Those that
don't learn
from history
are destined
to repeat it!
 

You see
things that
are spiritually
TRUE,
tend to repeat
and to ring
throughout
history,

like a bell
getting ever
louder!

 

PAST BLOG POSTINGS

JAN 8, 2018:  CALVINISM 1    Probably the thing I find most bothersome among fellow Christians is the creeping legalism of Calvinism.  I do understand the appeal!  Once a person "feels" sort of saved Calvinism offers a great deal of comfort and assurance not offered by the simple teachings of belief and faith.  Calvinism offers one answer to the typical:  Have I believed the right thing?  Have I believed enough?  Have I doubted?  I don't "feel" saved today!  How can God keep forgiving me? — Calvinism's very appealing answer is: "It isn't you; it's 100% God; and it is permanently predetermined."

Now, the problem with any almost-true-ism is that then you must build a huge house of cards to support that theology.  Calvinism absolutely requires:  A God who is 100% complete within Himself, not needing us; 100% powerful and involved in doing absolutely everything, because absolutely everything must come from him; 100% predetermination of who will be saved and who is already assigned to hell, with an almost capricious, arbitrariness, to His choice, and no explanation provided as that may actually involve man; and basically a totally super holy "otherness" God.

This is NOT the covenant God of Abraham!

When I talk to Calvinists it strongly reminds me of talking to Jehovah Witnesses.  They keep jumping from one slightly misapplied scripture to another, from supporting card to supporting card, and don't let themselves every see the forest for the trees; especially all the Old Testament types and precedence.  They also remind me of a 3 year old child who being totally consistent with his age, legalistically argues with the neighbor 8 year old that, "My Daddy can do anything, and can totally beat your Daddy."  I understand that from the 3 year old perspective, they aren't wrong.  So, if I am saying they aren't totally right either, from the 8 year old's perspective, it behooves me to provide an alternative that is more correct, AND offers the equivalent amount of comfort and assurance.

Next Time.

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JAN 1, 2018:  CHASING AFTER WIND    I have been considering the seeming futility of life.  Some may deceive themselves about the importance of a particular doctrine, a particular action of political or social reform, or even of a particular degree of success, invention, prestige, or accomplishment — UNTIL they look at history!  It levels us!  Everything was already!  There is always someone better (or will be).  And history shows we are egotistical to think that even half of what we are sure of in religion, physics, medicine, anything, is actually fully true.  A few, like Billy Graham, seem to make a difference, but MILLIONS die in holocausts, famines, wars, natural disasters, and plagues who seemed to have made little difference beyond their immediate family.

So, obviously God’s view of what is important to build into a human being for eternity must NOT be directly dependent on any of the above mentioned criteria, fortunes, or misfortunes.  As part of my exploration of this dismal subject, I reread the book of Ecclesiastes.  I find there are ten little gems carefully tucked into the vanity and despair that give guidance to living with a perspective that RIDES ABOVE the circumstances of life!  Here is the list:  Ecclesiastes 2:24-26;  3:190-14;  3:22;  5:18,19;  7:14;  8:15;  9:7;  9:9;  11:8;  and 12:13.

They suggest that God is trying to build into us an attitude of fear (the reverent awe type), appreciation, and a trust of God in whatever comes along!  That attitude is best demonstrated outwardly by loving and enjoying:  our mate,  our family,  whatever food is on the table,  and whatever God gives us to do with our hands.

So, be life 77 years, or 45 minutes (as with one girl the Lord showed me); a plush yacht, or a leaky row boat; gourmet dining, or a bacon and jelly sandwich —

— the opportunity for joy is still there!

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DEC 25, 2017:  A pause for CHRISTmas    In this increasingly screwed-up, take-offense-world, where socially progressive liberalism desires to rip God out of EVERYTHING, please STOP!  Take a moment.  Find a place to get alone for at least a few minutes.  Think of a hymn or song that is meaningful to you as a Christian.  Sing or at least hum it!  YOU can put CHRIST in Christmas!

THE LORD REALLY DOES STILL INHABIT THE PRAISE OF HIS PEOPLE!

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DEC 18, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 19    This is the last section of "Mixed Signals".  It sums up what I see as the result of a perfect storm of independent spirit, feminism, and liberal teachings.

The Rump End

This whole discussion on Mixed Signals started because I overheard a young woman in very tight shorts comment to a female friend she was walking with that she “hated being looked at like a piece of meat”.  This was said after drawing the visual attention of several young guys sitting on a bench along the walkway.  I thought, “Wait a minute!”  These guys would have to have been dead or comatose not to notice and instinctively respond to those lean, tight, curves, in a very enticing motion, at eye level, just a few feet in front of them.

I saw this as a symptom, the tip of an iceberg.  Of course she doesn’t want to be looked at just as an “object”, but she really did not see the mixed signals, or where they were coming from.  And unfortunately I see in many Christian youth or young adult groups the same mixed up miss-understanding and mixed signals.  Youth Pastors, some of you have failed!  These young women have not been taught God’s norm, the beauty and value of being a woman for and to a man.  They do not have a clue what God’s Image really means!  They have not been taught how to properly use what they have.  Yes, it is okay to deviate from God’s norm, BUT they need to learn to do it because of a specific calling from the Lord, NOT out of some “follow the herd”, everyone is doing it, mentality!  The young women of today are trained in confusion!  What she is really saying by her dress, by her actions, and by her words is:

“I want to flirt and be sexy, but I am totally not ready to commit; I want a knight in shining armor, and have no clue about reality; I want a career and to be ME, but I have not the slightest idea who that really is; And lastly, I want a man to cater to ME being exactly who I’m not sure I am.”

When a guy talks to her to see if he might be interested in her for a long range relationship, after a while, out of confusion at the mixed signals, he goes, “What the. . . .”  Remember, he should be looking for a helper, a complimentary companion, to share himself with so he doesn’t have to be alone!  After about the third or fourth girl with mixed signals, he may decide being single is not be so bad!  The typical young woman of today reeks of high emotional maintenance, and of having the type of fantasy expectations that will definitely contribute to a divorce.

Yup, this discussion was definitely necessary.  My hope is that some young woman out there will find comfort that despite the confusion of the times, God does still care.

God really does want to provide you with a covering you can trust.

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DEC 11, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 18    Some of you have already seen this.  It is reposted here as a BLOG because it is the second last section of the booklet, "Mixed Signals", and listed there as helpful hints for young women seeking the traditional path of marriage.

Tips For Picking A Husband

1.  Get to really know his Dad.  If you can't stand Daddy, don't marry the son.  You have a better than 50% chance that in twenty years the son will have a similar set of fat and attitudes as Daddy.  It is risky to bet against it, especially if Dad doesn't really respect or appreciate his wife.

2.  Check his relationship with his mother.  If he isn't considerate of her now, having learned to cherish and respect her as a woman, he will not be considerate of you later.  His consideration will be a major contributor to lasting sexual pleasure both in bed and out.

3.  Check the mother.  If she is a real bitch you’re in for trouble.  If the apron strings are too strong, run.  If she is a mousy wimp the son may expect or even demand the same from you.  Whatever she is, or isn’t, can you see you wanting to fill that role?

4.  He, and you, should have a personal commitment and relationship with Jesus Christ.  In both of you submitting to Him: the Lord can guide the man’s vision for you, and you can learn that yielding to that vision can be a place of peace.  That will be very important 14 years down the road.  It adds a third strand to the cord that binds you together.  Do NOT be unequally yoked.

5.  Check him out under stress to see the real man.  Arrange to have him drive you across Chicago during rush hour to something you made him leave late for.  If the guy in front of him is cussed out as a  #@&!, you can count on falling rapidly into the same category when you irritate him after you marry.

6.  Don't marry him unless both sets of parents give their blessing, and I do not mean under duress.  When you say "I do" you become the body of a new entity, and God will try to bless it no matter what kind of a brute or loser you marry; but till then, the parents are God's "mouth" to cover you for what He sees as long-range-best, even if the words and reasons your parents use to rationalize it are total hog wash (they can't see the "why" that God already knows).

7.  Be leery of the tingle that either a bad boy or a handsome body and face can give you.  Don’t give your heart so fast, and don’t use your body to try to buy his heart.  It won’t work!  Take time to look for integrity and strength of character.  A Godly spirit normally lasts a lot longer than six pack abs or tight buttocks, although those things indeed are nice too.  And long range, bad boys often have too many emotional issues to make them good parents or mates.

8.  Ignore ALL the high-sounding romantic or philosophical ideas of idealized love or of equality in relationship.  You probably don't know what love is, and most of today’s ideas are NOT scriptural anyway.  From sinless Eve before the fall created for Adam’s aloneness, to Christ coming as King for His bride because He "longs for your beauty", the real reason to marry is rather gut level.  It is a combination of the man's need to not be alone, to have one beautiful to him to share himself with, and your need to be appreciated as that one.

9.  Opposites do attract, but find a mate who sees the world similar to you, a Compliment to add to you.  Why struggle with exact same or dead opposite?  Be complimentary in roles & level of sexual need.  Be similar in balancing intuition versus seeing practical immediacies, and in being flexible versus having a desire for closure and structure.

10. Get some little old lady prayer warrior to be praying daily for God to:  prepare YOU; prepare the right man for you; and to slam the door on all wrong ones, even if you’ve already let his fingers in your door.  Don’t settle for less than God’s best because you wrongly think you are less than God’s best.

11. When you find one you want to give yourself to: before you marry ask him specifically what he needs from you; what is beautiful to him; and what he is marrying you for.  Determine his terms!  You may not want the job, but you really need to find that out beforehand.  Insist he knows himself, is honest with himself, and then with you.  And you do the same for him.

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NOV 27, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 17    Perfume was invented to hide the stench of the unwashed masses.  But, it turns out that a properly washed, but not overly washed and sterilized, human body does and should have a natural smell about it.  That smell comes from both the bacterial mix natural to the human skin and required for its health, and through the skin from the body itself.  That through-your-skin chemical cloud you are continually giving off includes:  sexual pheromones, traces indicative of your chemical balance OR imbalance as your body tries to compensate for a deficiency, traces of chemicals produced and found only when there are certain infections or diseases, detoxification chemicals produced in the intestines and not fully handled by the liver, and a whole mess of stuff associated with your immune system and its ongoing battle to keep you healthy.

Your Nose Knows

All of this is what YOU smell like.  It turns out that young women generally (there are “I hate my Dad” exceptions) tend to be attracted to young men who smell something like, but not exactly like, Daddy.  It seems to have to do with optimizing the genetic compatibility of immune system differences.  Different, but not too different.  But the reason isn’t all that important at the moment, just note, that's the way it is.

Anyways, here is a thought.  If you have a boyfriend over to meet your parents and while there he uses the family bathroom; if after that he starts using the same aftershave as your Dad — he is definitely trying to seal the deal.

Now, for a more enduring hint.  You and a perspective mate should both feel quite warm, comfortable, and stimulated by the smell of each other up close and with NO fragrance, scents, or deodorants!  And here is the important part.  Test this when you are not on birth control pills; they change both your chemistry/smell and what smells good to you!  They cause your body to partly mimic pregnancy, during which time the woman’s smell preference shifts slightly to the maternal smell of Momma.  The pill can trick you both into choosing the wrong mate.

Think of them as potential divorce pills.

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NOV 20, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 16    The Hebrew people are rather amazing.  In their efforts to “build fences” around God’s laws (a fence is a secondary set of rules or regulations designed to keep you from getting too close to the edge of God’s actual laws), they have codified everything from how many feet to a “Sabbath” day’s journey to the details of a rape case.  The last I heard they are still arguing if flipping a standard light switch, with the resulting micro spark at the switch contacts, would constitute lighting a fire on the Sabbath.  Anyways, a scholar by the name of Moses Maimonides, 1135-1204 AD, made an effort to compress all of this Jewish wisdom down to a more usable collection of books.  One that I found very interesting was “The Book of Women”.  Among other things, Maimonides stated that if a rape victim were to stand up in court and try to defend the rapist, THAT YOU SHOULD NOT LISTEN TO HER!

Rape Wisdom

What is that all about?  The Bible and the Hebrew people recognized that when a woman was taken, humbled, known, by a man that something happened that went way beyond the physically apparent results of the action.  There was a deep (no pun intended), often hidden, responsiveness on the part of the woman even if the act was totally against her will!  Deuteronomy 21:13 with a captured woman is but one example of this in action.  That responsiveness can come as a total surprise to a rape victim, and then result in all kinds of confusion and very mixed feelings of guilt and accountability in a totally innocent young woman.

I have had the opportunity to interview several rape victims about their inner feelings regarding the rape.  This by no means makes me an expert on anything, but there was enough similarity to convince me that the old Hebrew wisdom was dead on!  There really is something, seemingly designed by God into a woman’s very being that at least partially responds to being physically taken by a man!  And one part is so deep, and so automatic, that it does not matter if it is a willing and eager dewy-eyed bride, or the total victim of a savage rape.  This is why some women experience both guilt and surprise at their own inner responding, even as a rape victim.

To those caught in the terrible turmoil of rape I offer this small comfort.  God says, “You are not guilty of what I built into you.”  And He doesn’t even listen to Satan or you mumbling otherwise!  And fortunately God can forgive and unravel even those wrong bonds – if she is honest enough to take them to the Lord.  Bottom line?

There is much more to intercourse than “modern wisdom” recognizes.

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NOV 13, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 15    Like it or not, God has purposely defined limits and rights, responsibilities and authorities, for both sides of every relationship at every level of creation.  The limits and responsibilities are a natural part of His pattern and Image.  And He has chosen the covenant relationship called marriage, the plural-unity of one man plus one woman, as the ONE relationship He is most concerned about because it is the ONLY relationship that Images Him and His intentions for us in eternity.

Therefore, what I call the "dialogue of deception", where a woman slowly thinks, whispers, and talks herself into doing the wrong things (again there is a guy side which is for a different discussion), shows up the most in the relationship of marriage.  Why?  Because the limits are clearer and more defined in that covenant of marriage.  Now, think:

Each limit, even if it is for our own good, can look like forbidden fruit.  Each right can be grasped too tightly; each responsibility can be avoided; and within us is the seed of rebellion against any authority but our own.

Shacking Up

Those were important sentences; please read them again.  Now, once more.  What might not show between casual friends where there are few defined limits, will positively jump out between a husband and wife.  And this is the real reason why "shacking up" is SO very dangerous.  That may seem like a jump in logic from marriage to shacking up, so let me explain.  Rightly or wrongly, shacking up strengthens the learning of the LESS limited, equal-equal, sex-friends-relationship lessons!  So, if the couple does later marry and God under covenant then treats the man as a husband directly responsible to Him, and the husband actually tries to Husband, suddenly there is "a whole lot a shakin' goin' on."  Both parties are likely to scream: Foul, you changed; I didn't sign up for this; You don't listen; OR Who are you to tell me!  What they both learned, got comfortable with, and then expected to continue doesn't work if they really want a marriage!  Marriage is a covenant!  The God given limits and responsibilities will bite them both, if they realize what is happening or not.

If this is you: realize what just happened; confess you learned the wrong things and are now trying to continue practicing the wrong things, the wrong roles; forgive each other for miss-leading and trapping each other (yes trapping); and

in the Lord move on to re-learn the relationship His way.

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NOV 6, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 14    Now somebody is going to ask, “What if I don’t hear right?”  Like I said, this is going to happen!  Even if the Lord Himself is being a covering, a parent-husband to you, there will still be times you will screw up.  And in some ways it will be worse than with a father or husband because you can’t blame it on God like you could with a father or husband!  Well, you couldn’t totally blame the father or husband either, but perhaps you thought you could.  Right?  Come on, be honest.

As an aside, I get a kick out of supposedly Christian females that intentionally avoid having a husband over them because they want only the Lord to correct them, because He is more "understanding".  Oh Baby, yes, He understands you straight to the core you hide from even yourself!  And He can’t be manipulated or avoided!

Twist Two

Anyways, here I see twist two.  And it is very similar to twist one.  If you are trying to hear; if you are actually trying to act in good faith according to what you think you hear God saying, then again He seems to bless it.  Now, this is not a totally “free pass”.  If you mess up the Lord may have to teach you to listen better.  Or perhaps it is you insisting on thinking your thoughts are His; that may take some real work.  But if you are willing, He will work with you!

So, this blessing does have catches to it.  It won’t always be peaches and cream because as I implied there may be several things that have to be learned as a result of being in the “only the Lord can cover” spot.  The mature approach seems to minimize the discomfort.  And that approach is, “Lord if I seem to be going the wrong direction (or having the wrong attitude), forgive me for hearing wrong.  I’m not going another step till you show me clearly what You want.”

We are of course talking about generalities here.  There may be a time where He wants you to just keep on keeping on, and you desperately want to stop, cut, and run.  But the basics are the same: try to listen; try to obey; confess when you screw up; and be willing to go on!

Be the path long or short, He will indeed make it come out the best for you.

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OCT 30, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 13    As I continue with sections from "Mixed Signals" I come to God's second provision for covering!  There are those that for whatever reason do not have the covering a father or a husband was designed by God to provide.  What about them?  God Himself promises to be a Father to the fatherless, and He is very jealous about having widows treated fairly.  And there are indications that the divorcee should, if possible, go back under the covering of her father; although that isn’t as clear cut and isn’t always possible.  Whatever, God still wants to provide covering.

For Whatever Reason

Some may want to seek out a pastor, an uncle, or an older brother.  But these people are only human.  They can screw up.  They can miss lead you.  A group of Christians is another possibility, the leader or elder of the group can offer some guidance.  The thing is none of these people have the same God given authority-responsibility that a father or husband had, even if they pretend to.  And you can’t really give them that authority because legally, before God, you never had it!  Did you hear that?  It was your father’s or your husband’s, not yours.

So, use all those resources, all those possibilities, but do it cautiously.  Check, “Lord to what extend can I trust submitting to them?”  Maybe you can’t, and you just use the multiple counsels from all of them as inputs to take to the Lord to sort out.  You may have noticed that I did not say “Get your covering from a bunch of your women friends”.  It can work.  Almost anything can work if the Lord says it is okay; but generally I have observe that those groups of women friends may have been exactly the ones that “helped” you be single, divorced, whatever, in the first place!  This is especially true in today’s world.

The bottom line is you are in a spot where you really need to get serious with the Lord!  You literally have to learn to let the Lord parent-husband you directly.  It is now the Lord that provides the full vision, nudging, direction, correction, etc. to form you, mold you, weed and prune, fence and pasture you.  (If you wanted equality, now you actually have it.)  With a husband you could gripe and negotiate a bit.  With the Lord parent-husbanding you it is obviously and actually a bit rougher.  This is a Holy God who knows you straight to your not so pure core that you are now dealing with.

But again, He does still want to cover and provide, because he loves you.

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OCT 23, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 12    Somebody is going to ask, “But what if the father or husband is wrong in their guidance to a daughter or wife?”  They are imbedded in the same or similar screwed up society as she is, and the customs and traditions of the day may shout much louder than the still-small-voice the Lord prefers to use in giving a vision or guidance to a man for his daughter or wife.  They can miss-hear (or not want to hear), so it is a great question!   So what is a girl, what is a woman, to do?

Twist One

This may sound weird, but I have observed two possibilities that seem to work.  First, let’s assume that you do have some inkling of what the Lord wants, some vague thinking that says your covering is wrong, he is a leaking umbrella, and you are about to get rained on because of the faulty covering.

What I have seen is that when a woman stands under a leaking umbrella (a father or husband providing faulty, wrong, or even nonexistent covering) and she does it as an act of obedience “as unto the Lord”, that then the Lord Himself has a way of stepping in.  He may fix the umbrella (father or husband).  Or He may even make your obedience to a totally bogus covering come out “as if” it was done as unto Him.  That means it comes out for your best anyway.  God says, “Well done”, and covers you.

A second thing I have seen is that if the woman has not a clue that the covering is leaking, perhaps badly (they may all be so immersed in a culture or tradition that there is no way to compare or test its wrongness, and perhaps even the Bible is explained away so as to make wrong seem right), and she again acts out of obedience; that the same thing tends to happen!  Again God seems to have a way of taking that obedience to a wrong covering and making it come out for the best.

It is almost “as if” the obedience “as unto the Lord” is more important in the eternal scheme of things then the absolute rightness or wrongness of the covering?  That seems a sacrilege, but that is what I have observed in real life, and in Jeremiah 35:6-19.  Don’t be too fast in shouting me down until you have done some research and examined the results of obedience in the rough cases!  And remember that because we truly know so little about almost everything, ALL of us may indeed also be a bit wrong, even about the things we are surest about.

We all are counting on a God who honors “as onto Him” to cover and guide us.

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OCT 16, 2017:  MIXED SIGNALS 11    As we continue with sections from, "A Controversial Look At Mixed Signals" we need to talk about the guidance God specifically provides for young women.

Provision One

The first provision intended by God to be available to the girl is covering!  First, through and from her father; then in marriage the same responsibility to cover is transferred to come through and from her husband.  So, this covering includes responsibility, provision, nurturing, as well as guidance.

Even the guidance is more than just a casual human opinion.  Notice I said “through and from” not just “from”? God specifically and intentionally holds the man responsible for what God considers that He Himself has placed under the man.  It is a covenant thing with God providing the man with the actual vision for the woman (hence, through the man).  It’s also a balance.  With responsibility goes authority to rule, lead, guide, etc.; and with authority goes responsibility to cover and lead per the vision given.  Always responsibility and authority must balance.

Again, this provision and covering is first through and from the father, then later though a vision, a knowing within him, given to the husband from the Lord.  The authority and responsibility of both are actually the same, even though today’s woman normally has come to hate the thought of being “parented” by her husband.  If you read Numbers 30:3-16 you will see that this parent-husbanding, this authority-responsibility, which is part of God’s covering-provision are the same for both the father and the husband!

If you go to almost any wedding you will hear, “Who gives this woman?”  And normally you then hear her father affirm that he does.  If she realizes it or not her father has, before God, just handed the authority-responsibility to cover and to provide for her to the newly minted husband.  And it is God who has provided that continuity of covering.  It is His gift to the woman, and she has come to despise it.

Both the father and the husband probably come to know the girl/woman better than she knows herself.  There is a knowing of what needs to be stretched, what weak spots exist in her (again, realize I am purposely focusing on the woman, and therefore intentionally not dealing with the proper mechanism for correcting the father’s or husband’s weak spots, although the Lord totally has that covered too), and what needs to be added to her to produce beauty in eternity.  Part of God’s guidance is a vision for what He sees for the woman in eternity!  He gives a glimpse of that to the man if the man understands it comes from God or not!

That vision even covers what she doesn’t want to have seen.   Ouch!

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