Are You Ready?

 Still etched in my memory are the words of my doctor on that fateful day that my mom took me to the pediatrician for my first shot, or at least the first one I remember. There he stood, bent over my posterior with his needle already plunged into my flesh, and he feigned to ask, “Are You Ready?”  The needle, still loaded, seemed to me to be moving, very painfully, from side to side as he turned back and forth to explain to my mother, who was behind him, what this shot was for.  I shouted rather urgently, “YES, I’M READY!,” and after he and my dear mom enjoyed a chuckle, he answered, “Okay, here we go,” and with that, he shot me, …or whatever you call it.  It even made a place.

  There is a sense in which that same uneasiness I felt that day seems pervasive today, but it is not just me.  Many of “my fellow Americans” (I always wanted to use that line) seem to feel that they have been manipulated into a very vulnerable position and are about to “get the jab,” to borrow an over used phrase of our time.  For some, perhaps it has already started to hurt, and for most of us, there is a great anticipation of unwelcome change that appears to be loaded into the governmental syringe and is about to be injected into our otherwise rather placid lives—Are you Ready? 

  There may not be much that we can do to alter the outcome of things that are already set in motion on such a grand scale, but we can get ready, if we are willing to surrender to Somebody bigger than you and me.  God created mankind to be dependent upon Him.  He said, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2Corinthians 6:17-18)”

  Interested?  Becoming a child of God is a matter of simple faith.  You need to believe God when He says you are a sinner who is separated from Him because of your sin.  Secondly, you will have to decide to be saved from your sin rather than live any longer in it.  Finally, you will need to place your trust in Jesus who died on the cross to pay the penalty of your sin, and rose from the dead as Victor over sin, death, and the grave.  He is your Deliverer!

‘Tis The Season

 In spite of the “climate change” mania that is so pervasive in our day, I’m going out this morning to pick some more cucumbers and green beans and squash in my little vegetable garden.  Even with the cooler temperatures and the extra rainfall that we have had this summer, amazingly there is still a plentiful harvest.  Praise the Lord!  …but I’m really not so surprised.

  In the time of Noah, who was one of eight people who survived the cataclysmic flood that true science confirms happened in the third millennia BC, God made a promise to all mankind.  He said, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)”

 Please don’t misunderstand; I know that there will be years of plenty and years of blighted crops, but that is nothing new—I still remember these from my youth.  My point is simply that as far as our gardens, the weather, and all things natural, we have no need for worry, God can be trusted, and what He has promised, that He will do.  I’ll probably plant a garden next year too!

  But there is a lot more to life than raising a few vegetables, important things that fuel the anxieties of decent folks who feel responsible for fending for themselves in what appear to be perilous times ahead.  Perhaps we should consider other promises made by the Creator, to those who love Him.  “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? (Matthew 6:27-30)”

Play Christianity

  Perhaps in every generation since the beginning of time, children have played “let’s pretend.”  In yesteryear, it was Girls with dolls, and Boys with toy soldiers and guns, or miniature earth moving equipment.  Now it is monsters, mutated creatures, super human executioners, and other sordid purveyors of carnage, …and strangely enough, this seems to be the standard fare for both genders.  And yes, there are only two genders in the realm of reality—all else is just another version of “let’s pretend.” (Genesis 1:27)

  The most casual perusal through the annals of history reveals that adults are just kids in older bodies, with more experience at playing “let’s pretend.”  Even among those who call themselves, “the people of God,” this childlike “let’s pretend” has often manifested itself in epidemic proportions.  In the 7th and 8th centuries BC, the time of God’s prophet Isaiah, God’s people, Israel, worshipped the Lord with all the formalities prescribed in the Levitical Law, while they had forsaken God in their hearts. (Isaiah 1:10-17)  Their worship was a sham, an impressive game of “let’s pretend.”

  In Revelation 3:14-19, the Apostle John recorded the words of Jesus’ letter to the 1st century AD Church at Laodicea.   They thought they were on the top rung of the religious ladder: rich, increased with goods, and in need of nothing.  Christ told them that they were wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked—their religion was a sham, an impressive game of “let’s pretend.”

  Today is no exception; churches claim to worship the God of the Word, while ignoring the Word of God.  They think that God will be satisfied with their worship, their way.  They embrace yet another version of “let’s pretend.”

  “What does God want?,” you might ask.  “O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8).”  “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalms 51:17)”  “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (Psalms 29:2)”

Which Generation

  Most agree that there are two types of generations: the family generation and the social generation.  The family generation, though it varies in length is pretty easy to define.  Grandparents are one generation, Parents are a second generation and Children are a third, etc.  So, a familial generation usually lasts 20-25 years before another enters the picture.

  A Social generation is not as easily defined because it involves national and international events like war, depression or recession, etc.  On the brighter side, technological advancement, etc. can create a new paradigm for the lives of young adults about to enter into their prime of life.  We are told that there have been seven generational changes since the turn of the last century: The Greatest Generation (1901 – 1927), The Silent Generation (1928 – 1945), Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964), Generation X (1965 – 1980), Millennial (1981 – 1995), Gen Z (1996 – 2010), Generation Alpha (2011 – present).  As you can see, social generations range from 14-26 years in length.

  Much can be gained from one generation to the next, especially in the sciences, technology, industry, etc.  Most of the change is deemed good, at least by the younger generations who are responsible for producing it.  Older generations have to accept the change and learn some new tricks in their advancing years if they are going to keep up with “the kids.”

  Similarly, much can be lost in just one generation.  Generational losses tend to be more in the social, political, spiritual, and moral realms.  Many of our losses are viewed by God as detrimental to society as a whole.  Because of the downgrade, life becomes more threatening, less predictable, harder to navigate and less peaceful or pleasurable.

  In light of the effects of generational losses, consider: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls….”  But sadly, in Jeremiah’s day, just before a seventy year captivity, “…they said, We will not walk therein. (Jeremiah 6:16)”  What say ye?