Monthly Archives: April 2017

Pain – with equal pleasure

All the apostles shared in the punishment of an enraged Sanhedrin Acts 5:40-42.  That didn’t keep them from publicly continuing to preach what brought the beating.  The attack on the entire apostolic corps accelerated the leadership’s hostility that began with the overnight imprisonment of Petr and John Acts 4:1-3.

Of all the apostles, only two had beatific visions of Heaven itself.  Paul’s occurred in approximately AD 40-41 during his ministry.  We don’t know the details.  What’s interesting is the sequel.  He received a thorn in his flesh to keep his mind on his business, not dreaming his way through daily life in Christ by dwelling on future ecstasy II Corinthians 12:1-10.  The thorn also kept him humble; it didn’t allow exaltation of himself as an apostle.  Equally interesting, when Paul referred to the crown of righteousness he would receive after death—eternal life in Christ’s presence—he also saw that as God’s gift of grace to every believer II Timothy 4:8.

The apostle John received the entire Revelation as an aged apostle.  The Roman Empire still considered him dangerous enough to their emperor worship that they exiled him to Patmos.  His vision came while in exile where he worked and awaited God’s summons to beatitude.  God’s revelation to him included future sufferings for God’s people and God’s assurance of Victory for him and his followers.

Thus we have two great men of God finding delight in Christ’s Resurrected, Ascended Glories while paying a physical price in his service.  The two concepts are mutually compatible, not distinct.  To this day we still find Grace more sufficient than the problems, disappointments, griefs, sins and failures daily life imposes.  Nothing in this life that could be an excuse NOT TO SERVE must ever be USED.  Paul continued to serve Christ despite his thorn.  John continued serving Jesus throughout his exile.

That’s a warning to our mortal need of answers from God:  trust him, regardless.  It’s also an encouragement.  Using Paul and John, God knows how and when to plant and bloom his ecstasies in daily life to compensation for any hardship experienced.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

Critic – being a.

Since I like to do other writing, this may be my last Critic-being a.—unless something gets my attention.

The Astronomers are busily gazing into the heavens to see what they previously missed.  Maybe there’s so much angst among them by dismissing Pluto as a planet they compensate by making some great discovery.  Anywhere, they assure us that “a Potentially Habitable New Planet” may be zipping along OUT THERE just awaiting our discovery and exploration.  San Diego U-T, 4/23/17.  Not to burden you with all the parameters to be satisfied to be fit to live on the planet, they wonder how we can plan to one day go there.

Question:  why would we want to transfer there the corrupted, polluted minds that have inflicted horrors on this planet?  If Eve couldn’t restrain her self-will in a perfect environment; and if Noah’s son Ham re-introduced foul behavior into re-newed creation, what but more of the same would our depraved society introduce to any place we live?  What possible improvement would we make in any untouched world?

Until we have wholesale, universal repentance of our sins against God.  Until we seek forgiveness of sin through Christ’s sacrifice.  And until we live under his Perfect Lordship, we have nothing to offer any other planet.  We all need help from God’s world.  All people in all nations.  None excepted.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

 

 

Critic – being a

Another earth fair has come to and mercifully gone from San Diego.  May there be NO MORE.  The entire spectacle dedicates itself to commercialism.  They sing loud songs and play loud instruments; but want a quiet world.  They smoke pot; but want pure air.  The drink spirits; but want safe roads.  They eat every delectable fat; but want healthy bodies.  They drive big trucks, big cars and SUV’s, but complain of the tons of gas particulates in the atmosphere.  And the traffic engendered throughout the park!  Yet they seek a better climate and environment.  To say nothing of the tons of trash left on the beautiful grounds; yet they claim to support an uncluttered environment.  They want Someone else to make the environment better.  But don’t ask them to do without the pleasures that add to the problem.

It’s become just another way for people to party.  To spend money.  To get outdoors in beautiful Balboa Park on a Saturday and Sunday in April.  They live in an illusion real only to themselves.  In illusion pleasing to their flawed perspectives.

This critique of the pollution of earth by those celebrating their intention to preserve it is a minor error contrasted with their catastrophic denial of Creation’s wish, desire and hope to…PERISH Romans 8:19-22.

Which occurs when Jesus Christ returns from Heaven, his trumpets blasting, his voice shouting the dead alive, the living changed and his angels rounding up the human billions for Judgment.  And while that occurs, God incinerates the earth that seeks and welcomes it because it anticipates his renewal of it in the resurrections of God’s people.

Those who demand the earth’s continuation now fight the unwinnable battle that God has already won by consigning earth to destruction.  While they insist on preserving what God destines for burning they have no interest in living in the next world where THEY have nothing to say.  They would rather go to Hell demanding their opinions than to Heaven believing God alone is TRUE.  And while no one goes to Hell willingly, they have no choice when God insists.  And he shall!

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critic – being a

Bill O’Reilly is the latest casualty of the “sexual harassment” game now being played against conservative opinion-makers.  As if Fox Network is the only major one with the problem   As if NBC, ABC and CBS don’t have the problem.  As if conservatives are guilty even if innocent and liberals are innocent even when flagrantly guilty.

And this doesn’t even consider the deeper issue of female hypocrisy.  They want the best of both worlds:  to be the belles of the business and professional world, yet expect to be protected from leering males.  They demand the right to compete with males at every level and in every occupation.  Yet demand that their femininity be honored as they do.  And they certainly continue to dress and make-up to be ATTRACTIVE to men but want no men attracted to their faces and bodies.

Get real, ladies.  It all comes from your need to re-define your role in society.  Don’t climb the ladder of success while dreading male eyes looking at your legs and derriere as you do.

————————

The 23 April, 2017 Parade featured the salaries people earn.  Outrageous sums characterize pro athletes.  By the way, whatever happened to the black mantra that “a brain is a terrible thing to waste”?—when we see pro sports stuffed with black athletes who want only to gorge their bank account, not enlarge their brain?

The only career Judy called to my attention was the lady CEO of Animal Hospice.  She makes $120,000 annually.  What possible rationale could defend and promote granting animals the end of life care given humans?  When will we learn that treating animals humanely doesn’t include thinking of them as humans?  Nor are they members of the family.  Nor are they worthy of the astonishing billions spent yearly on their care.  And none is ever the object of HOSPICE services.

When they can’t get well, or the cost of treating them is prohibitive, euthanize them, as has been the past custom.  They’re not made in God’s image.  They have only souls that perish at death.  Have we entirely lost our senses?  Do we want to lose ourselves—the image of God on our spirit—by incorrigibly defying God by making creatures our equal?

 Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

 

Christ – identifies with us – Part III

Based on Hebrews 2:14-18, the blogs this week focus on the Lord’s identification with us.

The eternal God became a man in Bethlehem.  When he did he remained God the Son in human form.  He didn’t become sinful man.  The reason was simple:  enough sinful leaders, with flawed purposes, had already come before Jesus arrived.  Even more have come since.  And they have, as sin-riddled mortals, added to the PROBLEM, not to the solution needed.

In the first place, then, Jesus became a man to demonstrate what it meant to really be a human.  As George MacDonald said, Jesus is the only real man—human—ever!  All the rest of us are merely trying to reach manhood/humanity, while we struggle mightily with our frailties, limitations and sins.

In the second place, while he had no sin, he didn’t content himself with being SINLESS—which is a point of undeniable integrity.  Only the perfect person would have a distinctive purpose for his perfection.  Which Jesus did. While free of sin, the gracious Lord gave himself as Savior for those still burdened by it and with problems he never had Mark 10:45.  Thus, while many who have overcome particular problems have no interest in showing those still manacled how to unlock the cuffs, Jesus without the problems gave hope to those all their lives contesting them.

Which is also why Jesus died without fear.  He knew his death would be the means by which he banished death.  Indeed, by dying Jesus gouged out death’s eyes, tore off its arms, slit open its chest and tore out its heart. – End –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

Christ – identifies with us – Part II

Cowboys on the open range learned the identity of unbranded calves by throwing each on the ground.  The pitiful bawling brought the calf’s mother running.  Identification.  General Richard Ewell loved to fight with his men on the line.  That bravery cost him a wound that cost his leg.  Identification.

Hebrews 2:14-15 offers scintillating insights into the human drama of life and death.  The fear of death originates in either or both:  losing what now has unsurpassing value to us; or being unsure of what awaits beyond the grave.  Both originate in either our guilt before God or ignorance about God.

Christ’s sacrifice, willingly given and proven acceptable to God by raising him from the dead, at once eliminates the guilt that harasses us and the ignorance that hinders our understanding of the future.  Jesus is both Savior and Intercessor with God.  He saves us initially and continually.  He hoists us out of our sins and into an ever-new and renewable relationship with God.

Jesus is merciful in that he forgives.  He is faithful in that he ever remains true to his mercy.  He will continually forgive and represent us before God.  In the Master’s righteousness we stand before the Father pure, at ease, unafraid, full of joy.  Paul explodes in adoration when contemplating the Savior’s depth and Regency Romans 11:33.  – End Part II –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

Christ – identifies with us – Part I

Based on Hebrews 2:14-18, the next 2-3 blogs focus on the Lord’s identification with mortals.

When cowboys on the open range wanted to identify the brand of any calf, they grabbed the nearest one and threw it to the ground.  It naturally bawled in the desperation of fear.  And lo…out from the many cows in the herd rushed the one who identified the calf’s call.  The ‘pokes noted her brand and gave it to the offspring.

Think of ourselves as a calf caught in sin and unable to extricate ourselves.  And we’re yelling our head off for help.  Here Jesus comes running to our side with his forgiveness.  That’s the meaning of the word translated help or succor.  Jesus always runs to our side when hearing us cry for help.  In identifying himself with us, he held himself aloof from nothing but sin.  He endured humanity to the greatest degree, even to dying in the most degraded way.

Confederate General Richard Ewell so loved combat that, though Jackson’s division Commander, he would leave headquarters to fight in the line with his troops.  At Second Manassas that boldness cost him a wound that cost amputation of his leg above the knee.  Lee’s Last Campaign, 17

And where do we see Jesus nearly every day of his ministry but on the front line, in the trenches and fox holes where people contest the battles of life?  Though his sufferings transcended all that humans experienced, Jesus grew increasingly solicitous of the welfare of common people for whom the leaders had no concern.   – End Part I –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christianity – leave Biblical . untouched

The Waldorf Astoria Hotel opened in 1893, the digs of the world’s elite.  Every debut needs a celebration, the WAH no exception.  St. Mary’s Hospital for Children benefited by the gala 14 March, 1893.  The Hotel’s executive Chef and maître d’ hotel created the signature Waldorf salad for the occasion.  It consisted of a diced ripe apple, a chopped celery stalk tossed in high- grade mayonnaise, two cups of lettuce torn into bite-size pieces and salt and pepper.

Never willing to let ORIGINAL be FINAL, chefs ever since have added their genius to the salad, chopped walnuts perhaps the first addition.  The Waldorf Hotel Chef in 2011 served his contemporary version, using two kinds of apples and assorted additions.  It remains the Hotel’s celebrated menu item.  San Diego U-T, 4/5/17.

Pay attention to the refusal of later backyard cooks, kitchen gourmets and professional chefs.  They consider their additions to the Waldorf salad acceptable by their contemporary tastes.  Which is agreeable unless you’re a Waldorf Astoria purist.

Which reminds me of something that isn’t agreeable from anyone.  Christ and Christianity can never be made more palatable, unique, powerful, appealing—or anything else FAVORABLE—by any addition we make to him or his FAITH.  The appeal of the Restoration Movement has always been to clear the decks of Christianity of all the impediments cluttering Jesus Christ and the church by making the Bible alone, and nothing but, the basis of belief.  Jesus shares his Place with no one else.  Don’t think to include him in the same sentence with ANYBODY else.  Anybody.  He’s in a class all by himself, and no one but he answers the Roll when God says, “Who speaks for me?”

Face Jesus head-on, eye-to-eye.  Learn of him by reading the Gospels.  Expect and demand that your preacher open God’s Word and preach it only.  There never has been, or will ever be, a better way to learn of Jesus than opening our minds and hearts to the Spirit’s probing depths of Jesus Christ’s Glory in the Gospels and Epistles.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

Memory – of event that identifies us

An event in WWI brought some 20,000 people together in Paris, April, 2017.  Most of them Canadians, they congregated to remember the battle of Vimy Ridge.  The three-day battle cost the Canadians 2600 dead and 7000 wounded.  More importantly, the Canadians drove the Germans from the Ridge for good.  More importantly still, they fought as citizens of Canada, a united group of the same country.  It began a shift in Canadian thought from being a member of the British Commonwealth to being an independent nation.  San Diego U-T, 4/10/17

In whatever state of our Union, in whatever nation of our hemisphere, in whatever country of the world, Christians remain a singular group of people.  Jesus Christ established us on Pentecost and merged us there into a unity greater than our differences can dis-unite.  We exist in a world divided over competing religions, but Jesus dismisses them all in his cosmic role as Creator and Sustainer of everything in the universe.  In his Sovereign role as sole Ruler and Judge of Humanity.  In his Compassionate role to Christians as Savior by forgiveness, Lord by ruling every day, Inspiration by his return from Heaven and Security before God by being our eternal High Priest.

The Canadians needed a battle to distinguish themselves as a separate nation.  Christians need only the Lord Jesus Christ to identify us as ONE people of many nations, in a unity of faith his ONE FAITH established. 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)

 

 

 

Amateurs – succeed where experts fail

Temperatures remained below freezing.  Winds blew strongly.  The home-made plane seemed incapable of standing the stress it must endure.  Wilbur and Orville Wright stood alongside.  Wilbur shook Orville’s hand, who climbed aboard into his prone position.

Five people looked on amazed—Wilbur wanted them to jump up and down, hollering—but they remained mere spectators.  Down the incline the plane rolled, wheels clattering.  Off the track it flew, falling and rising until it leveled off to fly for 12 seconds, or 120 feet.

You likely know all that history from 17, December, 1903.  Aeronautical success had been achieved by two bicycle sales and repair experts.  But did you know that spending but $1200 the Wright Brothers had succeeded where Smithsonian’s highly qualified aviator Samuel Langley and Germany’s Otto Lilienthal hadn’t?  Langley had spent $75,000 of government and private money in his attempts.  National Parks Magazine, Winter 2012, pp. 58-59

The men Jesus chose as his inner circle had few spiritual qualifications to be the leaders he needed to found his church.  That didn’t matter.  He found that the men believed him, trusted him, followed him, learned from him and, save for Judas, remained unreserved disciples.  Paul noted that recruiting such people continued into the early church I Corinthians 1:20-31.

To this day, the single requirement Jesus imposes on the people he welcomes remains:  will you trust me absolutely and obey me unreservedly?  He’ll never ask what degrees we hold or age we’ve reached.  Who will follow in their train?

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

 New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

 Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley)