Past – keeps coming back, Part II

A watercolor dated 1782 pictured hundreds of tents covering a Hudson Valley landscape.  On a rise in the landscape another tent was found by curators of the American Revolution Museum.  They immediately identified it as the headquarters tent of none other than General Washington.  San Diego U-T, 11/19/17

Wouldn’t any American, especially a military vet, feel honored to stop on the spot where aides of Washington raised the tent?  Knowing that within its confines the man himself lived, slept, ate, pondered and planned?  Any Christian would love to stand around Jacob’s well, knowing the very Master of creation, and Savior of the world, stood there, talked with a hopeless wretch only he could see had a future and reached a people Jews thought beyond redemption.

A 102 year-old Holocaust survivor shuffled towards a 66 year-old man.  They kissed on both cheeks, then blurted greetings in Russian, a language the centenarian  hadn’t used in decades.  The 66 year-old was the other man’s nephew, previously unknown to the elder.  His younger brother had survived the Nazis, moved to Russia, married and settled.  He died in 2011, leaving his then-61 year-old son to be found by Yad Vashem, which continues to reunite Israelis who may still be alive since WWII with and long-lost, or unknown relatives.  U-T, 11/20/17

Christians continue to lose loved ones, relatives and acquaintances.  Death never stops humiliating us, harvesting us and reducing our numbers.  But we must always remember:  all who are in Christ survive death to live in God’s world.  When we arrive there, it isn’t unlikely that the first people we’ll see are many we haven’t seen in years, and many more we don’t even know.  With all of them we’ll spend countless hours that are instants of time getting acquainted or renewing friendships.  Thanks be to God in Christ!

OK, folks.  That’s all for this week.  See you again, Monday, November 26th.  God bless.

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

Past – keeps coming back, Part I

My files bulge with multiple examples of the above.  Judy jogged a personal memory when she handed me a green felt “L” with a football on the horizontal arm:  a High School letter in football.  That happened 64 years ago.

Memories and the Past unite:  as Love and Marriage unite; as Education and Knowledge unite; as God and Christ unite.  Look at some examples today and tomorrow that prove we can’t escape the past.

A privy next door to Paul Revere’s home in Boston has yielded interesting artifacts of life at the time.  No, not the obvious.  It had been a brick unit, one of the earliest known, built in 1711.  Revere’s cousin lived in the family home.  Since the outhouse served as more than the usual purpose, archaeologists have found from pottery to pipes.  San Diego, U-T, 10/1/17

The Hurley’s had such a unit beyond their house in Lincoln, Illinois.  Can’t forget those days.  Dad would move it when the hole filled.  At Halloween rotten scoundrels would sometimes move the structures from to beside the hole.  Anyone happening by would…well, it wasn’t pleasant.  And whatever of historic value diggers find in the Revere home, any diggers in our outhouse holes would find nothing whatever of value the Hurley family deposited there in the years 1936-1954—the time this writer lived there.

Well, enough of that memory.

Then there’s the recently released picture of five tough-looking hombres from the 1880’s.  What’s fascinating about the picture is it may include both Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett.  Should it be authenticated, that pic is worth a whole stack of bucks.  U-T, 11/19/17

If you’re a Russian, and remember WWII, you think STALINGRAD—now Volgograd.  The turning point in the eastern wing of the conflict.  A huge “The Motherland Calls” statue symbolizes that never-to-be-forgotten past.  U-T, 11/16/17

Each Christian has a past he’ll never forget, and always cherishes.  The Savior came to Bethlehem.  “In the dead of night, not one faint hope in sight…he came to woo, to win, to save my soul.”  The past is a Memory.  It also produces a legacy for today and beyond tomorrow into and throughout eternity.     – 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

 

Christ – God know his worth

Broadcom Communications has tried to buy Qualcomm Communications.  The Qualcomm board has rebuffed the $103 Billion offer as hopelessly under Qualcomm’s value.  Time will tell in this battle between tech giants.  San Diego U-T, 11/17/17

The obvious spiritual point is:  God knows that Jesus is none other than his only begotten Son; that Christianity is none other than God’s full, final revelation of himself as the fulfillment of every Old Testament figure, symbol and personality; that no other religious leader or faith has any value to God when compared with Christ and Christianity.

In essence, God knows exactly what his Son is worth.  Which immediately puts all other religious leaders and religions on notice:  none of them will ever pose a threat to either the Savior or his Church.

Let all Moslems take note who feel their Mohammed has a chance of replacing Jesus as America’s Lord.  Let all Christians who fear such a threat take note.  Nobody is a competitor of Jesus, let alone a threat to his role, reputation and destiny.  Let Satan squeal and squall through unlettered mortals of this or that leader’s possibilities.  He never fails to produce new phenomena to replace old phenom-failures.   God laughs to scorn all who would resist his predictive will by opposing the Christ he has “installed…on Zion” Psalm 2:6.

If God removed Moses and Elijah from the Transfigured Christ on Mt. Hermon, leaving Jesus Alone, he won’t tolerate competitors sitting next to his Glorified Christ, who sits at God’s right hand!

At this thanksgiving, thank God that Jesus alone remains God’s Only offer of salvation and providence.

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

Conflict – spiritual . necessary, Part II

Whether we believe it or not; like it or not; face it or not, spiritual conflict is necessary in life.  The humanity that lost its spiritual estate in Adam’s sin cannot reclaim it without the spiritual violence called SELF-DENIAL.  See Matthew 11:12 for a parallel idea.

Consider today’s installment of this principle.  It’s often said that it takes a special person to serve a lost cause.  Perhaps.  It’s better said that it takes a rare courage to defend a winning cause that seems a lost cause!

What Jesus Christ needs right now are courageous people who physically, vocally, mentally and spiritually stand with him, behind him, under him, beside him—or any side of him so long as we unreservedly commit ourselves to him as Savior and Lord against our culture!

Note, however:  it isn’t our faith in JESUS, or in the Christian Faith that makes him and it true.  We believe he’s true not because we have an emotional need to believe, or because our belief reinforces him, but because he has offered such evidence of his truth that to deny it makes us fools.

So what if we face an increasingly aggressive cultural animus?  That doesn’t matter.  God didn’t ask permission from anyone before he sent Jesus.  He won’t remove Jesus because many don’t want him here.  Present world opposition to Jesus merely guarantees Christianity’s far greater success than even Christians think possible.

Whatever it takes, however high the cost, Christians must determine that we’ll stand by the Gospel as God’s eternal truth, come what may!

Jesus wins, Jesus overcomes, Jesus succeeds, Jesus tramples his enemies, Jesus exalts his friends.  Will we accept immediate opposition from a world system that’s dying in order to receive eternal blessings from God Almighty that keep on coming?   – 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

Conflict – spiritual . necessary, Part I

The apostle Paul warned Christians that spiritual conflict couldn’t be avoided and had to be faced Galatians 5:16-18.  He also instructed Christians to arm themselves with the weaponry God provided to successfully wage that conflict Ephesians 6:10-20.  That many Christians still have no sense of a spiritual crisis—as in “we hate warfare”—God knows its inevitability and orders us to the front lines to confront, engage and conquer the Enemy.

Christians must not be deceived.  A colossal spiritual struggle presently afflicts America.  It’s between the boisterous humanists/secularists/materialists and Bible-believing, Christ-honoring believers.  The former demand the right to change all Biblical rules.  We much more quietly—sometimes so quietly we aren’t heard—laugh them to scorn since neither God nor his rule changes.

If Christians presently are more ignorant than aware of the danger; if we’re more asleep in faith than awake with Jesus praying through to victory, not to worry.  Jesus still rules winds, waves, sun, moon, Satan, sin and all the demons of Hell.

We can decide to surrender or silence our convictions about God in Christ; or engage our society with the Master’s sure, strong, conquering eternal authority.  But let us be forewarned:  surrendering or silencing God’s truth—which equals acceptance of spiritual anarchy—will neutralize society’s animus but activate God’s hostility.  Will we become God’s enemies to remain friends with culture?    – End Part I –

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

 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

 

 

 

Hell – real, Part II

Whatever attacks unbelievers make on God for warning that Hell awaits those disobedient to his word; and however tenuously Christians adhere to that warning, Hell is real.

We have often heard people casually say they don’t want to enter Heaven because all of life’s interesting people are in Hell.  There are no interesting people in Hell.  Would we say the drug addict or alcoholic is interesting?  When he does anything, however creepy, humiliating or illegal, to get a fix or a drink?  Or do we think a drug addict going through withdrawal is interesting?  Or any other kind of “absent-from-God” behavior in this life?  There are many kinds of hell we create for ourselves.

But the Hell of scripture is God’s creation, not ours.  And it wasn’t made for humans, but for Satan Matthew 25:41.  But all who live now as if God doesn’t exist, or doesn’t matter, or can’t tell us how to behave, yadda, yadda, yadda, will spend eternity with Satan.

Nothing positive exists in Hell because God is absolutely, totally and completely absent from it forever and ever.  The demoniac Legion is perhaps the clearest example of hell on earth and a hint of Hell beyond death.  Read the story in Mark 5:1-10.  In Volume 2, Part III of Their Own Best Defense, this writer endeavors a re-creation of Legion’s pitiful condition before being cleansed by Jesus.

In Hell every person is like every other person there—and every person is afflicted with the same tormenting traits as Legion magnified exponentially!

Those who don’t want God interfering in their lives NOW will find he WON’T AT ALL when he banishes them from his presence.  And they’ll be forever sorry they were so stupidly wicked to experience such tormenting misery when they could have delighted in God’s beatific presence forever and ever.       – 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

Hell – real, Part I

God is often mocked and condemned because he warned of Hell for those disobedient to his will.  The figure of fire especially offends believers and unbelievers alike.  It’s possible that fire can be spiritual as well as physical.

We understand physical fire.  We can touch a lighted match and burn a finger.  Or a hot range burner and burn our hands.  We can suffer burns over 70% of our body in a car accident.  Or, like some unfortunates in the recent northern California fires, fail to escape the flames and leave only ashes.

Fire certainly has spiritual applications.  For example, in I Corinthians 7:9 Paul said marriage would save Christians from burning with passion.  In Luke 16:24 Jesus spoke of the rich man burning with torment in Hell over lost earthly privileges.  Leon Czolgosz had “been on fire” for months to kill a famous ruler before he shot President William McKinley in the stomach.  The American Past, 313.  And every day those addicted to drugs, alcohol, kleptomania or sex burn with desire.

Being true to God and Christ we must accept the reality of Hell and fire.  We must understand that what physical fire is to the body, spiritual fire is to the human soul.  And while it’s equally real, we have no capacity to know what form it takes.

We do know the difference between the two:  physical fire can get hot enough, and burn long enough, to incinerate the body.  Spiritual fire can’t terminate the soul, but it can torment, confuse, upset, distract and torture with such pain the soul seems afire.

In his classic A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens described Marley’s misery in chains.  Though a ghost Marley felt a burning pain in his soul that never left him and would ever afflict him.  Indeed, he saw Marley’s sorrow the direct result of his greedy, make-all-the-money-you-can lifestyle he had enjoyed.  An enjoyment turned into a horrifying pain and regret.  17, 19, 20, etc.

– 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

Christ – presence of the difference

Both Solomon and Zerubbabel’s temples were dedicated to God.  Both had a wide audience of Hebrews in attendance.  Both represented the economics of their time.  Both lasted for centuries before being dismantled by invaders.

Solomon’s financial prosperity gave greater material glory to his temple than Zerubbabel’s lesser gave to the post-exilic generation.  That difference gave the older generation pause as they viewed the latter’s foundation.  While it brought them tears, it brought delight to the younger.  The ever-stressful struggle between older and younger people as the former remembers the “better days” and the latter “what is.”

However, the latter temple would have the greater glory because the greater person who entered it—none other than the historic Jesus Christ in Jerusalem John 2:13-22.  Remember on that occasion Jesus claimed himself God’s True and Lasting Temple in whom all of God’s people would find their rest.

So…who are we, poor, wicked sinners?  Nobodies.  Which doesn’t matter at all since it isn’t WHO we are, but WHOSE we are that matters.  We’re sons and daughters of the Eternal King, then in human form and now in his eternal, glorified body, the like of which each Christian will one day possess Philippians 3:20-21, Revelation 1:12-16.

Let us rise up, Christians, to our forgiven state that will one day be exalted.  Let us now reflect the Glory of Christ we shall one day possess.  Let us keep on becoming what Jesus promises we shall BE!

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

InIndividuals – can vanish now…

The 36-year old worked in a Catskills resort.  Her husband drove her to a doctor’s appointment in Monticello, New York in 1975.  He dropped her at the office, drove away and later returned to find her…gone.  Vanished.  No trace.  She never returned.  He could never find her.

New York authorities kept looking for her, without success.  Every lead turned into a dead-end.  Then, in 2017, 42 years later, a separate cold-case lead led to an assisted-living facility in Lowell, Massachusetts.  And who did they find there but the very woman, now 78 years of age.  No present idea exists where she’s been in the passing years or how she re-appeared in 2017.  A mystery solved, one of the rare missing-person cases.  San Diego U-T, 10/27/17

Where can we go to escape God?  Where can we hide so he won’t find us?  What different name can we use to confuse all his inquiries?  In what high-rent district, or low-rent slum, can we take refuge from his search?  In the sky above?  On the earth below?  In the depths of the sea?  In deep or deepest space?

NOWHERE!  We personally remain under his oversight, whether by name given at birth by parents, or, more elementary, by God’s Image on us given by him in the conjunction of human sperm and egg.  God never forgets WHO we are, WHERE we are, WHAT we are and HOW MUCH we all mean to him.

The Christian loves and embraces such assurance.  The sinner fears it and flees.  Christians never want to hide; we always want God to care.  The sinner desires to escape that all-seeing EYE, but cannot; that all-knowing MIND, but without success; that all-sovereign RULER, without ever falling outside his purview.

What is God to us?

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

God – source of unbreakable promise, Genesis 12:1, 5-9, 13:14-18 et al

On November 2, 1917, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued the famous Balfour Declaration.  It promised British support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine.  Scattered Jewry rejoiced.  In 1903, bowing to Moslem pressure, Britain tried to divert the Jews by promising a homeland in Uganda.  Scattered Jewry refused.  Only one land existed as the Promise Land—Canaan and Canaan and Canaan.

God used WWI to break the centuries-old monopoly the Ottoman Empire held on Palestine.  He used the Balfour Declaration to Promise a homeland for the Jews.  And he used horrific Nazi oppression to fulfill the near and most ancient promise to Abraham.

Canaan belongs to the Israelites by God’s promise to the first Patriarch and its re-enforcement to the second and third.  To the Israelites, not to the Hittites or Amorites or Moslems.  Too bad for the Moslems who claim any part of it for themselves.  It doesn’t belong to them.  And too bad if they insist on conquering it by destroying Israel.  That will bring their own destruction.

God’s calling and election are permanent historical facts.  End of discussion.  Whatever 21st century diplomats, politicians, statesmen or tyrants propose, God’s promise to Abraham remains the bedrock Biblical truth for all history.

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