Entrusting Truth

Upcoming Events

Fathers to Sons Workshop

Deuteronomy 6:6-7
6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, ... read more


Lessons from Ivanhoe, Part 2
Posted on May 26, 2009

One of the things that really disturbed me in reading Ivanhoe this time through was the Medieval Christian attitude toward the Jews as portrayed by the book.  I cringed as I read both the spoken and thought dialog about the Jews.  Both the clergy and the laity were portrayed as viewing the Jews as vile, almost less than human.  They were viewed that way, that is, until those who held those positions were in need of the Jews financial assistance.  At that point, somehow, they overcame their distaste for those of the dispersion.

One scene in the book that graphically illustrates this is the dialog between the injured Ivanhoe and the Jewess healer Rebecca.  In the scene Ivanhoe has just awakened from a swoon caused by loss of blood from an injury sustained in a tournament melee.  Rebecca has bound and treated his wounds and he has awakened with her still in the room.  Rebecca is portrayed in the book as stunningly beautiful.  Ivanhoe awakes to see this beautiful woman ministering to him and is taken by her care and beauty.  This lasts until she tells him of her nationality.  At that point the narrative paints the picture of an immediate change in countenance and attitude of Ivanhoe toward his healer.  Rebecca in her thoughts is saddened by the impact of one word on her relationship with Ivanhoe.

Regardless of your theological bias, a plain, honest reading of the Bible makes it clear that Israel has a special place in the history of mankind and in the workings of God to reveal himself to us.  I found myself wondering, in light of this, how Christians could have such a negative view of Israel.  It occurred to me and it was clear through the book (I know that it is historical fiction) that most of the laity, were illiterate.  The Bible was, at the time, the exclusive domain of the clergy.  The laity, including the knights, like Ivanhoe, did not have access to the Word of God.  That rendered them completely dependent on the clergy for all matters that dealt with faith.  The result was some seeming misguided crusades and some practices that, using the words of one of the men in our men’s Bible study, were from the department of making things up.

We live in a much different age.  Men have literally given their lives to put the Word of God in our hands.  We are no longer completely dependent on the clergy in matters of faith.  We have the ability to come to the Word ourselves to discover what He would have us think and do.  That requires us to actually do that.  The Thessalonians attitude was that they did not accept what Paul was saying without checking out what he said in the Scripture (Acts 17:11).  It seems to me that if we do not do that with our leaders, we are voluntarily stepping back into a medieval mindset where we choose to be dependent on what others tell us to believe.  I believe another word for that is dark ages.

rolex replica repliche rolex fake Rolex

Category: Spiritual Life

Click here to read more

Lessons from Ivanhoe, Part One
Posted on May 25, 2009

You may have read Ivanhoe in high school lit or college lit.  I did not.  Jenny had a copy left over from her time at Hartselle High School.  The book is falling apart.  This is the second time I have read the book.  A couple of things really struck me as I read the book this time.  I will share one now and one a bit later.

We have been studying I John in our Sunday school at church.  This last week we were in chapter two.  In verses 15 – 17 it says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

Have you ever wondered what friendship with the world looks like, or what its result would be?  Cedric is Ivanhoe’s father.  At one point in the book he is held captive with one of his friends.  They are talking and Cedric says in part, “We made these strangers our bosom friends, our confidential servants; we borrowed their artists and their arts, and despised the honest simplicity and hardihood with which our brave ancestors supported themselves, and we became enervated by Norman arts long ere we fell under Norman arms.  Far better was our homely diet, eaten in peace and liberty, that the luxurious dainties, the love of which hath delivered us as bondsmen to the foreign conqueror!”

His soliloquy is profound.  Cedric correctly says that the Saxon friendship with the Norman culture lead to their conquest and subjection.  It is the same with us.  We cannot be friends with the world and not expect to be untouched.  John says that we become enemies of God if we do.  The Saxon example is that we will be overthrown and dominated by the world.

fake rolex

Category: Spiritual Life

Click here to read more

Back to Egypt
Posted on May 22, 2009

Do you ever have trouble trusting God, I do.  I am ashamed of it, but there it is.  Time and time again God has proven Himself faithful to us, but it seems like every time we get into a bind, anxiousness settles in.  I know that 1 Peter 5:7 says “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  I have memorized, translated from Greek, exegeted, and preached on that verse.  Doesn’t matter; as soon as things get dicey I get anxious.  I pray, journal, pray, study, cry out to God… still it is hard.

This morning I was thinking and praying through this.  It occurred to me that I am not alone in this.  Not sure this really should be classified as encouragement; more along the lines of misery loves company.  Israel leaped to mind.

Israel saw the Lord perform amazing miracles.  Starting with the plagues, they were lead out of Egypt by the Lord’s power and His anointed servant Moses.  They were really content to follow Him right up to the Red Sea where they begin to complain (Exodus 14:11).  The Lord opened up the Red Sea, which they walked across on dry land, and then closed the Sea on their pursuers.  They were really content to follow Him then, until they got hungry, then they wished they were back in Egypt (Exodus 16:3).  So God gave them food.  They were really content to follow Him then, until they got thirsty.  Then like at the Red Sea, they complained that they would have been better off in Egypt (Exodus 17:3).  So God gave them water.  They were really content… you get the picture.

They not only had this miraculous protection and provision, they had the presence of the Lord continually in both the form of a cloud by day and a column of fire by night, as well as the handpicked leader Moses, who talked with God face to face.  Still they were anxious. 
True they did not have the Holy Spirit.  He rested only on Moses.  I do.  That would seem to make it easier to follow and trust the Lord.  Nope. 

Why is that?  It seems to me that the issue is comfort.  Israel was comfortable in Egypt.  Though they were oppressed and slaves, they knew where the meat and the water were coming from.  They could see it.  In the wilderness they could not.  They had to trust that the manna would be there every morning.  In Egypt they could cruse.

As I thought about this it seems to me my flesh is like Israel.  It craves comfort.  It is also fallen and linked to the world, which is also fallen.  My flesh craves to rest in the world’s systems.  To not have to live a life of belief in things for which it cannot determine the source.  It wants control.  No matter the control is an illusion of the world system; it wants it.

So the battle for me is to daily choose to give into the flesh’s demand for control or through the Spirit to crucify the demands of the flesh.  Problem is the flesh does not seem to crucify easily and seems to resurrect each day with a renewed determination to “go back to Egypt.”

Audemars Piguet replica IWC replica

Category: Spiritual Life

Click here to read more

The Crowd, Again...
Posted on May 18, 2009

I have been re-reading Daws, the biography of Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators, one of the cloud of witnesses that has gone before (Hebrews 12:1, 2).  It has been an interesting experience.  I think this is the third time I have read the book.  This time through I am challenged by his life more than I have been in the past and I have also seen an emphasis on the believer’s position in Christ that I had not noticed before.

On the other hand the book has impacted me, not sure that negatively is the right word, but in a manner that has depressed me somewhat.  Daws died at 50 while saving a girl from drowning.  By that time he had done much for the Lord.  He had founded an international ministry, assisted Billy Graham in the follow up for his crusades, was instrumental in the founding of Wycliffe, Young Life, and MAF, the list goes on and on.

I am 58.  When I look at what Daws accomplished in the short time that God gave him and I compare what I have done…  I am at some level ashamed.  Now, I know that we are not to compare ourselves… but.  Hebrews 12: 1, 2 does tell us that we are to run the race with vigor because we have that crowd cheering us on.  With the list in 11 that is a significant level of encouragement.  The question with which I am wrestling is though I am not supposed to compare myself with these saints and men like Daws, the reality is that I fall really short. 

2 Corinthians 10:12 says “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.”  The ones in Hebrews 11 & 12 did not commend themselves, God commended them.  It occurs to me that they are set before us not only as those who cheer us on, but as those whose examples we are to strive to follow.

Then today I read in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest:

So often we mar God’s designed influence through us by our self-conscious effort to be consistent and useful. Jesus says that there is only one way to develop spiritually, and that is by concentration on God. ‘Do not bother about being of use to others, believe on Me’—pay attention to the Source, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. We cannot get at the springs of our natural life by common sense, and Jesus is teaching that growth in spiritual life does not depend on our watching it, but on concentration on our Father in heaven. Our heavenly Father knows the circumstances we are in, and if we keep concentrated on Him we will grow spiritually as the lilies.

The people who influence us most are not those who buttonhole us and talk to us, but those who live their lives like the stars in heaven and the lilies in the field, perfectly simply and unaffectedly. Those are the lives that mould us.

If you want to be of use to God, get rightly replica uhren related to Jesus Christ and He will make you of use unconsciously every minute you live.

So the challenge becomes to follow these saints not in striving to do more, but to focus on knowing Him.  It is really easy for me to get that backwards.

Category: Spiritual Life

Click here to read more

The Faithful Cloud of Witnesses
Posted on May 08, 2009

It has been a tough couple of months.  The reasons are not important; they are probably no different or more difficult than things that you have been struggling with.  But nevertheless, it has been hard.  I have found myself waking up in the night struggling with issues; frustrated, angry, scared.

This morning was one of those mornings.  I woke up at 4 AM with my mind churning over several things.  I lay in bed for thirty minutes trying to go back to sleep to no avail.  At 4:30 got up, grabbed my Bible and journal and headed for my father in law’s office at the back of the house.

For the next hour I wrote out all of the things that were troubling me.  Again, the specifics are not important, but I was feeling abandoned, disoriented, confused, anxious… I knew I was supposed to cast all of those cares on Him, but that was a whole lot easier to read and memorize than is to do.  So for an hour I poured my heart out on the pages of my journal.

For the past year I have changed what I have been doing in my times with God.  Several years ago at a friend’s wedding an Episcopal priest gave me a copy of The Book of Common Prayer.  For this last year I have been following the readings for each day of the Christian calendar.  There are three readings each day for both the morning and evening.  Most days I only do the mornings.  After the hour of vomit in my journal, I picked up the BCP and read the first passage for today, Psalm 143.  I could not believe what I was reading.  It was as if David had copied my journal.  His cries for help and his description of his heart mirrored mine exactly.  The next passage was Numbers 14; there the nation of Israel was terrified of entering the Promised Land because it looked hard.  Their response was to “appoint a leader and go back to Egypt.”  That is to turn away from what God had told them to do because it was hard, again that mirrored my heart.  The next passage was Hebrews 13:9 – 16; verse nine filleted me – “it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods…”  Each of these passages were a custom fit for my heart.

I have also been reading through Omega replica Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest, Henrichsen’s Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man, and Our Daily Bread.  Suffice it to say that in each of those works, the day’s thoughts, profoundly spoke to the state of my heart in dealing with the issues that got me out of bed. 

Nothing is solved.  The issues are still there and will continue to be.  I was feeling alone.  When I started writing I wondered if anyone else had gone through what I had.  The gracious answer this morning was and unqualified yes.

The point of all this is that this experience is not unique.  There have been many times in the past few weeks, months, and years that when I cry out to God in the pages of my journal and then turn to the Word and the “fellowship” of others through the passages they have put together for the Christian year, or the devotionals they have written, my heart is strengthened and comforted by their work.

You may, like me, sometimes feel alone, dealing with issues that you cannot or do not want to share with others.  This journey we are on is difficult.  Few finish well.  I am learning that there is much comfort not only in the Word but in the shared experiences of those saints who have consented to share their struggles with me through their writings.  The struggle is continual.  Hebrews 12:1, 2 tell us we need their encouragement.  I am thankful they left it in written form.

Category: Spiritual Life

Click here to read more

  Blog Categories
  • All
  • General
  • Bible Study
  • Spiritual Life

  •   Blog Search
      Any Words
    All Words
    Exact Phrase

      June 2021  
      S M T W T F S

    1 2 3 4 5
      6 7 8 9 10 11 12
      13 14 15 16 17 18 19
      20 21 22 23 24 25 26
      27 28 29 30

      Archive By Month
      November 2012
      July 2011
      May 2011
      March 2011
      January 2011
      August 2010
      April 2010
      January 2010
      October 2009
      May 2009
      April 2009
      March 2009
      February 2009
      January 2009
      December 2008
      November 2008
      October 2008

    Email Newsletter Signup

    Sign up for our eNewsletter to receive the latest news about upcoming events!

    Submit replica watches uk
    malta dil okulu Ankara Tercume Burosu yeminli tercuman
    orologi replica
    replica rolex fake watches replica watches uk fake Rolex watches