Things I Think…

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69 Responses

  1. Dan from Georgia says:

    All good thoughts Michael! I want to make 3 comments…

    Item 1:
    “God is right about everything and God loves you, YOU JERK!!”

    – This is basically how most comments boards are theses days.

    Item #8:
    “Ain’t it the truth! Ain’t it the truth!” – 100pts for who can name the source….

    Item #10:
    I couldn’t agree more. In our world today, we need to take time out to do things that are important and therapeutic to us and not have to justify them.

  2. bob1 says:

    Good musings, Michael.

    I especially like #9. That’s really good advice for right now, IMHO.

    And #3. For sure!

  3. Captain Kevin says:

    #7 – I passed by a group of demonstrators the other day. One was holding a sign that said, “No Justice… No Peace.”

  4. Em says:

    #10…. My daughter, hurting back and all, just carted a heavy saddle out to the arena in order to give a little 5 year old – tpo poor to ever own a horse or afford lessons – over an hour of horsemanship, from haltering to grooming to saddling and riding (yes she got to “stear” and canter a bit and give her two year old brother a ride in the saddle in front of her). Gracie lived up to her name and was a very good horse. The child was beaming when she left.
    Is that Christianity n action? I think so.

  5. Em says:

    #1- ever wonder what God will do with those policy holders?
    Pray

  6. Nancy Holmes says:

    I just read this and it seems most timely in considering today’s post.

    https://thewayofimprovement.com/2020/09/08/populists-in-1895-america-is-not-a-christian-nation/

  7. Em says:

    CK, interesting… I suspect both jusice and peace await our Lord’s return……

    BTW – did that sign holder think justice = do everything his way?

  8. Mike E says:

    Love #9 — O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.
    Psalm 131:1-2

    Only problem is I am haughty, especially when the adrenaline starts rushing and PTSD hypervigilance kicks in. Then, calming and quieting my soul is darn near impossible. But, I’m a work in progress. 🤷‍♂️

  9. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am sure I am the sole person here who in response to #1 will say I cannot think of a single thing I do in my approach to politics that is particular to Christianity.
    What in my thought / spiritual approach that any person of good will can’t use.
    Prayer – can the Jew or Muslim not pray in their approach?
    My confession and seeking out the absolution seem to be an after thought. 🙂

    I will wait to see how others answer what is uniquely Christian in the pre voting process.

  10. Em says:

    Mike E., almost 70 years of Christianity under my belt and exercising faith is still a challenge. If things are quiet and i can reflect there has been so much proof of God shepherding my life, but in the monent, in life’s hassles? I just ask God to forgive me as i try to meet the day in my own strength, my own wisdom?
    PTSD just might be more than i could do – God give you strength day by day i pray

  11. Em says:

    Can the Jew or Muslim not pray? MLD, you know the answer to that… share

  12. Michael says:

    We are having a fire crisis here right now…evacuations and homes on fire.
    I’m safe for now and should be ok, but the smoke is awful and so is the situation…

  13. Dan from Georgia says:

    Prayers offered to you and your area Micheal right now, from my wife and I.

  14. Mike E. says:

    Em— Thank you for your encouraging words. And prayers.

  15. Dan from Georgia says:

    Mike E…one of my all-time favorite passages … Psalm 131.

    Blessings to you!

  16. Michael says:

    Thank you, Dan…it’s getting real in a hurry…

  17. Dan from Georgia says:

    I honestly can’t imagine Michael. We did say a prayer for you and your neighbors, and will again.

  18. Em says:

    Michael, praying here too… Everything is SO dry….
    Stay safe – evacuate if it gets to that level ! ! ! Hope the winds have moderated there – they have up here

    If Colorado was a Christian state, they’d send us some of their snow…. 😋

  19. Xenia says:

    Smoky here, too. The sky looks really strange.

  20. Michael says:

    We’re getting ready to go…packing medications and cats.

  21. Em says:

    So sorry… Pray your escape goes as well as ours did two years ago AND as we did, you come back to a home still standing
    Know it is tiring – exhausting

  22. Xenia says:

    We’re getting ready to go…packing medications and cats.<<<

    Whoa! Lord have mercy!

  23. Xenia says:

    I just looked at a map. The fire is really close to Phoenix. Lord, have mercy.

  24. Michael says:

    This will be my last post for a while. All hell is breaking loose here. Prayers appreciated.

  25. Jean says:

    “If there is nothing distinctly Christian about how you approach politics, there’s probably nothing distinctly Christian about how you approach anything else…and your faith is basically fire insurance…”

    This is so true, I don’t even no where to begin.

    Does the Lordship of Jesus not extend over all areas of your life?

    Are politics not a gift from God? Would Christians use God’s gifts as if they are pagans?

  26. Babylon's Dread says:

    Well the fires make everything else irrelevant. The safety of Michael and those he loves is THE issue. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord hear our prayers.

    For most of my life I knew no one who had lost a home in fires. Now the number is shocking as these western states have incinerated.

    Stay safe Michael

  27. filbertz says:

    There is a fire of great threat at Michael’s community door, making fast and destructive progress. Please pray for him and his neighbors in Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix. I’m about 15 miles away and it is a critical situation there.

  28. filbertz says:

    local news source is KDRV.com

  29. Captain Kevin says:

    Continuing to pray for Michael and all those near the fires. Lord, have mercy!

  30. prodinov says:

    ongoing prayers!

  31. Em says:

    Joining with all here praying for Michael and his family… as well as the communities
    Father, mercies so needed now… Your great compassion and power so needed.. Lord Jesus, God’s beloved Son, Savior, Holy Spirit be among us as we pray.. .

  32. Mike E. says:

    Joining in prayer for all folks in these areas. Lord, please have mercy on Michael and his neighbors and his cats.

  33. My friends’ parents lost their home of over 50 years in Bonny Doon (Santa Cruz mountains). Their own home was spared. I was making plans when the evac line got within a few blocks of my home, then a few hours later, it pulled back to the hills, only a mile away where it remained for two weeks.

    I picked up my kids at 745AM and it was so dim, the dimmest it’s been. I asked my son, “where’s the sun?” There. Not even penumbras of shadows. Couldn’t feel it.

    Prayers for Michael, son and those in the community…

    And today I heard about arsonists… worse that, than the fire caused by a smoke machine at the gender reveal party in So-cal.

  34. Dan from Georgia says:

    Continued prayers here for Michael and his neighbors.

    A batch smoke from the western fires has reached the southeast U.S….could see it in the murky skies here in Georgia today and also could smell it in the air this evening.

  35. bob1 says:

    Praying for Michael and his neighbors.

  36. dusty says:

    Oh gosh, praying with everyone here for Michael and new Victor and your families. praying for Medford residents. May our Lord and Savior have mercy. Also praying for Em and her area….

    Much love to you all (((((((hugs))))))

  37. EricL says:

    That fire from the gender-reveal party is flaming around the eastern edge of my hometown, here in SoCal. The fools who set it off did so in a nature park full of dry brush and chaparral, when they could easily have chosen one of the numerous other parks that are the more traditional watered, green grass areas. There is such a park literally just 3 miles further down the same road.

    An interesting thing my wife has noticed on social media is people saying that we should show mercy and forgiveness towards the expectant family who are being “shamed” for their foolish act. It’s a weird thought to me, since most of these people calling for forgiveness couldn’t even find Yucaipa on a map. Even my own family has only been inconvenienced by smoke and ash.

    Such calls for forgiveness by folks who weren’t harmed is ridiculous and I think it is shaming of the true victims of a foolish and possibly criminal act.
    The true victims lost their apple orchards, their property’s value, and maybe even their homes. Even our government could be considered a victim, having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the fire.

    Leave it to the true victims to decide if these perpetrators deserve forgiveness or mercy. End of my rant. Make your own spiritual application if you want. Meanwhile, I’m just praying the notorious Santa Ana winds that are expected today won’t drive the fire back into our city. If it does, the list of true victims will grow by hundreds more.

  38. Em says:

    Amen, EricL Sometimes stupidity must pay. ? I just can’t imagine anyone being THAT stupid, mindlessly willful?

  39. CM says:

    EricL,

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of stupid selfish people with not an ounce of common sense. Methinks they should be shunned and if there are any criminal citations for using fire in a drought area, then I say they should be filed.

    This is no different than those idiots who refuse to wear masks in stores and end up going viral as a Karen at a minimum or getting arrested and ejected from the store.

  40. Everstudy says:

    “Leave it to the true victims to decide if these perpetrators deserve forgiveness or mercy.”

    This struck me as I sit in the office under orange skies in Orange County.

    I get what you’re saying, I think. That only those wronged can forgive or show mercy.

    But, how can Christians, who, by the way, do not deserve the forgiveness or mercy shown by God, and at the same time make that statement. Sounds off.

    But that’s just me….

    Back to lurking…

  41. Ray says:

    MLD wrote:
    “I am sure I am the sole person here who in response to #1 will say I cannot think of a single thing I do in my approach to politics that is particular to Christianity.”

    You’re not the sole person. I am the same way. My choices regarding citizenship and politics are of a temporal nature regarding trying to make as best and most comfortable life on earth for my family and others so they can be happy…without sinning, of course. My Christianity relates more to eternal things.

    But saying that approach is mere fire insurance is rather crass and disdaining of God’s great grace. What’s wrong with taking fire insurance if it is made available?

    We are in the age of grace folks. Our Christian duty is to present the Gospel of Grace to all sinners. It’s not our Christian duty to fight for so-called social justice because that would exclude some of the sinners.

    Now, as citizens, sure, we can do your social justice thing. That’s even a worthy thing, perhaps. But it’s not the Gospel.

  42. EricL says:

    Everstudy, I am so joyous that God, in His grace, has saved and adopted me. And I do my best to show forgiveness and mercy to others when they wrong me- though I’m far from perfect at doing so.

    When it comes to wrongs done to a third-party, where I am neither perpetrator nor victim, I don’t think it’s my place to pretend to offer mercy. If someone burglarizes my neighbors’ house, it would be hubris for me to offer the burglar forgiveness. He didn’t wrong me. He wronged my neighbors (by stealing their stuff) and society at large (by breaking the law). I might encourage my neighbors or the local DA to be merciful, but that is theirs to grant or deny.

    The burglar also wronged another party: God. Which means it is appropriate for me to intercede on the behalf of the burglar with the Lord, asking Him to be merciful on that thief. Again, it is up to the wronged party- God- to grant or deny, and I am so glad that mercy triumphs over judgment.

    When it comes to the folks who foolishly exploded a device as part of their gender-reveal event, I do pray for God’s mercy for them. If they have to face the full financial consequences of their actions it will be devastating, especially as they are soon to have a baby. But it will also be financially devastating to those who lost so much in the fire these folks started. Truly a sad event all around.

    I hope that helps to explain my viewpoint. Thanks for reading.

  43. bob1 says:

    It’s not our Christian duty to fight for so-called social justice because that would exclude some of the sinners.

    I don’t get it. Can you elaborate?

  44. Ray says:

    bob1,

    I’m sorry for making comments at this time when fires are on people’s mind.

    But to answer your question simply…social justice, or any justice, means some ‘sinner’ or offender needs to be brought to justice.

    That’s all fine and good. But it does exclude the Gospel on that sinner. For as I see it, in this age of grace that we are in, there is basically one “Christian” response to all sinners…Repent, believe, and receive God’s grace and forgiveness.

    There’s no call in the Bible in this age of grace for justice upon the sinner….or I mean punishment. That will come with Jesus.

    Then again, the sinner may face civil justice with the secular authorities at this time. That’s another matter.

    Perhaps it’s hard to articulate what I mean. Sorry

  45. Ray says:

    I’m not saying that we as Christians should not beseech others to live a more righteous or ‘just’ life. We should. But I guess I was trying to say that we as the Church or as Christians should not be so much the arbiters of justice in a society…for it can easily hinder our gospel presentation.

  46. Jean says:

    Some of these comments make emphasize greatly with Xenia’s decision to go East.

  47. bob1 says:

    Don’t you think that being involved in “social justice” issues might actually help point people to Jesus? I believe issues of justice and fairness are a common grace that all of us share. Of course, you’d have to make it clear that it isn’t the gospel.

    Nevertheless, I believe it could be a way to witness, not to mention make the world a little better place. Don’t heaven and earth intersect at all? Is that what you believe?

  48. Jean says:

    Sorry, “empathize.”

  49. Duane Arnold says:

    I think a definition of “social justice” might help… I see it as a Matt. 25 definition, but I’m not sure that is what is being discussed here…

  50. Jean says:

    I think Christians should to decide whether Jesus is their Lord, or not? If He is their Lord, then Christians should decide over what part(s) of their lives is He Lord?

  51. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jesus is the Lord in & over my life and he has called me to vocation (several) – but the one in particular #1 in Things makes mention of above, the vocation of citizen makes it sound like I should do something particular / distinctive Christian in that vocation.

    If we were discussing with people who are bakers would we ask the same question – “If there is nothing distinctly Christian about how you approach baking and running a bakery , there’s probably nothing distinctly Christian about how you approach anything else…and your faith is basically fire insurance…”

    Sounds silly to me – just as the baker is called to be the best baker he can, so that the morning working population can get their bagel / donut and coffee to get on with their daily vocation – so I do in my daily vocation as citizen.

  52. Em says:

    A Christian “decides” what PART(S) of his life Jesus is Lord over?
    No! One grows, one develops their mind over time (varies with each of us) to think as Jesus did/does…. Out of the abundance of the heart…..

  53. Em says:

    I might have added that our fallback is always retrospective confession – good to keep short accounts with God

  54. Jean says:

    Now we’re getting somewhere.

    Em said, “One grows, one develops their mind over time (varies with each of us) to think as Jesus did/does.”

    That sentiment came from Scripture: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

    Does Paul’s letter to the Philippians still count (not just in “eternal things” but right here, right now)?

  55. bob1 says:

    Sounds like we’re headed for the topic Can Jesus Be Savior Without Being Lord?

    Haven’t we discussed this on here about a thousand times?

    I would be interested in any new insights or changes anyone has made WRT this.

  56. Jean says:

    bob1,

    Plato taught that the physical world does not represent reality but is just a shadow of the reality that exists in the spiritual realm.

  57. Em says:

    Plato? Is he dishwasher safe? 😁

  58. Nancy Holmes says:

    GROAN!!

  59. bob1 says:

    Jean,

    I may not have it right…but isn’t there a lot of debate among the theologians about the influence of Platonism on Christianity? I’ve seen arguments on both sides. I do think I read that C.S. Lewis could be considered a Christian Platonist.

  60. bob1 says:

    the physical world does not represent reality

    I disagree with this. Seems to me the physical world DOES represent reality, just not all of it.

    The Platonic view seems to denigrate the good world God made — including matter! Among millions of other things…

  61. Xenia says:

    Baking bread in a distinctly Christian way…

    There is a small taco stand up the street run by Christians. Last year when my husband was getting some fish tacos a homeless lady came in. She didn’t have enough money to buy anything and left the restaurant. The owner, a Christian, quickly put together the meatiest, juiciest, most cheese-filled burrito he could make and chased after the lady and gave her the burrito.

    This is not to say a Muslim or even an atheist wouldn’t do the same, but this man was motivated by Christ. I suspect he gives food away all the time, considering his neighborhood. Again, others may do the same but HIS impulse came from Christ. He was cooperating with Christ and becoming more like Christ in the process. And the poor lady was fed.

    So working at your job as unto the Lord means making the best bagels you can, treating your employees fairly, and charging a reasonable price because you know if you didn’t, you’d be sinning against God. If you are a Christian, you are working together with God. Even non-Christians can be honest and hard-working and to some extent, they are accomplishing God’s plan that bread be baked to feed people. Buy the non-Christian baker is not growing in Christ, he is not becoming conformed to His Image which is the whole purpose of life, when you think about it.

  62. Jean says:

    bob1,

    There are strands of platonic influence that run throughout Christian tradition. You can see it in the early traditions regarding human sexuality and the virgin Mary, and in the Christological controversies of the first 4 centuries. In the medieval church you see it in the distinction between the holiness of the “religious” (meaning clergy, monks, nuns, etc.) vs. the laity. Today it can be observed in Christians’ eschatology, views on Christ’s presence in Worship, and in concern (or not) for this planet.

    Holiness and purity, which at one time were considered virtues in the church are now often neglected in many traditions.

    Oddly, it is modern pagans who seem to have rediscovered and yearn for purity, as can be observed in environmental, conservation and organic food movements. I believe the church may be missing the boat and the evangelistic opportunity to address peoples’ desire for purity with a Christian biblical perspective.

    But to do that, Christians will have to reform their view of the physical world and the Lordship and concern of Christ for not just our souls but our physical bodies and God’s good creation and how we are to live among our neighbors as salt and light.

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Xenia, what if the Jewish baker makes a better bagel out of love for his community?

    He is also carrying out his vocation.

  64. Xenia says:

    Yes, he is carrying out his vocation.

    I like the phrase “Practicing the presence of God” where a person consciously aware of and responding to God as they go about their lives. The non-Christian often acts better than the Christian without even giving God a thought. God often blesses non-Christians in life for being decent hard-working people. But for us Christians, we have eternity in our sights.

  65. Xenia says:

    It’s almost as if my burrito-maker up above runs after the homeless lady with Jesus running along side him.

    The non-believer runs alone.

    Both are showing love to the homeless lady.

  66. bob1 says:

    Thanks, Jean!

  67. We’re ok for now as of last week. It’s also 30F cooler than it was on Monday, weird…

    Last night, I looked at a fire map of Oregon and Washington and compared to just over the border in Canada. There are a few in Canada, but the map of Oregon and Washington looks like a nightmare. There might be evil afoot. My buddy in Portland thinks a lot of these might be arson. The Columbia Gorge burned 2 (?) Years ago due to a foolish teenager.

  1. September 11, 2020

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