Jehoshaphat and Ahab!

King Jehoshaphat of Judah was a godly man and zealous for the Lord. His main weakness seemed to be pliability and easily led. The great blight on his reign was his association and close relationship with the wicked King Ahab of the northern kingdom Israel.

Perhaps he had high hopes of restoring Ahab and Israel to the true worship of Israel’s God but instead was inveigled into a foolhardy attempt to restore Ramoth Gilead to Israel’s control.

Ahab attempted to placate Jehoshaphat’s religious scruples by enlisting the support of his resident prophets and they with one accord supported this ‘pious ‘Endeavour. Yet Jehoshaphat was not so simple as to take their word alone but called for a ‘Prophet of the Lord’ to be consulted as well.images344.jpg

Ahab was initially reluctant because his experience of God’s prophets was less than pleasing. As Jehoshaphat insisted, Michaiah the son of Imlah was summoned to appear. The officer who went and fetched Michaiah was unwilling to spoil all the ‘goodwill’ built up so asked the prophet to chime in with Ahab’s ‘trained poodles’. The prophet naturally refused, he was answerable to the ‘God of hosts’ and bound to proclaim His word faithfully.

Initially it seemed that the ‘Prophet of the Lord’ was going to weaken and fall in with the other ‘ soothsayers’ , repeating the ‘mantra’ of’ go up and you are sure to succeed’.

Support from so unlikely a quarter did not convince Ahab who confusingly adjured Michaiah to tell the truth.

Michaiah then revealed God’s purpose of judgment and defeat. One of Ahab’s prophetic lackeys was not pleased at this blatant contradiction and after slapping his face asked him which way the ‘spirit of prophecy’ went in order to arrive at Michaiah.

Ahab only response to God’s word was to lock the prophet of the Lord up on bread and water pending his safe return. Michaiah reassured him this was not going to happen.

True to form Ahab sets his fellow king as a ‘target’ to distract the Syrians and to make doubly sure disguises himself as an ordinary charioteer.

Jehoshaphat in the heat of battle becomes the focus of the Syrian soldiers who were ordered to get Ahab and forget everyone else. The royal robes that placed him above His people now became a ‘bull’s eye’ which if not for his hurried anguished prayer and the loving kindness of God, would have done for him. Through divine intervention the soldiers are turned to other prey.

The God of Israel was not by Ahab’s clever ploy and guiding a haphazardly fired arrow smites the evil king fatally.Ahab_shot_1141-8

Jehoshaphat rushes home regretting the whole enterprise.

The great question for the Church today is to determine the point when cooperation becomes compromise. When to know when contact and interaction with the ungodly has passed beyond safe spiritual bounds.

Jehoshaphat’s behavior in this instance reminds us of the need to heed our Saviour’s warning to have the sharp-eyed wisdom of a serpent while maintaining the harmlessness of a ‘dove’. Well meaning he no doubt was and his intentions may have been noble, yet his failure to consult God and seek His will before embarking on this alliance cost him dearly and set a poor example to his people.

Michaiah stands true in the line of faithful prophets of the Lord. They are the genuine instruments through which God reveals and declares His plans and purposes. They overcome the natural tendency to ‘tone down’ and vacillate, and keep the eye of faith on God and not the consequences attending the proclamation of His Word.

Ahab typifies to the life those whom God deals with in judgment and repeatedly warns yet consistently reject and ignore mercy and grace shown. Who of us would wish an end like his?

The parting of the ways!

I hate endings. As an avid watcher of ‘Old’ television, and in a climate of constant broadcast of repeats, I can tell when the end of a series is coming. My invariable response is (that if it was a series I really liked ) that even now after being so long discontinued that somehow more episodes were made.maxresdefault (1).jpg

This is made even more desirous if I considered the program series ending ‘anti climactic’ or needlessly tragic.

I have often grown attached to each of the characters and regret the loosing of their company and following of their adventures.

In regards to the highs and lows of the realities of life, this regret is more poignant because the ending of many loved things is more permanent and enduring in consequence.

The ‘if only’ feeling is endemic to us all even as Christians.

The wrong things we do and choices we make and the people we lose in the process are constant sources of grief and sadness.

Even without our input or action Times change and life moves on leaving an emptiness we cannot always fill.

We are creatures of time and as such bound by its limitations. God on the other hand dwells in eternity and the everlasting now. The answer to all our inherent longings and  our deliverance from  earthly regret is to make Him our dwelling place for now and eternity through our Lord Jesus Christ!

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Jehoshaphat and Ahab!

Seeing but not Perceiving!

These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb.

Now Moses called all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land— the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great wonders. Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to [a]perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet…..Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

10 “All of you stand today before the Lord your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel,11 your little ones and your wives—also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water— 12 that you may enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath, which the Lord your God makes with you today,13 that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and thatHe may be God to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

14 “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, 15 but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today.” Deuteronomy 29:1- 14 NKJV.

 

The generation of Israel which was left after the forties years of ‘Wandering’ were standing on the brink of entering the ‘Promised land’.bd5c45a051dd06742ab9cc9a014dec6a.jpg

God through Moses, reminded the people of all those mighty works that He had wrought for them in bringing them out of Egypt and carrying them thus far and again that in the face of their repeated disobedience and stubborn unbelief.

The Covenant between God and his people was renewed at this time and two ways were set before them, the way to blessing and fruitful possession of the land or upon their disobedience, the curses of an angry God and war, famine, pestilence and exile.

The people’s proneness to disobedience and faithlessness is frankly laid at the door of their guilty and inexcusable lack of understanding and perception.

Despite all that the entire people saw, heard and experienced, God’s dealing with them and the mighty power He had exercised on their behalf produced no fundamental and enduring change in their hard hearted attitudes and sinful inclinations.

The mere fact that they had been sustained and constantly fed in a ‘howling wilderness’ when in normal circumstances they should have perished with hunger and thirst meant nothing to them.  Even the fact that their clothes and shoes had not worn out as they normally would have had not registered with them as anything miraculous.

It seemed that in common with most of us they had become blasé with the mighty works of God seen in panorama gloriously around them.

God reminds them of what their own eyes has seen of the rampant idolatry of the nations through which they passed and the degradation and futility that were its consequences.

The people were again warned of the consequences of dallying with the ‘left over’ relics and idols they would find in Canaan.

They may foolishly come to believe that there would be no dire consequences from ‘toying’ with the practices of the Canaanites. There would be someone who would come from their midst who would suggest a seemingly minor departure from God and His ways. Becoming bored with the worship of the Lord their God they would be tempted to dally with the flesh pleasing pleasures of idolatry.

But their God was not an empty nothing such as the gods of the nations. He was not one to be trifled with and His law broken without repercussions.

As he would bless them in everything they did and possessed if they continued in obedience so would disobedience bring upon the people a blight and curse on all they did and on all they possessed and on their health and fruitfulness.

Unfortunately some professing Christians, in this modern age have re-invented God as being somewhat different from the Old Testament reality.

The God of Modern Christianity has ‘mellowed’ somewhat with the passing ages.

Many have made him far more indulgent and less likely to condemn and punish for our grievous sinful indulgences.

We must remember that the Children of Israel were to be God’s (if I may use the expression) ‘display house’ in the world.

The ungodly were to see in Israel, God’ glory and grace and be drawn to like obedience and faith. How could this be accomplished if God’s chosen people were indulging in idolatry and behaved no differently from the Gentiles?

Surely the Christian must perform a similar role in the world today and yet how many of us live lives which are indistinguishable from our godless neighbours.

As the children of Israel were called to holiness and holy living, so is the believer.

It is our discarding of the need for Christian Sanctification and the encroachment of ‘worldliness’ and Post modern’ thinking that has weakened the Church’s witness in the world. It is our trivializing of sin and lack of desire for ‘Holiness’ that tarnishes all say and do.

The Christian through God’s grace  revealed  through Christ no longer seeks to be justified in God’s sight by works of Law.

Yet  the believer does not escape the Divine call to obedience and holiness.

It is the through the acting of the ‘new born’  heavenly nature and sanctified desires implanted in the believer that motivate him to seek to live in ways pleasing to God and according to His Holy Word!

Rather than ‘Unhitch’ ourselves from the Old Testament we should rather remind ourselves of exactly who this ‘Holy’ and yet merciful God is ,with whom we have to do; and in obedience to His Word, walk in faith, ‘holiness and newness of life’.

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That sinking Feeling!

sinkhole

One thought that occurs to me living as I am in a city built on Gold mining is that I can never be sure what lies under my feet.

We often find articles in our local paper about old mine shafts opening up due to heavy rain.

The strangest occurrence I remember is of a person pulling up floorboards in his house and finding a gaping void beneath them.

The phenomena of ‘sinkholes’ and the fact that our continental land masses are afloat on a sea of molten magma give us a reminder that stability and solidity are only ‘relative’ terms.

God alone offers true stability and should be the rock we trust in and obey. The Christian alone builds on a ‘Sure foundation’ which ‘wind, weather, Earthquake and Fire can never move or destroy.

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Seeing but not Perceiving!

The rise of the Acronyms!

In the era of sound bites and ‘tweets’, the use of abbreviated language and ‘acronyms’ is becoming prevalent.download

For those finding themselves ‘out of the loop’ it is hard, at least initially to get the gist and meaning of comments and issues that use these terms.

This has the effect of limiting understanding to an initiated few while the many are bewildered and forced to play ‘catch up’.

I wonder whether the ‘in the know’ people that coin these ‘acronyms’ consider themselves to be in the numbers of the ‘elite’.

While ‘theology’ has a tendency to speak in a language all its own and the Scriptures contain things that are difficult for many to understand we are not without the means to come to an understanding of the Truth if we sincerely seek it.

The Spirit opens the Christians heart to Christ and the gospel and our understanding to the Scriptures. Our part is to be teachable and zealous to hold onto the Truth received.

The Tattered Gospel!

The authority of the Scriptures as the Word of God is being constantly assailed both by outright enemy and more often than not by professing Christians.

There have always been those who would gladly wean the Christians off one part of Scripture or another.  They tend to be more determined to relegate great tracts of the Old Testament to obsolescence but also explain away the less acceptable to modern ears portions of the New.

To be a Believer in the Bible as the Word of God Today is the worst thing anyone can be in this ‘day and age.’

How many parts of Scripture are said to be only relevant to those who lived in those days? How many are said to be only meant for those who lived under ‘The Law’ and not applicable to those who live under ‘Grace’?

So it goes on interminably.

Rather believe that ‘All Scripture is God Breathed and profitable’ and seek for its application to us, wherever and whenever we are!

The only Bible the early Church had was the Old Testament, later combined with the ‘Apostolic writings and gospels’. It has sustained Christianity throughout its entire history and will continue to do so.

Today the tide is high against Scriptural Christianity and even in many of our churches all we get is the ‘Expurgated ‘ version, devoid of teaching about the sinfulness of sin and the need for repentance and holiness of life.

True Christianity has always been out of step with Society at large and its culture and we always hear those asking how we engage modern culture with Christianity.

Why else are all our pastors throwing away their suits and ties and donning t-shirts, grasping hold of the latest ‘church growth gimmick’ and pursuing anyone, however theologically dubious, who promises to increase their membership?

Why else are ‘prayer times’ and ‘Bible expository’ sermons cast to the ‘moles and the Bats’?

Because in our desperation to keep our ‘fellowships ‘ alive we will do anything and anything to get the people in, without any regard to being faithful to God and His truth. We fear more than anything offending people with the unadorned Gospel of Christ and therefore Endeavour to re-package it for the modern age.

Rather be thought anachronistic and obsolete and try to uphold faithfully the gospel of Christ and the inerrant Word of God than like a poor tailor ‘ cut our pattern to suit our cloth’.

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“Crossing the line”

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Crossing the Line was a nautical tradition that was observed when ships initiated passengers and crew who were  for the first time crossing  the ‘Equator’.

All manner of high jinks were part of this ceremony and the resourceful sailors made up costumes and props,  such as dressing up as king Neptune and his consort.

We are familiar with the celebrations  and ‘carry ons’ that society observes on anniversaries and occasions.

In fact the tendency is to make up an occasion  for any time when one does not exist.

Christianity  too ,has its ‘rites of passage’ in Baptism and The Lord’s supper’, they remind us of what Christ is to us and what we are to Him.

Unlike the high spirited antics of the ‘seaman’ the Christian ordinances are not things to be taken lightly , thoughtlessly or frivolously. They call for self examination and thoughtfulness and if attended so are a source of blessing to all believers who so observe them.

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The rise of the Acronyms!

Encapsulated Truth.

We are always being told that the simplest way to deal with an inadequate diet is to take a ‘vitamin supplement’ to make up for what we are missing out on by our skipping meals and  through our substituting ‘junk food’ for those more nutritious.vit amins.jpeg

Science fiction tells us that one day all our dietary requirements will come in a condensed and probably rather tasteless form.

The increased pace of our lives demands things to be quick, easy and ready to hand.

Why should we be wasting time cooking and preparing meals when it is far easier to buy something ready prepared and microwaveable, even if not quite as healthy and tastes of cardboard?

It has often been the case that expedients and substitutes have found their way into people’s diets.

The American woodsman who could not always carry supplies and find game, survived on dried meat called ‘jerky’. The Arctic explorer made do with ‘Pemmican’ and the seaman ‘salt pork’ and biscuits, often accompanied by weevils.pemmican

These expedients were necessary at times but could never make up for a balanced and sufficient diet.

In the area of communicating information and points of view, opinions and truths are often conveyed by the passing on of quotes from learned and influential people.

These ‘quotes’ often serve to  illustrate points we may feel they communicate in a superior or more condensed than we ourselves are able to do.

As you see from this blog, I avail myself of quoted sources which in my view ‘encapsulate’ truths I think are important and worthy to be more widely known.

Some people have a great gift for compressing useful and memorable truths into a terse and ‘pungent’ i.e. affecting ways.

These ‘words of wisdom’ and ‘quips’ and ‘quotes’ may supplement our intellectual diet and may be convenient forms to carry  and help preserve things into our memory, but will not wholly replace our own reading, study and contemplation.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was a master at conveying teaching to the masses in the ‘condensed’ forms of Parables and ‘sayings’. These teachings were easily remembered and were heard gladly by the people.

Some were content to marvel at Christ’s wisdom and entertainment value without looking more deeply and  as a consequence received no further benefit, others sought deeply and  found more substantial ‘food’ and reaped eternal benefits.

Taken in isolation, the ‘sayings of Jesus’ can act as a ‘pick me up’ in a given situation and they are valuable for their coming in a more portable and readily memorable form but they must be accompanied by continued feeding and meditation and thorough digestion of what God has to say to us in His Word as well as reading those who have left sound and useful works for us to study.

Storefronts!

Due to the decline of ‘Corner stores’ or as we call them here ‘shops’, there are many of them that are now merely people’s homes.old store

They  may still have the overhead ‘verandahs’ and the large display windows but now they are closed and have no access and interaction with the public.

It may be said that many ‘Christians’ are  much like these disused businesses that inasmuch as their only concern is with their own salvation and personal welfare and have no further concerns.

They may make a token effort in supporting the work of missions and some prayer but they have long given up very much in the way of witness and evangelism as  being a ‘lost cause’ in the current atheistic climate.

It is easy to be discouraged as to the state of affairs in Christianity and its progress and witness in the World. We may have all come to the point that we have thrown up our hands and yielded to despair.

We have been infected with the almost universal sense of embarrassment with regards to the gospel .It does seem that many of those who make the most noise in Christianity, proclaim very little of the Scriptural message of Salvation and instead preach a ‘therapeutic’ gospel’ which most find less offensive.

While we may be assured that the cause of Christ will triumph in the end we are still reminded by Christ’s parable of the talents, that we have been each given spiritual ‘capital’ to invest and a heavenly reward awaiting us. Therefore we, each one of us are called by the Saviour to be ‘open for business when it comes to our life and witness for Him in the World.

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To me the most poignant thing I have come across in my ‘cemetery’ researches is the  finding of a grave in one of the ‘infant’ sections where a couple  lost twins.

Three rows down I found that three years later this same couple, lost a baby girl.

I can only imagine how these parents suffered and wonder how they survived?

The Christian life is not not one that is free or immune to tragedy and sadness and sometimes we come close to being crushed by them.

But for the Christian faith and the power of Christ’s resurrection, death would remain a hopeless void.

We can only pity those who have no ‘Rock’ to cling to and seek to  lift up Christ as the truest support and stay for people who would otherwise be without hope.

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Encapsulated Truth.

Trouble and Strife!

Many refer to the Christian Church in its earthly form as the ‘Church militant’.

The Church sadly, has often been less engaged in conflict with its greatest enemies of ‘sin, the flesh and the devil’ but more often with different factions and shades of opinion within its self.

It not only has to do with open enemies but also those who are, when measured by Scripture found to be ‘false teachers’. Still further the Church must deal with those who err from aspects of the truth without departing from the faith.

This is leading to a great deal of online discussion, even more so with the passing of Dr. Billy Graham.

Some would be tempted to ignore the controversies of the times and others would sail in ‘sword waving’.

To me it seems that the great need of the times is for us all to seek a well balanced and proportioned Christianity.

It is unlikely that the majority of Christians will harmonize on many things pertaining to theology and practice. So whatever our persuasion or perspective it behooves us all to endeavour to avoid the pitfalls on the one side while keeping clear of the quagmire on the other.

At the very least this involves us in coming to an understanding of Scripture as a whole and not grasping at one teaching of Scripture at the expense of another.

Also it is necessary to place no more weight and emphasis on a portion of Scripture than it can reasonably bear.

It is also dangerous to take many portions of Scripture out of their context and historical setting.

We have seen in the past the tendency to spiritualize scriptures that were meant to be taken literally and contra wise take literally scriptures that were meant to be taken spiritually. How much discernment is required to decide which is which?

So many it seems have their own axe to grind and therefore see the entire of the Word of God in a certain light and live their Christianity accordingly.

Ultimately it is an over confidence in our own wisdom and abilities that prevents us from realizing our own utter inability and instead seeking wisdom from on high to help us to come to a true and proper understanding of what God says to us in His Word and live our Christian lives accordingly.

Our crying need is for true Christ-like living balanced with true Scriptural knowledge tempered by true Christian humility and love.

The ‘Westland Whirlwind’

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was a British twin engine fighter built during World War Two.

The prolonged development problems with its Rolls Royce ‘Peregrine’ engines and its tendency for engine power to fade at altitude caused it to be limited to low altitude ground attacks, in this it was very effective.

Likewise, many Christians find it difficult to aspire to the Spiritual heights that others may reach. Yet rather than wait idly for some exalted revelation or experience they must serve Christ to the best of their ability in the more pedestrian and mundane areas of Christian service.

As Christ teaches us in the Parable it is the one who contents Him or herself with the humblest place that receives the call to “Come up higher‘!

 

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The Marble Man!

Someone described Robert E. Lee as the “Marble man” because he was such a fine and noble man that it was hard to find fault with him, despite being blamed by many ‘Northerners’ for lengthening the war even when it was clearly lost by the South.r lee

There are very few if any who can go throughout the entire lives without truly or falsely having criticism laid against them.

Whether it is the fact of mud always sticking or genuine criticism of obvious error, the Christian must be in constant vigilance to be fair and just as well as loving and compassionate in all their judgments and assessments of people and ideas.

We can set people so high in our esteem that we are purblind to their failings and faults while with others we are always on the lookout for any failing and fall.

Naturally we would like to appear as those who are forever seeing the best in people but the truth is we are more prone to look for the worst.

We have in this country something called ‘the tall poppy’ syndrome. It is where we build some one up to the skies and then later  take much pleasure in tearing them down again.

Such a spirit and attitude is very far from a Christian one.

Our Lord Jesus Christ knew, even while on earth what was in men’s hearts, finally and ultimately He alone can judge the depth and reality of our faith and obedience.

We would do far better if we left the Final Judgment to Him alone.

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To some of you we say, Go forward rather than pray. Think not that we would, as these words might imply, cast discredit on prayer. But, beloved our hearts are deceitful, and although we should at every moment have an upward eye and a thirsting heart for the guidance and the presence of the living God, still there are times and circumstances when it becomes almost a sin to pray. Sometimes it is unbelief that makes us pray, or rather seem to pray, else what does that word mean, ”Why criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.'”(Ex 14:15) — William C. Burns

 

Trouble and Strife!

I.F.F.!

Iff

Identification, friend or foe (IFF) is an identification system designed for command and control. It enables military and civilian air traffic control interrogation systems to identify aircraft, vehicles or forces as friendly and to determine their bearing and range from the interrogator. IFF may be used by both military and civilian aircraft. IFF was first developed during the Second World War, with the arrival of radar, and several infamous friendly fire incidents.

Despite the name, IFF can only positively identify friendly targets, not hostile ones. If an IFF interrogation receives no reply or an invalid reply, the object cannot be identified as friendly, but is not positively identified as foe. (From Wikipaedia)

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Is there a spiritual equivalent of I.F.F.?

All believers have a standard or rule by which they assess the reality and degree of another person’s Christianity or indeed whether they are Christians at all.

It may depend on the length of time that we know them or how open and above board they are about themselves. Also we make judgments based on what we see of their behavior outside of Christian circles.

We are more likely to give the professing Christians we encounter, ‘higher marks’ because of their likeability and generosity.

We may find that because their theology or preference of worship somewhat conforms to ours, we are entitled to assume that they are at least on the right track with their Christianity.

On the other hand, we may look at the company they keep or their shortcomings in theology as mitigating factors when accepting them as a friend and fellow believer.

Again, we may see their lingering sinful propensities or perceived laxity in some areas as reasons for caution and even separation.

Unfortunately we are fallible, and therefore likely to draw false and hasty conclusions in our judgment of others.

We can ‘write off’ some people as if they were a car, not worth the effort or money to repair.

There are in ‘today’s’ Christianity, many ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ and it makes the discerning of friend from enemy vital. Yet in like manner, as the disciples when they called upon Jesus to rebuke the man discovered casting out demons in His Name, we may find the response to our efforts to be a similar rebuke.

The need for discernment in the Christian’s life is necessary, today more than ever. The danger comes when it is pursued in the wrong spirit and zeal.

Wish as we may, we are not the judge, jury and executioner of those we encounter day by day.

God alone is the ultimate judge of men and women.

It is not our ‘place’ to consign people to “the uncovenanted mercies of God’.

It is conceivable that some of our present enemies will become our future friends and sadly, the vice versa.

While we may find much to criticize and deplore about some people’s practice and beliefs, we are nevertheless, to seek their eternal welfare and holding fast to the truth of God.

There is a time and place for us to imitate  ‘metaphorically ‘John Knox and his two – handed sword but for the most part all that is required is a well considered and kindly word spoken in Christian love.

In short, like the original I.F.F. system, our ability to evaluate others is not infallible. Only God truly knows the hearts of men and women.

It is His mercy and truth we seek for others and for ourselves.

Let us pray for not only the serpent’s wisdom but also the dove’s harmlessness.

Let us aim most of all, for the manifestation within ourselves of a Christ-like spirit.

 

Our New Relationship!

george 5 ascot

King George the fifth was a stickler for dress and punctuality, but so enchanted was he with his new ‘daughter in law’ that one morning when she came down to breakfast and apologized for her lateness, the king replied that He and the remainder of the company must have sat down too early.503dc7ab4f3d7751b3877a9a4d01d0cf--bowes-lyon-george-vi

Infinitely more so, our new relationship as believers with God ,as our heavenly Father, through union with Christ removes the penal displeasure that is our due as sinners.

The Christian is brought to  see,  as never before, God’s loving countenance and tender compassion for our weakness and frailties.

Even our sins and straying from the right path draws out His loving-kindness and Shepherd – like care and reveals His willingness to forgive and the call for our return, attended with the promise of mercy and restoration.

All of these mercies and blessings come to us through our union and oneness with Christ Jesus our Lord.

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I.F.F.!

The Bigsworth’ Board.

The ‘Bigsworth’ board’ was issued to aircraft navigators and observers so that they had a convenient way to plot their aircraft’s course in flight.indexbigsworth board

(Captain W.E. Johns named his famous character “Biggles” after the man himself as he had worked with him at the British Air ministry.)

Bigsworth served with distinction during the First World War and was awarded a D.S.O. and bar for daring attacks against a German Zeppelin and an enemy submarine.)

In the often cramped confines of an aircraft, especially in the old “open cockpit” days, the Bigsworth’ board was a useful help to airman.

In an infinitely higher sense the Bible is a vital tool to help us navigate through life.

Like an aircraft pilot it is easy to go off our appointed course. We also need to be able to check our progress and be forewarned of dangers that loom before us, like jagged mountain ranges.

The Word of God charts the landmarks which confirm that we are heading on the right bearing and flying at the right altitude.bigsworth board

The Bigsworth’ board also prevented the airman’s chart from blowing away in the slipstream.

Similarly, the Bible despite the efforts some to “blow” it away, remains firm, intact and a reliable revelation of God’s holy will.

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Gee & Oboe!

Gee, sometimes written GEE, was a radio navigation system used by the Royal Air Force during World War II. It measured the time delay between two radio signals to produce a fix, with accuracy on the order of a few hundred metres at ranges up to about 350 miles (560 km). It was the first hyperbolic navigation system to be used operationally, entering service with RAF Bomber Command in 1942. (Its basic system was later developed into the far more effective Gee H system.)LORAN_AN-APN-4_receiver_set.jpg

Oboe was a British aerial blind bombing targeting system in World War II, based on radio transponder technology. The system consisted of a pair of radio transmitters on the ground, which sent signals which were received and retransmitted by a transponder in the aircraft. By comparing the time each signal took to reach the aircraft, the distance between the aircraft and the station could be determined. The Oboe operators then sent radio signals to the aircraft to bring them onto their target and properly time the release of their bombs. (quotes from Wikipaedia)Oboe_control_room

The German defenders furiously tried to jam or at least fool these systems and thus limit their success.

They also sought to use them as a means of locating and intercepting British bombers.

God has provided the believer with “navigational “aids and protective equipment to guide and guard them on their journey through the world.

The enemy of the saints by cunning ploys, temptations and persecution tries to jam the signal God has sent and tries to misdirect the Christian by employing false beacons to put them off course.

Therefore we have to take every possible care to differentiate the true Word of God from false distortions of the gospel and Worldly cares and desires that are attempting to drown it out.

We must remain alert and on our guard against the “night fighters” and anti aircraft artillery which Satan daily sends to intercept and destroy the follower of Christ.

A “Split Infinitive”

“In the English language, a split infinitive or cleft infinitive is a grammatical construction in which a word or phrase comes between the to and the bare infinitive of the to form of the infinitive verb. Usually an adverb or adverbial phrase comes between them.

A well-known example occurs in the opening sequence of the Star Trek television series: “to boldly go where no man has gone before“; the adverb boldly is said to split the infinitive to go. Sometimes more than one word splits the infinitive, as in: “The population is expected to more than double in the next ten years”.

In the 19th century, some grammatical authorities sought to introduce a prescriptive rule against the split infinitive. The construction is still the subject of disagreement, though modern English usage guides have dropped the objection to it.

(Quoted from Wiki.)

The reading of this definition did not help me at all!

No other grammatical issue has so divided English speakers since the split infinitive was declared to be a solecism (error, inconsistency or impropriety ), in the 19th century : raise the subject of English usage in any conversation today and it is sure to be mentioned.

— Henry Watson FowlerPocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage 

Henry Alford, (7 October 1810 – 12 January 1871) was an English Churchman best known for his 8 volume edition of the New Testament in Greek. (From Wikipedia)Henry_Alford.jpg

In his work “A plea for the Queen’s English” (published in 1866,) Alford professes a profound distaste for the use of the “split infinitive” in grammar but gives no real evidence to support his dislike.

I doubt whether many non-grammarians would concern themselves today with the rights and wrongs involved here.

We all have our ‘pet’ peeves when it comes to a variety of subjects.

My current dislike, in the field of grammar and pronunciation is the practice of people saying “everythink” when they should say “everything”.

Also, the new and common practice of describing a person’s behaviour as ‘precious’ is an innovation that I find irritating.I have no real idea what they mean when they say this.

How do these adjectives apply to a person’s particular behavior in a given circumstance?

Over the progress of the ages, manners of speech and common expressions  change in meaning and may fall out of use altogether.

To some extent, for good or ill, this also occurs in the way we understand and speak about Christianity.

Some find the expressions used in Scripture distasteful,  so they seek to tone them down or replace them with what they perceive as ‘unoffensive’ phrases and use words which are less likely to polarize and divide.

The usual result is a message that bears little or no resemblance to the gospel ,”once for all delivered to the saints” Jude 1:3

It is God’s Message we seek to proclaim and we cannot play fast and loose with it.

Rather we must express ourselves in ways that accurately and faithfully convey this “gospel” to a sinful and desperately needful world.

welldoing

 

 

The Bigsworth’ Board.