Friday, July 29, 2016

Time, part 9


“a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:8 (NIV)

            God instructs us to love one another; He also tells us to hate what he hates. “Love the sinner but hate the sin.”
            In January 2015, the carnage in Paris at the office of Charlie Hebdo is an example of something God did not like. That one act of violence sent European police forces into a state of heightened awareness of other groups bent on killing the right of free speech. The November 2015 bloodbath in Paris has made the whole world more cautious of danger.
            In our world’s history, we have an untold number of volumes of books written and movies made about the two world wars our nations have fought. World War 1 started when the murder the Archduke Fritz Ferdinand brought about a swift alignment of nations due to alliances. World War 2 stemmed from the brutal genocide of the Jewish people. Figuring into the reason for this war was, again, the alliances between nations.

            In each of these wars, freedom-loving nations defended a basic principle of life. Before nations become involved in wars, I believe their leaders need to spend time need to evaluate the events causing that ultimate decision. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Time, part 8

“a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak.”
Ecclesiastes 3:7(NIV))

            Sometimes events happen—causing upheaval in our lives. Recently, our town went through a time of very heavy winds, possibly tornadic. The storms uprooted trees, resulting in the blocking of some streets. The river had some trees land in it. A row of pine trees looks as if someone had topped them. In Illinois, the tornados destroyed homes and buildings.
            In life, we see people’s lives almost fall apart. Usually, those people have walked away from God or they never knew Him. Therefore, those lives self-destruct. However, when these lives change for the better, God is in control.

            People go through times when it is best to keep quiet about certain issues. These times are God’s call. The person keeping still should realize should realize the issues may be too deep or involved for them to enter into. Conversely, the circumstance might be something of the other person’s own making. At other times, God allows them to share their point of view on a circumstance. Those who live close to the LORD understand the difference of these times.

            We have to rely on God to tell us which time is best to speak or to keep silent.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Time, part 7
            “a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away.”
Ecclesiastes 3:6 (NIV)

            I find this verse haunting, at least the first section. There are times we lose something precious to us; we search for it until we have looked everywhere. Then we stop, realizing we cannot find it. However, somehow, a while later, we spot it just out of reach from one of the places we looked.

            However, when we hear of a plane going down, we hear of a search team looking to rescue those who have survived. Yet, after a given time, that team’s objective becomes to recover those people who did not make it, if possible.

            The second part of this passage speaks of keeping things and throwing away things that are no longer useful to us. As an American, I have to say that I am guilty of hanging onto “things.” One of my closest friends often laments of “having too much ‘stuff.’”

            Solomon tells us there is a time to shed ourselves of things we no longer need, use, or wear. In our 21st Century America, I see people either having things to the point of being engulfed in them or choosing to live the “less is more” philosophy. I know what I need to do but, in the past, I have found a new home for something and, then had need of that very same item.

            I remember a neighbor who was getting ready to move. This single man had the bed of his pick-up truck filled to overflowing with things he no longer needed or wanted, stuff from his house.

            Father God, please help us.


Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...