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Saturday, April 23, 2016

A Married Man Is Wiser

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22).  “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;  he who does so destroys his own soul” (Proverbs 6:32).

Got that?  A man who finds a wife “obtains favor from the Lord,” but if he sins against her by committing adultery, he “destroys his own soul.”

Now hear these words that Wisdom speaks (from Proverbs 8:35-36): “’For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord;  but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul;  all those who hate me love death.’”  –  Sound familiar?  What Proverbs says of Wisdom, it also says of a wife – nearly word for word.


So it’s not a stretch to suggest that a young man gains wisdom by marrying and being faithful to his wife.  And what does that imply of a man who has the opportunity to pursue a wife but fails to do so?


For more on this, check out these links:
https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/7-reasons-young-men-marry-23rd-birthday.html
https://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/110542.html

Thursday, March 24, 2016

From Dream to Déjà Vu

Ever had a bizarre dream? (duh) ... where you were in some location that you didn't really recognize?

Ever had déjà vu ... in a place where you're sure you've never previously been?

Now you know why:  It's probably that place you didn't recognize in an earlier dream.

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(Oh, the things I can come up with when I have a bit more spare time than usual!  If you want to be further impressed, check out my syllogism on Peter Piper.)

Sunday, March 06, 2016

"Your Descendants Will Love the LORD!"

"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." -- Deuteronomy 30:6

One of the deepest desires of my heart is to see every single one of my descendants enjoying God eternally. Given the context for the above verse, God is promising His people that, if they wholeheartedly repent and obey His commandments, He will grant hearts and souls of love and life to them and their descendants. ~~ What an awesome (conditional) promise!

Monday, February 22, 2016

As long as you're tryin' to do what's right ..., right?

"In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes." -- Judges 17:6 & 21:25

This verse is not a compliment to the culture in Israel during the time of the judges. This verse shows up twice in the book of Judges as book-ends to two very strange stories that show the depravity of a culture where God, the One Who is Truth, Beauty, & Goodness, had been all but forgotten. But if the implication of those crazy stories doesn't quite convince you that "every man doing what was right in his own eyes" was actually a bad thing, then please consider the following clear instruction from Deuteronomy 12:8 -- "Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes."

Have you ever been to a church where you were encouraged to worship the Lord in your own way? Were you ever given the impression that God doesn't care so much about what you do or how you do it as long as your why (your motive) is right? Sure, if your motive is wrong, that's not good. But as long as your doing "whatsoever is right in your own eyes," well, then ....

Does God Care about Politics?

Is Jesus King of Nations? Or is He only King of individual hearts? Does God care about national and global politics?

"Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." -- Proverbs 14:34

"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will." -- Proverbs 21:1

"When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn." -- Proverbs 29:2

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." -- Proverbs 33:12

Thursday, July 03, 2014

One Sam Gives Us Another

Think you’ve got it bad?  Well, for this celebration of Uncle Sam’s birthday, I’d like to tell you just a little of another Sam – a true story.

Sam was the 4th child of 12 that his mother, Mary, bore;  but he was one of the only 3 who survived past age 2.  Mary yet encouraged Sam’s faith in God;  so he married Elizabeth, a minister’s daughter who had more than just Christian faith in common with Sam.  She, too, was one of only 3 who survived to adulthood out of the 12 children born to her own mother.

Soon Elizabeth began bearing Sam’s children.  Their 1st was “a boy who lived for only 18 days.  A year later, she gave birth to a son, Samuel, who lived to adulthood.  … She gave birth to a 3rd child, a son, who lived only 37 hours.  Her 1st daughter … died after 3 months and 9 days. Her 2nd daughter, Hannah, … lived to adulthood.  Her 6th delivery … was a stillborn son.  For 19 days, [Elizabeth] lingered.  Then, at 8 A.M. on Sunday, July 25, 1757, she passed away.”  Thus were just some of the challenging circumstances in the life of a young Samuel Adams.

“Samuel Adams was the archetype of the religiously passionate American founder, the founder as biblical prophet, an apostle of liberty.  …  He was the moral conscience of the American Revolution, a man who never lost sight of the Revolution’s political  and religious goals, which for him were fundamentally intertwined.”

I’m looking forward to reading the “book about who Samuel Adams was, why he is forgotten, why he should be remembered.”  --  Samuel Adams:  A Life, by Ira Stoll.  (Free Press, New York, NY.  Copyright 2008.  Pp. 23, 8, 9, & 11, respectively.)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Incognito

Ha! That was fun.  ~  You other Dads have done it, too, right?  As I saw my 2-yr-old about to enter my office, I threw on a disguise, and he looked at me as if to say, "Umm, I think I know you, but I'm not sure I want you to get very close ...."   He was bold enough to shake my hand; and then when I pulled off the mask, he & I both laughed.

Does God do that, too, sometimes?  Something crazy in your life makes you wonder, "Is God doing this?  Or am I just the victim from some silly decision I made somewhere?"  Then when everything works out in some surprising way, God pulls off the disguise, and we both laugh.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Take me tired; I'm home.

hark Mere: Been a post since I've whiled something here, and I shouldn't probably now, since I didn't get much night last sleep.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Singing in the Shower

Singing in the Shower -- a natural reaction of the soul to getting clean. After all, didn't the entire nation of Israel sing after passing through the Red Sea?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How long halt ye between two opinions?

What will Americans do when hit by a severe drought?  Cut themselves?  Shout louder?  I can see them doing that, crying out to Baal  --  I mean, the POTUS, the IRS, HUD, NSA, or whatever name he goes by now.  And it'll likely have a similar effect to that of some 28.5 centuries ago ...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Children Play-Acting

Children can learn the value of communicating via the arts and get practice doing such when various theatrical opportunities come to town. They can participate in this means of story-telling by stepping into a story, instead of just hearing or narrating it.

But parents should read scripts before auditions. Dramatic story-telling is a great art form. And it has more value than just for entertainment. I personally learned many life lessons via radio drama growing up, as we didn't have a television until my early teen years. The best stories are those which reflect real truth. Often, the stories which stand the test of time do so because of their success in exemplifying some particular truth(s). Messing with these stories in significant ways changes the message and seriously runs the risk of propagating a lie. When our children are told that big bad wolves, dragons, and ogres aren't really bad, then they're subtly told that evil, if it really exists, is simply in the imaginations of your old-fashioned simple-minded parents since they are probably the ones who first told you that dragons, big wolves, and self-centered step-mothers are bad.

I'd much rather my child play a bad guy in a good story than a good guy in a bad story. The stories that people like (and we prove it with our dollars) are those in which the heroes and heroines most closely resemble the lovers of the Song of Solomon. The Hero in that story is, of course, the Lord and Redeemer of the universe, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Be Encouraged to Draw Nigh to God

"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." (James 4:8a)  That is a promise from God that, as you desire and seek to get closer to Him, He will draw nearer to you.  So if that's what you're endeavoring to do right now: to get closer to God, then take comfort in that promise.  Your time is not wasted.

God's Word is full of promises.  God cannot break His promises.  They are guarantees -- set in stone -- "you can take 'em to the bank" -- they will not, cannot fail.  But, of course, in order to know what God's promises are, in order to become familiar with them, in order to be able to hold God to His Word when you're praying to Him, you have to be in His Word, reading His Word, memorizing His Word, studying His Word, daily, regularly.

"Heaven and earth may pass away, but God's Word endures forever." (Matthew 24:35)

Now ... Be encouraged ... in the LORD and in His Word!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Pleasure Forever

Psalm 16:11 says that at God's "right hand, there are pleasures for evermore." Then later Psalms and numerous New Testament passages tell us that Christ is at God's right hand. Thus, our Lord Jesus Christ is Pleasure for evermore!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Repentance

To repent basically means to change your mind, to change your way of thinking, to completely change from doing things one way to start doing them another way. When it comes to good moral behavior, however, you and I cannot really fundamentally change our ways. Because Jesus Christ says that all of our behavior and our actions come from our heart (Matthew 15:16-20 of the Holy Bible); and we cannot change our hearts. Only God can do that.

So if you truly desire to change (to repent), then ask God to give you a new heart. He promises new life, forgiveness of sins, abundant life, mercy that endures forever, peace that passes understanding, eternal life – and more – to those who believe His promises. (To believe does not mean to simply think something in your head but to actually live it out in your actions.)

So if you truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He came to earth as God in the flesh, that He lived a sinless life, that He took your sins to the cross and to the grave (in His crucifixion and death), that He came back to life again 3 days later, and that He sits at God’s right hand as King of the world, then God will give you a brand new heart. God’s Spirit will move into your body to become one with your spirit. His Spirit will put to death your old way of living, thinking, desiring, behaving, and He will give you a brand new life, with brand new perspectives, brand new desires, and brand new behaviors. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Then what God has worked into you, you must work out. As He has done inwardly, you must do outwardly. When He puts a new (clean, pure, wholesome) heart within you, you must put out new (clean, pure, wholesome) actions and behaviors.

That is repentance.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Which Is Sovereign? God's Will or Our Free Will

Name something for which you can thankful but for which such thanks does not need to be directed to God. (I.e., if you're giving credit to whom credit is due for all the good things in your life, is there ANYTHING at all for which full credit could go to yourself or someone else and not at all to God? If your answer is "No, I can't do that," that's because God is sovereign, right? ... over all things.)

More specifically, think of this in terms of the free will argument. If I choose Christ -- if I'M the one doing the choosing, if I exercise MY free will to follow Christ, -- then I get the credit for that, right? But doesn't that immediately rub you the wrong way? (like, Wait a minute. God doesn't get credit for something good that happens? How can that be?)

Please know that I don't deny the existence or the exercise of free will; but neither do I think it is quite what many Christians make it out to be. I believe God sovereignly works through the means of my free will to accomplish His own will and purposes.