Tag Archives: God

Values – skidding

According to Parade Magazine, 7/30/17, the beer industry sells $350 Billion of the suds annually.  According to the Internet, 8/1/17, charity giving in 2016 amounted to $390.05 Billion.  That includes gifts to churches and synagogues.  According to the Internet, 8/1/17, Americans spent nearly $61 Billion on pets in 2015.

I re-checked the charity giving, to be sure we gave more to it than we spent on beer—the figures consider the church a charity, which it ISN’T.  Yes, we actually gave more to charity than we spent on suds in 2016.  Nevertheless, do we need to drink that much beer?  Do we think we’re Germans?

Legalizing marijuana is part of the skid.  What’s interesting in the job market, using Warren, Ohio, as an example, is that jobs are available but candidates can’t pass drug tests.  And many of the candidates are young people.  Such statistics warn us against legalizing the drug.  Which is too late since it has been in many states.  It won’t create a more reliable work force!  San Diego U-T, 7/31/17

Buckling to the militant homosexual lobby is a symbol of the skid.  No society can escape God’s penalty for supinely tolerating a behavior that his word repeatedly condemns.  It’s hard to live in a morally-deteriorating society, but it’s what Christians face.  Our challenge is to remain faithful to Jesus.  The time will come when a return to God may occur:  when we won’t be as sure of ourselves as we are now; so tolerant of evil as now; so willing to banish God-honoring standards for the brave new immorality championed by the humanist-secularist-liberal-environmentalist-evolutionist lobbies.  They will find their hole too deep to exit and what’s above too wicked even for them to tolerate.  THAT will be our opportunity.

Be faithful, Christians.  God still rules.  When humanity admits its inability to know what’s right, we can witness to Christ’s eternal truth.

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

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

 

 

 

 

Society – high . protects itself

Tom Brady and his high-profile wife may be well-known, rich and able to afford any domicile they want to buy.  None of that mattered when they purchased a multi-million dollar home in ultra-exclusive The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Only after two years of debate among the members were they accepted.  One of the reasons delaying the decision was the Bradys’ societal status.  The privacy-driven settlement didn’t want their peace disturbed by the inclusion of media-attractive people.  San Diego U-T 7/15/17

It’s interesting that high-society people, themselves of significant fame, wealth and prestige, limit those who would share their elevated status.  Because they consider others inferior in some way to them.  Or because other famous or rich people create disturbances in their quiet community.

Unlike them, God welcomes the wickedest of sinners, the poorest of mortals, the richest of men, the most moral of humanity to live with him on the basis of their faith in Christ, repentance of their sin and baptism into Christ for the forgiveness of their sin.  Where high society doesn’t want to be stained by inferiors, or ashamed by being less famous than others, God makes us all EQUAL as sinners needing Grace, having mercy on all Romans 11:32.

God overlooks all the trouble caused by people like and unlike us to who come for admission.  Whatever our societal state, he elevates us all spiritually in the process of forgiving us.  That very cleansing grants us entrance into his Presence.  We immediately fall heir to all the riches of his knowledge and wisdom.  And we joyously welcome anyone who wants to share it ALL with 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 book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

Life – we can ruin our life for God’s work

Samuel Chamberlain photographed many images for his book The New England Image.  He found many willing to have themselves or their property memoralized.  He also had some who objected.  While he obliged their wishes not to photograph from their property, he protected his right to do so from public highways.  The result from the unwilling ran from a photo of a man shaking a fist to lady who flapped her arms at the camera.  That lady ruined his picture. pp. 11-12

She offers a spiritual lesson.  God wants to love us, to correct us, to criticize us, to warn us—all in an effort to save us from our sins and make us worthy of him and eternal life.  Then, in grace we can never understand, but appreciate, he gives us the right to ruin his every desire FOR US.  We can’t alter his predictive will, or torpedo his sovereignty over history.  We CAN, and often DO, spoil his purpose for us.  And in so doing ruin our chance to be servants, not obstacles, to others.

The lady proved only that the photographer didn’t get the picture he wanted.  It didn’t prevent his success in shooting many others.  When Jesus judges the world, and each person stands before him, and many are found guilty, not saved; lost, not found; cast out, not gathered in, they will have only themselves to blame.  For every person who doesn’t want God in their lives now, many yield themselves to him, his will, his perspectives.  They know his expertise fills them with spiritual grace for living while preparing them for the ecstasy of eternal life in his Son.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self – God reveals our real

The morning after the deadly Galveston hurricane, 1900, a priest walked the clogged landscape, trying to gauge the human casualties.   At the wharf a group of men prepared to sail a yacht to seek outside help.  The priest urged them to minimize the losses.  He thought it better to later increase than reduce the numbers.  He even suggested they project the losses at 500 people.  Isaac’s Storm, 233.

That’s like Samuel Chamberlain’s book The New England Image.  He admitted to standing idle for hours while waiting for the correct amount of sunshine to snap his photographs.  While admitting that New England had many less attractive moods, his book captured its “sunny aspect.” p. 11

That’s also like us.  Most of us don’t wear our “getting-out-of-bed” look when we start our public day.  We want to greet, not terrify acquaintances.

The trouble comes when we come to God flaunting our ‘best” side, hiding our “worst” side and expecting him to see only our made-up self.

He won’t have us that way; won’t accept us that way; refuses to tolerate as that way.  The first beatitude remains, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” Matthew 5:3.  Those who understand their pitiful spiritual state before God; their soul’s just-out-of-bed” horror.  Before we appreciate Christ’s forgiveness, we need to upgrade awareness of our unfitness to receive it.  We have no merit before God.  None.  His willingness to remove our unfitness depends on our admission that we don’t deserve it.

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

Independence Day – Afterglow from July 2, Part IV

The deadly results of humanism in American culture are obvious.  Brought by WWII, tremors of disturbing change filtered through society in the 1950’s.  As young seminary student-preachers in the early 1960’s, we sensed their public expression, but lacked the capacity to comprehend or conceptualize their dimensions.  What began as a rebellion against authority in the 1960’s became gradually, and by leaps and bound, the declared intention of unbelievers to turn America from freedom in the Christian faith to freedom from the Christian faith and the celebration of world religions.

Now, in July 2017, all world religions are welcome to practice their faith in public, but Christians are not.  Naturally it reflects Satan’s awareness that Christianity alone threatens his works with demolition.  Nevertheless, secular humanism sees mankind living apart from God in Christ, and, living apart, improving ourselves.

IMPOSSIBLE!

Naturally Satan wants secular humanism or Islam, or a combination of world religions to eliminate Christianity from American affairs.

That’ll be the day!

The Humanist Manifestos of 1933, 1973 and 2000 told the same lies.  That humans don’t need an Almighty God since they have mighty men.  In other words, God’s knowledge is obsolete since we have multiple intellectuals.  That we don’t need to pray since we can reason our way through problems or find their solutions in psychiatry.  That modern humans need only embrace their MATURITY in understanding NATURE, not God.  They see the only sin is not developing our human potential to its greatest degree.  That’s the old human potential movement lies of a generation ago, now called churches, the basis of religious science churches.

Mankind has always been arrogant towards God.  The book of Jeremiah reveals that pomposity in his generation.  But none personifies it so blatantly as the 21st century.

The West fought Communism for 45 years, and won.  Hardly by our brilliance, but by its inner decay.  Still, in all those years, and progressively worse as the 20th century turned into the 21st, we ignored the humanism that ate like a cancer at our body politic, our body education, our body morality.  And has left nothing but a carcass that needs only burial to be a corpse.  And God has his spades digging!     –  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 book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

 

 

 

 

 

Animals – not our source of help

I’ve got nothing against seeing animals as service dogs or cats or horses.  They can have a positive impact on human behavior and recovery.  They can sense love given and return it after a fashion.  They can save those who care for them from imminent danger.  They can participate in one’s recovery from obesity and anti-social behavior.

They are NOT our savior in any meaningful sense.  For example, one man determined to lose weight found an overweight dog in the pound and had it accompany him on his walks.  The man made that decision, not the dog. He could as easily found a mortal to walk with him.  Others have.  Parade Magazine, 6/25/17

The problem with humans who see their “salvation” in animals is their lack of faith in God.  Instead of seeking help from HIM, the SUPERIOR being, they surrender to animals, INFERIOR creatures.  How can people made in God’s image stoop so low?  Are we so completely separated for our ORIGINS in Eden that we now seek help from Creatures?  God is our Father, Christ our Savior, the Holy Spirit our August Companion.  Why reject the Trinity as our source of education, enlightenment, comfort, peace, forgiveness and eternal life?

We really are depraved human beings.  But we are human beings, not animals.  Made in God’s image by direct creation, not the end product of mindless evolution.  Wake up and see the truth, fellow mortals.  Jesus Christ has come with truth, grace, love, forgiveness and hope.  Seek him while he can be found as Savior.  Don’t wait to see him only as Judge on his Great White throne and you a helpless sinner doomed to Hell.

Which reminds me of a walk I had this week.  The cheeriest song came from a bird in a nearby tree.  I’ve heard such many a time and thanked GOD for the momentary evidence of his care for humanity.  I’ve never yet, and never shall, hear in a bird song what I need to grant peace of mind.  I didn’t know the kind of bird making the tweet.  But thanks be to God, I know the ONE who gives it a song.  Who gives the lion its roar, the mule it’s bray and the sea its waves.

In our mad rush to reduce ourselves to an identity with animals, let us remember:  as human beings made in God’s Image, he alone provides our identity, our purpose and our lifestyle.  Raise your eyes up and above folks, not across or down!

 

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

Preaching – to be clearly Christ-inspired

Lyndon Johnson mastered the politician’s art of speaking from both sides of his mouth when talking with people of polar-opposite agendas.  He developed that duplicity at least from his earliest legislative days.  He proved his skill as Senate Majority Leader during Civil Rights discussions in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

He assured northern liberals that significant success would be made for black rights.  He then reverted to his southern drawl when assuring southern conservatives that any bill passed would have a minimum impact on “life back home.”  Smithsonian Magazine, June 2002, p. 100-101

LBJ could never be a Bible preacher, to whom absolutes are as bedrock as compromise to a politician.  We repeat what Jesus said as absolute truth, however listeners respond; we don’t twist into pretzel-shapes facts that leave everyone agreeing with something said.  We head in a straight line between the Bible and the listener, so they clearly understand what Jesus clearly said; we don’t evade and temporize, overlook or mis-direct statements so no one knows what is really being said.

Thank God he sent Jesus as a preacher, not a politician.  Thank God he warned all his preachers to remain true to HIS word, not to the latest issue to be ridden or dismounted.  And thank God he warned preachers to “tell it like it is”, not how listeners would “like it to be.”  No preacher ever wants to give an account to God why he failed to be true to Jesus.  For no explanation or justification will ever exempt him from denunciation.

 

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)

Faith – in Christ always remains active and useful, Part I

This blog originated in the obituary of a California multi-millionaire.  He had a successful career as a famous photographer of musical album covers.  During his first year in that career he made money.  By the end of the second year he had accumulated wealth and celebrity status.

In turn he invested in Beverly Hills homes, Martha’s Vineyard and Ojai properties, farmland in Spain and art in Florence, Italy.  In Florence he discovered Italian motorcycles he never knew existed.  Seeing them became a passion to own them; which became a passion to purchase them.  Which became three or four.  Then more; ten different kinds, then 20, then 30.  Then…. San Diego U-t, 2/2/17

Spiritual point.  Lots of people, lots!, have no idea WHO Jesus is.  Like old Cornelius, they may have heard about him or known someone belonging to him Acts10:36, 37.  Since nothing compares with personal experience in evaluating things and people, seeing Jesus as the Gospels reveal him shocks, enlivens and delights seekers of God.  Which leads to wanting to know more about Jesus, which leads to Bible study and prayer and worship experiences.     – 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)

Leadership – Christ-like gets the best out of followers

Lord Loudoun’s effort to get men from the colonies to build an army against Louisburg and other battles failed badly in 1757.   The colonial governors refused to raise the necessary quotas.  As 1758 began, Massachusetts led the opposition.

Little wonder:  Loudoun’s aristocratic arrogance coupled with his equally arrogant, unilateral decisions offended all the governors.  They finally determined among themselves what they would contribute to Loudoun’s demands.  The infuriated Lord summoned the governors of New England, New York and New Jersey to Hartford, February 20, 1758.  He criticized them for their impertinence and harangued them to comply with his goals.

When the Massachusetts governor protested that his colony wouldn’t tolerate the Lord’s dictation, Loudoun forgot himself and his position, lost his patience, rose and stomped out.  He thought this show of temper would get their attention and change their mind.

It did neither.

Then, March 10, 1758, the Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Pownall, received two letters from Secretary of State William Pitt in London.  The first one said that Loudoun had been relieved of his position as Commander-in-Chief.  The second urged Pownall and all other colonial governors to use their personal influence to raise as many men as each colony could provide.  The key to the correspondence was the new strategy England used.  The colonies were to be considered more equal to their British counterparts, with soldiers under their own colonial officers.  The letter also informed the colonials that the Crown would buy the needed military equipment and supplies, in addition to reimbursing them for “other expenses.”

Wholesale changes occurred in the colonies.  Because they would receive more equal authority in combat; because the Crown would pay more of the expenses; because they were considered more like equals with Great Britain against France, Massachusetts voluntarily agreed to enlist 7,000 men for Abercrombie where it wouldn’t agree to enlist 2,128 men for Commander-in-Chief Loudoun.  War That Made America, pp. 119-122

The British leaders realized the need of concessions to the colonies in 1758.  Only 12 years later they had resumed Lord Loudoun’s authoritarianism.  They could have learned from Pitt’s conciliation in 1758 to placate America.  Instead they chose war and lost America.

First spiritual principle.  Concessions are often necessary where humans interact with each other.  Even where some lead and others follow.  Wise Christian leaders know when to offer them.  Second spiritual principle.  It never applies when humans interact with God.  In every situation, God rules; we obey.  God demands; we comply.  God determines; we trust.  Third spiritual principle.  That being true, Jesus nevertheless proved the greatest leader ever by seeing himself as the Great Shepherd, not the Great Sheepherder.  Leading by example, not force.  By going ahead, not following.  By caring for his sheep, not victimizing them.  Jesus could get more out of a person in his approach than 10,000 with their own.

 

 

Only those resistant to his Grace consider him Unfair.  Every person accepting him, his rule, his demands, his authority, experiences Love, Joy, Peace, Righteousness.  Indeed, they will do anything he wants because they know he always cares, always provides, always forgives.  He’s our Friend, even though “he is the King.”  He’s our Brother, even though he’s God’s One and Only Son.  “Whatever you want, Lord, say the word.  We’re ready to serve.”

 

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)

Potential – not seeing it

In the 1830’s, when Chicago had no more residents than New Salem, village officials needed financial help to develop their infrastructure.  Since at the time Shawneetown had deep financial pockets in Illinois, men from the infant Lake Michigan town traveled the length of the state to apply for a $10,000 loan.  Shawneetown bank leaders retired to consider the application.  Tradition says they turned down the request based on the distance between the northern village and the southeastern powerhouse.  Legends & Lore of Southern Illinois, p. 154

Obviously, Shawneetown leaders thought too little of Chicago by thinking too much of themselves.  Shawneetown is now a tourist destination while Chicago remains a world-class business, culture and tourist destination.  The city and its far-flung suburbs also have the attention of Ignite, a Church planting organization of the Christian churches.  Each year sees the beginning of new churches designed to reach unsaved people in Chicagoland.

Much evangelism needs to be done, since Chicago remains the murder capital of the country.  In 2016, 762 people died by homicide in the city itself.  Chicago, the poster child of everything that’s wrong with the welfare system, needs Christ’s grace. Ignite deserves more financial support than ever to keep Chicago from fulfilling the low expectations of Shawneetown bankers.  Not to develop infrastructure, understand, but to keep Chicago from going farther and farther from the Love of God through Jesus Christ into deeper depravity that will bring God’s judgment if not reversed.

 

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

New 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)