Sunday, November 30, 2008

strange entry

This is going to be a strange entry, but I must believe that only a portion of what I have spent time and effort to write and to post is meant to be kept.

I always write a Word document, save, and paste it to the blog. This time, for the first time that I can remember since the 1980’s, I somehow accidentally erased scripture and thoughts on the vision of the powerful Christ in Revelation chapter 1, followed by Daniel’s vision of the Ancient of Days and One like unto the Son of Man in Daniel 7. The following is all that is left of 3 pages:

When John saw the glorified Christ, he was so frightened that he fell down as if dead.

This was not at the first nor at the last of the document. When writing about the powerful, frightening, and judgmental Christ, and it somehow goes away, I will not rewrite it. I will believe that whatever message God wants you to have is herein.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Revelation of John - Let's begin

Revelation of John

Dreams are valuable both from a spiritual and a psychological point of view. They are the part of the sleep cycle that happens right before awakening, and thus can be recalled with vividness, at least for a short time.

Visions are usually considered spiritual revelations and are often thought to be dreams in an awakened state. The difference is valuable, but can bring about similar insights. I have had many dreams that have helped me understand my present situation, and many that has given me a spiritual step up. Have you had such experiences that you would like to share?

John, the youngest of the original disciples of Jesus, was a prisoner on the island of Patmos when he was given a vision, perhaps many visions, of the end times and of heaven. It seems that many have a renewed interest in interpreting the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John.

John had known about all of the other disciples dying for their Lord, and of many others who were severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus as Lord and Messiah. It was at this time of isolation and uncertainty that he was given this revelation for the people of God at that time, throughout the hard times over the centuries, and for us today. Are we the last generation before Jesus returns? Perhaps yes, and perhaps no. No matter, the warnings and the strong words of comfort pushes us forward to the high calling.

John addresses the seven churches of his time. Before he gets too deep into visions and other worldliness, he offers blessings and hope to all, whether or not they are on the correct path. His earthly sight, as well as his visions, are on JESUS. Let us focus on Jesus:

Revelation 1:4-8
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed[a] us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings[b] and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,”[c] says the Lord,[d] “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

First, John bestows blessings, which we all have a right to give to one another. Grace, which is undeserved gifts, and peace, which is difficult in persecution and uncertainty.

Skip down to verse 5 and see the assurance that Jesus loves so much that He cleansed from the worst offenses by paying with a criminal’s humiliating death on the cross. Christian Friend, never permit yourself to sanitize the cost of salvation. Death and red Blood pouring out are the requirements for sin.

People who are redeemed through the blood sacrifice of the Perfect Lamb of God are made into priests and kings inside God’s very real kingdom. John, and many of these folks were poor and made wretched for the sake of the Gospel. They needed to see how God sees them. So do we.

With that in mind, look at these initial descriptions of Our Lord. He is still:

He who is and who was and who is to come
Faithful witness
The firstborn from the dead
Ruler over the kings of the earth
Loves us
Cleansed us from our sins with His own blood
Made us kings and priests
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end
The Almighty

If we focus on these true words concerning The Almighty, we can put one foot in front of the other even on the most difficult times. We can praise Him and have hope in His Kingdom, of which we belong.

Verse 7 assures us that BEHOLD He is coming. All will see Him, even those who pierced Him.

Keep on keeping on and look expectantly, for soon He will come and take you home. Take the gifts of grace and peace to help you trod the road ahead.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

We have forgotten something very basic.


Luke 10:29-37

Jesus said that there was a Certain man. It could be Anyone. It might even be you. He was Going about his business. We don’t know if he were good, bad or indifferent. He was a stranger to all the others in this story.

Thieves, bad people who were taking advantage of him, stripped and beat him. They took anything of value off of him, and left him for dead.

Good people in the community, a minister and a respected government official, went on the other side of the street so they could ignore his beaten and dying body. After all they were not responsible, not relatives, not from the same neighborhood, not from the same class of people. Or were they? This connection is not given. Perhaps they were just too busy doing “good works” or making a living.

This interference was just too much trouble. However, they knew they should respond differently because they crossed the street in order to avoid seeing gory details of the beaten and dying.

The Samaritan was a hated group of people by the Jews who would be listening to Jesus tell this story. Samaritans were of the rebellious ten tribes who had left Rehaboam, David’s grandson, when he followed bad council on how to treat them. They never returned to the fold, worshipped many forms of Baal, and intermarried with pagans. They are, even today, called the 10 lost tribes because they no longer are known by their roots in Abraham.

All of this background simply to say that there was natural animosity between the beaten dying individual and the rescuer. The Samaritan was not the next door neighbor, not kin, not of the same class, not one who worshipped God the same. And yet Jesus deeply cared about the Samaritans (John 4:4-42, Luke 11:11-19).

This hated, despicable Samaritan rescued and restored the victim. He cleaned up his wound, put bandages on him, and drove him in his car to the nearest hospital and told the registrar that the stranger had no insurance and that he, the Samaritan, would pay the initial fee, and would pay the rest in a few days when the injured was well enough to go home.

Did you say that your Bible has a different translation? Well, if Jesus were telling this parable today, this would be the way He might tell it.

A man of learning asked Jesus a very important question, but did not really want to hear the answer. He understood that the law was complete in loving the Lord God with heart, soul, mind, and spirit, and in loving his neighbor as himself. But he wanted a very narrow view and responsibility towards others.

Who is the neighbor? We are responsible to all with whom we come in contact. It is not possible for us to pay the bills and to care for everyone, but we should not discriminate because of differences in culture, belief, nor status. We can give loving care to most, and healing prayers for all.

I know people who are sick, dying, poor, divorcing, going to jail, lost, evil, hateful. I KNOW THESE PEOPLE. They don’t live on my street, but they are my neighbors. I must be prayerful how to serve them inside God’s Kingdom today. I don’t have the means nor the tools to solve all of their problems, nor my own. If I am faithful, I become part of the solution, and they will feel Christ’s love through me and will be encouraged.

There are times when I must not stop and help. If I am required or might be tempted to be sinful in helping someone else, I must realize that I am not called to aide this person.

For instance, a relationship between a married person and someone of the opposite sex can lead to an inappropriate friendship that could threaten the sacredness of marriage or even adultery.

Going to places where safety is at risk should only be done with prayer and knowledge that it is God’s will for the potential of harm.

Partaking in sinful activity, such as smoking pot, or talking about sinful topics does not bring a person to the Kingdom of God.

One must stay inside God’s Kingdom and realize that being the Good Samaritan is ALWAYS inconvenient and basically uncomfortable.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:46-48:
If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the unsaved do the same?
And if you greet only your own brethren, you do nothing more than the unsaved.
But be complete, whole, and perfect in your love.

Now I will say that some of you whom I love are neither loving nor accepting people in your lives. You feel justified. And yet you are hurting, causing strife, and missing out on unity that is greatly needed and ultimately give great happiness.

Some of you want to be away from troubled people because seeing the difficulties will be painful, inconvenient and take away precious time. If you feel defensive about this, please be prayerful. Take the road less traveled that leads to eternal life. And if you feel this is directed towards you as you read this, remember that I love you very much.

Extra notes on Samaria: Samaria was the capital of Israel in the region given to Ephraim starting in the reign of Rehoboam in the Old Testament. Before this it was joined to Judea, and they were called Israel after the Patriarch, Jacob, who later was known as Israel.

John 4: Jesus said He had a need to go through Samaria. While the disciples were going to find food, Jesus had His encounter with the woman at the well. After this, the whole village came to Jesus, believing, not because of the witness of the woman at the well, but because of their own experience with Jesus.

Mathew 10:5: When the disciples were sent out, they were instructed to not go to the gentiles nor to the Samaritans, only to the House of Israel.

Luke 17:11-19: Jesus was going through Samaria and healed 10 lepers. One and only one came back to thank Jesus. He was a Samaritan.

Great Grandfather Humes

Great Grandfather Humes
Great Grandfather, Charles Humes, started the family interest in trucks. He is in the center of the picture and Great Grandmother, Eva Humes, is to the left of him.