the father of lies is Satan. “The thief” comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). But The LORD has come to give us life, and that, abundantly.
God does not “break your toys” to make you stronger. But as your toys are broken (as will happen in this world), He is with you to strengthen you and help you grow in character and sanctification. There is enough trouble that we bring upon ourselves or find from our fellow man, to test and try us. (James 1:12, John 16:33, Jer. 29:11, Romans 8:31-39, 1 Peter 1:3.) We have three enemies in this age. The world, the flesh (our own fallen nature) and the devil – who is called the “god of this world”. http://dawnbible.com/1958/5812cl-1….
Yes, there can be and is discipline for believers who sin, but it is for their good to bring them back. But discipline is not evil, or unjust. (Heb. 12:10) His desire is that all mankind be saved, but He does not force them to be. (1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9)
In this fallen world, even creation groans and travails until the Lord returns to restore it. (Rom. 8:22) Sin brought death (Rom 3:23, Rom. 5:12). Yet we say that disasters are “acts of God.” While there were a few instances of this during the theocracy of Israel, this is not how God commonly works among the nations. We must be careful not to credit God for what He has not done, nor to say He has said it, when He has not (Ezekiel 13:7). That is blasphemy.
Also, if extreme weather was an “act of God” – why do we take measures to protect people from them, or rush to help those harmed by them??? Are we fixing what God has ruined? No. Every perfect gift comes from God. He is light, in Him there is no darkness at all. (James 1:17, John 1:5)
God does not bring all things to pass, but He can use all things (Rom. 8:28). God also cannot tempt someone to sin, so cannot be blamed for that. (James 1:13-14)
Jesus said, “Offenses must come, but woe to him through whom they come.” (Matt. 18:7, Luke 17:1)
So, please, stop giving God credit for harms and evil. In trouble, seek His help, because He is there to walk with you through it. You can trust God and run to Him instead of from Him.
People keep comparing the Koran to the Old Testament theocracy of Israel as it conquered Canaan, and later in history, The Crusades, saying there isn’t much difference between Christians and Muslims.
Admittedly, the wars of OT conquest in Canaan were genocidal, as was the flood. Their design was to eradicate the wicked peoples who had been genetically corrupted by angels, (See Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6).
For salvation to come to mankind (as was promised), the “seed of the woman” mentioned in Genesis 3, had to be purely human, without demonic DNA. As for the flood, Noah was found perfect in his generations, thus his family was spared.
The Crusades came about because Christians in various cities (including Jerusalem) in the middle east were being killed en masse due to Islamic invasion. The Europeans who went to fight that war did some awful things (such as killing Jews indiscriminately) – but the initial cause of the war was defense. They are not blameless for their faults – and whenever men decide to do something in the name of God, it reflects on His character. But this does not mean God has done it. We often do it wrong. Jesus is the standard for right and truth. Not mankind.
But looking through history, it’s been almost 1,000 years since Christians were engaging in this kind of battle, in the name of Christ.
Islamic wars of conquest and destruction have been going on since Mohammad (from around 700 AD until now). I don’t think Christians are posing a current threat.
As for the sacrificial system – those who are unfamiliar with Scripture will bring that up to oppose God as a violent, bloodthirsty tyrant. This shows an ignorance of the nature and purpose of God, of the nature of sin and of the nature of mankind.
The symbolism of Abram’s near-sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah is a shadow of what was to come, and very poignant. Jesus (the Son of God) would one day ascend that same mountain, carrying his own cross (as Isaac carried the wood he would be laid on). And as promised, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” A ram’s horns were stuck in a thorn bush, becoming the “substitutionary offering” for Isaac. This shows how Jesus, who wore the crown of thorns became a substitute for me, taking my place in death so I may live.
All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. The wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23, 6:23) but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus went to the cross willingly. He was not murdered by a cruel Father. He didn’t have to go. But it was love that held Him there.
This life is not the end. There is a judgment waiting. Every person will be judged before the LORD, concerning their deeds, and will be rewarded accordingly. As Creator, He has the right to bring His creation to account for what they have done with what they’ve been given. Those whose names are written in Book of Life of the Lamb Slain – since the beginning of the world’s creation, will enter into eternal life. Others will be judged only by deeds. Those who have done much wrong knowingly will suffer greater punishment than those who did not sin in the same way Adam did (deliberately). But the one who created us has the authority and the right to judge us. He will judge with righteous judgment. In that day, no person will be able to justify their own sin, in His sight. He has made provision for anyone who is willing to come to Him. If they will not come, there is no other way. And He who gave all for us is not obligated to make another way.

The necessity of knowledge, understanding and wisdom, and being ready to give a defense of the truth. Do not despise knowledge, and think that keeping it simple is best. We are to grow in the grace AND knowledge of the Lord. Not to remain as babes, or continue with milk. We should be exercised and able to handle meat and train others as well.  We MUST be able to recognize the difference between truth and falsehood (well disguised). We cannot depend on a pastor to do it all for us, as they are men as well and may be wrong at times.

2 Corinthians 10:5
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Galatians 2:11
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly wrong.

1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence…

Colossians 4:5-6
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Acts 6:8-10
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.

Acts 18:4
And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Titus 1:9
Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

1 Timothy 4:1- 3
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires.…

1 Timothy 6:20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge…

2 Timothy 2:15   “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

What Box Do I Fit In?

I see a lot of categorizing people. . I don’t fit perfectly into any box, though some are closer than others. Those that fit best are the ones that define relationship. Christian, Grammie, Mom, teacher, daughter, sister, friend.
Those that are close to what I am, personality-wise … ENFP/ENFJ, Sanguine/Melancholy.

Those that are *close* to my belief system: Protestant, Mid-Acts Dispensationalist, Open Theist, Constitutionalist/Libertarian.

Education styles I prefer are Charlotte Mason, Classical and Unschooling (I know, it sounds contradictory, but there are good aspects to each).

What I am good at (sometimes), writing, art, creative stuff in general, singing, teaching, exhorting, talking in front of people, listening, helping, encouraging and rebuking. 😉 I am great at organizing and terrible at keeping things organized.

What I am terrible at includes – keeping track of money, frugality, finishing things, keeping order, reading directions, sticking to a diet or exercise program, unquestioning obedience (not so sure that’s a bad thing, though) and understanding technical stuff. Higher math seems a brick wall, and thus so are technical aspects of science. *That*, makes me sad.

What I love – God, Truth (in all its forms), people (especially my family ❤ ❤ ❤ ), music (except improvisational wandering stuff and heavy metal), impressionistic art, bread (this is my Achilles heel), poetry, great stories – especially historic ones, history, science, teaching things that matter, cooking & baking, fellowship with those of like mind, and time alone in beautiful places. Baby back ribs. Hot cocoa and blueberry pancakes. 😀 Great movies and walks with my Sweetie!
I can hold two apparently opposing views at the same time, but not dogmatically. This is while I am processing…

I am a work in progress. Definitely haven’t figured me out completely yet, let alone anyone else. I often change my mind or change direction because of this. But whatever direction I happen to be going in, I do so enthusiastically!
There you go. Me in a nutshell.

When I think about our early days

I smile as I remember

the whirlwind courtship,

crazy days

and 30th of December –

You pledged that you would be my own

and gave a ring of promise

That I would never be alone

and sealed it with a kiss.

32 sweet years have passed

though sometimes complicated

our life together has been sweet

and so appreciated!

Your faith and faithfulness to me

have been an inspiration

Your love has been an anchor

during days of desperation.

And in the good times or the bad

You’ve loved me as a bride.

I’ll always treasure you my love

resting safely by your side.

Whatever comes, you’ve shown me

what it means to love by grace

How thankful that I am for you

each time I gaze upon your face.

All my love and gratitude

for 32 sweet years gone past

and pledge my love for many more

as long as life will last.

Happy Anniversary, my Sweetie!

Love, your Jane

The Sins of the Fathers

For the sins of the fathers
and the sins of the mothers
you were cast off to others,
and who could have guessed –

through no fault of your own
adrift and alone,
you tried to make sense of
what others thought best.

Like a scattered puzzle
missing a part
you tried to rebuild it
with a broken heart,

no place of belonging,
no end to the longing,
to recover the losses,
and make a new start.

But the pieces around you,
had a different design.
Your edges grew torn,
for the fit, wasn’t mine.

And the day you recovered,
the pieces you lost,
was the day I discovered,
the immeasurable cost.

For the sins of the fathers
and the sins of the mothers
you still felt cast away,
though you had found me

and with edges still raw from
the pain of adjustment
you have not found comfort
in your new family.

And I pray the Designer
of families all,
will reach down with mercy
on those who would fall…

and restore what is broken
and replace what is lost
to help us break down this
barrier wall.

That the sins of the fathers
won’t leave you adrift
and the sins of the mothers
won’t leave a great rift –

But let there be healing
while through pain it must come,
let love cover the damage
that the past has done.

Replace with a fresh hope,
the rejection and sorrow.
And may forgiveness
fill our hearts for tomorrow.

I walked down to the Potter’s House
one fine sunny day
to find the Potter hard at work
with a stubborn lump of clay.
He poked and prodded, pressed and pounded
then sighing in dismay
considered tossing that lump away.

But now instead of a darkened frown
His face lit up as He cast it down
And worked to form and bend it
to the new thing He intended.
Though starting with hope of a chalice cup
A sturdy chamber pot rose up.

A brand new lump, when He was done
was unwrapped, moistened, thrown and spun.
It yielded gladly in His hands.
To a chalice on the table stand.
The chamber pot began to say,
“But why have you made ME this way?”

“Why am I for common use
instead of a chalice for wine or juice?”

But the Potter said frankly, in reply
“It is not yours to question why.
Don’t I have the right to make
What I wish? It’s no mistake.
I used your temperament to find
your exact calling – for your sake.”

“I did not cast you in the heap
or throw you out into the street.
You still have found a useful place
and in this, I have shown you grace.
Though a chamber pot you be,
Be the best chamber pot, for me.”

There was a time when time was not, you say,
And before time existed, there was God
But “before time” brings sequence into play
And it must be so – though it does seem odd.

The Cosmos burst from thought, intent and Word
blazing light where only darkness reigned
And for the first time God in Heaven heard
the chickadee and warbler’s refrain.

If there was time when things began to be
there must have been a time when things were not.
Design created, necessarily
would have a Mind from which they first were wrought.

And where creative thought exists there is
a sequence dwelling in the Father’s mind.
The nature and existence that are His,
Creation directs wanderers to find.

For His eternal nature, and His ways
are clearly seen and known by those who look.
He who formed the earth and nights and days
Brings evidence to light in nature’s book.

The stars were lit one day, but will burn out.
What once was spun in orbit, fade away.
But God who was before, without a doubt.
Will never cease, though Earth sees it’s last day.

And in the plan, revealed by Living Word
New Heavens and New Earth are yet to be
And eye has not yet seen nor hearing ear
the wonders He designed for you and me.

He who set the Heavens in their place
And calls the stars and planets each by name,
Calls to us, though still a fallen race
to seek and find Him – that is why He came.

For Father, Spirit Son – as One agree
that all who come repentant, will be blessed.
And sealed in Heaven is this firm decree
Those, weary, heavy-laden will find rest.

And there will be a time, with no more sun
or moon or stars as we would see them now.
The Light that lights the world will be the One.
Before Whom Heaven and Earth someday will bow.

To be content
while striving for more
To guard my children
with an open door,
 
To love as God does
in a world full of sin
without letting worldly
temptations in,
 
With the faith of a child,
but not easily swayed,
To live in freedom,
with God’s will obeyed,
 
To seek holiness,
and struggle to learn
the right from the wrong,
without judgment, discern –
 
Not trusting in self,
yet to rightly divide,
to find self approved,
and to live as I’ve died,
 
Armed, ready for battle,
with peaceful trust,
and do all for love,
because I *must*…
 

To fear God is wisdom.
Yet true love, casts out fear.
Somehow I need both
while I dwell on this sphere.
 
No wonder the world
thinks Christians are odd.
Even the faithful
disagree about God!
 
So, Lord my prayer is,
as the New Year begins,
where my efforts fall short,
please cover my sins.
 
And if my mind fails
to make sense of Your will,
Let your grace lift the veil,
so I’ll follow You, still.

by Jane E Clark, Dec. 17, 2012

Penumbra

You gaze at me, assured, composed,
as if your answer, unopposed
would stand against all scrutiny.

But what is clear in your own mind,
as one who sees and yet is blind,
is merely practiced litany.

You cannot see half hidden by
the shadow of the if and why
a nuanced answer signified.

And speaking yet into the air
enchanted by your doctrinaire
opinions that have not been tried –

You will not countenance a doubt
that anyone may have searched out
a truth you have not realized.

But I can see you, I can hear.
Your point of view is very clear.
And nodding silently, I go.

There is no point continuing
when only one is listening.
He will not learn, who only knows.