Archive for the About the Book Category

When in a Fish, Trust God

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , on August 7, 2017 by mclmuskrat

The story of Jonah and the whale in the Bible book of Jonah is very possibly a real story and not allegory. We will leave that discussion for others. I will not be the one to place limits on what God can do; but I do know this, the story of Jonah speaks to the truth that God will never abandon you. While many will shake their fists at God, blaming Him for their trials and tribulations, the anger comes from those individuals not seeing the whole picture, only seeing a fraction of the whole plan God has for you.

Chapter 2, Jonah is in the whale and calls out to the LORD…the LORD he was running away from in the first place. In verse 1, God answers Jonah because God was there and heard Jonah’s voice. Many times in the Bible the “seas” and “the deeps” are a synonym for chaos; do you have chaos in your life and feel God is far away? Verse 6 “…yet You brought up my life from the Pit, O LORD my God.” God never abandons His creation, only the creation abandons God.

God does have a plan for you. You have the freedom to accept it or reject it. Often the plan develops in ways we struggle to understand. We may even feel the pathway is a mistake or that we are on the wrong road. Let’s look back at our friend Jonah, verses 3 to 5 in chapter 2:

“You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surround me; all Your waves and Your billows passed over me. Then I said, I am driven away from Your sight; how shall I look again upon Your holy temple? The waters closed in over me; weeds were wrapped around my head”

Jonah surely would be puzzled by these events if he thought God was leading him somewhere, but you must believe in the goodness of God and His love for you. Jonah remembered…verse 7:  “As my life was ebbing away, I remembered the LORD;” and Jonah was saved, empowered to carry out God’s purpose for the salvation of a whole city. When in a fish, that is, when in chaos, turn and trust in God!

Your Inner Essence – Light or Darkness?

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , on July 24, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Grand Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach authored an article entitled “Celebrating the Miracle of the Soul” published in the Jewish World Review. He wrote of the Hasidic or Chassidic Jews, a form of mystical Orthodox Judaism that began in the 1700’s in Eastern Europe with a name meaning “Master of the Good Name” in Hebrew:

Every Jew possesses an inner spiritual essence that can’t be tarnished by even the worst sin he commits. This inner spiritual point is so lofty and so holy that it cannot be contaminated. Even a Jew who discards everything “Jewish” retains this inner spiritual essence. This spiritual core is, and always will be, pure and holy. Indeed, it is to this, the Torah (Lev. 16:16) refers when it describes the Creator as He “who dwells with them in the midst of their uncleanliness.”

 Another version of this teaching is expressed by the Talmud (Sanhedrin 44a): “A Jew, even if he sinned, is still a Jew.” In fact, when one hears of a person who has transgressed all the prohibitions of the Torah and yet is awakened by the desire to repent and return to Him, it is a desire for return that emanates from this inner spiritual point.

As a Christian, admittedly I see this text through different eyes, and though I have some minor disagreement with the idea the inner spiritual essence will always be pure and holy no matter if a person completely falls away, I think I understand what is basic here. To be able to completely reject God and yet remain with a pure and holy essence means there is never a person or an angel that can fall from grace, but we know from the Bible that people and angels did in fact fall from grace. We are indeed free to reject God; this is actually true love from God, we are not prisoners in chains. We have freewill to decide what we chose to believe. More important than this discussion is the fact that we are indeed created in the image of God, and when God created us, He said it was good. Therefore, there is indeed a pure and holy spiritual essence in each of us, but we can indeed throw it all away and move to the dark side. There will be a judgment one day for each of us! Whose side are you on?

Knowing Who Jesus Is

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , on July 17, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Many Protestant theologians (e.g., Luther, Calvin, and Barth) emphasize God as known in Jesus Christ, over God as known through creation. Is an emphasis on knowing God through creation, and the accompanying go-a-long traditional arguments for his existence, detracting from the knowledge of God as Redeemer as revealed His Word…the Bible?

I believe there is a great deal to be learned about God if you have the eyes to see the wonderment and glory of His creation. The book this blog patterns; I Am, the Great Creator God, is all about gaining the eyes to see. This “general revelation” is certainly enough to prove the existence of God. But if you are not reading the Bible, you will not know that all of creation is and was through Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.  However, one can deepen their knowledge of who this Godhead is by reading His Holy Word. We find out who Jesus is throughout the Old Testament, and we find out what Jesus, the incarnate God, does and says in the New Testament. All this then is energized by the power of the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity (Trinity). Thus the Triune Godhead is revealed and knowledge is exploded in very special ways going far beyond and deepening beyond general revelation. Now, you are in the classic position for God to use your special gifts, greatly empowered for your role in a possible “special revelation” encounter with the living God.

Not all religions are alike; the difference in the big 3, is who is Jesus?  In Christianity, Jesus is the Christ; in the other 2 main religions of the world, He is not. Thus there is only one thing we can do…turn toward Jesus Christ and humbly come before that Messiah Jesus, on our knees, and call Him LORD.

The Existence of Evil Argument

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , , on July 10, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Often I see or hear about people rejecting God because of there being evil in the world. This comes from a lack of understanding about evil, but this kind of statement is not good enough; we will not reach the rejecting humanity with a statement like that.  We Christians should ask and be prepared to deal this question:  How great a problem is the existence of evil as a counterargument against the existence of God as He is understood by Christians?

I think there are a great many who use this “evil exists” argument to say that God could not be real, nor be a God of love, nor all powerful…or He would eliminate evil. I believe this to be a huge problem. The Church has not done a good job to explain where evil came from and how people gravitate toward it instead of toward God. Evil was not created but is the result of people’s free will to choose what they want. Lucifer and one third of the angels wanted to be god by their free will and were cast from heaven. Adam & Eve wanted to have the knowledge of God and thus were cast from the Garden (actually this is an act of love by God to save them from eternal separation). I believe that God did not create evil but allows it and sometimes can even use it to open up the eyes of those He wishes to reach. As a parent may allow a child to finally touch a hot stove after repeatedly saying not to, the child finally learns the stove is indeed hot. The parent remains loving to their child. Love and free will allows people to accept or reject God. God wishes His creation to glorify Him, but because we are VERY much loved by God (John 3:16), God does not bind and chain us as prisoners. Thus we are free to reject Him and blame it on other circumstances, such as the existence of evil, or turn to God and find mercy and salvation from evil. You are not a puppet manipulated by a set of strings; you are free to decide to follow God or your own set of idols; only one of these two options leads to peace and grace.

The waves of chaos and stress are inevitable!

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , on July 3, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Many these days find themselves in darkness, deep in chaos with the waves of stress crashing over them. If you are one of those, are you alone? Chapter 3 of the Book of Daniel, we find Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego thrown into an ultra-hot furnace (7 times normal)…they were not alone. Chapter 6 of the Book of Daniel, we find Daniel thrown into the lion’s den by evil men tricking the king to enforce his law now impacting his friend Daniel…Daniel was not alone.

The organization “Open Doors” serves the persecuted church over seas. They say 215 million Christians in 50 countries last year face high or very high or extreme persecution. Are they alone? No! The Holy Spirit is there for Jesus knows, for the world hated Him as well (John 15:18). When Jonah was in the whale, he called to the LORD, and the LORD answered him for God heard his voice (Jonah 2:2).

It has been published that only 4% of Millennials have a Biblical Worldview. How sad, and even more sad for their children (who will teach them?)! What do you suppose will happen when, not if, but when darkness falls upon them? The waves of chaos and stress are inevitable! To whom will they turn to find strength, peace, mercy and grace?

“The waters closed in over me; the deep surrounded me: weeds were wrapped around my head…yet You [God] brought up my life from the Pit, O LORD my God.” (Jonah 2:5-6). Turn to the only one who can save and rescue you, the LORD Jesus Christ!

The Nature of Creation

Posted in About the Book, Out of the Pages with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2017 by mclmuskrat

When in architecture school, we studied the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, who studied the physical proportions of the human body and became one of the strongest advocates of the “Golden Ratio” and applied it to his art and architecture. Le Corbusier’s search for a standardized proportion ended in a system he called the “Modulor”, which represented the human scale universally applied to art composition and architecture. This “Modulor”, based on human proportions was found to be a system equivalent to all of natural creation. Le Corbusier felt that human life was “comforted” by this type of mathematics. How does a proportional system so widespread in creation come about? Certainly this is not a serendipity or evolution by-product; can happenstance produce mathematical perfection in nature and in the human body? I believe it to be part of the Grand Master Architect’s “good” design.

The Golden Rectangle, constructed by the rules, then divided by the rules, creates another Golden Rectangle; this then can be repeated to infinity, always creating the same “Golden Rectangle” and the same “Golden Ratio”. Beautiful perfection!

God created each individual animal species and called it good. As an architect who understands form, design, composition, symmetry, color and aesthetics; it is impossible to look at the wonderful designs in nature and believe they evolved from something else as simple happenstance. The sooner scientists look through the eyes of a Christian at God’s creation, the sooner the great destructive evolution debate will disappear.

Each work of creation must reflect a part of the Creator; it is the nature of creation, whether it is an artist, a sculptor, an architect, a musician, filmmaker, writer, or God. Part of the creator is found within the creation, within the created item. When you look at the beauty on this planet, be it a person, a sunset, a flower or a Mandarin Duck, what do you see? Do you see something that has evolved from something else lower than itself, while the creator sits on the sidelines with nothing to do? Or do you see a planned work of art, an individual creation from the Great Creator God? We are created in the image of God. The sooner you see each part of creation as created by God, “individually” one at a time as an important part of the whole masterpiece, the sooner you will respect other life found in the people and animals of this planet, and the less destructive things will be.

The 23rd Psalm Speaks to us Today

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Probably the most popular Psalm is the 23rd Psalm; a psalm of trust and confidence. This psalm obviously comes after Psalm 22 which reflects David’s anguish. There are many in anguish today! Besides those millions with evil intent, many have problems due to the idol worship of money, sex & fame in our culture, the governmental quest for power, the culture of materialism, and all the false leaders & teachers among us. There is only one way to find the correct path, though a narrow road it is, to find the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

“The LORD is “my” shepherd”; He is your personal Savior who knows you before you were born. “He makes me lie down…He leads me besides still waters”; The LORD wishes you to rest and have peace, and will guide you there. “He leads in right paths”; the LORD will guide you to the destination that is good for you if you will just follow. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil”; In Matthew 10:16, Jesus sends us sheep out among wolves. “…in the presence of my enemies”; Matthew 7:15 tells us that false prophets come in sheep’s clothing (to fit in with the herd)…they are indeed among us now. “…my cup overflows.”; with Christ Jesus you will find overflowing grace, more mercy, more goodness, more care than you can possibly handle! Why not invite Jesus into your life, repent and find the only way to peace?  Oh, you will still have problems existing in this world, but you WILL have mercy and forgiveness, which will provide for you a waterfall of peace!

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Jesus, the only Hope of the World

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