Tag Archives: Education

If You Love God, This Country, and Our Freedom….

Lyn Leahz published this on her blog, and I think it’s one of the most important and informative videos you’ll ever see. I can’t recommend it enough.  Please don’t ignore this!  It’s been ignored too long already.  We can’t afford to do so any longer… 

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“Who of God is made unto us wisdom.”- 1Co_1:30

Man’s intellect seeks after rest, and by nature seeks it apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. Men of education are apt, even when converted, to look upon the simplicities of the cross of Christ with an eye too little reverent and loving. They are snared in the old net in which the Grecians were taken, and have a hankering to mix philosophy with revelation. The temptation with a man of refined thought and high education is to depart from the simple truth of Christ crucified, and to invent, as the term is, a more intellectual doctrine. This led the early Christian churches into Gnosticism, and bewitched them with all sorts of heresies. This is the root of Neology, and the other fine things which in days gone by were so fashionable in Germany, and are now so ensnaring to certain classes of divines. Whoever you are, good reader, and whatever your education may be, if you be the Lord’s, be assured you will find no rest in philosophizing divinity. You may receive this dogma of one great thinker, or that dream of another profound reasoner, but what the chaff is to the wheat, that will these be to the pure word of God. All that reason, when best guided, can find out is but the A B C of truth, and even that lacks certainty, while in Christ Jesus there is treasured up all the fulness of wisdom and knowledge. All attempts on the part of Christians to be content with systems such as Unitarian and Broad-church thinkers would approve of, must fail; true heirs of heaven must come back to the grandly simple reality which makes the ploughboy’s eye flash with joy, and gladens the pious pauper’s heart-”Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” Jesus satisfies the most elevated intellect when he is believingly received, but apart from him the mind of the regenerate discovers no rest. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” “A good understanding have all they that do his commandments.”

From “Music For The Soul” by Alexander Maclaren

History has a voice, and if we choose to listen to it, rather than talk about it, we can still hear it’s echo….still trying to speak truth even now….

HUMAN REMEDIES FOR SIN UNAVAILING

Though thou wash thee with lye, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God. – Jer_2:22

Education? Yes! it will do a great deal, but it will do nothing in regard of sin. It will alter the type of the disease, because the cultured man’s transgressions will be very different from those of the illiterate boor. But wise or foolish, professor, student, thinker, or savage with narrow forehead and all but dead brain, are alike in this, that they are sinners in God’s sight. I would that I could get through the fence that some of you have reared round you, on the ground of your superior enlightenment and education and refinement, and make you feel that there is something deeper than all that, and that you may be a very clever, and a very well educated, a very highly cultured, an extremely thoughtful and philosophical sinner, but you are a sinner all the same.

Again, we hear a great deal at present, and I do not desire that we should hear less, about social and economic and political changes, which some eager enthusiasts suppose will bring the millennium. Well, if the land were nationalized, and all  “the means of production and distribution” were nationalized, and everybody got his share, and we were all brought to the communistic condition, what then? That would not make men better, in the deepest sense of the word. The fact is, these people are beginning at the wrong end. You cannot better humanity merely by altering its environment for the better. Christianity reverses the process. It begins with the inmost man, and it works outwards to the circumference; and that is the thorough way. Why?  Suppose you took a company of people out of the slums, for instance, and put them into a model lodging-house, how long will it continue a model?  They will take their dirty habits with them, and pull down the woodwork for firing, and make the place where they are as like as possible to the hovel whence they came in a very short time. You must change the men, and then you can change their circumstances, or, rather, they will change them for themselves. Now, all this is not to be taken as casting cold water on any such efforts to improve matters, but only as a protest against its being supposed that these alone are sufficient to rectify the ills and cure the sorrows of humanity. ” Ye have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly.”  The patient is dying of cancer, and you are treating him for a skin disease. It is Jesus Christ alone that can cure the sins, and so the sorrows, of humanity.

 

An Interesting Quote

As I was reading today I came across the following quote, and it got me to thinking:

“Curiosity is often reprehensible. It is the fault of many to wish to pry into matters which they had much better never know. But there is one direction in which inquiry is never out of place. We can never be too anxious to know about Christ, the reasons of His movements, and the explanations of His doings (1Pe_1:10-12). Here anxious interest and casting about for light are not only legitimate, but necessary to our proper instruction, comfort, and salvation (Jam_1:5). But just here it is that the human heart is most sluggish. People spend their lives searching into questions of political and domestic economy, finance, commerce, agriculture, education. They toil and experiment touching the character, relations, and classifications of rocks, metals, soils, plants, insects, reptiles, animals, birds, and flowers. They explore and labour, at every expense and inconvenience, to make and test theories about the world. They rummage the darkest histories of the past, and exhaust their powers speculating upon the phenomena of human life, and perplex themselves about a thousand things in reference to which the best wisdom is as useless as it is scanty. But when it comes to the great and mighty movements of the Lord of all, the incarnation of Jehovah for the redemption of a world labouring under the curse of sin, and those moral and spiritual administrations, without which all the universe must be as nothing to us, they have no inquiries of living interest to propound. And to many an energetic sage and earnest searcher in departments not a thousandth part the account of this, the wronged and burdened Saviour is compelled to say, “I go My way to Him that sent Me; and none of you asketh Me, Whither goest Thou?” And especially in times of affliction, when the good Lord seems to withdraw Himself, and leave us to ourselves and our weaknesses, does the Saviour find occasion to complain of the deadness of men, paralyzed with their griefs, when they ought to be inquiring of Him about the reasons and objects of them. He has His explanations for all our days of darkness, and an antidote for every pain or privation we suffer, if only we had the faith and interest to ask after it. But the human heart is such an inveterate doubter, and so ready to give way before what is afflictive and dark, that we often miss the very consolations which are at hand, just because we are too dull and despondent to make the requisite inquiry” (J. A. Seiss, M. A.).

What did it get me to thinking?   The first thing I thought was how true this is of people, and then I thought how true this is of me.  Especially those last six lines!  I can’t tell you that I’ve fully digested all that these lines have brought to my mind, but I can see the light of truth shining through them, and I can see myself in them.  Perhaps, you can, too.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian, What Kind of Example Are You (7)

      This is the last in this particular series, but if you’ve enjoyed Bruce’s writing, and would like to see more I’d be happy to share more of his devotionals with you.  I believe that Bruce has some of the best devotional writing I’ve ever had the privilege of reading.  He has a heart for God through and through.  I hope you’ve been as blessed through his writing as I have been.

WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE ARE YOU (7)

     The word “purity” refers to that which is not polluted.  Pollution causes disease and death.  The products on the grocery store shelf may be beautifully packaged, but when food-borne illness results, we must go back to the source and find the problem.  What is it?  Careless, cost-cutting methods that not only permit disease but promote it.  Consider this: some of the things that entertain us today would have shocked our parents and grandparents.  Is that because we are more enlightened?  Look around you and judge for yourself!  While living under his father’s authority the Prodigal Son was well off.  But in search of enlightenment and entertainment, he ended up in a pigpen.  Yes, he was forgiven and welcomed back home, but he lost a lot in the process.  Today the world of politics, education, and entertainment are battling for your mind, your attention, and your allegiance.  So here’s a Scripture you need to think about carefully:  “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Php 2:5 NKJV).  In other words, submit your thoughts to God.  If He approves them-they’re okay.  Paul writes: “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.  We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.  We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (2Co 10:3-5 NLT).  If you don’t “capture” wrong thoughts and submit them to the test of scriptural truth, they’ll lead you in the wrong direction.

A Thought on . . . .

     So what is tonight’s subject?  It’s on the most profound, least understood, most controversial, most misinterpreted, most ill-used, most beautiful and thought-provoking issue of all time.  It has spurred more disgust, more argument, more disdain, more discussion, more thought, more hate, and more love than any other know entity.  Nations have risen, fallen, transformed, and died because of it.  It has led some to great prosperity, and led others to great poverty.  It’s influence has been world-wide, and none of us have escaped its influence.  Throughout history it’s been burned, banned, shunned, denied, and still it persists and it’s voice echos through the corridors of history as strongly as ever it first did when man first embraced it, and from that first man, it has always been embraced by someone who has loved it and cherished it.  Never has it not been loved, never has it not been sought, never has it been ignored, and I can say with full confidence that it shall never not be relevant. 

     It’s has united, divided and separated more people, spurred and spurned both the great and the small, the weak and the strong, the wise and the ignorant, the humble and the arrogant.  Nothing, since its inception, not one thing, not one person, has not in some way been touched and influenced by it.  If you live today, in this country (America), or any modern country, you have been touched by it – though it’s touch may have been as light as down – you have felt it’s influence though you may not have recognized it for what it was.

     So what do you think it is?  As you answer this question, I ask you to hesitate for just a second, and ask this question of yourself first: why has it been what it is.  Why has it endured when everything else, everything else, is subject to decay, destruction, and ultimate death, this one thing has prevailed; has continued to thrive in spite of the war against it, that continues to quietly stand in the face of the warriors against it and laugh; that continues to stand in front of those who have embraced it, and shields them from every dark and evil flight of arrow that tries to penetrate the armor of those who wear it.

     The greatest of all men, both the common and the uncommon, the educated and the illiterate, have been held sway by its beauty, have been captivated and captured by it, and have been held the most loving prisoner because of it.  No man, nor woman, nor child, apart from it has ever known their true worth, their role, and their duty; nor their destination without it.  No guru, college professor, politician, media mogul, or religious leader can compare, compete, or conquer the one it embraces –  for you see – the one who holds it most dearly in his or her heart is held by it in return.

     You must be careful in its handling, and in your approach to it, for it above all other things can condemn you as nothing else can, and yet for those who approach it with the right heart, who seek its revelation as the most precious of all jewels, and accept its value as beyond price nothing will ever hold more importance for you.

     What is it?  It’s the Word of God; The Holy Bible

A Thought on Criticism and Trust

     Have you ever wondered as you listen to people how they got their views?  How their worldview developed, what kinds of things must they have experienced that would cause them to think, act, and say the things they do?  Sometimes, I can’t help it, I wonder do they have any sense of how they’re coming across; any idea of the kind of impression they’re making as they go about their lives. 

     I can’t speak for them, but I can speak for myself.  When I look at myself and my relationships with other people, I often wonder what kind of impression I’m making; what other people might be thinking of me.  How do I come across?  Do I come across as being someone who’s judgmental, arrogant, and know-it-all? 

     I like to think I know myself, who I am, but I know that I have blind spots, and sometimes I fail to see what others see when they look at me.  I’d be less than honest, if I said I didn’t care, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t care nearly as much about what people think of me as I used to.  I’ve learned over the years that trying to please everyone, trying to change to fit someone else’s idea of who I should be, just doesn’t work.  The only thing trying to please everyone, and changing to be what someone else wants you to be, gets you is a lot of disappointment, anger, and heartache.  It’s the surest way I know to be miserable.

     Now, I’m not saying that we should just tell everybody to drop dead, and go to you know where if they don’t agree with us, or think there might be room for us to improve, but rather than just dismissing them out of hand, that we at least give a differing viewpoint an opportunity for examination and contemplation.  I have a rule-of-thumb that I use when listening to criticism – especially when it’s directed at me – that I always (as much as I can) look at the person giving it.  Opinions matter when they come from people who matter, and I mean people who matter to you.  Now maybe that doesn’t sound very nice, but when it comes to our lives, our souls, our minds, and our hearts I don’t think just anybody’s imput should be taken as 100% fact.

     Remember that motive matters, so before you take something someone says into your heart, mind, body, and soul, I believe it’s okay to ask the questions: why are they saying this, and what are they hoping to get out of it?  We have to remember that not everyone we meet, not even those closest to us, always have the best intentions.  It never hurts to look at who benefits from what is being said to you.  Is the fact that someone loves us a good test of criticism?  Not always.  Just because someone loves you doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t lie to you, or mislead you; that they won’t use you to get what they want.  It should, but sadly, it doesn’t always.  Still, it’s a good place to start. 

     It really boils down to who do you trust.  Trust is something we give too readily to most people, too willingly, and we do so to our peril.   Your trust is the most precious gift you can give to another.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, you have, will ever have, or give is more precious than trust.  Nothing you ever recive in this world, no amount of money, will equal the wealth you’ll have in this one – this single one- possession you’ll own if you’re lucky enough to have it.

     And this is why, I believe, that our trust is the thing that God cherishes and treasures above all else that we, as human beings, can give. 

Here’s some food for further thought:

 “Duties are ours, events are God’s; When our faith goes to meddle with events, and to hold account upon God’s Providence, and beginneth to say, ‘How wilt Thou do this or that?’ we lose ground; we have nothing to do there; it is our part to let the Almighty exercise His own office, and steer His own helm; there is nothing left for us, but to see how we may be approved of Him, and how we roll the weight of our weak souls upon Him who is God omnipotent, and when we thus essay miscarrieth, it shall be neither our sin nor our cross.” 

Samuel Rutherford, quoted in Prodigals and Those Who Love Them, Ruth Bell Graham, 1991, Focus on the Family Publishing, p. 106.

One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around in some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, “Hey Dad! Catch me!” I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He had jumped and them yelled “Hey Dad!” I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk. 

When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: “Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???”

He responded with remarkable calmness: “Sure…because you’re my Dad.” His whole assurance was based in the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted. Isn’t this even more true for a Christian? 

Tim Hansel, Holy Sweat, 1987, Word Books Publisher, pp. 46-47.

A Thought on Our Country

     So what do you think?  Is our country in trouble?  Do you feel as if the America you grew up in is disappearing?  As if everything that you grew up believing and thinking and living your life by is now under attack?  Are you afraid, fearful, worried about what’s going to happen, and how your chldren are going to fare in the future?  Do you look at the future with a sense of hope, with a belief that the opportunities, dreams and desires you’ve been looking forward to will still be there.

     There’s a lot of people these days who are deeply troubled, and who are really in trouble; trouble that comes in the shape and form of survival, of surviving from day to day.  More than at any time in recent history people are having a hard time getting by; they’re out of work, behind in house payments, worried daily about how they’re going to feed their kids, and have a hard time looking at the future with any sense of hope or well being. 

     People, by and large, are looking for a hand up; not a hand out.  People want opportunity, a chance, an atmosphere in which they can grow, develop, and thrive.  When I look at the heartland of America, the middle-class family, the small-business owner, I see a group of people  who are just yearning for a chance to prove themselves.  They don’t want someone trying to take care of them, or make people share their wealth with them; they just want to live in a country that gives them opportunity, a country where they can feel a sense of security in their lives; where people can feel confident in their government and elected officials that govern them, and most of all a county that treats everyone with dignity and respect without catering and pandering to one  particular group or philosopy.

     When I look at a lot of the young people in our society, I see a group of people, who are scared, who feel a deep sense of hopelessness, who, sadly, have no faith in anyone or anything; who feel like they’re living in an alternate America that has all the trappings of a prosperous country, with all it’s freedom’s and seeming opportunities, and yet when they look around, see themselves as the kid on Christmas morning opening the prettily wrapped package only to find that there’s nothing within. 

     What our young people need is to live in a country that inspires them to be great, who offers them a chance for a great education all the way K-12, and then gives them the chance to go to college without racking up a lifetime of debt to repay and no way to pay it back.  Who need oportunity, and who have the tools, talents, and abilities needed to seize it when it comes.  Who need to see what real success looks like, and not the gilded, glitter-ridden, emptiness that our so-called entertainment industry with it’s fame-starved, greed loving, money gathering junkies and proponents like to throw before them as if any of those things have ever led any of them to real contentment and happiness.

     There’s a whole sub-culture in this country that are almost non-existent, except by those who exploit them at election time, that live in a different America.  Children that go to bed hunry, many of them used and abused in –  terrible, cruel, unspeakable, intolerable – ways, who grow up (knowing in a way that we never can) that they live in a country that shows over and over again that nobody truly cares for them.  People that are trapped in a life that many of them didn’t want, but have no way out, and – who in many ways –  are kept where they are by a government and a people who are willing to give them a food-stamp voucher or a free bowl of soup, but aren’t willing give them a real opportunity by showing them how to help themselves.

     So many of our children and young adults live as lambs among wolves; they  live, play, work and walk among well-dressed, well-mannered, affluent monsters only too ready and too willing to devour the innocent, the unfortunate, and the unprotected.  What’s worse is that they live among a group of people who cry tears, who bewail, and rage against the injustice done to them, but who won’t step up and act on their behalf.  Who prefer reputation, prestige, and wealth over doing the right thing, and thus leave them always vulnerable to the monsters who would hurt them.

   Our country lives under what, I believe, to be the best system of government this world knows.  It’s not perfect, we all know, but no other system allows as much freedom, as much opportunity, as our does.  What other system can be named where people are allowed to prosper from their own hard work, their own creativity, their own willingness and determination to succeed as this one?  Where even people who rail and protest it can be heard without fear of recrimination?  Where even the lazy, the irresponsible, the unmotivated, and the uncaring can live in a prosperity that much of the rest of the world would envy?

     America as a country and as a people,  has always thrived because its ideals were the greatest that man can aspire to, the chief of which – to serve and worship God freely – were unlike any else in the world.  The things we valued: Our Freedom, Our Families, Our Country, and most of all Our God were on full display and we lived by their tenets.  We were exceptional – thus the term American Exceptionalism was born – for those very ideals, and it’s why every American citizen has an ancestry that originated somewhere else. 

     Our country is in trouble, as our people are, but we are not beyond hope, are not so far distant that we can’t hear the voice of Our Great God calling to us to step foot upon His path once more.

The Benefit of a Good Conscience

     Among the many things all people should possess a good conscience should be paramount.    If you have a good conscience then take time to praise God for it is a witness to the relationship between you and He.

The glory of a good person is the testimony of a good conscience. A good conscience is able to bear very much and is very cheerful in adversities. An evil conscience is always fearful and unquiet. Never rejoice except when you have done well. You shall rest sweetly if your heart does not accuse you. Sinners never have true joy or feel inward peace, because ‘there is no peace for the wicked,’ says the Lord (Isaiah 57:21). The glory of the good is in their consciences, and not in the tongues of others, The gladness of the just is of God, and in God; and their joy is of the truth.

A person will easily be content and pacified whose conscience is pure. If you consider what you are within, you will not care what others say concerning you. People consider the deeds, but God weighs the intentions. To be always doing well and to esteem little of one’s self is the sign of a humble soul. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends, ‘says Paul (2 Corinthians 10:18). To walk inwardly with God, and not to be kept abroad by any outward affection, is the state of a spiritual person. Conscience is that faculty in me which attaches itself to the highest that I know, and tells me what the highest I know demands that I do. It is the eye of the soul which looks out either toward God or toward what it regards as the highest authority. If I am in the habit of steadily facing toward God, my conscience will always introduce God’s perfect law and indicate what I should do. The point is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I walk without offense. I should be living in such perfect sympathy with God’s Son that in every circumstance the spirit of my mind is renewed. The one thing that keeps the conscience sensitive to Him is the habit of being open to God on the inside. When there is any debate, quit. There is no debate possible when conscience speaks.  

C.F.H. Henry, Christian Personal Ethics,  Eerdmans, 1957, p. 509ff