Tuesday, July 31, 2018

"Yet Amid All These Things We Are More Than Conquerors..."

"Do not let your heart be troubled. You believe in
and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in
and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me."
John 14:1

"What then shall we say to all this? If God is for us,
who can be against us? Who can be our foe if
God is on our side?"
Romans 8:31

"United we stand secure. Let us then move forward together
in discharge of our mission and our duty, 
fearing God and nothing else.
-Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill
November 30, 1874-January 24, 1965
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1940-1945  -  1951-1955

On his recent trip to Europe, President Donald Trump paid
tribute to Britain's famous war-time leader and had his picture
taken sitting in Winston Churchill's chair at Chequers,
the 16th century country home used by English
prime ministers since the 1920's.

President Trump has long been an admirer of Winston Churchill.
Of course, the mainstream British media were quick to express "outrage" 
 at Mr. Trump's action.  One headline from The Daily Mirror read:

 "Donald Trump Sparks Fury Posing Arrogantly in Winston Churchill's Chair".

Personally, I do not think Winston Churchill would mind at all that
 President Trump sat in his chair.  I think he would have actually been 
 flattered by this sincere homage paid to him by the leader of America!
Oh, and by the way, British media, where was the equal self-righteous indignation
 at President Obama, when he arrogantly returned back to Britain the bust of 
Winston Churchill on display in the White House, which was a gift
  from the people of Great Britain to the people of America
  after the September 11th terror attacks?

Furthermore, how many British prime ministers have been
inspired in recent years to sit in this suddenly 'revered' chair let alone
follow the example of courageous leadership set by Churchill?

Not many, I can tell you that!

If Winston Churchill was alive today, he would be shocked
and undoubtedly very sad at the state of his beloved England in 2018. 
 Furthermore,  he would "never, never give up" his nation's independence 
by willingly handing over the reign of the power to the dictates of
the European Union, nor bow his knee to the machinations of
the One World Government puppet masters pulling the
strings behind-the-scenes of  international politics today.

In this regard, President Trump truly emulates his hero Winston Churchill.
Our leader is like a mill stone around the necks of those who are recklessly
 determine to erase our national sovereignty, and to endanger the freedoms
granted to all Americans, as put forth through the glorious document
of liberty that We the People call the United States Constitution.

Sir Winston Churchill, like President Donald Trump, had his enemies too.
This is why it is so important for all Americans, who are truly concerned  
about securing the freedom of future generations, to keep our leader in
their daily prayers, and, that like Winston Churchill, who also faced a
 rising tide of both human and spiritual evil in his generation, 
 President Trump will be responsive to the unmatched wisdom of the
Holy Spirit when making decisions for our nation in these uncertain times.

Some of my favorite Churchill quotes:

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal;
It is the courage to continue that counts."

"We make a living by what we get, but we make
a life by what we give."

And for President Donald Trump, who is
under constant attack by the duplicitous news media and 
forces of the political Left, may these words of Winston definitely inspire:

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means You've stood up
for something, sometime in your life."

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fifth Sunday Meditation: Teach Your Children Well

A reflective poem of Asaph

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings
of old that hide important truth; Which we have heard and 
 known and our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children, but we will tell
to the generation to come the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
and His might, and the wonderful works He has performed.

Dance of Grace
Mark Keathley

For He established a testimony, an express precept in Jacob and
appointed law in Israel, commanding our fathers that they should
make the great facts of God's dealing with Israel known to their children.

That the generation to come might know them, that the children still
to be born might arise and recount them to their children.
That they might set their hope in God and not forget the works
of God, but might keep His commandments.

And not be of their fathers-a stubborn and rebellious generation, a
generation that set not their hearts aright nor prepared their hearts to
know God, and whose spirits were not steadfast and faithful to God.

The children of Ephraim were armed and carrying bows, yet they
turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God
and refused to walk according to His law; And forgot His works
and His wonders that He had shown them.

Marvelous things did He in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt,
in the field of Zoan where Pharaoh resided. He divided the Red Sea
and caused them to pass through it, and He made the waters stand like a heap.
In the daytime also He led them with a pillar of cloud and all the night
with a light of fire. He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them
drink abundantly as out of the deep.  He brought streams also out
of the rock at Rephidim and Kadesh and caused the waters to run
down like rivers. Yet they still went on to sin against Him by provoking
and rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.

And they tempted God in their hearts by asking for food according
to their selfish desire and appetite. Yes, they spoke against God;
they said, Can God furnish the food for a table in the wilderness?
Behold, He did smite the rock so that waters gushed out and the
streams overflowed; but can He give bread also?
 Can He provide flesh for His people?

Therefore, when the Lord heard, He was full of wrath; a fire
was kindled against Jacob, His anger mounted up against Israel.
Because in God they believed not, they relied not on Him,
they adhered not to Him, and they trusted not in His salvation,
His power to save.

Yet He commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven;
And He rained down upon them manna to eat and gave them heaven's grain.
Everyone ate the bread of the mighty man, man ate angels' food;
God sent them meat in abundance.

He let forth the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by His power
He guided the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them like the dust,
and winged birds, quails, like the sands of the seas. And He let the
birds fall in the midst of the camp, round about their tents.
So they ate and were well filled; He gave them what they craved
and lusted after. But scarce had they stilled their craving, and while
their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon
them and slew the strongest and sturdiest of them and smote
down Israel's chosen youth. 

In spite of all this, they sinned still more, for they believed not in
His wondrous works. Therefore their days He consumed like a breath,
in emptiness, falsity, and futility, and their years in terror and sudden haste.
When He slew some of them, the remainder inquired after Him diligently,
and they repented and sincerely sought God for a time.
And they earnestly remembered that God was their Rock, and the
Most High God their Redeemer.

Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths and lied to
Him with their tongues. For their hearts were not right or sincere with Him,
neither were they faithful and steadfast to His covenant.
But He, full of merciful compassion, forgave their iniquity and
destroyed them not; yes, many a time He turned His anger away and
did not stir up all His wrath and indignation.

For He earnestly remembered that they were but flesh, a wind
that goes and does not return. How often they defied and rebelled 
 against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert!
And time and again they turned back and tempted God,
provoking and incensing the Holy One of Israel.

They remembered not seriously the miracles of the working
of His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy.
How He wrought His miracles in Egypt and His wonders in
the field of Zoan where Pharaoh resided. 

And turned their rivers into blood, and their streams, so that
they could not drink from them. He sent swarms of venomous flies
among them which devoured them and frogs which destroyed them.
He gave also their crops to the caterpillar and the fruit of their
labor to the locust. He destroyed their vines with hail, and their
sycamore trees with frost and great chunks of ice.

He caused them to shut up their cattle or gave them up also
to the hail and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
He let loose upon them the fierceness of His anger, His wrath,
and indignation and distress, by sending a mission of angels
of calamity and woe among them.

He leveled and made a straight path for His anger, to give it
free course; He did not spare the Egyptian families from death
but gave their beasts over to the pestilence and the life of their
eldest over to the plague.  He smote all the firstborn in Egypt,
the chief of their strength in the tents of the land of the sons of Ham.

But God led His own people forth like sheep and guided them
with a shepherd's care, like a flock in the wilderness.
And He led them on safely and in confident trust, so that they
feared not; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

And He brought them to His holy border, the border of Canaan,
His sanctuary, even to this mountain, Zion, which His right
hand had acquired. He drove out the nations also before Israel
and allotted their land as a heritage, measured out and partitioned;
and He made the tribes of Israel to dwell in tents of those dispossessed.
Yet they tempted and provoked and rebelled against the Most High God
and kept not His testimonies.

But they turned back and dealt unfaithfully and treacherously like
their fathers; they were twisted like a warped and deceitful blow
that will not respond to the archer's aim.

For they provoked Him to righteous anger with their high places
for idol worship and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images.
When God heard this, He was full of holy wrath; and He utterly
rejected Israel, greatly abhorring and loathing her ways.

So that He forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent in
which He had dwelt among men and never returned to it again.
And delivered His strength and power, the ark of the covenant,
into captivity, and His glory into the hands of the Philistines.

He gave His people over also to the sword and was wroth
with His heritage, Israel. The fire of war devoured their
 their young men, and their bereaved virgins were
 not praised in a wedding song.

Their priests, Hophni and Phinehas fell by the sword, and their
widows made no lamentation, for the bodies came back not 
from the scene of battle, and the widow of Phinehas also died that day.

Then the Lord awakened as from sleep, as a strong man whose
consciousness of power is heightened by wine. And He smote His
adversaries in the back as they fled; He put them to lasting shame
and reproach. Moreover, He rejected the tent of Joseph and chose
not the tribe of Ephraim, in which the tabernacle had been
accustomed to stand. But He chose the tribe of Judah as
Israel's leader, Mount Zion, which He loved, 
 to replace Shiloh as His capital.

And He built His sanctuary exalted, like the heights of
 the heavens, and like the earth which He established forever.
He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds.
From tending the ewes that had their young He brought him
to be the shepherd of Jacob His people, of Israel His inheritance.

So David was their shepherd with an upright heart; he guided
them by the discernment and skillfulness which controlled his hands.

"Train up a child in the way he or she should go
and in keeping with their individual gift or bent,
and when they are old they will not depart from it."
Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Parable Of The Wild Fruit

Out in the berry patch, the bluejays scolded me for trespassing.
They talked of a food shortage and threatened terrible things to profiteers
who took more than their share of the necessaries of life.
But I was used to their clamor and not alarmed even when one
swooped down and struck my bonnet.
I knew they would not harm me and kept right on picking berries.
This is a parable. I give it to you for what it is worth, trusting you
to draw your own comparisons.

Wild Huckleberries

When the Man of the Place and I, with the small daughter, came to
Missouri some years ago, we tried to save all the wild fruit in the woods.
Coming from the plains of Dakota where the only wild fruit was the few
chokecherries growing on the banks of small lakes, we could not bear to see
go to waste the perfectly delicious wild huckleberries, strawberries, and
blackberries which grew so abundantly everywhere on the hills.

By the way, did you ever eat chokecherries?  At first taste they are very
good, and the first time I tried them I ate quite a few before my throat began
to tighten with a fuzzy, choking feeling.  A green persimmon has nothing on 
a ripe chokecherry, as I know. I have tried both.

So when we came to the Ozarks, we reveled in the wild fruit, for as of
yet there was no tame fruit on the place.

Huckleberries came first, and we were impatiently waiting for them
to ripen when somebody told me that the green ones made good pies.
Immediately, I went out into the little cleared space in the woods where
the low huckleberry bushes grew and gathered a bucket of berries.
Company was coming to dinner next day, and I took special pains to
make a good pie of the berries; for I did want my new neighbors
to enjoy the visit. And the crust of the pie was deliciously crisp
and flaky, but after one taste, the visitors seemed to hesitate.
I took a mouthful of my piece and found it bitter as gall.
I never tasted gall, but that is the bitterest expression I know
and nothing could be more bitter than that pie.

"Oh!" I exclaimed. "They told me green huckleberries were good!"
"These can't be huckleberries," said Mrs. X, "for green huckleberries
do make good pies."
Mr. X was examining the berries in his portion.
"These are buckberries," he said. "They grow on a bush about the
size of a huckleberry bush, and you must have made a mistake 
when you gathered them."

And so I added to my knowledge the difference between huckleberries
and buckberries, and we have enjoyed many a green huckleberry pie since then.
Used when quite small, the berries not only taste delicious but give a
bouquet of perfume to the pie that adds wonderfully to the pleasure of eating it.

When blackberries came on, chiggers were ripe also, and there is nothing
a chigger enjoys so much as feasting on a "foreigner".
The blackberry patches are their home, and we made many a chigger
happy that season. We gathered the berries by bucketsful; we filled pans
and pots and all the available dishes in the house, then hastily we bathed in
strong soapsuds and applied remedies to the worse bitten spots.
Then I put up the berries and cleared the decks for the next day's
picking, for gather them we would, no matter how the chigger bit.

I was thinking of these experiences while the bluejays screamed at
me in the berry patch-tame berries now. We never pick the wild ones these
days because there are large tame ones in the plenty.

The apple trees that were little switches when we picked the wild
fruit have supplied us with carloads of apples. 
 Even the chiggers never bother us anymore.

We are so accustomed to an abundance of fruit that we do not
appreciate the fine cultivated sorts as we did the wild kinds that we
gathered at the cost of so much labor and discomfort.

There is a moral here somewhere, too, I am sure, and again
I will leave it for you to discover.

Old-Fashioned Blackberry Pie

"Parable Of Wild Fruit"
(July 1920)

 Laura Ingalls Wilder
Prolific American writer

From the book, "Little House In The Ozarks"
A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler
The Rediscovered Writings
Edited by Stephen W. Hines
 Guideposts Edition

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Song Of The Marigold Fairy

Great Sun above me in the sky,

So golden, glorious, and high,

My petals, see, are golden too;

They shine, but cannot shine like you.

Summer Marigold

I scatter many seeds around;

And where they fall upon the ground,

More marigolds will spring, more flowers

To open wide in sunny hours.

It is because I love you so,

I turn to watch you as you go;

Without your light, no joy could be,

Look down, great Sun, and shine on me!

Cecily Mary Barker

"The Song Of The Marigold Fairy"
Cecily Mary Barker
English illustrator and poetess

Fourth Sunday Meditation: My Soul Waits For Him Alone

"But those who wait for the Lord, who expect, look for, and hope in Him
shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings  
and mount up close to God, as eagles mount up to the sun, they shall run 
 and not be weary,  they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
Isaiah 40:31

Wait and See
Jack E. Dawson

"Fear not, there is nothing to fear, for I am with you;
do not look around you in terror and be dismayed,
for I am your God.  I will strengthen and harden you
to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up
and retain you with My victorious right hand of 
rightness and justice."
Isaiah 41:10

"Therefore then, since we are surrounded by
so great a cloud of witnesses, who have borne testimony
to the Truth, let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance,
unnecessary weight and that sin which so readily clings to and
entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady
and active persistence the appointed course of the
race that is set before us.

Looking away from all that will distract to Jesus,
Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith,
giving the first incentive for our belief,
and is also its Finisher, bringing it to
maturity and perfection.
He, for the joy of obtaining the prize
that was set before Him, endured the cross,
despising and ignoring the shame, and is now
seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ivan Guaderrama

Just think of Him Who endured from sinners
such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself,
reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials,
so that you may not grow weary or exhausted,
losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds."
Hebrews 12:1-3

"Your castles and strongholds shall have bars of iron and bronze,
and as your day, so shall your strength, your rest, and security be. 
 There is none like God, O Jeshurun, (Israel), Who rides through the heavens 
to your help and in His majestic glory through the skies.
The eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms;  
He  drove the enemy before you and thrust them out, saying, Destroy!
And Israel dwells in safety, the fountain of Jacob alone
in a land of grain and new wine; yes, His heavens dew drop.
Happy are you, O Israel, and blessing is yours!
Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord,
the Shield of your help, the Sword that exalts you!
Your enemies shall come fawning and cringing,
and submit feigned obedience to you, and you
shall march on their high places.
Deuteronomy 33:25-29

The Expulsion Of The Merchants From The Temple
A. N. Mironov

"Therefore return to your God!
Hold fast to love and mercy, to righteousness
and justice and wait expectantly for your God!"
Hosea 12:6

My Soul Thirsts
Zemer Levav

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Man, Freedom, and Government 1968-2018

This year marks the 50th anniversary of 
 this film classic from Ezra Taft Benson,
an American farmer and religious leader
who served as the 15th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Ezra Taft Benson

Presented by The John Birch Society,
"Man, Freedom, and Government" is a road map
for restoring our freedom and rights as Americans.

 The message of this film is as relevant for today
as it was back in 1968.

Man, Freedom, and Government