Gunslinger

The cave was dark and dusty. McGumory held a handkerchief to his face with his left hand to keep the large particles of dust out of his lungs. He grunted with pain as his right hand held his left side with the feather end of an arrow sticking up between his fingers. He limped as his right leg still had a bullet in it from yesterday.

“That was dumb.” He mumbled to himself. “This is where you are going to die.” He limped to the glimmer of light emanating from the lantern he had lit earlier.

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Summer Language

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By the time you read this school will be out for most kids or very close to it. For kids summer begins on the last day school. But that is not really true  summer starts June 21st, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. But that is not really true either for there still only 24 hours in that day. We just call the longest because it has  the most hours of daylight. On the June 21st sunrise will be at 5:41 and sunset will be at 7:46. But thats not really true either for the sun does’t rise or set. The earth just rotates so you can’t see the sun any more.

What does summer starting at the end school, the longest day and sunset all have in common? It is a linguistic device that in seminary we called language of accommodation. I said those things are not true but that is only in a technical sense. To a kid summer begins that last day school. Most people think of a day as daylight hours and not 24 hours. What is going on is that we are talking in way that is using agreed upon metaphors.

Why is this important? Because the language of accommodation is used in the Bible. So when studying the Bible you have to be very careful to look at what is being said based on the context of not just who is talking but on when. the Bible was written over a period of 4,000 years and involves many different cultures. Sure it has one author, God but He spoke to each group in their language.

For example in John 8:44 Jesus tells some people their father is the devil. Jesus does not mean that literally. Most people realize that but there are other places where the language of accommodation is more subtle. 1st Timothy 2:9 the word modest. Today people erroneously think Paul is contrasting revealing vs modest modern clothing. He wasn’t because none of the clothing we wear today even existed then. If you look at the whole verse it is a contrast of simple vs flashy and inexpensive vs expensive.

Those that know me know I believe every one needs to read their Bible regularly. As you read it listen to what is being said and think about the time period and the audience of that day. Find the principal God was teaching them and bring that principal forward to you.

Stop Taking Quizzes on Facebook

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I have been telling people for years that you should not take quizzes on facebook. They are offered by companies to get information from you so they can sell it. It has now come to light that not only do these companies get to scrap your data (not just the answer to the questions you give them) but they get to scrap all your friends data.

So stop taking quizzes. Don't do it. It doesn't matter if they promise to tell you the comic book character you are most like. Just say no.

While we are on the topic of facebook don't share a story you have only read the the tittle to. I mean why are you telling everyone they need to read something you have not read.

Easter is Coming

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Easter is coming and this year it is on April 1st. Every Sunday is a weekly celebration of Jesus paying it all. Easter is the annual service. Here at FBC Callaway, we will gather at sunrise (6:30 a.m.) and celebrate the resurrection. Then at 11 a.m. we will gather in the sanctuary to hear our choir lead us in stirring music that points to the Lord.

Start now on inviting you friends, neighbors and family. Make an effort to invite them three times between now and April 1st. This just might be the Sunday that they give their life to the only one that can save their soul.

Yes, they may say no. They also may say yes. Pray for them often, asking God to soften their heart so that they will come. In John chapter 4 when the woman at the well realized who Jesus was she left her water pot, went and told her town about him, and then she lead them to Jesus. That is all we need to do. Tell our friends, neighbors and family about who Jesus is to us and then lead them to him. Don’t worry if they told you no in the past just be very humble and very loving and invite them again.

Some that read this are not part of FBC Callaway but still invite your friends, neighbors and family three times to your church, bathing your request in prayer, humility and love.

Have You Really Seen the Gift of God?

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In a few days Christmas will be here. For many the day will pass with little thought of Jesus. Some will be distracted by toys, and some will be distracted by reunion with family they have not seen in a while. For others the day will pass just like every other day of the year. While it is true that the modern holiday called Christmas is an amalgamation of many different traditions and Jesus was probably born in the Spring. Let us not forget that Jesus is the greatest gift that God has ever given mankind.

Jesus’ birth was unique but it is not his birth that makes him great. The angel announced to the shepherds not that a baby had been born but that the Savior, Christ the Lord had arrived. Simeon was not excited by a baby but by the Lord’s salvation, the Lord’s revelation to the Gentiles, and the Lord’s glory of Israel. The Wise man came not to see a child but a King.

Only two of the four gospels even mention his birth. All four of the gospels and the rest of the New Testament speak of his death. The gift was not in the birth but in the death. For on that cross as the Lord gave his life so the sins of the many could be forgiven.

The importance is not the baby in the manger but the Savior, Christ the Lord, on the cross bridging the gap between God and man for the glory of God and the redemption of man. 

I hope that this Christmas you personal understand the depth of the Love of the Father in sending his son. That like Simeon God will not let you see death until you have seen the Lord’s Christ.

Some Lack Restraint

Where there is no revelation,  
the people cast off restraint;  
But happy is he who keeps the law.  
Proverbs 29:18

Does the world seem to have lost its mind? Does our nation seem to be spiraling out of control? Does hate seem to be spewed from every corner of humanity? Does it seem like at any minute life as we know is about to be destroyed?

If you answered yes to these questions you are probably watching or reading to much news. That said, There is an increase in hate being publicly spewed. People seem to be more willing to say and do things that a decade ago would not have be tolerated.

The source is a lack of revelation in peoples lives. I don’t mean a lack of a new word from God. I mean people don’t have the current word, what God has already revealed. In Proverbs 29:18 revelation and law are being used as synonyms for God’s word. 

People who don’t have His word cast off restraint. It is the anything goes mentality. Where as those with His word are happy. That doesn’t mean having a copy of the Bible sitting on a shelf in your home makes you happy. They have the Father’s word in their hearts through the love Jesus by the power the Holy Spirit. And when you have that you can be happy.

Notice too that the verse is structure in a way that there is an inferred contrast. Those without revelation are not truly happy and those with the law have restraint.

The revelation of God is still in many peoples lives. I would venture to say that most people still have some of the revelation buried in them even though they don’t follow Jesus currently just because of how extensive the church has been in this nation. But as the generations progress the ensuing will be further from the revelation and restraint. Which is a further incentive to pray for revival. Revival would draw more to the revelation, increase personal restraint, and lead to a happier populace. (And give the News less negativity to talk about.)

God and Injustice

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God never overlooks injustice. Some people are quick to point out that other people get away with lying, stealing and murder all the time. The authorities do not solve every crime in America. Some may question, “how can you say God never overlooks injustice when apparently He does?”

Justice for us is when the guilty party is sufficiently punished for his deeds. The Biblical idea of justice is very similar. God will demand recompense for every sin and will punish every sinner. He will not overlook even a single white lie as we call them.

In His word God says that all His ways are justice (Deut. 32:4), that He is a just God (Isaiah 45:21), and that He shows no partiality nor takes a bribe (Deut. 10:17). In order for God to be a just God then he cannot overlook injustice. It would be a sin for God to overlook injustice and God cannot sin.

Yet, it does appear that some people are perverting justice. They lie, cheat, steal, fornicate, and murder but nobody ever catches them. They believe they are escaping justice or in common speech “they are getting away with it.” The people who believe this have a materialist worldview.

The correct view that you should have is a Biblical worldview. God says that life consist of more than just this brief vapor that we live on earth and that He is a just God. The police may never catch some people but God knows what they have done. Your mother may have never found out about ______ (insert your deed here) but God knows about it. Every sin will be paid for.

Spending life in prison for murder may seem like justice in a materialistic worldview but this is not complete Biblical justice. Prison time will never make up for your debt that you owe God. God will demand restitution from you. Every person that has ever lived, is living or will live will pay for their sins. God will punish them by casting them into hell and they will suffer greatly under the wrath of God for all of eternity (Mark 9:43-48, John 3:36). He will receive recompense in that because they will show the glory of God’s perfect justice.

Least you suddenly fear without hope the Biblical worldview teaches that there is hope in Jesus Christ. If you are a disciple of Christ then your sins where paid for by Jesus when he died on the cross. Justice is still carried out. Jesus paid for all the sins of His people, so as far as God is concerned justice has been met.

So to think that someone has gotten away with a sin is really just a short-sighted view. God never promised that every sinner would be caught before death. What God has promised is that in eternity every sin will be paid for. We will either pay for our sins or Jesus will have paid for them.

What’s Your Worldview

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Worldview is just a term that means how you look and react to the world you live in. Everyone has a worldview and it is shaped by everything that occurs in a person’s life.

Have you ever met someone that always sees everything in a positive light? No matter how bad the situation may be, he can always find a bright side to it. That person has an optimistic worldview. 

A materialistic worldview sees that life consists mainly of the tangible. A materialistic slogan is expressed on the bumper sticker  “He who dies with the most toys wins!” People having this world view do not count the afterlife for much because it is an unknown to them.

A person’s worldview also has many facets to it. For instant a person can have an optimistic materialistic worldview or a pessimistic materialistic worldview. Feelings and education on subjects like capitalism, socialism, love, marriage, body image, religion and more effect a worldview.

Because so many things can effect our worldview every person has their own unique worldview. This also means we can have a worldview that is not correct. For instant some females enter adult hood with a worldview that they must conform to the female image presented on magazines. They don’t understand that those females images have been manipulated and that the real people don’t look like that. Some males enter adult hood with a worldview that believes males are better than females. They don’t understand that simply is not true and it is just sexism.

The good news is that a worldview can be corrected. There is a correct worldview. It is called a Biblical worldview. This worldview is shaped by the information that God has given in the Bible. It should be the overriding authority in our lives. 

For example God says that life consist of more than just this brief vapor that we live on earth. Adding that to our worldview means that this world is not all there is to life. God say that He is a just God. Adding that to our worldview means that we can expect from God to be treated with all fairness. God says that we are to love one another. Adding that to our worldview changes the way we treat people. These teachings in the Bible along with many more help us build a Biblical worldview. That enables us to please God.

The only way to build a Biblical worldview in yourself is to study the Bible, not just read it. But don’t take my word for it. Study it yourself and you will find that God expects you to look at the world the way he does.