Category Archives: People

People – church leaders never need to change presentations, Part III

San Diego Hardware opened its doors in downtown on December 15, 1892.  In 2006 it relocated to Kearny Mesa.  The ownership has remained in the family, with those now leading having first worked in the store.  The inventory has changed.  From a nuts-and-bolts, hard-to-find hardware store, it shifted to decorative hardware for all kitchen, doors and bathroom fixtures.  With the advent of Amazon—“Talk about a Goliath,” one of the owners declared—the store established a shopper-friendly e-commerce site.  They deliver orders within a day or two.  U-T, 12/9/17

Which leads to a spiritual point.  Whatever other changes occur in shopping habits—whether to brick-and-mortar stores or the lazy way—people still shop.  Even our local Ralph’s store now delivers grocery orders.  Shades of Illinois in the 1940’s!  This man, then a little boy, would take mom’s order to Kerpan’s store.  The truck would deliver it that day.

However, since whatever the age or morality, people still sin, they need the Savior’s forgiveness.  And however medical science prolongs life or mere existence, we still die and need the resurrection of Jesus to bring us into his eternal kingdom and to one day raise our bodies into a replica of his very own brilliant body.

The point is, how do church leaders need to adapt the church to changing conditions?  They don’t.  If leaders think they do, they become part of the problem, never part of the solution.  If preachers want to continue being relevant, they need only go back to, or continue, studying God’s Word in-depth.  Then they need to pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire lessons and sermons.  Then they need to study the preparation until it becomes part of their personality.  Then they need to preach it in the power the Spirit never fails to provide.  AND trust the Spirit to do his work, which he never fails to achieve when God’s word is preached.  Which he always does.  Which he delights in doing for anyone who refuses to adapt his message to expected societal norms.  Who confronts listeners with the forceful, eternal, powerful word of God on any subject.  Understand?   – 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

People – no one is unknown to God, Part II

The San Diego Union Tribune story featuring the San Diego Hardware Store included the picture of a young woman wearing hardware accouterments.  The question was, “Who was the pretty lady?”  A Chula Vista resident knew:  Fanny Sherman Sloane.  She had often seen Fanny’s picture in the home of a former boyfriend.  Fanny’s father, Matthew Sherman, had served in the Civil War.  On returning to San Diego he had developed the Sherman Heights area of the city.  Fanny was in her mid-20’s when the picture was taken.  She married Charles L. Sloane, a Rockford, Illinois native.  Etc., etc., etc.

Fanny didn’t remain unknown long.  Some people in nation-wide morgues aren’t so fortunate.  Some people in the deserts of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah aren’t so fortunate.

But none, not a single one of the perhaps 12-14 Billion people ever to live, is unknown to God.  He calls the stars by name and labels the planets.  He sees every sparrow fall and counts our head-hairs.  (Some of us make that easy.)  He know us all by name, by the very distinctive mark his image makes on each soul.

That perfect knowledge stimulates Christians.  What powerful encouragement to know God’s care of each disciple.  We may count our friends on one hand, but God counts us as his single friend.  He cradles everyone in his hand, each one part of the whole, the whole broken into its individual parts.  The unsaved don’t want that intimacy.  They feel self-sufficient except in extreme crises, but want God’s attention only during those times.    – 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

People – change occurs in . Part I

San Diego Hardware has been a fixture in the city for 125 years.  It began in 1892, occupying a building on lower Broadway.  Its inventory counted 50,000 items from 400 suppliers.  If you needed it, San Diego Hardware carried it.  Famous people found there what they couldn’t elsewhere:  Bill Walton supplies for his apartments; Jerry Lewis a boat fixture; Archie Moore an unspecified item, except he pounded on the doors after hours, shouting, “You gotta let me in!”  Many more of us unknowns drove downtown to buy what no other hardware store stocked.

Then…change came.  A fire in 1986 damaged the store.  Then, after re-building it, Home Depot opened its 10 county stores.  The nuts-and-bolts” store suddenly existed in a precarious economic environment.  Long-term Navy contracts kept it going.  Then…developers of downtown San Diego made it hard to find parking for the people who had always been customers—this writer among them.  In 2006 the store moved to Kearny Mesa, where it continues in business in December, 2017.  U-T, 12/9/17    – 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

 

People – the kind Jesus thought worthy

Varian Fry traveled to Marseilles, France, in late summer 1940, to rescue Jews from Nazi terrors.  But not to think just any Jews were to be saved.  No, just those the American Committee considered important enough to merit such a cost, “distinguished people”, musicians, historians, language experts, art critics, et al.

Would our scales weigh differently if choosing those in society worth preserving?  Wouldn’t Doctors of Anything be preferable to High School graduates?  Wouldn’t industry leaders be saved in lieu of their workers?  Wouldn’t those in biological and earth sciences be considered absolutely first on the list of evacuees?  Wouldn’t those in the Arts be next in line?  And don’t forget the politicians!  If a religious leader is needed, be sure to include a world-famous representative of a recognized world religion.

Yet, the ministry Jesus Christ makes liars of everyone and lies of every position we value.  He spent significant blocks of time with Jewish leaders; he didn’t refuse to teach and help aristocrats; still, he felt a God-inspired affinity with the anonymous, the diseased, the crippled, the demon-possessed.  All of these, and many more like them, whom society sidelined or banished, Jesus sought, touched, taught, loved and helped!  Shouldn’t Christians be Christ-centered enough to follow his example, not that of a depraved culture?

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

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.

 

 

 

People – always the most important

Cimon served as a late sixth to middle fifth century BC Athenian general and statesman.  He proved as wise in peace as illustrious in war against Persia.  In one campaign he took many captives and great plunder.  He separated the prisoners of war from the pillage, then bade his allies take their choice.  Naturally, they took the spoils and divided it among themselves, leaving Cimon with the naked prisoners.

Undaunted, he accepted his prize and cared for them.  Later, when friends and kinsmen ransomed the POW’s, they paid such high prices that Cimon became an extremely wealthy man.

What value human life has!  However important commodities are, however valuable gold and silver, however significant our natural resources, people are still our most important asset.  The needs of people take precedence over all other duties, demands, and desires.  Things can wait.  People’s needs oftentimes can’t.  Things can be replaced; but how do we give back a human life?

God is interested first in people, not in programs, buildings, or organizations.  For people alone have immortal souls.  Things can’t hurt the way people do.  A hole in a suitcase may not mend, but the suitcase won’t know it has a hole.  Put a hole in a man and he bleeds and may die.  Things can’t feel pain of loneliness or the delight of companionship.  People feel both.

Jesus always valued people; can church leaders value property or programs more?  Jesus always attended human needs without pay; can church leaders pay personal attention to members only at budget time?

Today…everyday…remember that, whatever else matters, only people count.  For everyone of us is specially made in the Image of God.  That makes us distinct from all the other creations of God.

 

People – can be trusted only IF…

Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton—“Old Bullion” and Jessie Benton Fremont’s father—once said that the “tranquil masses” of people in the country would correct all the failures of “uneasy politicians.”  Sandburg, War Years III, p. 25.

Perhaps true in a time when in the people a deep reservoir of Biblical values, morals, and perspectives existed.  They could compensate for the folly of academics, politicians, and businessmen.

But to what can we look if the people themselves have lost those values?  As is true in America today.  One glaring example is the loss of Biblical norms in sexuality.  Where God recognizes only heterosexuality in persons, and only heterosexual males marrying heterosexual females, 66% of Americans support gay marriage.  In 1980 no public support existed for it.  The rapid change in 25 years shocked pollsters.

Anyone familiar with American preaching in the past 25 years isn’t surprised.  Since church growth leaders decided to eliminate “unnecessary obstacles” to people becoming Christians, they also eliminated “any” obstacle.  They preach against nothing that might offend listeners.  Don’t preach tithing; they have mortgages to pay.  Or holiness to the Lord; self-denial is so difficult.  Or Christ’s Singularity; no need to offend other religions.

It’s incredible that a people carried in the womb of Mosaic teaching, and born of the Spirit of God praising Jesus Christ, should now respect unbelievers so much we disgrace God Almighty and Jesus Christ.  Bible-believing Christians, be faithful to Jesus.  Remember Paul’s warning to the compromising Christians, I Corinthians 5:1-2, and the Risen Christ’s warning to the compromising churches in Asia, Revelation 2-3.  No virtue exists in  tolerance if tolerance accepts wickedness as normal.