Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Original Ebeneezer Scrooge

It is 2am Wednesday morning.
I cannot sleep.
My eyes are tired, but I have a burden.
I have to teach on Luke 16:1-13 tonight, and I've never been happy with any interpretation of it I have heard.
Until now.
I did a simple thing.
I asked God to explain it to me.

The Parable of the Unjust Steward  (NKJV)
1 He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.
2 So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’
3 “Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’
5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.
9 “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home. 10 He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?
13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

If you are familiar with it, consider this.

Ebeneezer Scrooge was a wealthy sinner.
He was found lacking by God.
It was Jacob Morley who informed Scrooge of this in an interesting way.
Jacob was just the messenger, but the message was "Repent!".
Who else ultimately calls us to repentance but God?

Spoiler alert! There are plot reveals ahead!

What has Scrooge been doing wrong?
He's been squandering the resources God gave him to do good with by consuming them himself, even if that is only by hoarding them.
He has not been living life large, and using God's resources entrusted to him to help others.

The Spirits of Christmas bring him to conviction and a fear for his life and eternal soul.

In repentance, he let's go of all the ill will he has been harboring, the hurts he has been cherishing and clinging to.
He forgives his nephew of not heeding his advice.
He rewards the Cratchit family financially. If you think of it, he had harbored ill will towards Bob for misusing him, stealing from him by not working the holiday (if not other claims on his loyalty). He now forgives him, and more.
He is generous to his charwoman, someone he imagines (in his dreams, only?) would steal from him.

So, what has he done after being called to account by his Master?

5 “So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred [b]measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred [c]measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

I tell you, the "Unjust Steward" is commended by his master for being shrewd. That is another word for "wise".
He used the resources of His master to resolve issues with his debtors, those who owed him.
It's true, he did it with his master's resources, but our Master fully intends for that!

The Master had "called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’"

How many master's give a shot across the bow like that when they suspect theft?

My Master does. He did. and He gave Scrooge that warning.

He gives all of us that warning.

Laying in bed, thinking about this, I realized that in the morning, I have some calls to make.
There are some debts I have not forgiven. And they are, and have been, chains around my neck.
I forged these chains. "I wear the chain I forged in life".

Well, no longer.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving

Many years ago, in a foreign land, in the service of my country, I was alone and dying.
(It was not combat related.)
I cried out in my pain, "If there is a God out there, now is a fine time to introduce Yourself. Heal me, and I will find You and serve You."
He did. Instantly.
So I did. Over a longer period of time.
This psalm reminds me of when I kept my vow.
I was finally convinced that Jesus was Who He said He was.
I turned my life over to Him. Made Him boss.
"I took up the cup of salvation."
And I am thankful for it.

Psalm 116 New King James Version (NKJV)
Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death

1 I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.

2 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.

3 The pains of death surrounded me,
And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me;
I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I implore You, deliver my soul!”

5 Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Yes, our God is merciful.

6 The Lord preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.

7 Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

8 For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.

9 I will walk before the Lord
In the land of the living.

10 I believed, therefore I spoke,
“I am greatly afflicted.”

11 I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?

13 I will take up the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of the Lord.

14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His saints.

16 O Lord, truly I am Your servant;
I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant;
You have loosed my bonds.

17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of the Lord.

18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
Now in the presence of all His people,

19 In the courts of the Lord’s house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving.

So you're some white people.
You've recently arrived on the shores of this land, not where you thought you would..You're not gonna make it without some help.
Over half of you have died already.
You pray to your God for help.
A Native American walks out of the woods and asks in clear King's English:
"Can I help?", and proceeds to show you how to farm, fish, hunt, survive and serves as an ambassador to the native people.

Yea, there's a God, and He had a hand in founding this country.
Focus on the Family did a radio drama on it:
Share it with your kids.

Squanto Story pt 1

Squanto Story pt 2

Or if you want to read about him instead.

Happy Thanksgiving.

If you read about Bradford below, which I of course recommend, Understand that they almost died because of a socialist philosophy. Bradford put an end to that, and they all prospered.

(I am truly thankful today that I could rip this off from )

William Bradford and the First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving by Brownscombe
Copyright 2001 by Pilgrim Hall Museum
As was the custom in England, the Pilgrims celebrated their harvest with a festival. The 50 remaining colonists and roughly 90 Wampanoag tribesmen attended the "First Thanksgiving."
The major similarity between the first Jamestown settlers and the first Plymouth settlers was great human suffering.
November was too late to plant crops. Many settlers died of scurvy and malnutrition during that horrible first winter. Of the 102 original Mayflower passengers, only 44 survived. Again like in Jamestown, the kindness of the local Native Americans saved them from a frosty death.
The Pilgrims' remarkable courage was displayed the following spring. When the Mayflower returned to Europe, not a single Pilgrim deserted Plymouth.

Helping Hands

Massasoit's treaty with the Pilgrams
Massasoit, chief of the Wampanoag tribe, signed a treaty with the Pilgrams in 1621, that was never broken. As a result, the two groups enjoyed a peaceful coexistence.
By early 1621, the Pilgrims had built crude huts and a common house on the shores of Plymouth Bay. Soon neighboring Indians began to build relations with the Pilgrims. SQUANTO, a local Indian who had been kidnapped and taken to England nearly a decade before, served as an interpreter with the local tribes. Squanto taught the Pilgrims to fertilize the soil with dried fish remains to produce a stellar corn crop.
MASSASOIT, the chief of the nearby Wampanoags, signed a treaty of alliance with the Pilgrims in the summer. In exchange for assistance with defense against the feared Narragansett tribe, Massasoit supplemented the food supply of the Pilgrims for the first few years.

Governor Bradford

The modern conception of a Pilgrim might include a man in a black hat with a buckle, but not all of the original settlers of Plymouth County fit this description.
Successful colonies require successful leadership. The man to step forward in Plymouth colony was WILLIAM BRADFORD. After the first governor elected under the Mayflower Compact perished from the harsh winter, Bradford was elected governor for the next thirty years. In May of 1621, he performed the colony's first marriage ceremony.
Under Bradford's guidance, Plymouth suffered less hardship than their English compatriots in Virginia. Relations with the local natives remained relatively smooth in Plymouth and the food supply grew with each passing year.
By autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims had much for which to be thankful. After the harvest, Massasoit and about ninety other Indians joined the Pilgrims for the great English tradition of HARVEST FESTIVAL. The participants celebrated for several days, dining on venison, goose, duck, turkey, fish, and of course, cornbread, the result of a bountiful corn harvest. This tradition was repeated at harvest time in the following years.
It was President Lincoln who declared Thanksgiving a national celebration in 1863. The Plymouth Pilgrims simply celebrated survival, as well as the hopes of good fortune in the years that lay ahead.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Chic-Fil-A and the Salvation Army

I don't do The Drift radio show anymore since I wised up and shut the paper down.
I had advertisers who regretted that (as well as many readers) because they saw customers through their advertising with us.
But I could not convince enough businesses that advertising to their market through the community newspaper would be more beneficial than an internet presence.
So my experiment in marketing failed.
The paper paid for the air time through a trade I made with the radio station.

However, Pastor Rick Deitering, who I had on the show numerous times, asked me to sit in on his show, Moment of Clarity, for some time before The Drift went off air.
Then he made me a co-host.

Today, he took a day off and I hosted for him, which I hadn't done in a few months.
It was fun.
We talked about Chick-Fil-A cutting ties with the Salvation Army, and why.
You can listen here: A Moment of Clarity
That's me on the left.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Impeach 45!

Let me get this straight.

Schiff, Pelosi, et al (the Democratic National Committee) want to impeach President Trump because they think he was using the resources of the US Government to damage a political rival.

But their trying to impeach President Trump (over anything they want to) because he is a political rival, using the full resources of the US Government is OK?

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Seven Other Spirits

There are many people who deny the existence of spiritual forces in the land.
There are also those that will grant the existence of God (the Holy Spirit) and angels as his agents.
It seems there are few who will grant the existence of demonic forces.
Why must one look like a religious nut when, upon witnessing some of the worst behavior that humans exhibit, we one posit that there is more than "madness" afoot.

Last week, a kid went into a school on his 16th birthday and shot up his classmates, then turned the gun on himself.

And yesterday an incident occurred in San Diego. "Domestic Violence, Murder-Suicide".

I can contemplate suicide, and I have. But never had it occurred to me to take innocents with me.

Can you not imagine a demonic force urging the student, or the father, to "kill them all, go ahead, do it!" and then in satanic humor point out the result and then say "Look what you've done! Kill yourself!" and laugh at the result?

And the benefit for the satanic? The fuel for the anti-gun forces to disarm a free people, a righteous people, that they might not defend themselves against further predations by demonically driven politicians who would subjugate in an effort to remove God's influence on the culture.

Matthew 12:45 New King James Version (NKJV)
45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

What other explanation for the madness we witness today?