Bad year for Jehovah’s Witnesses

2014 is a bad year for Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Why?  It is the 100 year anniversary of their failed 1914 prophecy, just one of many that the organization has made in their approximate 150 year history.

In one of my Youtube videos, I go into some detail on this and encourage my readers to view it.

When you view the video, you will see a poster I have of the May 15, 1984 Watchtower which announced “1914: The Generation that will not pass away.”

Also on that poster, you will see a group of elderly JW’s that were alive when this particular Watchtower came out.  Today, every single one of those JW’s that the organization claimed “would not pass away” are dead.  Every single one.  Not one left over.

I asked on my video two questions:  “As a Jehovah Witness, how do you handle that?  How do you handle yet another false prophecy that your organization has made?”

These are great questions that I feel bear repeating.   And we must remember that 1914 was a pivotal years for JW’s with their claim that the “last days” began at that point.

One website that I promote is “” .  I urge my readers to visit this informative site to become acquainted with many of the problems with JW doctrine.  Here is a paragraph from the site concerning the many different prophecies made by the organization:

“A person should be realistic about the ability of the Watchtower Society to interpret prophecy. To date there has been a proven time prophecy failure rate of 100%. As shown in the Dates section, the Watchtower used Bible prophecy to explain that the following dates were of significance; 1780, 1799, 1829, 1844, 1846, 1872, 1874, 1875, 1878, 1880, 1881, 1891, 1906, 1910, 1915, 1920, 1921 and 1925. Every single one of these interpretations is now admitted as wrong. Even 1914 and 1918 were not fulfilled as expected and subsequently reinterpreted after the event. This does not inspire confidence that Holy Spirit guides Watchtower prophetic interpretation, or that current understanding of 1914 is correct.”

If you are a JW, you will no doubt appeal to your organizations argument of “new light,” the doctrine taken from Proverbs 4:18 that states “the path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” (NIV)

Outside of the problems with relying on a single verse from the book of Proverbs to create a doctrine around, it is a vast stretch to use this particular verse to justify the many false prophecies made by the WTBTS.  This verse does not support, in any fashion, this application as the WT organization has set forth.  As any reasonable and unbiased person can see, the organization has lifted this verse out of its context and used it as a rescuing device.

The entire 1914 generation is now, for all intents and purposes, dead.  It is possible, I suppose, for someone that was born in 1914 to be alive today, making them 100 years old this year, but this is missing the point.  The WT said that the 1914 generation would “not pass away,” meaning just that:  none of that generation would die.  It makes no difference if a few men and women from that generation may still be alive today because all of them, according to the Society, would be alive today if they were truly prophets of the Most High God.

There is another saving mechanism that the WT leans upon to deflect criticism from their dismal record of prophecy predictions: they actually say that they never claimed to be prophets in the first place.  This is incredible because of the fact that have claimed to be God’s prophetic voice.  Here is an excellent link which proves this.

I am often amazed at how anyone can be a JW when the Internet is overflowing with information that proves that this organization fits the description of a false prophet.  The evidence supporting this is only a few mouse clicks away.

Perhaps this 100 year anniversary will spur at least some more noble-minded JW’s to take a closer look at their organizations false claims concerning this important date.  And as you perform your due diligence, the most important decision you can then make is to put as much distance between yourself and this lying, deceiving organization as possible.


The new poster boy for misogynists

The headline reads, “Seven dead in drive by shooting in UC Santa Barbara.”

Virgin Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old college student who was unable to satisfy his selfish sexual desires, blamed the fact that he was a virgin on sorority women who scorned him.  He would have his revenge by murdering as many as possible.

Like an onion, this horrific story has multiple layers.  First, my condolences go out to all those parents and other family members who lost their loved ones in this senseless rampage, as well as to all those wounded in the incident.

The killer posted a Youtube video before he went on his killing spree.  Though the video was removed, you can view it here.

He says in the video, “For the last eight years of my life, since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires, all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, never to me.”

The second disturbing layer in this sad tale is this young man’s perspective on life.  In our sex-saturated society, wherein the “hook-up” mentality reigns supreme, this 22-year-old virgin placed his desire to have sex as the driving force of his life.

But I thought going to college, studying hard to get that degree, and living a life of sacrifice so that you can go on to land a good job and earn enough money to raise a family, was the goal?  Shame on me for thinking so old school.  Times have certainly changed.

He goes on to say, “College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. In those years I’ve had to rot in loneliness…it’s not fair.”

In this murderer’s twisted, narcissistic world, scoring on sorority girls was the goal of his college life rather than obtaining a degree.  It was all about him and having his carnal needs met.  Evidently, he never read John F. Kennedy’s famous statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

The third disturbing onion layer revolves around the question:  When did the goal for someone going to college change from getting an education to losing your virginity?   What is more disturbing, the fact that college has now become synonymous with sexual escapades or that this is what young men attend college for?

Is this what public education has come to in the USA?

Rodger’s parents are understandably distraught and were aware of his mental issues.   As they deal with the grief of how their son could stoop to such a base crime, I can imagine their puzzlement when they read his words about what college is all about; certainly they did not pay their son’s college tuition just so that he could score on sorority women.

But what if this virgin actually went to this university believing that getting his sexual desires fulfilled was the very reason he enrolled?  That this was what college was all about, and not necessarily getting that diploma at all?  How twisted is this?

Lest we mock this and say it is too far-fetched to consider, the evidence clearly points to this truth:  the death of at least six people.  This deranged individual backed up his beliefs with action.

As the onion layer is pulled back further, what does this young man’s opinion on why the college experience exists say about our society?  About the state of higher public education?  About the ever increasing degeneracy of our moral values in this country?  Young men’s obsession with sexual conquest?

If it is true that this killer’s warped perspective on college was an authentic representation of what he believed, how many others are roaming around college campuses with the same mentality?  The same mounting frustrations?  The same desire for revenge?

The video is full of disturbing statements and shows Rodger had deep issues.  He writes that he is the “perfect guy,”  the “supreme gentleman,” and that he doesn’t understand why women weren’t attracted to him.  Might it be, young murderer, that you were throwing off such misogynistic vibes that they were understandably repelled by you?  There are few things more tragic than self-deception, and this student was a casebook study.

“On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house at UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there. All those girls I’ve desired so much…”

This student was mentally and spiritually warped, for he speaks about his simultaneous revulsion of these “spoiled, stuck-up blond sluts” and then admits that they are “[a]ll those girl’s I’ve desired so much…”  It was truly a battle for him to simultaneously feel hatred and overwhelming desire towards women.

This unspeakable tragedy is another warning bell tolling for our country.   America, as I wrote in another blog entry, is in serious trouble.  I don’t know how many clearer warning signs of impending doom that God can give us other than those He already has shown us.

Though we hope this is an isolated aberration that will never be repeated, deep down we also know that such senseless acts are all to common.

If there was ever a time for America to get on our knees and beg God’s forgiveness and mercy, it was at least forty years ago.  I fear any praying we might do as a nation will be too little and much too late.

The die is cast for our destruction.


I will give $50 to…

I will give $50 to the person who can provide me the DVD or Youtube link to a movie that I watched years ago that continues to make a profound impression on  my life.

The movie was set in Warsaw, Poland, during the years that Hitler was gaining power in Germany and continuing throughout WW2.  It revolved around a well-to-do Jewish family who lived in Warsaw and various scenes were the conversations this family had around their dinner table.  The family consisted of a husband and wife and at least two of their children, a boy and girl.

The father closely followed the rising political career of a nobody by the name of Adolph Hitler, mentioning at the dinner table this man’s frightening progress and ideology.  His wife did not share his concerns about Hitler and she was interested in table talk that was more conducive to family harmony and pleasantries.

As the years passed and this Austrian upstart gained ascendancy in Germany, the fathers concerns began to mount.  He wondered, during mealtimes, whether Jews would be a special target of this man’s anti-semitic leanings.

As usual, his wife took the opposite viewpoint and, as was her custom, silenced the reasoned opinions of her husband by telling him that his fears were unwarranted.  It was apparent who wore the pants in this family.

It became clear to this insightful father that Hitler, if he gained political power in Germany, would be a serious threat to the Jews; he began speaking of his idea that perhaps his family should move out of Poland.

His wife would have nothing to do with such talk, announcing her belief that the free world would never allow a man like Hitler to gain control of Europe.  She chastised her husband for scaring the children and shamed him into further silence.

Time past and disturbing events in Germany continued to unfold.  He began speaking again of fleeing from their home and finding sanctuary in another country, always opposed by his domineering wife.

Finally, in a last act of desperation, he announced to his family that they had one last chance to leave Warsaw, but they would have to leave that evening.  He had a friend that could smuggle them out of the city and eventually out of the country, but that night was their last opportunity.  The mother would hear nothing more of such talk…they were not going anywhere.

The next morning, this Jewish family awoke to the sounds and sights of the German army goose-steeping down the street in front of their home in Warsaw.  This good man’s fear had suddenly been realized in the German blitzkrieg against Poland.

The movie showed them being evicted out of their apartment, thrown into the newly made Jewish ghetto where families were forced to share an apartment with several other Jewish families; often, these were strangers…life had quickly turned upside down.  What soon awaited these Jews would make even this horrific ghetto existence to seem like an almost paradise in comparison to what awaited them at the death camps.

The story ended at the barb wire topped fence that separated the women from the men at Auschwitz.   Here, this Jewish mother and father met for the last time, their fingers clasping one through the fence openings.   She sobbed and begged her husband to forgive her for refusing to listen to his warnings about the murderous dictator now in control of most of Europe.

She turned away from him and he watched as she and their daughter walked into the gas chamber, the smoke and ash from the belching smokestacks raining down upon all the inmates as part of his family made their slow and painful way to their destiny underneath the cloud of Zyklon B.

He was the only way out of his entire family to survive.

This movie has haunted me ever since I saw it, but though I have searched for its title, I could never remember it or locate a copy.  It is possible that it is one of those low-budget foreign films that was made with sub-titles.

I often return to this film in my mind, for it has made a profound impact on my life.  And I ask myself, “Are we Americans living in the same delusion as this Jewish mother?  Are we refusing, like her, to heed the warning signs that are flashing all around us?  Will we, and our family members, possibly end up in a similar fate?”

I fear that we are.  Like this mother, we are refusing to listen or acknowledge that our country has entered a dangerous time unlike any other in our nations history.  Like this mother, all of us are enjoying the “good life”:  food, clothing, and entertainment  in overabundance, recipients of astonishing freedoms, spectators and users of mind-boggling technological advances and devices, etc.

This gravy train has gone on for so long that we believe it is our birthright, the way things will always be, that the glorious sun of overabundance, ease and comfort will never set on our Disneyland.

But we are refusing to listen to the warning signs that speak to us from many directions.  Certainly these voices of warning are not as loud and ubiquitous as those voices that continue to lull us to sleep in our beds of ease and comfort, but those voices are there, warning us that things cannot and will not and must not continue as they have been.

We are not listening to these warning voices in America, but are like the mother who insisted on pleasant table talk that would not “scare the children.”

I remember reading a story about the great Abraham Lincoln who was asked by someone whether or not he felt the North would prevail in the great battle of the Civil War.  He thought for a moment and then replied something to this effect:  “We have a greater population and vaster resources.  You simply have to do the math.”

In a similar fashion, we only have to “do the math” and compute that this country cannot survive in the direction we have been going in for the last fifty years.  Our moral landscape is undergoing dramatic upheaval, and soon, we will outpace the wickedness and depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah…unless we have long ago reached that sordid point.

We cannot continue to wrack up unthinkable debt that most people’s minds cannot fathom numerically.  And most importantly, we cannot mock God by living and conducting ourselves in such shameful manners that literally begs the Holy One of Israel to judge us.

What will be the sound of our custom made enemies goose-stepping down the streets of America?  When we peer through our blinds and drapes one morning in astonishment at what we see outside, what form will that take?

It will not be a pretty scene, friends.

Revival in America?

Do you believe that America will soon experience a tremendous spiritual revival, a massive outpouring of God’s Spirit that will eclipse anything that this country has ever been blessed with in the past?

Most Christians would answer “yes.”  I don’t think so, and I am in the distinct minority.

I’m listening to a sermon by David Wilkerson, well-known pastor of the “Times Square Church” in New York City who became internationally famous after the publication of his best selling book, “The Cross and the Switchblade.”  He died in an automobile accident in 2011.

His sermon was titled, “Getting ready for the end of all things” and was uploaded to Youtube on March 26, 2009.  Wilkerson believed in the doctrine of the “Latter Rain” which teaches that a tremendous revival will break out in America at any time.  In fact, as you listen to this particular sermon (see 41:42 – 43:08, for example), one is lead to believe that he felt this “latter rain” outpouring of the Holy Spirit was going to happen at any moment.

Wilkerson is not alone in this optimistic prophecy for either his church or America, but is joined by the majority of evangelical Christians in the same belief.  Over five years ago, when I had cable, I watched a “prosperity preacher” proclaiming that this year was the “year of Jubilee” where Americans would experience this “latter rain” outpouring of God’s Spirit.  Yawn.

Only God can tally up the numbers of false prophecies about the immediacy of these “revivals” that have been preached from the pulpits of America in the last several decades.  I believe most of these preachers are charlatans and are only using the glorious hope of true revivals to fleece the flock of God and get them to donate to their “ministries.”

We Americans, in general, are a happy and optimistic lot.  This great country of ours was, and for some reason, continues to be blessed by God in astonishing ways.  Though it appears that this gravy train we have all been used to feeding at for so many decades might be running dry, we will rely on our “yankee ingenuity” to once again come up with some ingenious solution to solve whatever pressing problems might await us.  Hope is in our DNA.

But I am of the unpopular opinion that does not believe we have any hope whatsoever for our decidedly optimistic viewpoints.  Do I believe that God will once again bring revival to America?  Yes, I do, but not until America collapses and we have been overrun by our enemies.

I understand that for many of my readers this will come as a shock.  You, too, for the most part, believe that America will soon experience this long-awaited and much spoken about revival.  Your pastor no doubt believes the same, as well as the majority of your Christian friends and family members.

I never want to be known as a “doomsayer,” and I have family members like everyone else that I do not want to see hurt, experience hunger, suffer violent persecutions, or meet death by torture.  Nobody wants to believe this.

But, friends, we have to face reality:  things are not looking good for America, and by turning a blind eye to all the signs of impending doom that screams at us each day does nothing to prepare us for the inevitable.  And if I truly feel this way, that the implosion of America is within my lifetime, and say nothing about it to warn others, what kind of judgment will be upon my head for not having the courage or the compassion towards others to sound the alarm?

In future posts,  I hope to explore more on this issue.

America is in trouble

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”  Proverbs 14:34

America is in big and serious trouble.

When I write trouble, I’m not necessarily talking about the financial kind, though that is included in the word as I’m using it.  What I’m specifically referring to is the nature of trouble that a nation is experiencing that will eventually destroy it.

America is decaying from the inside out and dying from within.  And the worst thing about this slow but inevitable demise of a once great and moral nation is most people do not notice the advanced state of deterioration and imminent ruin we find ourselves facing.

When I write that America is dying, and that we are in very great trouble, is because the plain facts point to this conclusion.  One place this truth can be found is on the average university or college campus.  Here, more than perhaps any other (except in the hallowed halls of Congress), we can accurately predict in which direction the course of our nation is heading.

And it does not bode well for America when we observe what is happening on our institutions of higher learning.

I have been evangelizing on university campuses for over thirty years.  Most of this time has been spent on the University of Arizona (UA), my hometown.  For the past couple of years, I have traveled to many different universities in the US.  For the past two months, I have been spending most of my time on UC Berkeley.

There is an old saying that what is happening in California will soon be happening in the rest of the United States. In general, I believe this is true, which means America is facing dark and perilous times ahead.

There is open hostility against the message of Jesus on university and college campuses today.  If anything, the message of the gospel is this:  Jesus came to save sinners from their sin and provide reconciliation between a holy God and sinful men and women.

Certainly this condensed version of Christ’s Gospel does not fully touch on all the necessary theological points, but this blog is not the place to go into detail.  For now, let’s allow my short definition to stand as representing the essence of the message of Jesus.

If Jesus is indeed the Savior of the world, this presupposes that there are people–sinners–who need His salvation.  But when you use this word “sinners,” you are also presupposing that people are guilty of something…in this case guilty of sin.  No rocket science involved here.

But this is where some real heat is felt on your average university campus, because digging a bit deeper into the word “sinner” means you need to define sinful actions and behaviors.  In today’s politically correct and inclusive society, where everyone is made to feel welcome, to point out sin in anyone is to incur the wrath of the liberal elite.  They make up the overwhelming majority on university campuses and are the ones who are teaching your children and mine.

Paul gives us a partial list of what sinners look like in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”  (NASB)

Please note how Paul lists “homosexuals” in the above list.  If there is any category of sinners in the United States that are receiving special and favored treatment, it is members of the “gay community.”  As a matter of fact, homosexuals and lesbians are now regarded as near royalty, the favored few who are looked upon with open-eyed wonderment and praise, objects of special consideration and honor.  Unbelievably, they have become heroes and role models to be singled out from the masses for special recognition for their glorious contributions to society.

Michael Sam is a perfect case in point.  Here is a mediocre football athlete who “came out” to the news media that he is gay.  Suddenly he becomes a media darling and is now going to play for the NFL, all because he unashamedly confessed to the disgusting and vile practice of male-on-male sodomy.  For this, he is now lauded as a “hero.”

Blogger Matt Walsh has an excellent piece on this which I am including here.  Please take time to read it.

If you doubt that those who disagree with all manners of perversions become singled out for retaliation, you need to google “Brendan Eich resigns” and you will understand what I mean.  We have reached an astonishing and surreal point in our American culture:  those who made this country–Christians–the greatest society in the history of civilization and have done more do bless the entire world than any other people group, are now hated and reviled by a tiny minority who would make excellent citizens of these two ancient towns:  Sodom and Gomorrah.

There are reasons for this attack on Christians and our Judeo-Christian heritage and value system which I will explore in future posts.  For now, I would recommend for anyone who is interested in understanding why this is happening to America to read Deuteronomy chapter 28.

You will be shocked.

I caught a lady stealing in Sam’s Club

“You shall not steal.”  Sixth Commandment.

Yesterday while shopping at Sam’s Club, an elderly lady in her late sixties or early seventies was leaning over a refrigerated reach-in containing small plastic containers of boysenberries, inspecting their contents.

She had an earbud in her left ear, so I assumed she was listening to music.  As I slowly approached the area, I noticed her opening up one of the containers and then another one.  She reached into the second one and began scooping up handfuls of boysenberries and cramming them into the first one.

When she was done, she closed both containers, placed the packed one into her basket and started moving away from the reach-in.  She suddenly noticed me watching her.

I was stunned by this theft and said to her, “Ma’am, that is not a good thing you just did.”  The emotionless expression on her wrinkled face did not change as she replied, “Yes, you’re right.”  She continued with her shopping, acting as if I had just wished her a good afternoon.

I walked over to her spot by the boysenberries and saw the container she had been grabbing from…it was noticeably lacking in the small fruit when compared with the other ones.  That old lady was a thief.

Bothered by this, I became even more agitated that I failed to do anything but make the one comment to her; like anything else, when you are caught off guard by something like this, you don’t always react in the way you would have if given time to think it through.

I continued shopping for about an hour and then went to the check-out line, noticing the thief standing in line at the other end of the check-out stands.  Approaching the cashier, I asked her if there was a manager on duty and explained my reason for asking.  She pointed to a lady ordering a slice of pizza and said that was one of the managers about to go on her break.

I approached the manager and explained what I had witnessed.  The thief, evidently seeing us talking, began moving across the store and I could now only see the back of her head.  She soon disappeared.

We walked to where we had last seen her but she was gone.  I briefly walked around the store for but could not locate her.  She had accomplished a magnificent disappearing act.

The manager thanked me.  I paid for my groceries and left, still bothered by what I had witnessed.  Why would an elderly lady do something like this?  Clearly, this was not the first time for her thieving ways, but at her advanced age?  Over a handful of boysenberries?  What else was this lady in the habit of stealing?

This is a sad case because it points to the depressing reality that this old lady has probably been a thief since her younger days.  It is possible that she has a long arrest record for shoplifting.  When I asked her that question, she did not look concerned or surprised at all that she was caught in the act, like it happened every day.

Nor did she immediately leave the store when I confronted her, but went on her merry way; she probably knew, from long experience, that nobody would say a word to anyone in charge, especially because she was elderly.  One would have thought that she would have left the store as soon as she was caught in the act, and the fact that she didn’t only raises additional disturbing questions in my mind.  What was the reason for her confidence?  Did she not fear getting arrested?  Did she lack shame at being caught?

Many people are under the delusion that when we get old we automatically possess wisdom; nothing could be further from the truth.  What is true is that we die as we have lived, and if we have borne the burden of living a righteous life in our youth, we will carry that righteousness into our golden years.

And the opposite is equally true:  if we have lived an ungodly and wicked life in our youth, we will live out our golden years full of ungodliness and wickedness.  Age does not transform us into saint if we have lived as the devils do in our youth.  Rather, we “reap what we sow.”

Let’s pray and hope that this elderly thief repents and ends her life walking the path of truth and righteousness.  Her eternal destiny, at this point, does not look promising.





“Hear instruction and be wise…”

“And now, my sons, listen to me:  happy are those who keep my ways.  Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.  Happy is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting inside my doors.  For he who finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord…”  Proverbs 8: 32-35

The ear that is attentive to the wisdom that comes from the Lord is wise.  In contrast, those who neglect to listen to this wise and noble counsel are building their lives on the shifting sands of a popular, vapid culture.

“Happy is the man who hears the call of wisdom and follows in her ways.  He should attend daily to her instructions, waiting expectantly for the treasures which continually flow from her mouth.”  The Interpreter’s Bible on the Book of Proverbs, pg. 833.

Unfortunately, we have lost the art of the daily commune with our Creator, that setting aside a portion of our day to sit at His feet and absorb His teachings, striving to learn His ways.  Instead, many of us, far too many, begin the day with our minds wrapped inside of a newspaper, whether it be of the paper or the digital kind.  Or worse, we turn on the television and feed at the burned out husks of depressing, worldly newscasts and the mind-numbing foolishness of ubiquitous advertising.

We do this at the cost of development to our souls and the ruin of our spiritual natures.

Few things in life come without cost; the greater the treasure, the more difficult the extraction.  The more valuable is the jewel, the more costly will be the purchase.  It is a law of the spiritual.

In our pursuit of wisdom, we find there is a cost.  It is a cost of time, a carving out of our daily, hectic schedule that constantly demands our full and immediate attention.

Wisdom is a quiet pursuit, one that is forged in the halls of solitude and aloneness.

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”  Mark 1:35 (NASB)

It is there in the quiet and secluded places that we find the wisdom of our Lord.  If the Scriptures felt it important to give the above details about Jesus leaving the house to find a secluded place to pray, doesn’t that tell us of something important for each one of us?  Clearly, if it was important for Jesus, it should even be more important for us, men and women stained by sin, laziness and an inclination to stay in bed and hit the snooze button for a few more minutes of sleep.

But see the glory of this pursuit of wisdom!  Communion with God and a spiritual nature that grows into His likeness.  As we spend this alone time with Him, our thoughts become His thoughts and our ways become His ways.  As we listen to Him, we begin to order our ways after Him and He directs our paths.

Aristotle has been attributed to saying that “nature abhors a vacuum.”  This has many interpretations, some more right than others, but I can interpret it to this post by saying that our morning quiet times, those blocks of minutes dedicated to being in God’s presence, should be filled with the truth of the Word of God.

I write to warn you of the danger of mindless meditation or repetitious chanting, of allowing your mind to be “emptied” only to be filled with some subjective spiritual presence.  “Nature abhors a vacuum,” and your mind, if left unattended, is at risk for being filled with thoughts and other things that may not be from the throne of the Most High God.

Saturate your mind on the Word of God, the writings from both the Old and New Testaments.  As I frequently make mention in my blog posts, one well I continually drop my bucket into is from the book of Proverbs.  Its ancient truths continually refresh and challenge me.

My hope is that they will do the same for you.  Take time to plumb its depths.  You will never regret it.

Godliness is its own benefit

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”  1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)

Reading wisdom literature, like the book of Proverbs, is a favorite pursuit in my daily routine.   More than most things in my life, I need wisdom to guide and direct me.

My long stay in California is drawing to a close.  While here, in the room I am staying, is a set of commentaries on the entire bible, called “The Interpreter’s Bible.”  I have been blessed by the wisdom contained in its multi-volume set.

In browsing through Proverbs, I stumbled across the commentary for Psalm 92.  Here is a paragraph from William Morgan included for this Psalm from pages 501-502:

“A man’s sin comes back to him and finds him less in what he suffers that what he misses, and less in its external than in its internal results.  It comes back to him in the dulling of the moral intelligence, the deterioration of character, the impairing of the finer sensibilities and energies which are its inevitable consequences.  It is only to express the same truth in other words when we say that the real penalty of sin is alienation from God.  The soul loses is power to respond to the high, the pure, the generous; moral activity is paralyzed, and only the ignoble remain.  No external or mechanical order this, but on belonging to the nature of things, and from which there is no escape.  Must we not recognize in it a revelation of the Justice that rules at the heart of things?”  (Quote taken from “The Nature and Right of Religion [Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1926])

The “Interpreter’s Bible” also quoted from J. I. Hammond:

“…In a very real sense–the deepest–righteousness is success.”

Where do we hear such sublime truths today?  Certainly not in the broken cisterns of daily news sources where so many of us daily feed at.  No, those who regularly eat at the pigs troughs of internet news or print sources are subjected to an overload of base instincts and behaviors, from so-called “gay marriage” rights all the way to the twisted behaviors of Hollywood starlets and stars.

We hear nothing of godliness and righteousness from secular news sources but a continual drumbeat of hedonism and moral depravity.  Is it any wonder, then, that those we meet on a daily basis personify the very characteristics of those whom we daily read about?

Yesterday at UC Berkeley, I listened to a conversation between Zac, an open-air preacher, and a teen-aged male who came up to talk to him.  This young man, not more than seventeen, spoke typically of a youth in his age group, saying that boys his age where only concerned about “spreading their seed around.”  For this young man, any talk of sexual restraint or “saving oneself for that special someone in marriage” was as old school as the eight track player of long ago.

Of course, my generation, who spawned this present one, was nothing different; we spoke and acted precisely the same way.  We were the authors of “free love” lived out in the new hedonistic paradigm of “drugs, sex and rock n’ roll.”

But there was a slight difference between then and now:  we were still in the shadow of our previous generations Christian godliness and moral values, and though we wanted to wholly come out from within that godly influence, its restraining presence was still felt.  Now, that restraint is gone, and the young man such as the one I listened to is par for the course.

But godliness, as Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:6, is a means of great gain.  A life lived in godliness and in the pursuit of righteousness is a reward all in itself.  This thought struck me powerfully today, because I can wrongly believe that the rewards of godliness and righteousness are always future tense and cannot be something we tangibly experience now.

This thinking is incorrect, because godliness, as stated above, has its own rewards right now for those who pursue and practice it.  Some of the rewards we experience today are peace with God, harmony with Him, and the comfort that one has knowing that our fellowship with God is not strained and interrupted by sin on our part.

Godliness brings peace of mind.  When we are practicing righteousness, our souls are at rest, our minds are not troubled, and there is a real sense that God has us securely in the palm of His hand.  We may be going through incredible trials and sufferings, but this knowledge that God is in control allows us to rest in His sovereignty and perfect plan for our lives.  A godly life allows this peace and serenity to be the hallmark of our lives.

Are you living a godly life?  Are you pursuing righteousness?

“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”  1 John 2:6 (NIV)  

What a challenge this verse is to those who wrongfully believe that a life of holiness is unattainable in this life.  On the contrary, it is the mark, the very evidence, of a regenerated life.  It is the birthright of every born-again believer.


A warning from the life of Solomon: Part 2

A 1967 InterVarsity article by Charles E. Hummel was titled, “Tyranny of the urgent.”  It is sobering and one that I recommend you read:[Hummel].pdf

Hummel writes:

“Several years ago an experienced cotton mill manager said to me, ‘Your greatest danger is let­ting the urgent things crowd out the important.'”

That is a profound statement and one that I feel Solomon was guilty of:  allowing the urgent business of running his kingdom to crowd out the more important matter of spending quality time with his God.

We know that none of us steps from intimacy with God and then immediately walks into a backslidden state.  On the contrary, spiritual declension is one slow, downward step at a time.  When Christian singer/songwriter Keith Green was alive, the ministry he started with his wife Melody, “Last Days Ministries,” put out a tract titled “The Dangers of Drifting.”  Here is the link:

This is another excellent read, showing the process of apostasy from the Lord:

“First of all, look at how silent and unnoticed the pull of drift is. If it disturbed us, if it jarred or jolted us, if it drew attention to itself, this might be enough to put us on our guard. But, look! no such warning signal is ever given. No alarm bell is ever sounded. We drift away softly and silently, like a ship floating down the tide…

“…The life of drift is a pathetically easy course to follow. It takes no output of energy to float down a stream, or to be carried forward on the crest of a running tide. All that’s necessary for a life of drift is to relax, to do nothing, to let go, to cease struggling, to submit to the worldly influences within us and around us. ‘The gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction.’ (Matt. 7:13)”

This is no doubt the path that Solomon took:  one small step at a time away from the Lord, made possible because of the urgency of his kingly responsibilities.  How subtle were the deceiving voices that Solomon must have heeded when they said to him: “You are doing the Lord’s work and proving yourself a good and godly king by spending all that time on kingdom business.  Don’t feel guilty about neglecting your personal devotion with the Lord…He understands your responsibilities and will bless you for being faithful to Him through your ministry to those in your charge.  Your service to Him is your devotion.”

“Your service to Him is your devotion.”  How many of us have fallen for this half-truth?  Yes, it is true that serving others is part of our devotion to God, but the lie comes in when we believe that serving others can substitute for our personal devotion to God and can replace our daily quiet time with Him.

Are you dedicating a portion out of your every day life to fellowship with God?  Or are you, like Solomon, allowing the importance of your life’s work, ministry or family to place you in a situation where you are so busy that you don’t feel you have time for Him?

Friends, if you are trapped in the latter situation, I plead with you to immediately change course and set your priorities right.  I am convicted by writing these words to set aside my computer and get on my knees before the Lord and connect with Him.

The spiritual life we may save just might be our own.