Archive for the About the Book Category

Won’t you turn to Him now?

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

I have to admit, I am so very tired of hearing from our academic institutions, be they from kindergarten through our highest universities, of the gushing out of pure garbage of the zero-evidence non-proven “truths” about how mankind came into being.  So prevalent in so many circles, most drink it in as truth. Absolute trash about how creation came about, even from the likes of the great Steven Hawking. They all pour out their ideas, all the while ignoring the very science that proves them wrong.  You can not (should not) pick and choose your supporting arguments to fit your agendas if your adventure is to find the real truth.

I have written on this subject before and I am not going to try to fight in this short post. But what I do want to request of anyone out there with a brain of their own, please think through all that you hear, test it out, does it hold even a little bit of water? You are sensible people, don’t just buy the voice of the mob!

For thousands of years thoughtful scholarship has taken place to show and prove that God is not just some construct. God always is and has been, and will be! God is the non-created “first cause”! We have never had the ability to know more than we can electronically today, and that will only mushroom many times over in the future. But we have never been more mistaken on what the truth really is. Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them [your days]’.” (NIV). You still have time; remember your Creator. Seek a Biblical worldview instead of a humanistic worldview. You have been gloriously created by a very loving God who wants you to be in relationship with Him. Won’t you turn to Him now before the end of your days?

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Spiritual but not Religious…oh really?

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , on September 25, 2017 by mclmuskrat

You hear people say, I’m a spiritual person but I am not religious. What does that mean? Many will tell you that spirituality is finding your inner peace, finding your true self and your true path…whatever that means. They will tell us that spirituality is deep healing of mind, body and spirit…a shift to a higher consciousness and understanding. This is all humanism; making the person the power generator capable of reaching the high levels on their own. This type of thought sets the individual at the center of all that happens. This kind of spirituality is simply a preoccupation with ourselves.

Real spirituality is something you cannot do on your own, but requires formation by God’s Spirit. Called “Spiritual Formation” and it is entirely different from the humanism we see all around us. It is complex and takes a lifetime. Spiritual Formation places Jesus Christ in the center to keep us out of the center.

If you really want a worry-free life, one with a peace that passes all understanding, you only need to turn to Christ Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to  be a child of God. God will replace your evil heart with a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). God will put His Spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:27). This is the real spirituality available to all people.

What will be MY response?

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

Forgiveness, what a word. The Bible tells us to forgive 70 x 7 times; in other words, an unlimited number of times. The Bible also tells us that if we don’t forgive others, that we will not be forgiven. We are all told to forgive one another but it is very hard to do. Here is why. There is a thing called the “stress response”. If the stress response is triggered by a meeting of one you said you had forgiven, then you had not fully forgiven.

A lawyer beat me out of a sizable architectural fee 40 years ago. He was an evil person and hurt many others. He also hurt my wife and children. The courts were of no help after years of trying, so one day I decided that I was carrying way too much baggage about this guy, after all I had recovered from the pain he caused. I wrote him and said I forgive you. Of course, I never got a reply; I didn’t expect one. He probably thought I was weak. Soon, I began to consider…what if I run into him on the elevator? How would I feel? Being honest with myself, I decided I would get nervous, flushed with adrenaline, and so thought I had not FULLY forgiven. It took about a year of working on my forgiveness before I decided I would have no reaction and could actually wish the man “a good day”.

Yes, to fully forgive can be difficult but I promise it will be YOU who will be blessed in doing so. Furthermore, each and everyone of us needs forgiveness for something; looking back, I could fill a book; I am so glad that God has forgiven me, now what will be my response be to God’s mercy and grace?

So, what is a Christian anyway?

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , on September 11, 2017 by mclmuskrat

What is a Christian? Someone who knows Jesus Christ? No…the Bible tells us that the demons know Jesus Christ. Someone who knows Jesus is the Son of God? No…the demons know that too. Fact is, Jesus told us that many so-called Christians will call Him Lord and He will say, “I don’t know you”. So what then is the real Christian? Maybe the Christian is one who does good things. No, many non-Christians also do good things. So what then is the real Christian?

Michael Brown, past professor at a number of seminaries, wrote an article published on January 3, 2013, entitled: “What’s Right and Wrong with American Christianity”. He listed 8 “right things” and 12 “bad things”. The right things were about the things a Christian “does”: feed the poor, generosity, being helpful to others, being moral, pro-life, and pro-Israel. Jesus asked us to go and “do”, strive to be righteous and look after your neighbor; so I agree with Brown’s “right listing”, but these things don’t define a Christian. The bad things consist of having shallow faith, leadership scandals, moving away from orthodoxy, prosperity preaching, false teaching, and changing the church to fit the culture. Here we have a serious and accurate list. If we can reverse this “bad list” we will find out what a real Christian is.

A real Christian has a very strong faith in Jesus Christ and is willing to put Jesus above all things including self. The Bible teaches that leadership will be judged harsher than others; leadership should be stronger and humbly better, no excuses. The Christian’s faith must remain orthodox; the Bible is the very word of God, believe it with all your mind, heart and soul. A Christian does not change Jesus to suit his personal whims or to make the culture like a false message. A Christian loves Jesus no matter what the world thinks, no matter if it costs him his life.

Who in the World is Philip Melancthon?

Posted in About the Book with tags , , , , , on August 21, 2017 by mclmuskrat

Philip Melancthon, 1497-1560, was a German scholar and a humanist. He was a little delicate man, cautious, and a very smart genius who worked with Martin Luther. Luther, on the other hand, was a “bull in a china closet”, reckless and rough, like a hard-charging “tank” fighting an enemy. As a magnet requires two different poles, these two, very different individuals complemented each other. Melancthon soften Luther’s toughness so that people would not be afraid of his actions but would actually listen to what he had to say. It was Melancthon’s complementary disposition and political inspite that got Martin Luther be in the right place, at the right time. It took the two of them, working differently but in tandem, to get the job done. We must learn to celebrate our differences; that we are, in fact, all different parts of one body in Christ, that is brothers and sisters in Christ.

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-20 ESV)

 

In the very important “Lutheran Reformation”, Philip Melancthon (noted above) was in his own right, a great intellect of wide learning. He represented Luther at many conferences, and even wrote and presented the Augsburg Confession in 1530. Melanchthon was friends with John Calvin so after Luther’s death, Melanchthon, not being a good leader but willing to compromise on doctrinal issues continued to bring groups together in the Reformation.

Today, we Protestants owe a great deal to the Reformers; all Protestant Christians have heard of Martin Luther; we even have the denomination called Lutheran after him. But how many of you have heard of Philip Melanchthon? Just think if it were not for Philip Melanchthon, there would be no “Lutheran”! Melanchthon provided the catalyst for the Lutheran break-away experiment to begin and to finish. Without the calming impact of Melanchthon, most would not have even heard Luther’s argument. This is “Good Symmetry” over time in the developing actions from people not knowing the true impact of their work, people facing great opposition, people continuing through their long-term commitment to their LORD.

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?

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