“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

My Photo
Location: United States

A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Japan surrendered the Philippines in WWII

My Hispanic friend and I were talking and he said, “There are a lot of Philipinos in the United States, aren’t there?” I replied, “Yes, we fought for their country in WWII and now they are very friendly with us. So many of them have come here to live.” Then my friend said, “So, you conquered the Philippines.” I said, “No, we didn’t conquer them, but we fought to save them.” He said, “They are independent?” Then I had to correct myself. I said, “We conquered them not to control them but in order to give them back their independence.”

Then I saw the lesson. And I told him, “It’s like what happened on our whole planet. A war happened over us and Jesus has to conquer us in order to give us back our independence. Because when Satan had conquered us, we lost our independence.”

WWII was a massive war effort on many fronts. Germany was fighting us from the east and Japan from the west. Both of those nations were amazing industrialized machines, that even though small countries, created formidable forces against America and the rest of the world.

But a couple of months before the war ended, as one website states, “July 1945, General MacArthur retakes Philippines Islands after Manila’s fall to Americans in May. Japanese surrender here after inflicting 60,000 American casualties.”

In order to give the Philipinos back their freedom a terrible battle had to occur. The enemy wasn’t going to give up his territory easily. Many lives were lost. Many mothers and fathers and wives and children mourned the losses.

Even so, our fallen race will be won back to its original freedoms only by heavy losses. Of His redeemed race, the Lord has said, “Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” (Is. 43:4).

Why so many grievous wars with so much pain and suffering? Why so many in the Holy Scriptures? By God’s own people? God will not be so remiss as to leave us without a knowledge of a much, much bigger conflict that has lasted for ages—a great cosmic controversy—something indescribably grander than this life and its experiences; which we can comprehend if we are open to the influence of His Spirit.

“We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world.” Desire of Ages, p. 324.

In all the wars and conflicts, the bloodshed and torture and terrible destruction of this world, God and His work are glorified, and God’s love is revealed. Why the terror and tragedies and struggle with life, with real pain and real suffering and real death which we experience or see so often in our lifetime, and which leaves so many disillusioned with God? It is to give us a sobering shake up from our presumptuous, fallen natures. It is so we can get a small taste, but a real taste of what God has experienced in our rebellion and defection to His enemy’s side, and the great effort He has made in order to win us back to Him and into real security and true independence.

But we aren’t alone in the great battle.

“Every man is free to choose what power he will have to rule over him. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they can find deliverance in Christ. The demoniac, in place of prayer, could utter only the words of Satan; yet the heart’s unspoken appeal was heard. No cry from a soul in need, though it fail of utterance in words, will be unheeded. Those who will consent to enter into covenant relation with the God of heaven are not left to the power of Satan or to the infirmity of their own nature. They are invited by the Saviour, ‘Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.’ Isaiah 27:5. The spirits of darkness will battle for the soul once under their dominion, but angels of God will contend for that soul with prevailing power. The Lord says, ‘Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? . . . Thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.’ Isaiah 49:24, 25.” Ibid. p. 258.

“Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ ‘The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets us ‘free from the law of sin and death.’ Romans 8:2.

“In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.

“The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. ‘The truth shall make you free;’ and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self,—to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is ‘the law of liberty.’ James 2:12.” Ibid. p. 466.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kelsey Grammer, “I’m a guy who needed love.”

August 26, 2007— Kelsey Grammer, renowned actor, made heaven’s headlines, with the confession, “I’m a guy who needed love.” (Excerpts taken from an interview printed in Parade section of the Washington Post.)

“I liked the addictions,” he tells me. “I’m not going to lie about it. But I got in too deep. I probably would’ve died if I hadn’t stopped.”

“I’ve been through my share of tough times,” says Grammer. “I’m a very different guy now.”

Family misfortunes occurred at a young age. When Kelsey was just 12, his grandfather suddenly died, and a year later, his dad, Allen, the owner of a small magazine on the island of St. Thomas, was shot to death. “Those early losses took a big bite out of any joy,” he says. “But they helped me understand that we’ve only got a limited time, so you can’t yield to anxieties or even to tragedies. Giving up was not an option. You persevere.”

And then another tragedy struck that would change his life. In the summer of 1975, his sister, Karen Grammer, was abducted in Colorado Springs, raped and slashed. Abandoned, she bled to death. She was 18.

Kelsey went to Colorado and brought his little sister’s body home to Pompano Beach for burial. Her death opened an emotional hole he found impossible to close. “I was young, 20. It was very hard,” he quietly tells me. “I was disconsolate. I tried to understand why people I loved died. Why did they have to suffer? There is no uplifting answer.

The horror of his sister’s death led Grammer to heavy alcohol and drug abuse. “It was probably the catalyst that got me into a really big problem for at least the next 15 years,” he says.

At 29, he was cast as the pompous but good-hearted psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on Cheers. He stayed on TV for nine seasons. The popular show led to the 1993 spin-off Frasier, where he starred for an additional 11 seasons and ended up winning four Emmys. Despite his professional success, his drinking worsened, and he experimented with a variety of drugs, including Ecstasy, Valium and cocaine. He was arrested twice and later served 90 days house arrest and three years probation as part of his sentencing.

In 1982, he married dancer Doreen Alderman. They had a daughter, Spencer, now 23, who is starring in Greek, a series on the ABC Family channel about a college campus. The marriage lasted two years. “We tried therapy at one point, and the doctor just looked at us and said: ‘You guys don’t have a chance.’” He went on to other partners—including makeup artist Barrie Buckner, with whom he had his second daughter, Greer, now 15. There also was a long love affair with former professional ice skater Cerlette Lamme, a tumultuous nine-month marriage to an exotic dancer and a two-year engagement to model Tammi Baliszewski.

His serial monogamy ended in 1996 when he fell in love with Camille Donatacci at a dinner with his agent in New York. “It was love at first sight,” he says, “but I was scared. I’d been with girls before who I believed were right for me, and it turned out I was wrong. I was afraid of making another mistake, another failed marriage. But, corny as it sounds, I think Camille saw in me a great guy who needed love. It takes a lot of courage to love. Isn’t that why we’re here—to love, regardless of the cost? She decided to give me love.” In 1996, with Camille’s support, Kelsey entered the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and started straightening out his tangled life. He has been sober ever since. The next year, he and Camille wed. “We take care of each other equally. That’s something new for me.”

He smiles, adding, “I am a very lucky man. Somehow, love just came out of the world toward me, and with it, a sense of fulfillment and joy.”

I don’t read the newspaper much at all, nor do I watch the news on television. I especially don’t make it a habit to read up on all the celebrities. But some things catch my eye and I get confirmed in the reality of the eternal realities. This story was just another one of those eye-catching episodes of someone being honest with this world of sin.

The details may tend to not square with a gospel story, yet the general tendency reveals the power of a God of truth. Mr. Grammer said, “Corny as it sounds, I think Camille saw in me a great guy who needed love. It takes a lot of courage to love. Isn’t that why we’re here—to love, regardless of the cost? She decided to give me love.” To the great multitudes who read the Washington Post, self-sacrificing love does sound childish, unmanly, and laughable. Many of it’s vast readership see love as something that only serves self rather than forgets self, a fact that Kelsey was unable to bravely refute. Nevertheless his strength of character comes through in his confession borne of love.

Camille didn’t ask anything of Mr. Grammer, and was willing to wait as long as need be for him to be helped out of his addictions before she accepted marriage to a famous man. She must have also learned about the cruelties of life and been humbled.

I believe the Holy Spirit works with the whole world, as we wind down to the end of this Investigative Judgment, allowing the devil to control this sinful race, and showing the grace and power of God in those who are honest with themselves and with their true condition. His work is seen in bringing them out of the confusion of Babylon into the glorious liberty of the sons and daughters of God.

Mr. Grammer needs to understand that his isn’t a special case in needing love, i.e. “I’m a guy who needed love.” The whole world needs to know that love is the only cure for it’s troubles. Nothing except love will accomplish this. A just love that allows us to reap what we sow and to feel the pinch of consequences, and a merciful love that shows itself faithful and ready to help, even in the light of the facts of our sin-filled past.

Do we really know the love of God? Have you wrestled with the Bible until His love came shining through? Has it captured you and made you a prisoner? Has divine love saved you from sin?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Truth, the easiest path

“... the tunneling through. And this is the account of the tunneling through. While [the workmen raised] the pick each toward his fellow and while there [remained] to be tunneled [through, there was heard] the voice of a man calling to his fellow, for there was a split in the rock on the right hand and on [the left hand]. And on the day of the tunneling through the workmen stuck, each in the direction of his fellow, pick against pick. And the water started flowing from the source to the pool, twelve hundred cubits. And the height of the rock above the head of the workmen was a hundred cubits.” states: “The tunnel was cut into the rock beneath the City of David, in a 533 m.-long, “S”-shaped course. In a straight line, the distance from the Gihon Spring to the Siloam Pool is only 325 m.” also states: “The curving course of Hezekiah’s Tunnel, and the description of how it was cut by two teams of workers, raises questions about engineering and planning capabilities enabling the two teams to meet; not a simple matter considering that work was carried out in the depths of the earth, with minimal lighting by oil lamps, and with little oxygen. There must have been a reason for the long, curving route, requiring so much more effort than a straight one. Several explanations have been proposed over the years. According to one, the workmen followed curving rock formations; another, erroneous one, was that the curve was intended to bypass the (mistakenly identified) Tombs of the House of David; the most probable explanation is that the workmen followed a crack in the rock through which some water flowed from the Gihon to the Tyropoean Valley. The Siloam Inscription mentions that “there was a zdh in the rock”, which could be interpreted as a crack (geological, or the result of karstic activity, or both), in which some water flowed, and which they enlarged into a tunnel. The entrance to the spring in the Kidron Valley was then skillfully disguised.” states, “Henry Sulley in 1929 first suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel followed a natural crack in the rock. Dan Gill argues that the two crews of diggers followed a natural karstic dissolution channel.” describes how karsts generally are created:

“Chemistry of karst landscapes

Karst landforms are generally the result of mildly acidic water acting on soluble bedrock such as limestone or dolostone. The carbonic acid that causes these features is formed as rain passes through the atmosphere picking up CO2, which dissolves in the water. Once the rain reaches the ground, it may pass through soil that may provide further CO2 to form a weak carbonic acid solution: H2O + CO2 → H2CO3. Recent studies of sulfates in karst waters suggests sulfuric and hydrosulfuric acids may also play an important role in karst formation.
This mildly acidic
water begins to dissolve the surface and any fractures or bedding planes in the limestone bedrock. Over time these fractures enlarge as the bedrock continues to dissolve. Openings in the rock increase in size, and an underground drainage system begins to develop, allowing more water to pass through and accelerating the formation of underground karst features.

The providence of God began the work to save Israel eons before their need for being saved arose. Then the Spirit of God simply inspired Hezekiah or his counselors to use the karst to make a tunnel.

King Hezekiah was in big trouble. Sennacherib, king of the Assyrian empire, was en route with hundreds of thousands of soldiers to besiege Jerusalem because the Jews had refused his demands for extorting more gold and silver. So Hezekiah commissioned workers to dig a slightly ascending horizontal shaft 1740 feet from a natural spring located outside the city walls, which would quench the city’s thirst during the siege.

When archeologists first discovered the tunnel, they couldn’t understand why King Hezekiah’s men didn’t cut a shaft from the Gihon spring directly to the pool of Siloam. Wouldn’t a straight dig have been the quickest route? Obviously not an engineer, didn’t Hezekiah know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line?

Then some archeologists saw the wisdom for the circuitous path taken. And it turned out to be the smartest one taken.

When we follow truth we have chosen one path among many millions of optional false paths. In order to arrive at a correct conclusion it is best to begin with the correct postulates. If our most basic axioms are based on falsehood, then our efforts to prove them true will be a very hard and unsuccessful exercise in futility. Nothing is more aggravating that constant failure. Yet the scientific community, funded by huge government grants, continues to try to prove the Bible unbelievable and the Creator to be fictional and that life on earth has never been interrupted by any supernatural activity by a divine Person.

The scripture tells of those who are ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:7). They are ever studying but never getting anywhere because they launch off in a direction different from what God’s word says. In effect, they intend to prove Him wrong. They will prove He is false. And He says of them, “The fool hath said in his heart that there is no Yahweh.” (Psalm 53:1).

The laborers of Hezekiah’s tunnel followed the path on which God sent them. It was the path that He had prepared for them. Though it wasn’t the shortest route, it made for the easiest digging. The karstic rock was much softer than the limestone everywhere else. There were other more sophisticated Egyptian methods in use. Shafts dug down from the surface along the direction the engineers desired and then connected at their bottoms was a technique used for thousands of years. But there was no time for that and it wasn’t prepared of God. It would have required must digging in very hard limestone. And though R. A. S. Macalister said the tunnel was a “pathetically helpless piece of engineering,” it proved to be the simplest and choicest piece of engineering.

The wonderful thing is that the easiest row to hoe is the Bible truth; by which I mean to say, all the Bible truth. Even if I think I believe the Bible, but use it to prove my preconceived ideas which all the sin-loving multitudes want to believe in, I will still ever be studying and never arrive at the truth. The whole Bible will never make sense to me. God and His purposes will never make sense. Life will never make sense and I will just be wasting away in my constant effort to redirect truth to suit my inclinations and self-exalting conclusions. Always truth’s teacher and never a student of truth, never having fallen on the Stone it will fall on me and grind me to powder.

“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matt. 11:29, 30.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” “Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Jn. 14:6; 1Cor. 1:30.
The only way to real truth and wisdom is through Christ and His righteousness.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Christ Our Handyman

I was working on a window on which another person had already done a lot of work, scraping and sanding it. But too much wood had been scraped and sanded away and some of the window’s detail was gone and the wood couldn’t be replaced.

I began to feel disappointed and thought I needed to say something to the immigrant person we hired to do the work. But my words probably would have come out wrong. And as I began to formulate something in broken Spanish, the Lord reminded me that this was the first set of windows the helper has ever worked on, and that I hadn’t trained him very well on how to do the job correctly. I was also reminded that I had made many mistakes when I had started doing the same kind of work.

After swallowing that pill, then it dawned on me that I could fix the missing wood with epoxy. When I realized this, fond memories came that the Lord loves to fix our mistakes and sins. His love never fails and He never gets discouraged with us, as long as we keep coming to Him. (Isaiah42:1-4). His heart is not at rest unless we are with Him; even if we are full of sin, He is happy if at least we keep coming and are safely under His care and guidance. Then I happily looked forward to remaking the windows to their former condition.

Jesus loves to have us come to Him, just as we are, with all our weaknesses and faults. He aims to fix us up, to untangle our lives, and to set us free (under His direction.) There is no sin too big for Him to forgive, no mess too complicated for Him to clean up. He has the solution all figured out way before we even realize the problem exists. Waiting for us in the shadows is our best Friend ever and His secret formula, tailored just for our needs. Work is no big deal for Him, energy is His middle name. Wisdom and experience are His forté. And a just mercy is His special technique. All this because He has His Father who loves Him, the Son with whom the infinitely holy and perfect One is very well-pleased.

“Jesus loves to have us come to Him just as we are, sinful, helpless, dependent. We may come with all our weakness, our folly, our sinfulness, and fall at His feet in penitence. It is His glory to encircle us in the arms of His love and to bind up our wounds, to cleanse us from all impurity.” Steps to Christ, p. 52.

“God takes men as they are, with the human elements in their character, and trains them for His service, if they will be disciplined and learn of Him. They are not chosen because they are perfect, but notwithstanding their imperfections, that through the knowledge and practice of the truth, through the grace of Christ, they may become transformed into His image.” Desire of Ages, p. 294. (This quotation is a little hard hitting. But everyone who has already been hit hard by life and who has accepted that their trouble in life has come from no one else’s faults and failures but their own, is humbled by it all and can appreciate God’s humility and they see His deep love through all that He has allowed to come to them.)

“He would have them learn to confide in Him. We need not be content with merely formal prayers; we may come to Jesus as to a friend, and in the most simple-hearted, definite manner tell Him all our worries, perplexities, and trials, and He will carry our burdens for us. When our minds and our lives get tangled, we may take them to One who knows just how to untangle them. But after we have asked God to do this work for us, let us rest it with Him.” Review and Herald, October 21, 1884.

“Let God untangle the snarled-up threads for you. He is wise enough to manage the complications of our lives. He has skill and tact. We cannot always see His plans; we must wait patiently their unfolding and not mar and destroy them. He will reveal them to us in His own good time.” 5th Testimony, p. 348.

“Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. ‘I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore.’ Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. ‘The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.’ Isaiah 54:10.” Desire of Ages, p. 483.

“Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path before their feet.” Desire of Ages, p. 330.

So the Lord loves to take us, and that means all of our sinfulness too. In fact, He won’t take us if He can’t have our sinfulness as well. He requires the whole package when He calls to us. That presents some real exercise of trust on our part that He will treat us and our condition carefully. His taking us and all that we are also gives us a lot of hope in that our sinfulness won’t turn Him away from us. He knows what He’s getting before we come to Him. Since He already knows our condition when He calls us, we can rest assured that even our deepest secrets and blackest sins won’t surprise Him when we confess them to Him. We have His promise that a bruised reed shall He not break and a smoking flax shall He not quench. (Isaiah 42:3).

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He knows just how to fix us up, to make us holy, to make us happy.

“Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14. If you know the life and death of the first king of Israel, you see a selfish and lonely man who never learned to have confidence in the Lord to solve his problems. Eventually King Saul’s faults overcame him and his problems mounted and surrounded him, until he ended his own life. Let’s learn the sad lesson of his experience recorded in sacred history and vow not to repeat it.

The Lord God shakes not only the earth but also heaven with a few words of the popular song, “Handyman.”

If your broken heart should need repair, then I am the Man to see.
I whisper sweet things, you tell all your friends, they’ll come runnin’ to Me.
Here is the main thing that I want to say,
I’m busy 24 hours a day,
I fix broken hearts,
I know that I truly can.
─James Taylor.

With all due respect, Mr. Taylor, please step aside. You’re no match for the undying love and work of the everlasting Father under whose wings we have come to trust.