Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Wedding!

In Ps. 16:6 David says, ‘The lines are fallen to me in pleasant places.’ At this point in my life, even with all that is going on in our economy and government, I am reminded of God’s blessings that are evident in many areas of my life. First I would like to thank all who sent cards or Facebook messages wishing me a happy birthday, and although I certainly don’t need to be reminded that I am now an ancient 57 years old, the messages were evidence that I am blessed with good friends. Also my little finger is healing nicely, minus the last ¼ inch, and there was no pain, stitches or surgery. Then God has blessed me with a wonderful family, which brings me to an announcement:

A couple months ago I mentioned that our daughter, Michelle was getting married. Well, we had only one of our children left, unengaged or unmarried. Now our son, Joe has succumbed to the charms of the lovely Danielle Ham. Although she has a sparkling rock, they are still working out the details of a date. It will be this fall, though. Kathy insists it is an answer to her prayers. She claimed the promise, ‘It is not good for a man to be alone,’ and asked God to give Joe a mate. There have been others, including myself, who have also been praying and we believe God has given Joe a wonderful future wife.

There is not a whole lot to add to what I mentioned in the posting on Michelle’s engagement. But this comes from a different viewpoint. Instead of father of the bride, now it comes from father of the groom. And I say this from the experience of over 30 years of marriage. It is commanded by God that a man love his wife, the logic being that love is not an emotion, but that which is of the will. Although the Bible does not say a wife should love her husband, she is to respect her husband. But getting back to the husband, it doesn’t matter what state of mind his wife is in, he is to love her regardless. I like the movie, Fireproof, which brings this out very clearly. In this day when people are consumed with pleasing themselves, thinking that this is the only way to happiness, there needs to be a wake-up call. There are too many divorces among Christians because of this self-centered philosophy. Happiness, joy, and fulfillment come only from directing our energies outward, first to God, then to others.

I trust my son will take this to heart. If he does, he will have a good marriage. He has displayed a Christian maturity and with confidence I say to Danielle and her parents that Kathy and I have, with God’s help brought up Joe to love God and his wife. We believe the two of you will set up a godly home. On behalf of all of us, Danielle, we love you. Welcome to the family.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What about the Apostle Paul?

In Phil. 4:8 Paul tells us what God wants us to think, or as the NKJV puts it, what to meditate on. Then he makes the incredible statement, ‘Those things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do.’ He was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this, and therefore must have lived the kind of example that was above reproach. This statement is why I respectfully disagree with many fine Christians who think Paul had a real problem with sin based on Romans 7:13-24. Verse 19 summarizes it well, ‘For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil that I will not to do, that I practice.’ My own opinion of this passage is that Paul was talking about his life before his conversion or that of an unsaved or at best, a carnal individual. He then switches at Rom. 7:25 through chapter 8 speaking of the victorious Christian life in Jesus, being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In literature it is perfectly acceptable to write in this way, using first person in the present tense to describe the individual who is ‘sold under sin.’ An unsaved person who is reading this passage can easily identify with Paul’s use of the first person.

There is a contrast here between the unsaved or carnal life and the victorious life Christians can have, no longer under bondage to sin, but free to live for God. Rom. 8:5 clearly shows the difference: those who set their minds on the flesh live according to the flesh, and conversely those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Basically it is where one has his heart, if it is on the world – consumed with making money, buying bigger and better toys, getting ahead at all cost, then this is a carnal mind which in verse 7 says is the enemy of God. Now I don’t know about you, but I think it is pretty important not to be an enemy of God. We have the same ability to live the victorious life that Paul lived. We first must be saved by the blood of Jesus, then allow God’s Spirit to control our minds.

When we take the position that Paul had a hard time avoiding sin, and pretty much was constantly sinning according to chapter 7, we take the position that the carnal life is the normal life for a Christian. However if we say that chapter 7 was pre-conversion autobiographical and chapter 8 is the victorious life God expects us to live, we can confidently live the life that God wants us to live.

May each of us so live that others may confidently do those things which they learned and received and heard and saw in us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Consider the Honeybee

After the last posting of this blog, ‘Moby Dick’ responded with an article about honeybees, concluding that we ought to consider the bee. So we will give it a whirl.

I have a friend who is a part-time honeybee-keeper. The rest of the time he works for the government, a job he detests. He has about 100 hives, and says at least 300 are necessary to keep bees full-time. I was taught some very interesting things about bees. For instance, did you know that they are often used 3 times a year? In February they are taken to California specifically to pollinate the almond trees or similar plants. The farmers pay the bees’ owners for this privilege. Then they are taken to places like South Dakota or other areas where there is plenty of clover or other type of grass that is good for making honey. Then they may go to Florida for another season, or they may try to repopulate some hives that have been decimated somewhat.

My friend keeps a couple hives on our property at work. It is in the back and the bees don’t bother us at all. I have seen him working on the hives, cleaning and repairing them with a swarm of bees buzzing angrily around him. Of course he has his ‘armor’ on and doesn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. Actually he says he enjoys it! And his bees produce some very tasty honey.

But when you think about it, we probably would be hard-pressed to feed the billions that the farmers feed each year if it were not for the help of our tiny friends. While we may not consider them friendly if they get too close to us, the honeybees are an important asset to any agricultural community.

In His wisdom God created many different types of animals and plants. When I was much smaller, I would wonder why God created such nasty creatures as spiders, until I realized that they keep the population of insects down. This is often the case in the animal world; different carnivorous animals keep the amount of other animals down so that a balance is maintained. And God did a marvelous thing when He created the small honeybee. As Moby Dick pointed out in the response, they know when to pollinate certain plants, when not to go out and use up energy uselessly, and they even have a God-given GPS!

And we are reminded that as King David said in Ps. 139, ‘I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Your works.’

Yes, consider the bee.