My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Into The Future

Isaiah 42:9
Everything I prophesied has come true,
and now I will prophesy again.
I will tell you the future before it happens.”

What does 2013 hold for us? What will life be like? Well based on God’s word I have some good news and some bad news. But after that I have really good news!

First, no matter what happens the sun will rise and set again. I am happy to say that based on Revelation 20:2-7, a giant meteor will not crash into the earth wiping out all life. Nuclear war will not destroy the planet. Earth will not go into a black hole or a super nova. Space aliens will not suck out our brains. Giant worms like the ones in the movie Tremors will not eat us alive. OK I’m getting carried away here. Point is no matter what happens today, the Earth with people living on it, will still be around for another 1000 years.

I use to worry a lot, about some things that might happen. I never worried about space aliens or giant worms though, just other things. When I was in the Coast Guard stationed in Alaska in the mid 1970s, I had classes on NBC warfare. (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical) What ‘wonderful’ things the Soviet Union had in store for us. When you hear that the USA and the USSR together could wipe out everybody on earth; it gets scary. But then I read Revelation 20:2-7 and realized the end of the world would never happen in my life time.

Recently I heard that terrorist could launch an EM blast wiping out all the electronics in all of America, sending us into the dark ages. But I don’t believe it will happen either. Revelation 13:12, talks about the whole world worshiping the Beast. I can’t see that happening without the electronic media. So your video games and cell phones are safe.

Now for the bad news. In Matthew 24:7-12 Jesus said:
7) Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8) But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.
9) “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10) And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11) And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12) Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.

There is so much I could say here, and most of it is not good; but I won’t. Not yet anyway. So now let’s go to the really good news.

Many believe that those who follow Jesus (both Jews and non-Jews) will be gathered out of here before the Anti-Christ shows up. I hope they’re right. That would mean we would miss the very worst of what this world will go through. But it gets better. We will be with our Lord who died and rose for us. But there’s more. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 says we get new bodies! But wait; there’s still more!

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
Revelation 21:4

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The Truth

For this week’s post I was going to write about my thoughts of prophecy. But I decided not to, as you can see. One of my other interest in the Bible is a little like archeology.

What if I told you that in the early 1980s someone wrote something like the following?
“They cut tunnels in the rocks and uncover precious stones. They dam up the trickling streams and bring to light the hidden treasures.”
You wouldn’t think anything of it. You may think some miners were damming up a stream for making electricity.

But if I were to quote Job 28:10-11, some of you may have a problem.
Job 28:10-11
They cut tunnels in the rocks
and uncover precious stones.
(11) They dam up the trickling streams
and bring to light the hidden treasures.
New Living Translation

Some of you have came to believe that ancient people were uneducated. Yet we still don’t know how the pyramids in Egypt were built.

There are some who believes in creation and that there really was an Adam and Eve. There are some others who believe that there really was no Adam and Eve. There was no creation. Both groups may say they believe in Jesus. 100%. If the second group say they believe in Jesus yet don’t believe in creation, then how do they account for Jesus genealogy in Luke 3:23-38? There is no man before Adam.

In John 14:6 Jesus says He is the way the truth and the life, but most people don’t believe it. Because of this they are judged. I wonder how many Israelites believed that all they had to do was to look at a bronze snake on a pole to be cured of a snake bite.

There was a time when I used to believe in evolution. But after a while I came to believe evolution didn’t make sense. I now believe God created. I have seen evidence and now believe that the story about ‘people are here through evolution’ is nothing but a fantasy. If what the Bible says about creation is true, then what it says about Jesus is also true. If what the Bible says about Jesus is true, then what it says about creation is also true.

Jesus told us to spread the Good News. It’s a lot easier to ask someone to believe God’s word if we believe it ourselves.

Am I Worthy?

Psalms 25:1-3
O Lord, I give my life to you.
2 I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

New Living Translation

As you can see I started blogging not long ago. After looking at some of the other blogs I think to myself: ‘Compare to many of these people, I am way out of my league. What in the world am I doing?’ I not worried about enemies, but I still don’t want what I do be a disgrace.

Someone once asked me if I had the spiritual gift of evangelism because of all the people I told about Jesus. I said “Of course not. You don’t see me renting out a coliseum somewhere do you?” Yet another time I asked someone else: “You do know why some people who are witnessing for Jesus are slow and very low key where some others get right to the point and not very gentle, don’t you? It’s because there are so many different types of people out there.” When I answered that I didn’t have the gift of evangelism, in my mind I was telling the truth. But was I really?

Many of you know that I have been a mechanic for most of my adult life, though I have done other things. If something in my tool box were to go up to one of my wrenches and say, ‘I am not a tool because I can’t turn nut and bolts.’ The wrench could answer back saying, ‘That’s silly. Of course you’re a tool. You’re a screwdriver.’

We all have our place, or our job in the Kingdom of God. My ½ inch wrench can not take the place of my 7/16 inch wrench. God may want to use some of us all the time, but others of us maybe only once in a while. I have a tool that I very rarely use. It looks much like a can with both ends removed. It can not be used for anything at all, except for one thing. Installing pistons in engines. No other tool can do that job.

Yes I am often very short on words. But God still has use for me. Just like he has use for you. (but many of you already know that) Very few people know this, but at one time I wanted to become a pastor. God said ‘no’ and locked the door. I know of a church made up of bikers. I visited that church once. Motorcycles filled the parking lot. The pastor has long hair and beard, a leather vest, and is just an old biker guy. The church was very much alive with fellow bikers singing praises to the Lord. God’s Spirit filled the church.

I’m not saying that God only wants people to preach. Very far from it. What I’m saying is that God created all of us to be individuals with our own individual gifts. Romans 12:6-8 makes that very clear.

So what is your gift? What is it you like to do? Not what you think you should, but what you like to do? I often like to tell stories, (maybe that’s why I started a blog) fix things and learn about things. What if you believe you can do nothing but smile and be a friend to someone. Then do it in the name of Jesus! There is no disgrace in that. Many of us need someone like that sometimes. I guess that means that here is no disgrace in what we do for our Lord.

Why Are We Falling Apart?

January 2006Luke 21:11
There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

NIV

Cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and the list can go on. None of it is fun. It seems like more and more people are becoming sick. Most likely everybody knows somebody with health problems now.

Famines are becoming a problem too. Many food banks are having problems feeding the hungry.

All over the world there are earthquakes, some of them are huge like the one in Japan. We are even getting earthquakes in places where we didn’t know there were fault lines. Our world seems to be falling apart, and there is nothing we can do about it.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
NIV

How can this be? Once in awhile someone would talk to me about the economy and about world events. When I was asked what I thought, I would say that things will get worst. I mean we will still have good times, but overall, things will get worse. I’m sure people thought of me as a real pessimist. But I’m really not.

I believe I am learning the secret of Romans 8:28. Since I have been a Christian I have heard stories of Christians in far off lands going through much hardship and persecution. I’ve always been amazed at the stories. One day, I read an article where some Christians actually gave up there faith in Jesus because of persecution. I found myself very disappointed in them. Why? After thinking about it, I realized that I was being encouraged by the endurance of other Christians. Could Romans 8:28 be talking about or for anyone who loves Jesus, even from a different place or time? I believe so. Because of their love for God; I was benefitting from them because of my own love for God.

Many of you know about the foot problem I have been having for years. Sometimes the pain has been very great. There was a TV commercial for a headache medicine, for people with migraines headaches more than 15 days out of the month. I remember thinking, “What wimps. I often have foot pain 28 to 31 days out of the month, and some days are bad.” (I have good days and bad days. But the good days at this point in time out number the bad days.) One day someone told me that one of the reasons he turned to Jesus was because of the way I handled the pain in my foot. To be honest I do not understand how this works. But I’m honestly thrilled that God used my foot for His glory. It makes the pain worthwhile. There is now one more person who is going to Heaven; which brings us back to Romans 8:28. Anyone who has read my book (available at Amazon.com) knows that people coming to Christ is important to me.

My friend who now loves the Lord benefitted from my problem even before he knew the Lord. Many Christians today who love our Lord are benefitting from Paul’s problem which has happened long before our great-great-grandparents were even thought of!

One day I was talking to someone about his cancer. What he is going through is horrible! If he can handle this then certainly I can handle my foot pain. If not then I’m a wimp! I prayed for his recovery. He’s OK now.

By now many of you are wondering why I wrote down Luke 21:11 up at the top of the article. To me it brings hope because Jesus is talking about the end of the age. Think of it; no more strokes, deafness, blindness, heart attacks, cancer or any other lousy suffering. When will this happen? No one knows; but I hope it’s soon.

Many years ago I used to be in the Washington Army National Guard. When I was on guard duty at Fort Lewis, in the very early mornings, it would often be cold, dark, and damp. At 4:30 in the morning (0430 for you military types) it’s quiet and you’re all alone. The minutes seem to drag on forever. You’re cold and then it starts raining. And there you stand, cold, wet and miserable. It feels like this could last forever. You know that the sun will come up, and when it does and after you get breakfast, the sun will warm the air, things will become much better.

Luke 21:27-28
27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
NIV

I know some believe that Jesus is talking about after the Anti-Christ or the False Prophet. I also know that some believe that Jesus will come before the Anti-Christ and have His people removed in the rapture. OK, fine. The point is our hardships and suffering will end.

I believe that as believers in Jesus, if we hang in there then eventually things will be better, much better. As I used to wait at Fort Lewis for the sun to come and warm the day; I now wait for the Son to come and save the day.

Hebrews 10:25
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
New Living Translation.

Do Not Steal

I wrote this while Amanda Knox was still in prison in Italy. This is the first time it’s been published.

Exodus 20:15
15″You must not steal.”
New Living Translation

One day I was at a meeting where they had different types of refreshments out. Some cookies, pumpkin bread and a bowl of small oranges. At the end of the meeting the woman who brought the oranges; told the people to take as many oranges as we want because she did not want to take them back home with her. I took two of the small oranges and stuffed them into my coat pocket and left.

On the way home I stopped at a grocery store in town. After I finished my shopping I walked up to the cashier and paid for the items and walked out to my truck. No problem, so what. However, when I was fastening my seatbelt I found the two small oranges still in my pocket. What if I was caught inside the store with fruit in my pocket? They of course would think I was stealing from them, when in fact I was not!

There are some people who, believe it or not believes this country should be under Islamic Shari’ah law. I’m glad we are not. If we were and if I was caught with the oranges in my pocket; this is what could happen:

I would be arrested and tried. However under Shari’ah law I believe I would be guilty until proven innocent. Would they show the security tape that would show I never entered the produce area? Maybe, but maybe not, because after all, I am a Christian. If I would be found guilty then under Shari’ah law my hand could be cut off. This is according to a small book: Shari’ah law: Radical Islam’s Threat to the U.S. Constitution; page 19; by ACLJ.org.

Here in America under what I believe is Judeo-Christian law I would still be arrested. However my trial would be different.

Deuteronomy 17:6
But never put a person to death on the testimony of only one witness. There must always be two or three witnesses.
New Living Translation

In other words you are innocent of a serious crime until proven guilty. In this country we extend it to non-serious crimes also. Also the video showing that I never entered the produce would be a nice help. If for some reason I was found guilty I would still get to keep both of my hands. I like that.

While writing this; I’m thinking ‘I bet Amanda Knox (the University of Washington student) would have liked it if in Italy you would be innocent until proven guilty.’

There is another law from the Old Testament that I like. Unfortunately we don’t seem to have it in this country. Let’s say your car was stolen, but they caught the bad guy. However your car is resold, stripped for parts, or totaled in a police car chase, or what ever; you choose. The thief is arrested and found guilty, but there is no car to return to you or is damaged. What then?

Leviticus 6:1-5
Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Suppose one of you sins against your associate and is unfaithful to the Lord. Suppose you cheat in a deal involving a security deposit, or you steal or commit fraud, 3 or you find lost property and lie about it, or you lie while swearing to tell the truth, or you commit any other such sin. 4 If you have sinned in any of these ways, you are guilty. You must give back whatever you stole, or the money you took by extortion, or the security deposit, or the lost property you found, 5 or anything obtained by swearing falsely. You must make restitution by paying the full price plus an additional 20 percent to the person you have harmed. On the same day you must present a guilt offering.
New Living Translation

Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross; there is no need for a guilt offering. However paying back the full price of the car plus 20% would sound good for the victim. I would even say that if the victim gets 10% and the police gets other 10% sounds good. In this day of economic problems, maybe there would fewer cops laid off.

Getting back to beginning of my thoughts; I am very thankful that I live in this country with the laws we have. If worst comes to worst, I still get to keep my hands.

There is one thing I would like to say about Muslims. Jesus died for them just like he died for us.

John 3:16
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
New Living Translation

Perfect Shop Radio

HPIM0496This is another article I wrote for a hearing loss newsletter. As you can see this one isn’t just for those with hearing loss.

Many of us enjoy working on a hobby in the garage, basement, barn or wherever. Many of us would also like to listen to a descent radio. Being hard of hearing we have two problems. The first one is most radios we have in our shops sounds poor. Whether you like listening to talk or music, you will most likely find that the radio will either be not loud enough, or if it is, too badly distorted to understand. The other problem is cost. If you want a loud good sounding radio, you could buy a nice expensive one. However if you do, would you want something that nice in the garage or barn where it would get: dusty, dirty, grimy, damp, with maybe a few little mice running across it?

My radio in the garage can withstand dampness, dust, very hot or cold temperatures, is loud and sounds good. I also paid $10 or $15 for it. (I don’t remember, I had it awhile) What I have on my shelf in the garage is a car radio. It’s too ugly for in the living room, but it’s perfect for in a shop. You can use most any speakers you want. Mine came from a couple of Snohomish County Sheriffs’ cars. They were for the police radios. For the antenna you will need at least part of the antenna wire with the center wire sticking out. With that I attached a three foot wire to it and hung the end over the rafters. Longer is better within reason.

For a power source you could use a car battery for a while, or you could use a 12 to 14 volt DC power supply. Don’t go too cheap or it won’t work well or have enough power to run the radio. I’m using one that came from a 12 volt rechargeable electric lawn mower, and it works OK on FM. (It makes noise on AM) I may go back to a battery because then it sounds good on AM and FM. Like I say: this is not a pretty set up for your living room, but for a shop that’s in a garage or barn, it perfect.

But Officer

After I wrote this for a newsletter I received a phone call and was asked if they could use it for something. I said yes. Later I heard that it was used as a training aid by Snohomish County Emergency Management to help those with hearing loss.

One night not long ago my wife Karen and I were coming home from a dinner out. It was dark and I was driving. When we were a block from our home I noticed a county sheriff car sitting in a church parking lot. No problem; I wasn’t speeding or anything. I turned left on the dead-end street we live on. That is when I noticed the flashing lights behind us. I pulled over.
“I can’t believe we’re being pulled over on our own street!” I said.
The cop came over and asked for license, insurance, and registration. He said my license plate light was out. I got out to see for myself. Yeah, it’s out.
He walked back to his patrol car. I stood by my car leaning against the roof looking around to see if there were any looky-loos looking out their windows to see what was going on. I heard the policeman say something but I don’t know what. I just thought he was talking on the radio. Cops do that sometimes.
As I was standing there wondering if I was going to be teased by my neighbors; I heard the cop yell something like, “If you don’t want any trouble you better do as you’re told and get back in the car!”
Where did that come from? I told him I didn’t hear him. He said something about asking for trouble.
I don’t have an answer for this. I understand for law enforcement, its safety. I also know he didn’t know I was hard hearing. One interesting thing to note is, that he seemed to have had no problem of me getting out, to look at the burnt out license plate light. So why was he yelling later?
He never did write me up.

He Likes Me A Lot!

Romans 5:8
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Why, would God even like me? Why would He like you? It’s mind boggling.
I have been a mechanic for many years. I have tools that are older than some of the people reading this. The other day I was looking for my air nozzle so I could blow something off with my air compressor, but I couldn’t find it. And it bothered me; just like any tool that I might temporary misplace. I have good tools, but there is nothing fancy about them. Many of them are scratched, marred, nicked, and just are not pretty anymore. But I like my tools.
Also like many mechanics, I would sometimes modify a tool for a special use. For an example once I cut notches in a pair of locking pliers with a cutting torch so I could do a certain job easier. I used that modified tool a lot over the years when I had my shop. I have several tools now that I have cut or ground or bent to do a job easier. I keep all these tools. I like my tools.
One day I was working on my wife’s car, when I found I needed a very special puller to remove a timing belt sprocket from the engine. The only place I could buy one was through Chrysler; and they wanted a lot of money for it. To make it worse it was on back order so I would have to wait six weeks. So I made a pattern, drill some holes in a place of metal and welded a nut on it, at just the right place. When I was done I had the tool I needed for almost no cost. Because I simply use a torch to cut off the metal I needed, and never ground down the rough spots or painted it or anything; it was a very ugly looking tool. But it worked beautifully. I kept that tool also.
Here is an odd fact about mechanics. We know our tools. When I was in the Army National Guard many years ago, the mechanics were issued tools to use. We were responsible for these tools. Several times there would be three of us working on a vehicle of some kind and our tools would get all mixed up together. When the job was done, we would sort out our tools. All of these tools were Government Issue so they were all the same make and model. Yet I would not get Leroy’s ½ inch wrench, and I would not get Jim’s ½ inch wrench. I would get my own. We could tell them apart either by a certain scratch, or a burnt mark, or whatever. We could also tell which tool belongs to whom. We knew them.
As much as I like my tools; I would never die for one. Jesus however willingly died for us. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
We are nicked, scratched and scarred with sin. God still loves us. Some of us may have had our lives changed by injury or sickness. God still loves us. Some of us were born with very unattractive features. God still loves us. He knows each and every one of us. Jesus loves us much more than any mechanic would ever like his tools. People are worth much more than tools, and there are some pretty cool tools out there.

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