You Are My Hiding Place

A post for today, “Just Because”

Psalm 32:7

New International Version
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.

English Standard Version
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.  Selah

New American Standard Bible
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.  Selah.

King James Bible
Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.  Selah.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You are my hiding place; You protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.  Selah
You Are My Hiding Place

Hickory Grove Baptist Church

(North Campus)~ Charlotte NC

012115 – The Sabbath – Enjoy The Lord, Appreciate His Creation

Genesis 1:31-2:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

2 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

This week has been very stressful for many of God’s people. The Sabbath came to my part of the world about four hours ago. Let’s take a load off of our mind, and enjoy the Lord, and appreciate His creation, whether it is of nature or people.

Consider the videos that follow; they tell us a lot about God’s creation. I won’t tell you how to enjoy your time of Sabbath; you can figure that one out. But, let’s consider a verse of scripture that tells how we can let our minds rest, regardless of the times and situations where we might find ourselves.

Philippians 4:4-9 King James Version (KJV)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The videos progress from appreciation of our world, to a state that is special to me; to a light-hearted musical; to a special marching band.

It’s A Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong

Georgia On My Mind
Ray Charles

Singing The Rain – 1952
Gene Kelly

Mayberry Marching Band
Andy Griffith Show

012015 – “May We Never Forget”

This post is a repeat of my post, “ETS Thought 030314, Support For U.S. Military Forces, John 15:13.” The news comments are still current, even though Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned from that office. May we never forget that our nation is free from enemies, “foreign and domestic,” because we have the greatest military in the world.

“May We Never Forget”

John 15:13
King James Version (KJV)
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Even as our nation is planning to drastically cut our nation’s defenses, Russian troops invade Ukraine.

See the following two news stories.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001. (New York Times)
———————————————————————
(Fox News)
Russian troops moved into Crimea Friday, U.S. officials told Fox News, prompting Ukraine to accuse Russia of an “armed invasion.”
U.S. officials told Fox News they see “evidence of air and maritime movement into and out of Crimea by Russian forces” although the Pentagon declined to officially “characterize” the movement.
Agence France Press quoted a top Ukranian official as saying Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops have landed at a military air base near the regional capital of the restive Crimean peninsula.
“Thirteen Russian aircraft landed at the airport of Gvardeyskoye (near Simferopol) with 150 people in each one,” Sergiy Kunitsyn, the Ukrainian president’s special representative in Crimea, told the local ATR television channel, according to AFP. He accused Russia of an “armed invasion.”
The new developments prompted Ukraine to accuse Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” — a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis.
Russia kept silent on claims of military intervention, even as it maintained its hard-line stance on protecting ethnic Russians in Crimea, a peninsula of Ukraine on the northern coast of the Black Sea.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian border service said eight Russian transport planes have landed in Crimea with unknown cargo.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

May we never forget the needs of our military forces. Consider the bravery and heroism of our military members, of all of our armed forces. Let us keep our military forces in our prayers.

“Let the prayer be from you,” for the active duty, national guard, and reserve members of the
……….United States Coast Guard, United States Air Force, United States Army,
……….United States Marine Corps, United States Navy
May God bless America.

The following video is from the 1942 World War II movie, “To The Shores of Tripoli.” You will notice U.S. Marines marching in their dress uniforms. It is significant to note that the Marines are marching at about “24 abreast,” which is no small feat. (Author’s note: The beat of the drums may make you want to get up and march. Remember that your left foot marches to be beat of the drum. Randolph Scott plays the role of a great Marine NCO. John Payne, of the Miracle On 34th Street Christmas movie, is the Marine who is all the way on the left when marching and when receiving a decoration. Aside from the few actors in the movie, all of the rest of the Marines are real Marines. ‘Semper Fi:’ Semper Fidelis is a Latin phrase meaning “Always Faithful” or “Always Loyal.” Well known in the United States as the motto of the United States Marine Corps (and often shortened to Semper Fi in Marine contexts).

011615 – “I Have A Dream”

The “I Have A Dream” speech, that was given by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963, was really more of a sermon. It is important for us to know that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist pastor. He viewed his part in the civil rights movement as being a Divine calling on his life. All too often, Dr. King is referred to as a civil rights leader, but that is terribly wrong. He was a Baptist pastor who was following the call of the Great Commission that Jesus has given to all of us. Earlier today, I re-blogged a post on “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.” But, as the day has progressed, I began to realize that I have not heard a lot of information on Dr. King’s birthday this year. Neither have I heard his, “I Have A Dream” speech. So, I am posting his speech. As you listen to Dr. King speaking, remember that he was the epitome of peaceful conflict resolution.

I Have A Dream – August 28, 1963
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

120614 – Christmas Eve And Divorce

My post, “Christmas Eve And Divorce,” dealt with marriage and divorce. There was a lot more that I could have written, but my purpose was to discuss the importance of marriage. Since the post was published I have had some very good comments on the subject. One of the comments, from a woman, with my reply, is a discussion that needs to be made known to my blog friends. Please check out the comment that is shown at the bottom of all of the other comments. You will notice that the woman’s comment is not shown; only my reply to the lady’s comment remains, which was done by me for the purpose of privacy. Please know that all comments to my posts go through moderation. I must approve all comments before they are shown for the blog world to read. If anyone would like to say something privately to me about this post, or others, please make that statement in your comment. I will not post any comment that is considered to be of a confidential or sensitive nature. If an email reply is desired, please show that email address and I will not show it. I am very thankful and grateful for all bloggers, and non-bloggers who follow, read, and comment on my posts. You are very special people who have a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. I thank you for that driving force that lives within you.

Equipping For Eternity Website

Marlee and Jacob were married on Christmas Eve, “twenty years ago.” On this Christmas Eve, the couple are headed to an attorney’s office…to sign divorce papers. Think about Marlee, Jacob, and your marriage situation. Do you remember the words that you and your mate said to each other as you stood before God, the minister, family and friends, and the rest of the people who were watching and listening as you professed your love for one another other? If you have forgotten those special words, I have written a traditional wedding vow for you to consider. Please read it now.

“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish…’til death do us part.”

If you are also considering a Christmas Eve “divorce papers appointment,” please! Let me ask you to listen to…

View original post 298 more words

011315 – The Purpose Of The Church, “Equip The Saints”

The purpose of the Church can be found in Ephesians 4:11-12:

Ephesians 4:11-12 New English Translation (NET Bible)

11 It was he who gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, that is, to build up the body of Christ,

For our congregation, our reason for being a church of Christ, is found in the words, “to equip the saints.” We are intentional in being like the Bereans, as is found written in Acts 17:10-11:

Acts 17:10-11 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Paul and Silas at Berea

10 The brothers sent Paul and Silas off to Berea at once, during the night. When they arrived, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so.

The Jews in Berea listened attentively to the preaching and teaching of Paul and Silas. Still, the scriptures (“Old Testament;” there was no New Testament, yet.) were checked to verify the accuracy and truth of the things that were being told to them.

Jesus spoke very clearly to the Jews about world conditions that are beginning to look very much like the ones that are present in our world today, as the following scripture shows.

Matthew 24:9 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Persecution of Disciples

9 “Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and will kill you. You will be hated by all the nations because of my name.

Jews and Christians are the objects of the forces who are led by Satan and his enablers. Consider the words that the Apostle John wrote about the times that will take place during the time of tribulation that was also discussed by Jesus, Jeremiah, and Daniel, as well as by the Apostle John.

Revelation 16:13-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Armageddon

13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.

The Battle Of Armageddon takes place prior to the second coming of Christ, to stand on the Mount of Olives. The event is spoken about by the prophet Zechariah, as follows.

Zechariah 14:1-5 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

God Will Battle Jerusalem’s Foes

1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!

(Note: in the last sentence, “the holy ones with Him,” are those of all times who have been born again. They are returning to the earth with Jesus after they had been “caught up” in the rapture, as was written in 1 Thes 4:16-17.)

Revelation 19:11-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Coming of Christ

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Doom of the Beast and False Prophet

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

This spiritual battle, The Battle Of Armageddon, which takes place at the end of the tribulation, is quickly won by Jesus over the forces of Satan.

Revelation 20:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Satan Bound

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Peace comes upon the earth for a period of 1,000 years, which is known as the millennial reign of Christ, or the millennium. Still, Satan will plan another attack on God’s people, which will take place during the Battle of Gog and Magog, as follows.

Revelation 20:7-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Satan Freed, Doomed

7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The priest and prophet Ezekiel discusses the events that lead up to the Battle of Gog and Magog, which takes place at the end of the millennium, as follows.

Ezekiel 38:10-12 New English Translation (NET Bible)

10 “‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil plan. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled towns; I will advance against those living quietly in security—all of them living without walls and barred gates— 12 to loot and plunder, to attack the inhabited ruins and the people gathered from the nations, who are acquiring cattle and goods, who live at the center of the earth.”

The forces of Satan devise an evil plan to attack and destroy the nation of Israel. This particular setting is at the end of the millennium, just preceding the Battle of Gog and Magog. The forces of Satan have been trying to divide and conquer God’s people ever since he devised a scheme to deceive, divide and destroy Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, as follows.

Genesis 3:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Fall of Man

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

No one knows when the times that have been discussed in this post will take place. But, at this point in our time in history, world conditions are very consistent with those that lead to the Battle of Armageddon. The born again people of God will not be present during that spiritual battle, but time could place us within three and half years of its onset. We have got to get serious about our study of God’s Holy Word. We need to be aware of the things that are taking place in the world that make Christians and Jews the targets of the forces of Satan. We must not be like the frog in the sauce pan that was simmered to death, because it wouldn’t remove itself from the water beneath it, that became hotter and hotter, and eventually killed the frog. Our congregation is very intentional in its attempt to study the prophecies of God’s Holy Word, that tell of the end times. We meet on Saturdays, which allows members of other congregations to study with us, and share the things that they have learned with their home churches.

The following video produces good food for thought in its discussion of the end times.

Now, let’s enter into a time of worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

We Glorify The Lamb
Terry MacAlmon

011215 – Ezekiel 38:10-13, Divine Restraint And Protection

Introduction.

The time of the seven year tribulation continues. Gog devises a scheme to attack God’s chosen people, Israel. But, let’s not dismiss all that God will do to protect “the apple of His eye.”

Ezekiel 38:10-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, 11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, 12 to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at thecenter of the world.’ 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’”

Overview from The MacArthur Study Bible.

These scriptures describe the peace in Israel during the period of the Antichrist’s short-lived treaty with them (Dan 9:27) in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. References to “unwalled villages” refer to that period of 3 1/2 years when Israel is secure under the protection of the world-ruling “prince that shall come,” called Antichrist (Dan 9:27). After Antichrist turns on Israel, there is an escalation of hostility until the end of the 7 year time when this great force comes to plunder the Promised Land (v 12).

Words and phrases from The Reformation Study Bible.

38:11 quiet people. Compare the strategy. Though Gog plotted against Israel, in reality God was bringing them to their own destruction (vv. 4, 16)
vs 4: “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen…” vs 16: “… I will bring you against My land”

Words and phrases from The MacArthur Study Bible.

38:12. “to take plunder … booty.” Antichrist takes over the world for his own power and possession. The wealth of his empire is described in Rev 18.

Words and phrases from The Ryrie Study Bible.

38:12. The wealth of Israel is the prize the invaders will seek. “the center of the world.” Lit, the navel of the earth (See Ez 5:5.)
Ez 5:5. “Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.'”
38:13. “Sheba and Dedan.” Arab peoples. “Tarshish.” Located in the South of Spain near Gibraltar. “Villages,” or young lions. Greedy rulers.

Summary from The New American Commentary.

These verses show the plan of the invasion. It will take place according to God’s plan and purpose. According to Rev 20:7-8, Gog was satanically inspired, and hated both God and His people. But, neither mankind’s wickedness, nor the powers of darkness, can thwart God’s purpose. The Sovereignty of God, and His infinite wisdom, enable Him to use even the schemes of the devil and wicked man to achieve His ends. These chapters promise a day when God’s people will no longer need walled villages to be secure. Gog will seek to loot and plunder those who have resettled Israel in the “center of the Land.” But, God will lure Gog to his doom.

A final thought. Don’t mess with the apple of God’s eye.

Zechariah 2:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

A quote from Grant Phillips.

Israel is precious to Almighty God, the apple [pupil] of His eye. He is simply saying, “You touch my chosen nation Israel. You poke me in the eye.”

Let us consider some scriptures that speak of the special relationship that exists between God and the Jews.

Genesis 12:1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Deuteronomy 7:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.

John 4:22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Let us consider worship, as Jesus described worship.

John 4:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Let us now enter a time of worship and praise of our Lord. The first song relates to God and the Jews, specifically. The remaining songs are songs of worship between God and all people who have an intimate relationship with Him. Paul Wilbur leads all of the songs.

Shalom Jerusalem

Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai

Let The Weight Of Your Glory Fall

For Your Name Is Holy

011115 – Michigan Shoppers Love Jesus

Ephesians 2:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

“8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,”

Why did this You Tube video “just sorta” popup in my viewer? I wasn’t looking for it! As I saw the thousand, and more, mall shoppers in our nation’s heartland, and heard them singing of God’s amazing grace, tears began to flow down my cheeks, and a choking sensation was felt at my Adam’s apple. The bagpipes really “tear me up!” Our country is a great country, and it will always be a great country as long as it is a good country. And, please allow me to say this, with the greatest respect for the office of the President of our United States: “Mr. President, The United States Of America is still a Christian nation!” May it always be a Christian nation. For, if we ever stop being a Christian nation, we will no longer be a great nation, for we will no longer be a good nation. And, for the nation which I proudly served, “I pledge Allegiance to the flag, of the United States Of America; and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, “UNDER GOD,” indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” I will add, “Amen.”

Amazing Grace Sung By Flash Mob
Rivertown Mall, Grandville, Michigan

011015 – Such Nice Words

Philippians 4:8 King James Version (KJV)

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Consider the 1950s singing group that was known as “The Platters.” Think about the words that they used in their songs, which were not vulgar, or offensive in any way. Consider the members of “They Platters;” they were good people. What has happened to the singers of today? What has caused our young people to cling to vulgar rap music that shows a total lack of respect for women? The date of the Ed Sullivan show appearance was probably around 1958, but I can not be certain of the date. May I say this about the Ed Sullivan Show? It was quite a show!

Only You – The Platters – 1955

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Ed Sullivan Show
The Platters

010915 – The Jackson 5 And Ruth

Consider family dysfunction. Consider the old statement, “but for the grace of God, there go I.”

Consider Ruth 1:1-18.

Consider two verses that are taken from the text, verses 16 and 17. The words of Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, show a love between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law that is exceptional. Consider Ruth, the Moabitess. She was of the bloodline of incest (Genesis 19:36-37), and through her bloodline our Lord and Savior Jesus was born (Ruth 4:13–22; Matthew 1:1-16;Luke 3:23–32; 33-38).

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

Ruth 1:1-18 King James Version (KJV)

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

3 And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.

4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.

6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lordhad visited his people in giving them bread.

7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me.

9 The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.

10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people.

11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons;

13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.

14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her.

15 And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law.

16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her.

The the following video is not of very good audio and visual quality, but there is a message that can not be missed. As you watch the video, and listen to the Jackson 5 singing “I’ll Be There,” consider my opening phrase, “but for the grace of God, there go I.” Consider how we, as parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters, and other friends and relatives, are so very, very important to the normal development of a child. Consider Luke 10:29, “… who is my neighbor?”

I’ll Be There – Acapella
The Jackson 5 – 1970

010815 – Sly Stone And Psalm 150

Sly And The Family Stone must have read the 150th Psalm. Check out all of the Lord’s musical instruments, and those that Sly Stone mentioned in his song. Of course, Sly added dancing, too; that’s in verse 4! Like I’ve always said, “It’s okay to enjoy the Lord!”

Psalm 150 King James Version (KJV)

1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

Now, let me do the DJ thing and “play the song,” “Dance To The Music,” by Sly And The Family Stone from 1969!

Dance To The Music 1969
Sly And The Family Stone

010715 – It’s Okay To Enjoy The Lord – Kool And The Gang

Nehemiah 8:10 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

10 Nehemiah told the people, “Enjoy your good food and wine and share some with those who didn’t have anything to bring. Don’t be sad! This is a special day for the Lord, and he will make you happy and strong.

It’s okay to enjoy the Lord! Knowing Jesus as my Lord and Savior “is a gas!” It’s a party that never ends.

There was a time that I hosted a Christian radio show. The music that the engineer piped into my broadcast booth was really great, very worshipful. But, there were times when I wanted to break from tradition and, at the top of my lungs shout, “THIS IS W-J-E-S, WHERE JESUS ROCKS!!!” But, I never did. So, to never let that thought go by the wayside, I would like to “play the song” that was written and recorded by Kool And The Gang, “CELEBRATION!”

Celebration – Kool And The Gang

010615 – Ezekiel 38:7-9, “The Invasion Announced”

010615 – Ezekiel 38:7-9, “The Invasion Announced”

Introduction: The players of the invasion are announced in the first six verses of this chapter. The timing of the invasion must now be considered. As with any study of God’s Holy Word, everybody reads something that somebody else has written. This study is no different. There are credible authors who are greatly respected in the study of eschatology, which is commonly called “the end times.” Such scholars that find a place of great respect in my mind are John Mac Arthur, Charles Ryrie, R.C. Sproul, C. I. Scofield, J. Dwight Pentecost, John F. Walvoord, as well as the combined teams of The Pulpit Commentary, The Holman Christian Standard Bible, The New American Commentary and The Key Word Study Bible. Of course, none of these, or any other, highly respected students of God’s Word were ever in the presence of Ezekiel. Therefore, not all of these theologians will find total agreement in their conclusions, but their findings should be void of combativeness. It is always important for believers in Christ to consider the following thought: in essentials – unity; in opinions – liberty; in all things – charity!” May my writings always find place in such a community.

Ezekiel 38:7-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 “Be prepared, and prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. 9 You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.”

Thoughts from The New American Commentary. This battle probably takes place at the end of the tribulation, bringing it to a conclusion and ushering in the thousand-year reign of peace. The battle starts again, however, at the end of the thousand years. Revelation 20:2-3 refers to the binding of Satan in the abyss for the thousand years “to keep him from deceiving the nations any more until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.” Revelation 20:7-8 adds that “when the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – to gather them to battle.” This seems clearly to suggest a second stage of the Gog-Magog battle that began in Rev 19 at the second coming of Messiah and conclusion of the tribulation. The purpose would be the final defeat of Satan before the beginning of the eternal state.

Thoughts from The Mac Arthur Study Bible. This is the great time of Israel’s cleansing, salvation and spiritual life (cf 39:22, 27, 28; Zech 12:10-13:9), getting them ready for Messiah’s return and kingdom (Zech14). (See the following thoughts on words and phrases)

vs 8. in the latter years… In the context of Israel’s restoration (Ez 34-39) the invader will make its final bid for the land.
vs 8. restored from the sword… This refers to Israelites who have been returned to their land, after the sword had killed or scattered many of their people. The Hebrew word for “restored” means “to return” (Gen 40:13; 41:13).
vs 8. gathered… This word also frequently refers to God’s final regathering of Israel (37:21; Is 11:12; 43:5; Jer 32:37). It has begun historically and will continue until the latter days. In the final millennial kingdom, there will occur full and spiritual regathering, when all Israel is saved to enter their promised kingdom (cf Zec 12-14; Rom 11:2-27).
vs 8. living securely… This term occurs in several contexts devoted to the Israelites’ blessed estate after God had brought them back to their land (28:26; 34:25, 28; 39:26; Jer 32:37; Zec 14:11).
vs 9. You will go up… The time of the invasion is best understood as the end of the tribulation period of 7 years. Israel will have been under a false peace in treaty with the Antichrist (Da 9:27); 11:22, 24) before he turns on them in the “abomination of desolation” (Matt 24:15; Da 9:27). The false peace will end in hostility lasting to the completion of the 7 years (Zec 14:1-3). When this final war occurs (cf Rev 16:12-26), Christ will ultimately conquer the beast, the false prophet, and all the ungodly forces (Rev 19:11-21) in order to establish His millennial kingdom (Rev 20:1-10).

Consider the following key passages of end times scripture that relate to Ezekiel 38-39. They relate to the rapture of the church/the coming of Christ in the air to catch up His saints of all times; the tribulation, the Battle Of Armageddon; the Second Coming Of Christ (where he ends the Battle Of Armageddon and puts His feet on the Mount of Olives); the 1,000 year reign of Christ (with a time of peace on Earth); and the final attack of Gog and Magog (after which peace comes and is eternal).

Revelation 16:13-16 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Battle Of Armageddon – The forces of Satan gather in preparation for their attack on Jerusalem during the end of the Great Tribulation.

13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”) 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.

Consider the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.

16:14 to assemble them for battle. In the climactic battle all the forces of wickedness are assembled to make war against the warrior Lamb (17:14). The imagery alludes to the battle between God and Pharaoh in Ex. 15:2, but the panorama is universal in scope. Several passages in Revelation describe the battle with increasing detail and precision (17:13, 14; 19:11–21; 20:7–10; cf. 6:12–17), all based on the eschatological battle of Gog and Magog in Ezek. 38; 39. Throughout the church age there are times of intense confrontation between God and the forces of Satan (2:10, 13), but the most intense takes place at the Second Coming (19:11–21).

Revelation 19:11-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Coming of Christ

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

Doom of the Beast and False Prophet

20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Consider the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.

Christ appears to wage final battle against all the enemies of God, led by the beast and the false prophet. Christ’s holy attributes contrast markedly with the unholy counterfeit attributes of the beast (13:1–10 note). This final war brings to a climax all the wars that God has waged on behalf of His people (Ex. 15:2; Deut. 20; Is. 59:16–18; Ezek. 38; 39; Hab. 3:8–15; Zech. 12:1–9; 14:3–5) and consummates the triumph achieved by Christ on the cross (5:9, 10; 12:10, 11; John 12:31; Col. 2:15). Some have interpreted the imagery as a reference to the spread of Christ’s rule through submission to the gospel, but the parallels with other visions show that the final battle is primarily in view (16:14, 16–21 and notes; 17:14; 20:7–10).

At this event in Revelation 19, we see “The Second Coming Of Christ.” (See Zech 14:1-4). He leads an army of saints who are returning with Him from Heaven. They had been raptured (caught up) in 1 Thes 4:16-17). A spiritual battle ensues, with Christ being victorious over his foes from Rev 16 (Battle Of Armageddon).

Revelation 20:1-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Satan Bound

20 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

See the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.

20:1–10 An angel descending from heaven binds Satan for a thousand years. The faithful martyrs (v. 4) come to life and reign with Christ. After the thousand years, Satan is released, gathers the nations for battle, and is finally rendered powerless (v. 10).

Following the second coming of Christ, there is peace in the world for a period of 1,000 years.
A final battle will occur before the eternal state of peace appears.

Revelation 20:7-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Satan Freed, Doomed

7 When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

See the comment from The Reformation Study Bible.

20:8 Gog and Magog. These names, taken from Ezek. 38; 39, represent the final enemies of God.

The final assault on Jerusalem ends with the final destruction of the forces of Satan.

Conclusion.

In concert with Ezekiel 38-39, we see a mounting of forces for battle at Armageddon, with Christ being successful. Following, there is a time of peace for 1000 years. The final assault on Jerusalem by the forces of Satan ends with victory by Christ.

Consider The Jews, God’s Chosen People

Genesis 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

Deuteronomy 7:6 New International Version (NIV)

6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

Jeremiah 31:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

31 “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”

2 This is what the Lord says:

“The people who survive the sword
will find favor in the wilderness;
I will come to give rest to Israel.”
3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;…”

Consider a Jewish wedding. Get to know and love the Jews, “God’s chosen people.”

Genesis 24:63-67 English Standard Version (ESV)

63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming. 64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel 65 and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her.

Such A Nice Jewish Wedding
Brooklyn, New York

010415 – The Love Of A Godly Husband

Consider one of the greatest love stories of the Bible.

Genesis 29:10-11, 20 New International Version (NIV)

10 When Jacob saw Rachel daughter of his uncle Laban, and Laban’s sheep, he went over and rolled the stone away from the mouth of the well and watered his uncle’s sheep. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep aloud. ” 20 So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.

Genesis 35:16-20 New International Version (NIV)

16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” 18 As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.

19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).20 Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.

Consider the Godly husband in the video. He loved Jesus and his country, and was faithful to his wife. He worked hard for his family, and was proud of what he did for them. How refreshing!

Small Town Southern Man
Alan Jackson

010315 – Such Nice People

1 Thessalonians 5:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

As you view the video and listen to the song, please enjoy it, but also pay close attention to the details, as they relate to stages of life and the proper respect that we should have for others.

Kool And The Gang
Joanna

010215 – Love. Remember When?

Love.

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Remember When?

Remember When

Alan Jackson

010115 – Such A Nice Wedding

Genesis 2:24 King James Version (KJV)

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh

Do you remember the words that you repeated … to God, the pastor, family and friends … and to each other?

To have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better for worse, for richer for poorer,
in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish…
’til death do us part.

The video shows a very nice wedding ceremony. The church is located in Ireland. No other words are needed.

A Hallelujah Wedding Song