Nation of Christ #1

First we must establish the basics.

What is the Kingdom of Christ?

Does it really matter what I think the Kingdom of Christ is?

Not really. No matter what our thoughts are regarding it, Christ’s Nation remains unchanged. We may prefer to think of it as democracy or an organization run by Santa Claus but that doesn’t change it one smidgen. No matter how many books are written by worldly (the enemy) theologians and no matter how many false prophets arise; Truth remains. We must seek truth and align ourselves to it rather than try to align truth to us.

The truth of the Kingdom is especially important because you are either in it or against it. Jesus said and meant it, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mat 6:24

Both Jesus and John the Baptist spoke much of the approaching Kingdom. In fact, it was the most spoken of topic of Jesus. (The second most discussed topic is money but that will be for a future blog.) Repeatedly Jesus declared that the “Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was imminent; nearly upon their listeners. We know by some of the responses and behavior of the disciples and others that they were expecting a physical, earthly nation violently vanquishing their enemies. They were correct but their thinking was far too limited. While most Jews at the time of Christ were expecting a Savior to free their small nation from the tyranny of Rome, God was preparing a King that would free anyone who will across the entire globe from the tyranny of sin. While they were expecting to use swords and spears to conquer, God was establishing entirely new weapons and a new set of rules for engagement of the enemy that are far superior to any weapons of war that man can ever create. Perhaps our beliefs regarding the Nation of Christ are limited as well. Consider the following points:

  • The Kingdom of God is a real physical nation.
    • It is physical because you can see it and experience it.
    • It has laws regarding physical life and conduct.
    • It has an army of warriors.
    • It has unimaginably powerful weapons.
    • It has a righteous King.
    • It has citizens who pledge total allegiance to the King.
    • It has unlimited resources.
    • It has a currency that can be seen and experienced.
  • The Nation of Christ is in the world but not of this world.
    • It is not a geographical location and knows no borders. (Future post on this regarding the present nation of Israel.)
    • Citizens of Christ’s Nation are strangers and pilgrims in this world. They reject the carnal things as “earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:15)
    • Its weapons are not carnal. Any citizen who utilizes a carnal weapon even in self defense is in clear violation of the Laws of King Jesus.
    • Its King is perfectly righteous unlike any earthly king or leader that ever existed or will exist.
    • Its King’s power extends far beyond the boundaries of the earth and will never fail.
    • Its enemies are spiritual powers not people.
    • Its currency (treasure) is beyond any earthly value and is never affected by calamities, wars, or decay.
    • It is eternal.
  • The Gospel (Good News) is a political statement and not a personal “get out of hell free” card.
  • The Sermon on the Mount is an exposition of the Kingdom’s laws and principles.
  • King Jesus is the perfect example for His subjects to imitate. “I am the Way…” (John 14:6)
    • He is the only Way so it behooves us to carefully study His life and Words and to live as He lived and taught. Living contrary to His Words and example indicates that we imposters. (Matthew 22:10-12)
  • The Kingdom is inside its citizens but is visible as a distinct nation through the Church.

There are more points but I will keep blog posts from getting too long.

Jesus said that we are to seek His Kingdom first.

How much of your life revolved around King Jesus and His Kingdom this past week?

 

 

 

The Call of the King

The Call of the Master

The Master [King] has come, and He calls us to follow
the track of the footprints He leaves on our way;
far over the mountain and through the deep hollow,
the path leads us on to the mansions of day;
the Master [King] has called us, the children who fear Him,
who march ‘neath Christ’s banner, His own little band;
we love Him and seek Him, we long to be near Him,
and rest in the light of His beautiful land.

The Master [King] has called us; the road may be dreary,
and dangers and sorrows are strewn on the track;
but God’s Holy Spirit shall comfort the weary;
we follow the Savior and cannot turn back.
The Master [King] has called us; though doubt and temptation
may compass our journey, we cheerfully sing:
“press onward, look upward,” thru much tribulation;
the children of Zion must follow their King.

The Master [King] has called us, in life’s early morning,
with spirits as fresh as the dew on the sod;
we turn from the world, with its smiles and its scorning
to cast in our lot with the people of God:
the Master [King] has called us, His sons and His daughters,
We plead for His blessing and trust in His love:
and thru the green pastures, beside the still waters,
He’ll lead us at last to His kingdom above.

-Sarah Doudney, 1871 (emphasis and added “King” mine)

This has recently been a new favorite hymn for our family. While singing it last evening during family devotions, the words leaped at me. I have been studying over the past several months the topic of Christ’s Kingdom and what it means to be a part of it. I read the song several times without its catchy Welsh melody and replaced “Master” with “King”.  It was both inspiring and troubling.

Do I truly follow my King and “march ‘neath Christ’s banner”?

Do I truly “love Him and seek Him, [and] long to be near Him“?

Do I “cheerfully sing: ‘press onward, look upward,’ thru much tribulation;”?

Do I truly “turn from the world, with its smiles and its scorning”?

King Jesus is calling for subjects for His Kingdom.

What does it mean to be a citizen of Christ’s Kingdom?

What is Christ’s Kingdom?

Am I a citizen? That is a life or death question so I definitely want to get it right.

The blog posts following, except for an occasional interruption for some “life in Alaska” photos, will be a series on this subject.

 

 

 

 

The Ransom is Paid

Job 33:24 KJV  Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

Mat 20:28 KJV  Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

I have found a ransom!

Joh 1:29 KJV  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Sons and daughters of Adam rejoice!

1Co 15:45 KJV  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

We, all mankind, were born under the first Adam. We were born with a sin nature, the nature of the first Adam. Like Adam, we choose to sin against our Creator the Almighty God. In doing so we were separated from God and placed ourselves under bondage to Satan and his kingdom. He owned us because we sold ourselves to him. Try as we might there is no way that we could free ourselves. There is no way we can pay the ransom for our freedom.

But God…

Eph 2:1-5 KJV  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  (2)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  (3)  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  (4)  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  (5)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Rom 5:6-11 KJV  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  (7)  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  (8)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  (9)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  (10)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  (11)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Christ came as a faultless human and lived a faultless life. He was not in bondage to Satan. He was free from the law of sin and death. He did not need to die.

But, He did.

He laid down His life to pay the price that was on your head. He laid down His life to redeem you from the captivity of Satan. In Him, you are free!

Christ came to free us. Christ came to cleanse us of our sin so that we could be again reconciled with God. Christ came to destroy the power of Satan and death over us so we can escape the wrath of God that will be poured out upon Satan and the world. Christ came to redeem the glory of God in us. Christ came to save us from our sins, not just to forgive us of our past sins; but to save us from living in sin. Through Him we have the power to live righteous and holy lives.

Christ did not come to just be a legal transaction to satisfy and appease God. Christ did not lay down His life to give you a “ticket to heaven”. Christ did not come to give you eternal security while you live a selfish and sinful life.

Christ’s atonement involves every part of His life. His birth, His example, His teachings, His death, and His resurrection. Without any one of these His atonement would be incomplete.

Today, let us not venerate the image of the cross and expect salvation. Let us not disdain the tremendous price Jesus paid for your soul by cheapening it to the point of just a “sinner’s prayer”.  It is much deeper than that.

Heb 13:11-14 KJV  For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.  (12)  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.  (13)  Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.  (14)  For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

1Jn 1:5-7 KJV  This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (6)  If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  (7)  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Gal 6:14 KJV  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Believe on the Lord.  Walk in Him. Abide in Him. Follow Him.

A Bit of Fishy Irony

This blog post is a bit different than most.

I recently was perusing various articles and sermons that I wrote and were forgotten on an old hard drive. I came across this article and thought I would share it as an example of some of the irony we bring upon ourselves. Remember that I wrote this some time ago while living in Pennsylvania. Alaska is a bit different. Fish for us are to catch and eat.

Did you every stop to think of the irony of today’s fisherman?

Fishing in today’s world is far more complicated than it was when I was a youngster. Gone are the days when a stick with some random fishing line purchased at a yard sale four years prior and rusty hooks salvaged from the bottom of your uncle’s truck bed are enough to catch a stringer of fish for supper. Either fish have grown much wiser and cautious or fishermen have gotten stupider.

Allow me to elaborate. As a boy my budget was non-existent and my parent’s was meager at best. If I did own a fishing rod it was most likely one purchased at a yard sale for a $1 and was missing the tip and reeled only when there wasn’t a fish on the line. Other fishing tackle was always in short supply but we would occasionally be fortunate enough to ruthlessly persuade my father to buy a $.50 pack of 100 hooks. Not to mention bait– at that time in my era of history only the rich and lazy would ever consider paying money for something that existed by the hundreds under the manure pile. (Now the rich and lazy don’t even have a manure pile!) For most of my boyhood years we probably spent less than $5 total for an entire year of fishing and that included the tartar sauce. Our drought of funds did not dampen our fishing much at all. Now granted, transportation at that time was very limited to what I could legally ride which consisted of 2 wheels and a set of pedals, so all the fishing we did was restricted to a relatively small geographical area. This helped keep the costs down considerably as we were well satisfied with the local pan fish and creek chubs and didn’t have any fancy ideas of halibut and salmon. As I recall, we did catch a large amount of fish even with our limited resources and we did do an incredible amount of fishing even with our limited mobility.

Fast forward to this year. First, I excitedly purchased my $38.40 PA fishing license and proceeded to sort my plethora of lures, myriads of hooks, swivels, sinkers, and various other unused items that some concerned marketer convinced me that I needed for a successful fishing trip. (Tackle salesmen are always a caring bunch.) I took down all 7 of my fishing rods and greased the reels after stringing on the latest fishing line. (The benevolent tackle salesmen recommend changing lines at least once a year and advise that fish are smart so the lighter the better.)  Frustration mounts as I try to decide if I am going to focus more on fly-fishing or spin casting this year. Just in case I want to fish both methods I meticulously sort my hundreds of flies and restring both of my fly rods with new string. I pull out both my chest waders and my hip waders and clear them of nesting rodents. I look over my old fishing vest and see a stain so I will probably need a new one. I open my plastic storage bins of soft baits and spray them with some fresh night crawler scent.  Of course, you never know if the bugs out on the stream have mutated into something entirely different this year so a trip to the local fly shop is obviously necessary. While at the fly shop I nonchalantly inquire of the merchant as to what is currently working on the Penn’s Creek. This leads to a phenomenon that I have frequently observed. The fly shop merchant, who is obviously the expert, always rattles off a list of bugs present in the stream that the fish are eating but I seldom own any flies of that particular type and size.  So after purchasing the $40 worth of flies as well as a sticker to brag to everyone that I am a fly fisherman, I head out to the creek to see if there is any action. I cruise by a few fishermen and watch for a few minutes at a pull-off to see if any trout are rising. There isn’t much happening which is fine because I didn’t have time to go fishing anyway – I got to get back to work so I can get the bills paid….

Not only have the cost of supplies and equipment have changed. As a boy I tried to set up my equipment so that the fish had very little chance of escape. The term “fighting a fish” would have had the meaning of the procedure used to extract a hook from a fish that had the audacity to swallow it. Nowadays the “coolest” rods are the ultra light ones that exaggerate the size of the fish to even larger than the lies later told about “the one that got away.” Someday I am going to string up a dry spaghetti noodle with some silk strands and watch the other trout fishermen drool with envy as I fight a 6″ trout for a few hours with it. A more outspoken one will reverently call out, “Wow! What pound test are you using!?” To which I will coolly reply, “3 grams.”

Now you would think after all the expense and struggle to finally land a fish with my carbon fiber rod and titanium reel, I would carefully slip it into my creel and later eat every flake of meat from its carcass, suck the juice from its head, and boil what’s left for fish broth. Instead, I carefully extract the hook (which is about the size of a splinter) all the while trying to keep the fish in the water as much as possible to keep it from dying. I then lower the fish in the water allowing it to revive after all that fighting and let it swim away after it regains its strength to do so.  

Now isn’t that ironic?

 This may seem amusing but think about some of the ironic things we accept every day that are equally ridiculous.

  • Spending hours trying to get the time-saving piece of  technology to work
  • Spending a bunch of money to buy a piece of machinery to do the job that you or your child could do instead of running on that expensive treadmill
  • Spending lots of money and time fertilizing and watering grass and then spending lots more money and time to cut it
  • Thinking that winning the next level of some video game is actually achieving something
  • Complaining about hyperactive bored children while you plow the snow from your driveway with a snowplow
  • Feeling lonely with lots of Facebook friends
  • Allowing our young people to indulge in rock music and Youtube while exclaiming how worldly they are becoming and how little interest they have in reading the Bible
  • Working day and night to buy things that will eventually rot, rust, or burn
  • Working day and night so your children will have everything they want except what they really want – you

You get the drift. Think about it.

 

Feel free to leave a comment with your idea of irony

 

Big Game

Big game tomorrow! Are you gonna watch it?

Before the game starts, of course, you will go to church. At church you will worship God, read His Word, and listen as someone, maybe even you, expounds the Holy Scripture. You will hear about and perhaps discuss people such as Jesus, Apostle Paul, Timothy, Joseph, or some other godly example you said that you want to emulate.

Can you imagine for one second any of these godly men participating in the professional sports idolatry that exists today?

Over 100 million viewers will be participating in the Super Bowl. Many of these will be some sort of professing Christians.

Mat 7:21 KJV
(21)  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Sadly, many who profess Christ are brazenly walking the broad way to destruction. The indoctrination of the many unconverted and uninspired theologians have convinced the masses of professing Christians that a lifestyle of holiness and nonconformity to the world is optional for salvation. Read your Bible again without the darkening glasses of the theologians. Believe every word. Believe that Jesus meant every word He spoke. Believe that every word was inspired by the Holy Spirit and is meant to be obeyed.

1Pe 1:13-16 KJV
(13)  Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
(14)  As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
(15)  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
(16)  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

1Co 10:20-23 KJV
(20)  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
(21)  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
(22)  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
(23)  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Why would you spend the morning acting as if your heart and life is wholly God’s. You will sing songs of total consternation and say amen to a message that speaks to you; and then go and place yourself in front of the world’s pipeline of filth, sleaze, covetousness, and idolatry!

How can you? How can any Bible-believing, Christ professing person do that?

Where are men who will stand and make a distinction between the holy and the profane? We have lost our fear of God when we can nonchalantly sit down and indulge in the garbage of the world. The world is an enemy of God! The professional players, the scantily clad cheerleaders, the rabid fans, the rock music and musicians, and all such and similar who make a mockery of sin are heading for eternal judgement in hell.

But you are concerned about which team of unregenerated sons of Adam win a silly little ball game!

GOD FORBID! GOD HELP US!

Wake up Christians! Flee from the wrath to come! Why will you drink from the vomit of the world?

Please! Repent of the carnality in your heart and let us stand together in the truth and purity of God’s Word.

Jas 4:7-8 KJV
(7)  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(8)  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Winter Scenes

We took a family day on Saturday when we drove to Ninilchik, AK to watch the start of a dog sled race. It was a gorgeous day! The sun was bright and the temps were in the 20’s. My older children and I positioned ourselves away from the starting line to capture photographs without the crowd in the background. I included a few photos of the race below. It was neat to see how passionately those dogs love to run. They could barely contain themselves waiting for their turn.

The race, Tustemena 200, is a 200 mile race through an area known as Caribou Hills.

On Sunday afternoon the older children and I took a small hike on a nearby trail and found a beautiful view overlooking the Kenai River. I have included several photos of that as well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Shaken

I guess it takes the earth to move to get me to update my blog.

As you probably have heard already, we experienced an earthquake here in Alaska. It is not an unusual occurrence as we are living on the Ring of Fire but it was the first quake that ever woke me up. We were a good distance from the epicenter so all we felt was a rolling sensation that rattled the house and had our hanging lights swinging in circles for several minutes. Most people around here slept through it and those that live closest to where the quake occurred did not even have any significant damage. There were multiple tsunami warnings issued but no significant wave developed. It was a powerful 7.9 earthquake however; and it could have been much worse had it occurred closer to a large population or had it actually produced a tsunami.

I was actually looking forward to experiencing an earthquake but obviously not one that destroyed property or lives. While this quake was very minor in our area it was still interesting how it affected me. The earth is supposed to be solid; unmovable. When it moves it messes with your head. If there is anything in this world to put some faith into you would think it would be the ground beneath your feet. But, it moves too. It was just a little unsettling to think about as I settled back into bed. However, the One who made the earth is my God. He is unmovable and unchangeable. He is faithful and sure. He will never fail.

Psa 46:1-2 KJV
(1)  To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(2)  Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

What tremendous power it is to make the earth move and shake for hundreds of miles! And yet, it is but a breath in the nostrils of God.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.  (Psa 18:7 KJV)

Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.  (Psa 18:15 KJV)

What a mighty God! Let all people fear Him!

How foolish it is to deny and defy the Lord!

Nah 1:2-10 KJV
(2)  God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
(3)  The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
(4)  He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.
(5)  The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
(6)  Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.
(7)  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
(8)  But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.
(9)  What do ye imagine against the LORD? he will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.
(10)  For while they be folden together as thorns, and while they are drunken as drunkards, they shall be devoured as stubble fully dry.

It amazes me that so many people live as if there is no God. Even many who profess a belief in God ignore Him. What has happened to diminish the fear of God in man? Shouldn’t something like an earthquake shake the soul of man? After all, what nation or power is ever able to prevent the earth from moving? What power can stop a hurricane, tornado, flood, or volcano? God controls all things and uses them as He wills.

Two ideas have permeated society that have caused many to lose a fear of God. One is secular and one is religious. Evolution and its various so-called scientific theories have attempted to erase from man’s consciousness any thought of a greater power other than chance and change. On the opposite side of the spectrum, much of Christianity has been inculcated with the idea that God is so loving that He cannot hate. One side seeks to eliminate the idea of God and the other side the idea of a judgement after this life. Both have succeeded in abating much of any fear of God in this world and in the church.    This is a tragedy!

Heb 11:7 KJV
(7)  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Mat 24:38-39 KJV
(38)  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
(39)  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

2Pe 3:6-13 KJV
(6)  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
(7)  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
(8)  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
(9)  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
(10)  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
(11)  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
(12)  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
(13)  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Do we really believe that the days we are living in are similar to the days of Noah? If we do, how then should we live each day?

Has God changed? Has He canceled Judgement Day when all people will stand and give an account of their actions and words? Does it matter to Him one iota what a bunch of intellectual fools (Psalms 14:1) and theologians have to say regarding Him?

God told Noah that it was going to rain. Noah’s fear of God and faith in Him immediately sprang into action.

God tells us in His Word that judgement is coming. Will your fear and faith be evident today?

“When preachers teach biblically and clearly about the judgment of God and the dangers of hell, men begin to see that their greatest need is to be saved from eternal condemnation, and the more “practical” needs of this present age become trivial in comparison.”          –Paul Washer

 

My Prayer for 2018

My prayer for 2018 is for revival.

Revival in the home.

Revival in the church.

Revival in me and you.

Revival of holiness.

Revival of righteousness.

Revival of the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

Revival of truth.

Revival of persistent prayer.

Revival of prophetic preaching.

Revival of hating the things that God hates.

Revival of separation from the world in thought and deed.

Revival of love.

Lord, send revival! Start with me!

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas 2017

Isa 9:1-7
(1)  Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
(2)  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
(3)  Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
(4)  For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.
(5)  For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
(6)  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
(7)  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isa 60:1-3
(1)  Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
(2)  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
(3)  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Joh 12:46
(46)  I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Rejoice for the Light has come! Light that overcomes the power of darkness! Light that frees the captive and brings relief to the oppressed! Light that heals the sick and causes the blind to see!

Come to that Light it is shining for thee!

Arise! Awake! The Light is here. People do not grope around in darkness because of a lack of light; rather, it is a lack of sight. They are blind or sleeping.

Eph 5:14
(14)  Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Rejoice for the Prince of Peace has come! Of His Kingdom there is no end! Gone is the noise of battle and the weapons and attire of war. This Kingdom is a Kingdom of peace.

Glorious Light! Light that brings life instead of death! Freedom instead of bondage!

Are you filled with this Light? Are your eyes opened to see this glorious Light?

Or, are you sleeping? Is Jesus a cute baby to you? A neat Christmas story?

Has this Light changed you?

?

Time for a Diversion

I had the amazing opportunity to go on a deer hunt on Kodiak Island this winter. We were given the hunt as a Christmas bonus by the business where I work. My boss also invited along several other men from the local church. We flew to Kodiak then were picked up by lodge employees and ferried on one of their boats to Port Lions, AK. We stayed in a comfortable lodge called Wilderness Beach.

Below is a panorama of the boardwalk that connects the small town of Port Lions.

20171204_155701-1

The scenery was absolutely splendid! I did not take my camera so I had to use my phone to take the pictures.

Another 180 degree panorama from the side of a mountain on which we were hunting.

20171205_125824-1

The first day of hunting did not result in any meat but I was fortunate to shoot a nice 4×4 Sitka Blacktail on the 2nd day. The island also has a large population of fox. I managed to harvest a silver/red cross fox while dragging my deer back to the beach.

Buck in the skiff on its way to the big boat.20171206_163439-1

Unfortunately the lighting was poor and the picture got blurry.

20171206_162920-1

I also had the opportunity to hunt waterfowl and do some fishing. Because I am still considered a nonresident in regards to hunting here in AK I just had 1 deer tag. The remainder of the time that I had on the island was spent with a true Alaskan name Gabe who has a waterfowl guiding business named “Fowl Weather”. We had a great time together and found that much of our theology and views regarding family, technology, etc… were similar. It was a blessing to see how God orchestrates circumstances to bring people together to encourage one another. It turns out that Gabe lives nearby and we intend to continue our friendship.

Some of the waterfowl and fish. The fish are a Rockfish know as Black Sea Bass. They are very good to eat and very enjoyable to catch. These bit so fast that it was like catching bluegills in the farm pond. We had our limits in very little time.

20171207_162327-120171208_143648-1

It was truly a privilege that I will never forget to spend those several days getting to know all the men that went along on the hunt and to be immersed in God’s marvelous creation. Being in the vast wilderness makes one feel very small. Yet, God cared for the little birds that I saw flitting through the willows and alders. Amazing!

It was very good to get back to my family and to share the stories of our week apart. Kirk, my nearly 8 year old son, really wanted to go along on the trip so I consoled him with a promise that I will take him hunting when we get back. We went out the other day and he got his very first game, a nice red squirrel. He is still talking about it and it actually brings tears to my eyes to think of how easy it would have been to crush the joys and dreams of my child with my own agenda for the day. It is so simple to go on a little hike, hunt, fishing trip, or some excursion; and, yet, it can make a huge positive impact in a child’s life. Too often I find my time filled up with “other stuff” and I begin to treat my children as if they are in my way. God help us see how damaging that is to a child.

Happy & proud hunter.

IMG_8950-1

 

A few more photos of the trip.

20171209_110246-120171208_104001-120171208_092827-120171208_092744-120171205_163043-1

20171207_143411-120171206_125459-120171205_141322-120171205_115105-120171204_153650-1