Author Archives: uglydogpro@earthlink.net

Clothes – in Eden, since and….Part III

In Part I:  naked without shame before their Fall, the first pair covered themselves immediately once sinning.  In Part II:  newly-born Jesus had been wrapped in homespun swaddling clothes.  The dead adult Jesus had his corpse wrapped in expensive linen, enfolded with 75 pounds of spices.

However, when John and Peter reached Christ’s tomb on Resurrection Sunday, they found the strips of linen laying on the bench where Christ’s body had lain Luke 24:12, John 20:5-7.  The wrappings remained while he left, resurrected, his “appearance like lightning…his clothes…white as snow” Matthew 28:3.  That brilliance had been obvious in his Transfiguration some ten months before.  Luke, in chapter 9 says that Christ’s mind opened like a door as he prayed, and from it light poured, turning night into light.

In his radiant resurrection robes he appeared to Mary Magdalene, John 20:14; the women, Matthew 28:8-10; the disciples of Emmaus, Luke 24:15-16; the Ten in the Upper Room, John 20:19; the Eleven in the Upper Room, John 21:26; throughout the 40 day period to his ascension, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:9.

Then, some sixty years later, God granted aged John the apostle a sight of Jesus Christ’s eternal clothes draping his eternal, glorified body Revelation 1:12-18…”dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest” 1:13.

All references to the saints in Revelation found them dressed in white, clean, shining linen, fit to live in the Holy City, itself “beautifully dressed for her husband” Revelation 21:2.

No longer innocent and undressed, as in Eden; no longer clothed and sinful, as now; but then in robes beyond any description of beauty and finery, draping our new bodies, we’ll live as the perfectly redeemed children of God in a city and world he himself envisioned and created as the eternal home of his Christ-purchased own.  Lord, Hasten the day!       – Fini –

 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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Clothes – in Eden, since, and … Part II

Nakedness before the Fall meant nothing, since Adam and Eve lived in innocence.  When they disobeyed God innocence turned into morality.  Which led them to clothe themselves.  Which, despite our hedonistic culture of exhibitionists and voyeurs, remains the Biblical norm.

Joseph and Mary wrapped their newborn Jesus in cloths and placed him in a manger Luke 2:12.  These swaddling clothes wrapped each newborn Jewish baby, after being washed with a salt solution.  Only the head remained open to the air.

Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapped the corpse of Jesus in “a clean linen cloth,” Matthew 27:59; “some linen cloth,” Mark 15:46; “in linen cloth,” Luke 23:53; “in strips of linen,” John 19:40.  Seventy-five pounds of spices folded into the wrapping accompanied the dead.

Thus, while wrapped as a newborn in clean homespun, the washed corpse of Jesus had a significant upgrade.  The baby needed only a small garment.  The mature male deserved wider and longer strips of valuable linen, worn by kings, priests and nobles.  A fit symbol of the Master’s nature even when dead.  On neither occasion did he know of the wrapping.  On both he wore appropriate wrappings.      – 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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clothes – in Eden, since and….Part I

In Eden, before the Fall, Adam and Eve were naked, without shame Genesis 2:25.  After eating the forbidden fruit they instantly recognized their nakedness and clothed themselves in fig leaves—the beginning of human morality.  Interesting:  the first awareness of self created guilt—God’s moral law doing its work, Romans 5:12-13, 16a, 20a, before the LAW of Moses came to Israel.

Where false teachers want our first self-awareness to be good, joyful, hopeful, positive, etc., God says it must be harsh, guilt-ridden and stressful for breaking his law.  Which is why God killed an animal in Eden to effect temporary removal of sin.  Which is why Jesus as SAVIOR effected its ultimate and complete removal.

Remaining naked spiritually before God now means we accept our sinful state.  Any teaching that minimizes or removes guilt is satanic.  Though our society, like Eve in Genesis 3 listening to the serpent, still tries to convince ourselves that we aren’t sinful.  We’re simply mis-directed through insufficient education and will escape the maze our lack of education has built around us when we have doctorates of everything in life!

Instead…the Bible insists…only as we accept our alienation from God by our sin do we become subjects of the forgiveness Jesus died to effect.  Not until.  And if we continue to refuse to admit our sinfulness, we’ll die in it!  For accepting our lostness from God is the first requirement to being found by Jesus.

The fashion industry, the female portion daringly, ignores Genesis 3:7.  It considers God dressing Adam and Eve in animal skins abhorrent and barbaric—why kill an innocent beast?  They have the right to life.  And, besides, the industry sees no need to cover the human form when it can be undressed to excite interest in its flesh.  It’s really an admission that the designers have no interest in the Spirit of mortals, but that’s another story.  – 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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Name – when changing a . makes a difference, Part II

Hogg to Thing may not be a giant step up in a name, unless one dislikes the former and cherishes the latter.  The Welsh Hogg family had their name changed to Thing, a name they brought when immigrating to San Diego County in the 19th century.

Through Isaiah, 62:2, God predicted a new name for his chosen people.  Acts 11:26 recorded that God activated it when the disciples of Jesus were “called Christians first in Antioch.”  Many other New Testament passages note the privilege of being called by that NAME.  II Timothy 2:19, I Peter 4:16 and I John 5:13 three of them.

The name change reflects the change in our nature.  We alter from condemned sinner to forgiven sinner.  From judged unfit for God to declared righteous by God.  From humanist and materialist and evolutionist to CHRISTIAN—being like Christ, belonging to Christ.  That change means something extraordinary, colossal, exponential.  It’s a change that separates us from what vanishes to what remains; from illusion to reality; from surface to substantial life.

Being a CHRISTIAN—the greatest honor ever bestowed on mortals.  In what way today can we honor Jesus for honoring us as his disciples?  – Fini –

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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

Name – when changing a . makes a difference, Part I

In the late 19th century a member of a Welsh family appeared before a local judge.  The writer re-creates the conversation.  “Your honor, our family name has been the object of irritation and embarrassment.  We petition you to change it.”

“What is your name?”

“Hogg”, sir, and we’ve had enough of the jokes.  Please give us a different surname.”

“What do you suggest?”

“I don’t know, sir….It makes no difference.  Anything but Hogg.”

 Putting tongue in cheek, and with a wicked sense of humor, the sober judge intoned…. “Anything?”, you say.  “Then I pronounce that your new family name is Thing.”

And that’s how Charles Thing and his family came to settle in San Diego County in 1874.  Charles and his brother homesteaded a cattle ranch in what became Thing Valley.  That Valley had earlier been called Hollister, after a sheep rancher.  San Diego County Place-Names, 139

Thing may not seem an exponential improvement on Hogg.  It seems at best a marginal upgrade.  It certainly didn’t change the character of the family, which we trust had someTHING noble in it.  – 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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer – the key to answered

Our son Lance’s sermon 1-28-18 mentioned two answered prayers relating to expansion of the Gospel through Ignite, superb church-planting organization in Chicago.  That reminded me of Ezra 8:21-23.  Ezra led his entourage of post-exilic Jews from Babylon to Jerusalem.  His faith in God’s protection led him to forego a government military escort.  That decision led to anxiety as the day of departure neared.  A four month journey of several hundred miles separated departure from arrival.  The crisis sent the expatriates to fasting and prayer.  Since restoring the exiles to Israel had been God’s promise through Jeremiah, Ezra led the people to seek God’s favor on their journey.  He granted their prayer.

That text surfaces the key to answered prayer.  If what we seek from God increases his sovereign will, and our fruitfulness serving it, he answers.  If it simply increases our comfort, fame, reputation or wealth, God isn’t and won’t feel obligated.  That’s a condition we often overlook when reading the Master’s words about prayer in John 13-16.

When our request serves a Kingdom-purpose, God answers.  Guaranteed.  No one excels God’s interest in spreading the Gospel.  And no one is less interested in our personal ambitions and goals.  Do our prayers focus more on what we want for God’s church, or what he intends?  Are we more interested in maximum Spirit-directed kingdom growth or our own role in a church brotherhood?

 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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sin – never compromise with, Part II

Sin kills the soul when unforgiven.  It also has a numbing effect on other people’s morals, particularly the younger generation.  It creates an acceptability of immorality not existent in the former.  The result is:  the younger ones grow less offended by greater immorality.  What offended the previous generation becomes the accepted normal of the one following.

That’s why James Russell Lowell was right in saying, “They enslave their children’s children who make compromises with sin.”  That’s also why we can’t take comfort from saying we aren’t as bad as Genesis 6:5 when “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.”  Immortality doesn’t have to be that bad.  Indeed, it cannot be that bad.  God’s truth in Biblical Judaism and Biblical Christianity powerfully resists it becoming that bad.  His word has too deeply impacted western culture to allow our return to Genesis 6.

However, we don’t understand that it isn’t necessary for us to revert that deep in sin for God to judge nations, even if he doesn’t presently end history with Christ’s second coming.  All we need is to fall FROM the truth Moses revealed to the world and Jesus Christ personally perfected in his ministry.  THAT sin America has committed.  And therefore we’re ripe for Judgment.  – Fini –

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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

 

Sin – never compromise with, Part I

James Russell Lowell’s challenge written in 1844 in his poem, The Present Crisis, remains applicable to Christians.  “They enslave their children’s children who make compromise with sin.”  The American Reader, 113.  The poem encouraged blacks to improve their lot.  It had no impact on their condition as slaves.  Politicians paid no attention to and spent no effort to remove the cancer spreading aggressively through American life.

Compromising with sin in the nation’s spiritual life in the 1840’s cost the death of 600,000 of their young men between 1861-1865. Don’t let that be lost on us.  The politicians wouldn’t confront the slave power in the 1840’s and 1850’s.  Which meant the military would trample it under the hooves of war horses between 1861-1865.

So here we are in the opening decades of the 21st century sacrificing our children’s and grandchildren’s future to immorality.  We now as a culture accept homosexuality as an alternate lifestyle.  We accept living together as an acceptable substitute for marriage.  We feel that same-sex unions should be offered the benediction of marriage.  Etc., etc.

We fail to realize the long-term outcome of losing Biblical values.  The moral and Bible absolutes we willingly surrender to the spiritually-lawless component of society will never be returned by those who welcome their demise.  In addition, and more frightful, it makes it easier for our children and grandchildren to tolerate and practice even-more degrading immorality.  Though we now think the present can’t get worse.  It can.  It shall.

But that isn’t the end of the problem.  II Thessalonians 2:8-12 warns us that God won’t prevent our rejection of him through Christ.  But that isn’t the end of the problem either.  Once we decide to forsake God for alternatives God despises, he’ll turn us loose to satisfy ourselves with ever-deeper degradation.   Once we determine not to delight in God, he’ll let us learn to delight in wickedness.

Parents and grandparents take note.  Do we want to sacrifice God’s word now to make peace with the wicked?  Thinking nothing happens beyond a shift in morals?  Heed Lowell’s poem:  “They enslave their children’s children who compromise with sin.”  And heed more carefully God’s unalterable law.  What we decide Right Now will either enslave our children in deeper sin or liberate them to higher righteousness.  By deciding he isn’t relevant we sentence ourselves and our children to endless searches for what would be helpful to us—without ever finding,; always looking for the next panacea that disappoints as it depraves us.     – 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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

 

 

 

 

Discipleship – studying Jesus the essence of

Mary Cassat left France for Philadelphia when the Prussian-Franco war interfered with her painting.  Leaving Philadelphia she went to Chicago, hoping to sell some of her work.  She got there in time to lose all her art in the Great Chicago Fire.

She returned to Europe when France capitulated to Bismarck.  She needed Europe as an artist as businessmen needed New York, as legislators needed Washington, D.C.  In Paris she could be with like-minded people.  And her students could study and copy the great masters of her craft.  American Heritage, December, 1973, 13.

We can learn three spiritual lessons from her story.  One, Christians need the fellowship of like-minded people.  Congregational worship offers mighty encouragement to individual Christians.  For “fighting the good fight” privately all week can leave us enervated.  Gathering for fellowship with fellow believers should re-charge our weakness with new vigor.

Two, whatever loss daily life imposes on our discipleship can be regained by community singing, praying, communion, offering and preaching.  No spiritual diminution we suffer as persons need be irrevocable if we avail ourselves of weekly worship.

Three, studying Jesus in the Gospels on a daily basis, and in hearing him proclaimed in weekly worship, exposes our minds and hearts to God’s Ideal Man.  What we learn by studying and listening may not make us immediate copiers of his Glory.  But only with the former does the latter gradually, incrementally and ultimately occur.

Remember:  we can educate ourselves in what can be useful in making a living, but only studying and seeking to copy Jesus will build a life that survives careers, losses and death to live again in God’s Presence.

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.) 

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

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

 New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

      Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

      Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349