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Friday, December 31, 2010

God gives us the Spirit

 
 

           Most who receive this article believe in the Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who comprises the one God. The Three are mentioned together in several verses in the Bible, e.g. John 15:26. We teach and talk much about the Father and the Son, but it seems the Holy Spirit is shoved back into a corner and covered-up with a blanket; and at times it seems we are embarrassed to even mention the Holy Spirit in connection with the Christian's work and salvation.

            I'm not sure why such an attitude exists. The Bible plainly teaches that when we are baptize into Christ for the remission of sins we receive a "gift," (Acts 2:38), and that gift is the Holy Spirit whom God gives to all who obey Him (Acts 5:32).  It is the Spirit that dwells in us (Romans 8:9); it is the Spirit that strengthens us in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16); it is the Spirit that makes intercession for us in our prayers (Romans 8:26); and it is the same Spirit by which we are sealed as a guarantee of our eternal inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2Corinthians 1:22).

            I'm not going to debate "how" God gives us the Spirit, or "how" the Holy Spirit works in us the way He does; I simply accept the fact that the Bible says we have a "gift;" that gift is the Holy Spirit, and believe it.

            Some hear the term "Holy Spirit" and automatically become afraid they are going to be sucked into the wild charismatic movement. Admittedly, there are a lot of abuses surrounding the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, but that is not a legitimate excuse to ignore the truth.

            Some talk and even boast about the Holy Spirit working in them, but their lives do not produce any "fruit of the Spirit."  Others can talk about the Holy Spirit in very scholarly terms, but never enjoy or experience the "fullness of the Spirit" (cf. Ephesians 5:18), which is evidenced by their lives; and still, others, for all practical purposes, simply ignore Him. All these lay side-by-side in the "valley of dry bones" (cf. Ezekiel 37:4ff), a pitiful but realistic picture of many lifeless congregations.  However, there is that rare person who doesn't talk frequently about the Spirit, yet his life is a powerful display of the Spirit's presence and activity.

            One thing that must be understood, if the Spirit is truly living and working in your life (Philippians 2:13), Jesus Christ will be magnified -- not you! (John 16:14).

            Many churches today have no life in them because they are appealing to the fleshy appetites, comfort, and entertainment of the members. Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63).  Here we see an unbreakable cohesion between the inspired Word and the Spirit. Since the Spirit is God, it is impossible for Him to be unfaithful to His own word (2Timothy 2:13). 

            If you have the Spirit of God dwelling in you (Romans 8:9), as you mature in grace and knowledge, you will begin producing the "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23). No fruit -- no Spirit. Take an honest look at your life, as well as the congregation with whom you worship -- Do you see "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? When you walk out the church doors and interact with believers and non-believers in the same sphere, can you tell a difference between the two? It seems to me that there should be a difference between the person who has the Spirit of God dwelling in him, and the person who does not! If people are being "led by the Spirit" (Romans 8:14), then their lives should be exemplifying love, joy, peace, kindness, etc.  There is much more to God and following in the footsteps of Jesus than just getting a bunch of good people together to hold a church service. Most will intellectually admit they received a "gift" from God at baptism, and this "gift" is the Holy Spirit -- but I'm not convinced we have internalized and processed this Truth in our hearts. (continued next week...)  Toby Miller

 

 

                                                                                                    (Some thoughts in this article were edited from "Forgotten God" by Francis Chan)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Vantawn Lork

On December 24, Vantawn Lork died in a motorcyle accident en route to evangelize the lost in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia.  He had turned 31 back in June and was preaching in Phnom Penh.  His two brothers, Chann and Sokchea, are gospel preachers we at Bear Valley fully support as they work in the Siem Reap area.  I only met Tawn once, but his brothers are full of life, jokesters, and mischievous until it is time to talk the gospel.  Then, they could not be more serious!  But, they and their fellow Cambodians, as well as other third-world inhabitants I have met in places like Thailand, Tanzania, Kenya, and Bangladesh, remind me of how many blessings I routinely take for granted.

Many of them do not have drinking water in their homes, but must go elsewhere to fetch it.  They eat one meal a day, and sometimes they are not that blessed.  They must travel in countries where there are many hazards, and some are thrilled just to have a bicycle.  They are susceptible to diseases that, with cheap, proper medication, are most benign, but many of them do not have access to the medicine.  They often must save for several years to earn enough money for a dowry and thereby enter into marriage.  They face fierce social, religious, familial, and sometimes physical persecution.  Their life expectancy is low.  They understand what David meant when he spoke of walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  They make very little money, and the idea of social security, retirement plans, or even property and house ownership is so foreign to them as to be unknown. 

Today, you may be having a great day or you could be having a bad day.  You may be going through the biggest trial of your life so far.  You may be facing a fearful future.  Whatever life is handing you right now, take a few minutes to reflect on the many ways God has blessed your life particularly in a material way.  When was the last time you thanked Him for running tap water, antibiotics for only a couple of dollars a bottle, clean hospitals with competent personnel, heating and cooling, real windows, doors, and walls on your house, dependable transportation, paved roads, and religious freedom?  This is not an attempt to make you feel guilty for your prosperity, only a reminder that God in His sovereignty has allowed you to have such blessings.  Be grateful, and use what He gives for His cause and His glory!     Neal Pollard

 

Sbsolution for failed New Year's Resolutions

I know lots of people make New Year's Resolutions. However, I don't! It's
not that I think they are a not good thing for people to do, I understand
that it is really helpful to some people. Yet to other people it is a source
of pressure and sometimes depression when they fail to keep them.

I saw a Newspaper cartoon this week that showed someone setting up a booth
to give absolution for failed New Year's Resolutions of the past year.
Cartoons many times are a commentary on our society, so what does that say
about us? It says that most of us have high ideals and set great goals, but
we are not the best at carrying them out.

I believe that part of the problem of making and keeping goals may be
personal motivation. After all, what makes this goal or resolution important
to you? Why would you want to keep or accomplish whatever you decided on as
a resolution? What is the most important thing in your life and why would
you want to add to or improve that thing?

For me, setting goals (or making resolutions) is a continual thing. The
level of importance of some things changes as our life changes, which is why
I never stop setting new goals. When you stop setting goals you begin "just
sitting!" That's why some folks stop being involved with church or other
people. They have come to a point in their lives where they are no longer
challenged by new goals; they are just sitting, waiting for life to be over.

Let me share what I think is the most important resolution you can make (if
you make one). It is to know Christ and his power in your life. The apostle
Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 2:2 "For I resolved to know nothing
while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."

Life has a way of getting so mangled up by the world that sometimes it's
just difficult for us to focus, to remember our goals or our resolutions. If
we will set a goal of Christ being the most important person in our lives;
the focus of our lives changes. Christ begins to over shadow everything else
in our lives and our relationships.

There is an old hymn from the 1800's that has these words: "I am resolved no
longer to linger, charmed by the world's delight. Things that are higher,
things that are nobler, these have allured my sight. I will hasten to him,
hasten so glad and free, Jesus, Greatest, Highest, I will come to thee."
(Palmer Hartsough, 1896).

What are you resolved to do this coming year and beyond?

Russ Lawson

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Market Street in San Francisco

 
For our lesson under consideration today I'm going to editorialize on a subject that we don't really like to talk about. No, it's not taxes. It's that other "sure thing" in life - death. It's not a popular topic simply because it's an unpleasant event and no one in their right mind wants to die. Therefore. it's a subject that gets avoided most of the time, but several things of late have caused me to think about this culminating event of our lives and so for today, we'll spend a few minutes looking at this phenomenon called death.

There are several things about death that spark my editorial thoughts. One is that whether it's sudden or prolonged, it's still an unpleasant happening, isn't it? But, it's something that we have to face in some form or fashion and to understand as a fact of life.

Recently in the news was the tragedy down in the San Diego area where four motorcyclists were hit by an automobile and killed. Having, for many years, ridden motorcycles for work and pleasure, this event struck a little closer to home than other sudden deaths, if you know what I mean. One minute they're riding along enjoying the moment and suddenly their lives are snuffed out like a candle. We can't pray for their safety because it's too late for that. At this point we can hope and pray that they had made the proper preparations in their lives that their souls now rest in paradise.

In another example, I was watching a film taken in1906 of Market Street in San Francisco. It was interesting to see this early effort at film making, especially to see the old vehicles (horses and wagons and first automobiles) and the dress of the people. It was a crowded scene with thousands of people going about their daily lives. Sort of a microcosm of time seen in this brief little film. Why this film fits our topic here today is, it was taken one week prior to the famous earthquake and subsequent fire that destroyed the city and wherein thousands of people perished. I thought as I watched the film, they were going about their routine daily business and didn't realize that they only had a few days left to live.

One more little example showing the sometimes suddenness of death is something I happened to read a few weeks ago. It's the headline of the Tombstone (Arizona) Epitaph's (town newspaper) first edition following the famous "Gunfight at the OK Corral." It simply read: "THREE MEN HURLED INTO ETERNITY IN THE DURATION OF A MOMENT." Alive one minute, dead the next and residing in a condition that never ends and there is no possible way of changing it.

How many examples could be cited as representative of sudden death? Way more than we have time and space to mention here. Just think about the wars our country's citizens have died fighting in. Over 620,000 in the Civil War alone. And war just emphasizes how sudden and terrible death can come. Plus, emphasizes how sad an occasion it is.

You know, as sad as sudden death is, the one scenario of death that always touched me was, what I call, the "lonely death." I saw and investigated this type of death many times while working as a Homicide Detective. It was always sad to me when I had to respond to a location where someone had been found dead after several days of not being seen.

A particular location that stands out in my mind is some apartments that are no longer in existence, but were well-visited by our police department. We'd find someone who lived alone, in a small one-room apartment with very few amenities and no evidence of family or friends present. Here was a person who died alone without anyone to seemingly care about them. I didn't know them, but that didn't matter, I was still saddened by their death and the manner in which it arrived.

As briefly mentioned earlier, after the onset of death, after the spirit has left the mortal body, there's nothing that can be changed to effect the life hereafter. The soul's eternal resting place is fixed. I guess what strikes me as being so sad on many occasions of death is that, I have every reason to believe that the deceased did not make any preparations in life to meet God after life. Yes, physical death is sad enough, but eternal death is beyond my comprehension of sadness.

Let's go back to the Bible verse cited at the onset of this lesson. The one from Deut. 32:29. Take a few moments and read this chapter leading up to this verse and look at what God is saying here. We'll do this by defining some of the words of the verse. "They" are the Israelites, the people who God had saved from captivity in Egypt by great and wondrous things and who had followed Him for awhile.

That "they" would be "wise" and "understand" the condition they had gotten themselves into by going away from God and His precepts. That's what the word "this"in the verse means, IE: their current situation as being sinners. As being unsaved. That they would "consider their latter end!" And this is what we'll close our thoughts today with, the understanding of what's meant by the "latter end."

The Hebrew word used here that's translated "latter" in English means: "the last or the end, hence the future." It makes reference to time as "at the end." Interestingly enough, one of it's other meanings is "reward." I see it as interesting because God tells us in His Word that He bestows two "rewards." A "reward for the righteous" seen in Psalm 58:11 and, just a few verses further on from our starting scriptural reference, in Deut. 32:41 we see the other reward: "I will render vengeance to mine enemies and will reward them that hate me."

This is what we should be "wise" about and "understand." What God has done for our salvation from captivity. The captivity of sin. That the only time that we have as mortals to prepare our souls for the "latter end" is while we're still alive. While the "breath of the Almighty" is still within us. (Job 33:4) As shown us by the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:20-31), there is no way of changing our final destination once death has occurred.

Death can come suddenly and without warning. But really, it can't come "unexpectedly" because we know it's coming. We just don't know when. Wouldn't you say that it's better to "expect" it to come at any time? If you "think" it might be "wise" for you to get prepared, as far as God is concerned, keep in mind these words of David in Psalm 146:4...

                        "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth;

                                in that very day his thoughts perish."

Ron Covey

 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Singing an invitation song

While delivering and having the invitation is an expedient rather than obedience to a specific command, it seems a very wise and judicial custom.  If someone has heard the gospel preached and the plan of salvation delivered, they may never be more inclined to obey than in the moments directly following the invitation delivered.  Whether we are talking about members responding to ask for prayers or confessing sin struggles or a lost sinner expressing a desire to be baptized, the invitation is a vital moment of decision for several at any given service.  Perhaps because it is such a "fixture" in our services, occurring at the end of each lesson, it can make us, individually and as a whole congregation, lax about how we should behave leading up to and during the invitation and the "invitation song."  Consider some suggested advice for "invitation etiquette."
  • Select an invitation song that convicts, persuades, and admonishes.  Some songs do this much better than others, as evidenced by indexers efforts to list certain songs as "invitation songs."
  • Avoid the pregnant pause.  The song leader who is ready to begin leading the song as soon as the preacher stops speaking helps prevents that dramatic time lapse that may be enough to break one's train of thought who is mentally wrestling with the decision to respond.
  • Avoid the rack rattle.  As listeners who are thoughtful of one another (including those deliberating over whether or not to respond), let us be careful not to drown out one's thoughts by pulling out our songbooks as we anticipate the preacher "winding down" his sermon.  Most of us know most of the songs well enough that we probably don't need the songbook for the first line anyway.  It is a courtesy to the preacher and potential responders when we refrain from the racket of pulling out the songbook as the invitation is offered.  If you must get the songbook ready while the preaching is still going, go the extra mile to remove it without making any noise!
  • Moving lips should be singing.  The invitation or the song that follows it is not the most ideal to handle logistics, further worship planning, and similar discussions.  Who knows but that we may be carrying on some conversation in such a way as completely distracts one who might have been readying to respond?  If a dialogue with someone is necessary, why not discreetly excuse yourself and the other person to some place outside the auditorium, if possible?
  • Be prayerful.  How powerful would it be if all present not intending or needing to respond were in prayer for anyone who might be wrestling with that decision?  Satan is looking for any obstacle or scheme (cf. 2 Co. 2:11) that will keep someone away from Jesus.  By silently praying for these ones as we sing, who knows what impact will be made in this matter?
Perhaps there are other "etiquette tips" that could be added.  Certainly, the preacher should give thought and preparation to that final part of his sermon, emphasizing urgency and eternity.  He should not make false promises of concluding a sermon without "keeping his word."  With that, let the rest of us consider how we can partner together with him to make each invitation as impacting and effective as possible.  ---  Neal Pollard

 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Deut. 32:29

                                                                                            Deut. 32:29

For our lesson under consideration today I'm going to editorialize on a subject that we don't really like to talk about. No, it's not taxes. It's that other "sure thing" in life - death. It's not a popular topic simply because it's an unpleasant event and no one in their right mind wants to die. Therefore. it's a subject that gets avoided most of the time, but several things of late have caused me to think about this culminating event of our lives and so for today, we'll spend a few minutes looking at this phenomenon called death.

There are several things about death that spark my editorial thoughts. One is that whether it's sudden or prolonged, it's still an unpleasant happening, isn't it? But, it's something that we have to face in some form or fashion and to understand as a fact of life.

Recently in the news was the tragedy down in the San Diego area where four motorcyclists were hit by an automobile and killed. Having, for many years, ridden motorcycles for work and pleasure, this event struck a little closer to home than other sudden deaths, if you know what I mean. One minute they're riding along enjoying the moment and suddenly their lives are snuffed out like a candle. We can't pray for their safety because it's too late for that. At this point we can hope and pray that they had made the proper preparations in their lives that their souls now rest in paradise.

In another example, I was watching a film taken in1906 of Market Street in San Francisco. It was interesting to see this early effort at film making, especially to see the old vehicles (horses and wagons and first automobiles) and the dress of the people. It was a crowded scene with thousands of people going about their daily lives. Sort of a microcosm of time seen in this brief little film. Why this film fits our topic here today is, it was taken one week prior to the famous earthquake and subsequent fire that destroyed the city and wherein thousands of people perished. I thought as I watched the film, they were going about their routine daily business and didn't realize that they only had a few days left to live.

One more little example showing the sometimes suddenness of death is something I happened to read a few weeks ago. It's the headline of the Tombstone (Arizona) Epitaph's (town newspaper) first edition following the famous "Gunfight at the OK Corral." It simply read: "THREE MEN HURLED INTO ETERNITY IN THE DURATION OF A MOMENT." Alive one minute, dead the next and residing in a condition that never ends and there is no possible way of changing it.

How many examples could be cited as representative of sudden death? Way more than we have time and space to mention here. Just think about the wars our country's citizens have died fighting in. Over 620,000 in the Civil War alone. And war just emphasizes how sudden and terrible death can come. Plus, emphasizes how sad an occasion it is.

You know, as sad as sudden death is, the one scenario of death that always touched me was, what I call, the "lonely death." I saw and investigated this type of death many times while working as a Homicide Detective. It was always sad to me when I had to respond to a location where someone had been found dead after several days of not being seen.

A particular location that stands out in my mind is some apartments that are no longer in existence, but were well-visited by our police department. We'd find someone who lived alone, in a small one-room apartment with very few amenities and no evidence of family or friends present. Here was a person who died alone without anyone to seemingly care about them. I didn't know them, but that didn't matter, I was still saddened by their death and the manner in which it arrived.

As briefly mentioned earlier, after the onset of death, after the spirit has left the mortal body, there's nothing that can be changed to effect the life hereafter. The soul's eternal resting place is fixed. I guess what strikes me as being so sad on many occasions of death is that, I have every reason to believe that the deceased did not make any preparations in life to meet God after life. Yes, physical death is sad enough, but eternal death is beyond my comprehension of sadness.

Let's go back to the Bible verse cited at the onset of this lesson. The one from Deut. 32:29. Take a few moments and read this chapter leading up to this verse and look at what God is saying here. We'll do this by defining some of the words of the verse. "They" are the Israelites, the people who God had saved from captivity in Egypt by great and wondrous things and who had followed Him for awhile.

That "they" would be "wise" and "understand" the condition they had gotten themselves into by going away from God and His precepts. That's what the word "this"in the verse means, IE: their current situation as being sinners. As being unsaved. That they would "consider their latter end!" And this is what we'll close our thoughts today with, the understanding of what's meant by the "latter end."

The Hebrew word used here that's translated "latter" in English means: "the last or the end, hence the future." It makes reference to time as "at the end." Interestingly enough, one of it's other meanings is "reward." I see it as interesting because God tells us in His Word that He bestows two "rewards." A "reward for the righteous" seen in Psalm 58:11 and, just a few verses further on from our starting scriptural reference, in Deut. 32:41 we see the other reward: "I will render vengeance to mine enemies and will reward them that hate me."

This is what we should be "wise" about and "understand." What God has done for our salvation from captivity. The captivity of sin. That the only time that we have as mortals to prepare our souls for the "latter end" is while we're still alive. While the "breath of the Almighty" is still within us. (Job 33:4) As shown us by the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:20-31), there is no way of changing our final destination once death has occurred.

Death can come suddenly and without warning. But really, it can't come "unexpectedly" because we know it's coming. We just don't know when. Wouldn't you say that it's better to "expect" it to come at any time? If you "think" it might be "wise" for you to get prepared, as far as God is concerned, keep in mind these words of David in Psalm 146:4...

                        "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth;

                                in that very day his thoughts perish."

Ron Covey

 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Can cows predict the weather?

Someone asked me about all of the "predictions" that people are beginning to
make, so here are some thoughts on the matter. You see, in the midst of all
of the holiday preparation and celebration we often forget one of the annual
happenings at this time of the year. As we near the beginning of a new year
we begin to see in the grocery store check out lanes, papers which boldly
proclaim someone's predictions for the coming year. I never buy these
papers, but do enjoy reading the covers and often laugh at what is predicted
for the coming year. I view these predictions like the farmer I read about.

It seems that a farmer was describing his lifestyle to a touring group of
city folks who were visiting his farm. "One of the benefits of this
profession," he explained, "is that we have built-in weather predictors."
"What do you mean by that?" asked one inquisitive visitor. "Well when the
cows are standing," the farmer explained, "it means no rain is likely for
the next twenty-four hours. When they're lying down, it means it's going to
rain."

On our bus trip, "another visitor said, "I noticed that half your herd were
standing and the other half were lying down. What does this mean?" The
farmer smiled and answered, "That means half of them are wrong."

Today, people feel free to make predictions or prophecies about almost
anything. Most don't claim that they are guided by God, but a few do. Some
predict coming events of a religious nature or a judgment from God. We need
to understand that without God's help there is no real or trustworthy way to
predict what is going to happen in the future. In fact God gives us a way to
tell whether those who predict the future are speaking the truth or not. In
Deuteronomy 28:18-22, God gives some instructions regarding prophets and how
to tell if they are real. Notice what God says:

"I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I
will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I
command him. I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the
messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf. But any prophet who falsely
claims to speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must
die. But you may wonder, how will we know whether or not a prophecy is from
the LORD? If the prophet speaks in the LORD's name but his prediction does
not happen or come true, you will know that the LORD did not give that
message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be
feared." (NLT)

God makes it simple for us doesn't he? If someone claims to bring a prophecy
from God and it doesn't happen, then they are not from God and we shouldn't
listen to anything they have to say. I guess they should be thankful they
are not living under the Old Testament law as it says they also were to be
put to death.

So as you see the predictions (prophecies) begin to roll out in the next few
weeks, think about how accurate they have been in the past. That will give
you an idea of whether or not to pay any heed to them or not. After all,
even half of the cows are right sometimes!

Russ Lawson

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wife plans to divorce her husband as soon as she can find a way to do so without making him happy

A Big Commitment

Dan Erickson reported in an online sermon that Arnold Schwarzenegger said, "I read where one wife plans to divorce her husband as soon as she can find a way to do so without making him happy." In spite of the fact that the Bible says whoever finds a wife finds a good thing (Proverbs 18:22), millions of people find themselves under a mountain of marriage misery. Their experience mirrors what the late great Minnie Pearl once said about marriage — "Gettin' married's like taking a bath in a tub of hot water. After awhile, it ain't so hot." So it would seem for many. The fire has fizzled and the love didn't last. These past fifty years have seen America become the most divorce-prone nation on earth. Many who said "I do" really didn't, at least not "until death do us part." More like, "until debt do us part." Instead of "so long as we both shall live" the real truth for many is "until one of us is tired of it." In spite of the fact that God is on record as saying He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), large numbers of people now view divorce as being morally neutral, a liberating and life-enhancing option to be exercised if/when the marriage magic disappears. Rock star Rod Stewart, himself twice divorced, verbalized the casual attitude toward marriage he and millions of others have acted out. He said, "I think marriage vows should be changed, because they've been in existence for 600 years, when people used to live until they were only 35. So they only had to be with each other for 12 years, then they would die anyway. But now, it's a big commitment because you're going to be with someone for 50 years. It's impossible. The vows should be written like a dog's license that has to be renewed every year." (http://archivestcm.ie/irisheminer/2001/05/01/story1794.asp).

Stewart's statement reminds us that millions have simply lost their way as regards marriage and God's will for it. Men have by and large rejected what the Lord has to say about marriage and divorce. Many criticize the Bible's teaching on this subject as hard and unfair. While I would never accuse Rod Stewart of being a Bible scholar, he is right about one thing – marriage is a big commitment. Three verses from 1 Corinthians 7 remind us just how big — "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: a wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. . . .A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord" (verses 10-11, 39). The point in this article is not to deny that marriage is rough, tough work, sometimes more sour than it is sweet, more hurt than it is happiness, more give than it is receive. Anybody who says it isn't has never been married. But none of that changes the fact that a marriage must be based on commitment, not convenience, if it is to last. A good marriage is not easy but neither is it impossible. What is required is a deep-seated commitment to the will of God and one's mate.

Dan Gulley

 

First reference to Murphy's Law

Do You Know Murphy?

One of the icons of American society is Murphy. Murphy who you might ask,
well, Ed Murphy (as near as I can find out)! You may not actually know him,
but he has exerted a big influence in our society! What this particular
fictitious character is known for is his "law." I would almost bet you can
recite it from memory: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."

The first reference to Murphy's Law was in the April 1956 issue of
Scientific American in the "Amateur Scientist" column. In part the column
read: "Dr. Schaefer's observation confirms this department's sad experience
that editors as well as laboratory workers are subject to Murphy's Laws, to
wit: (1) If something can go wrong, it will. (2) When left to themselves,
things always go from bad to worse. (3) Nature always sides with the hidden
flaw."

Believe it or not, the government is actually credited with the creation of
Murphy. In Navy educational cartoons of the 1950s there was an aircraft
mechanic named Captain Ed Murphy who bungled everything he touched and of
whom they repeatedly said: "If there is any way to do it wrong, he will."

There was a revision of Murphy's First Law added shortly thereafter: "If
anything can go wrong (with a mechanical system), it will, and generally at
the moment the system becomes indispensable."

We who try (and more often than we would like, fail) to live godly lives
have adapted the saying in this way: "No good deed goes unpunished." I
believe I have said that on more than one occasion myself. It's generally
said with humor about some situation, but sometimes in the utmost sincerity.

The problem with believing Murphy's law, is that it breeds a spirit of
pessimism! It kills the spirit of one trying to do some good deed and for
one reason or another fails or is misunderstood. Many people in the time of
Jesus actually thought Jesus had tried and failed to restore God's kingdom.
They didn't understand that it was a Spiritual kingdom he had been sent to
establish. They discounted God's working and God's plan for this world.

Today, how many things have you or the church tried, which seem to have
ended in failure? It often makes us want to give up and causes people to
say, "We tried that and it didn't work". To think like that breeds pessimism
and kills the spirit of God's people. For God's People, Murphy's Law is a
lie! When we believe we have failed at something we discount God's working,
His power and His plan for us and this world!

In Isaiah 55:8-9 we read: "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says
the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just
as the Heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your
ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." Maybe it's time we forget
about Murphy and begin to realize that God really is in charge of this world
and trust him to do the right thing!

Russ Lawson

How to be saved

Are you wondering how to be saved? Are you searching for information on how to be saved? Do you want to know what God requires you to do to be saved from your sins? Learn how to be saved from sin and have heaven you home by visiting http://www.abiblecommentary.com/newtestamentchristianity today! There is also a good discussion on how to be saved at http://www.commentaryonthebible.com/howtobesaved

Bible commentary search engine

Bible commentary on http://people.tribe.net

Bible commentary listing and Bible blog posts on http://people.tribe.net/7c4e37b3-b314-4ddc-a2fb-c122df71e9e5

Bible commentary listing

A great listing for my Bible commentary material is https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/user/5353867

On line Bible commentary

My Bible commentary books are now listed on openlibrary.org, a VERY useful web site! Check out this neat web site and my profile there at this link: http://openlibrary.org/people/abible

naymz and bible commentary information

I just learned about naymz.com and found this to be another great tool to advertise the Bible commentary and Bible study information from www.abiblecommentary.com - check out my bible commentary profile at this link: http://www.naymz.com/brad_price_3364268?preview=true

Commentary on the Bible listing

Yelp.com has helped me promote the "Bible commentary" products from www.abiblecommentary.com - my "yelp listing" is here: http://abiblecommentary.yelp.com

Flickr.com Bible commentary profile

I added my "Bible commentary" profile to flickr and it was EASY! Check it out at http://www.flickr.com/people/abiblecommentary/

www.capzles.com

I just joined www.capzles.com, a very interesting web site! My "bible commentary" profile is here - http://www.capzles.com/#/abible/ - and I was able to include a link to my new "First Corinthians commentary" which is also part of Google books.

Blogs from www.livejournal.com

Are you interested in blogging? If you are looking for a "free blog" that is EASY to use, check out www.livejournal.com. You can be up in running in just minutes - here is my first "Bible commentary" blog post: http://abible.livejournal.com/

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