JREnsey blog August 2012

Welcome to the August blog. With temps in Texas in the low 80s in mid-July, I was tempted to write to Obama’s climate czar (I’m sure he has one) and complain about global cooling. Then I began hearing from our Midwest friends sweltering in a heat wave and thought better of it.

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Point fingers in the right direction

After the recent shooting in Aurora, CO, the media went into a feeding frenzy calling for gun control. While everyone disdains such senseless acts, it makes no sense to blame guns for what happened. Wouldn’t it be better to lay the blame where it really belongs, say, at the feet of the movie and video game producers? They provided the ideas and the inspiration for this “Joker” who barged into the theater with his crusty, pointed hair dyed red and his brain twisted by psychotic “medications.” Perhaps we should also reevaluate access to certain forms of music that suggest rape and murder and mayhem of all sorts. The shooter had been listening to hard rock music.

Access to guns is not the real culprit. Should we ban forks belonging to those who are grossly obese? Any ban should involve the forces that motivated the shooter, not what he used to carry out his fantasy of being some “dark knight.” It was no surprise that he was under a psychiatrist’s care—the same one who had been prescribing such medications to other students. In my opinion, that is where the finger should be pointed. How many more tragedies must we endure before we wake up to the power of music, drugs, and visual media?

Whose witnesses are we?

We love to quote from Isaiah 43:1-13 when we teach on the Oneness of God. But another look at the chapter this week gave me a new perspective and a different emphasis—one that came as I read it backwards. Let me share a few of the verses with you.

Beginning at verse 13, God declares Himself to be a deliverer who will not be denied. In verses 12-10, He presents Himself as the only God and the only Savior. Twice He says, “You are my witnesses” of these things. “You are my chosen servant” to bear this knowledge to the heathen nations.

In verses 9-6, the Lord dares the polytheistic heathen nations to bring forth their witnesses who can declare works equal to His. Put all the nations together and they still could not have the testimony that comes from His Jewish sons and daughters—those called by His name. The heathen can only witness of carnal pursuits, false gods and strange philosophies.

There is much more in those 13 verses, but let me stop here to say that God still has a witness in the earth to declare His glory and His handiwork. Today, it is the Apostolic church—those who proudly wear His name, who know Him as the only Savior, and who have been delivered by His grace. We are His sons and daughters—the true witnesses of His reality and His mercy. What a privilege!

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The Rainbow and the Throne

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven…and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald” (Revelation 4:2,3).

In the first place, [this vision] speaks to me of this, that the permanent is encircled by the fleeting.

Whenever a Jew thought of the throne of God, he pictured one that was unchangeable—“Thy throne, 0 God, is an everlasting throne,” was the common cry of psalmist and of prophet. Other thrones might pass into oblivion, other kingdoms flourish and decay. There was not a monarchy on any side of Israel that had not risen and had fallen, like star. But the throne of God, set in the high heaven where a thousand years are as a day, that throne from all eternity had been, and to all eternity it would remain. Such was the throne which the apostle saw, around about it he beheld a rainbow. It was engirdled with a thing of beauty which shines for a moment, and in shining vanishes. The permanent was encircled by the transient. The eternal was set within the momentary.

And so it is that you and I are led amid a thousand evanescent things, under the arch of lights that flash upon us, and have hardly flashed ere they have disappeared. It is commonplace to speak of fleeting joys—and our troubles are often as fleeting as our joys. And then what moods we have; what moments of triumph; what bitterness of tears! And often they visit us just when we least expect them, and we cannot explain them as they come and go; and yet, through every mood and every feeling, the will of God is working to its goal.

-Excerpted from George Morrison, “The Rainbow and the Throne,” More Meditations on the New Testament and Psalms

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More on student loans

From a reader:

Bro. Ensey;

I so enjoyed the part of your blog dealing with student loans. I have been thinking about this for some time. May I add a little fuel to the fire from the web site, “Common Dreams”?

“The extent of the student loan crisis is becoming all the more evident. New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that $36 billion in student debt belongs to Americans who are 60 or older. The debt to this demographic comes as a result of unpaid loans from their original days in college, loans for mid-career education, and co-signing loans for younger family members, the research shows.”

https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/04/03-3A

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 Another reason we avoid the theaters

The news outlets were recently quoting movie starlet Katy Perry to give the same-sex marriage concept a boost. Through all her globe-trotting, Perry has come to realize how fortunate she is to call the United States home. “Not to sound overly cheesy,” she says, “but I really appreciate the freedom we have in America—especially as a female.”

Asked how she reacted to President Obama’s support of same-sex marriage, she says, “I was really happy; I probably went down to West Hollywood and had a shot. I came from a different mind-set growing up, and my mind has changed. My viewpoint on all these things—equality for women, the choice to love anyone you want—hopefully, we will look back at this moment and think like we do now concerning [other] civil rights issues. We’ll just shake our heads in disbelief, saying, ‘Thank God we’ve evolved.’ That would be my prayer for the future.”

What a beautiful future we have to look forward to with all the creeps creeping around! I wonder what these bleeding heart liberals will do should one of the perverts assault their little son or daughter and they can do nothing about it because of “civil rights” and political correctness? Will they thank God then?

Allow me to point out two things. Notice that her “mind has changed.” How did that happen? Schools, colleges, the media, the homosexual lobby, peer pressure. Apostolic believer, they are targeting your son and daughter for conversion, too. Also note that she makes it a “civil rights” issue. After the victories of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, everyone wants to ride their coattails to achieve more “rights.” The women’s liberation movement came along, and the spillover from that has given the homosexual lobby the “right” to put acceptance for all their debauchery into public school curricula. Trust me, NAMBLA is knocking at the doors. (Google that, if you dare.)

Weep for your children, and keep them out of the movies—and out of public school if you can!

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How our emails get spammed

When you email to a large list of recipients or forward an item that has already been forwarded to a group, it is an invitation for spammers. Rather than put the entire list in your “TO” box, be sure all the recipients are listed as “Undisclosed Recipients.” I personally do not forward anything with an open list of email addresses Otherwise, everyone’s email addresses are out there for the taking by someone collecting addresses outside of our group. Much of the spam we receive originates in that way.

Also, if you do not put a subject in the subject box that would indicate that the message is in reality from you, it might not be opened, regardless of the name in the “from” box. Blank subject boxes often indicate spam and don’t get opened.

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Ah, the power of words fitly spoken

“Mr. Clark, I have reviewed this case very carefully,” the divorce court judge said, “and I’ve decided to grant your wife $200 a week.”
“That’s very fair, your honor,” the husband said, “and every now and then I’ll try to send her a few bucks myself.”

A doctor examining a woman who had been rushed to the Emergency Room, took the husband aside, and said, “I don’t like the looks of your wife at all.”
“Me neither, doc,” said the husband, “but she’s a great cook and really good with the kids.”

Two Reasons Why It’s So Hard To Solve A Redneck Murder:
1. All the DNA matches.
2. There are no dental records.

A blonde calls Delta Airlines and asks, “Can you tell me how long it’ll take to fly from San Francisco to New York City?”
The agent replies, “Just a minute,” as he turns to look up the time.
“Thank you,” the blonde says, and hangs up.

A man is recovering from surgery when a nurse appears and asks him how he is feeling.
“I’m OK. But I didn’t like the four-letter words the doctor used during surgery,” he answered.
“Oh, what did he say?” asked the nurse. “Oops!”

The graveside service was just barely finished, when there was massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance. The widower looked at the pastor and calmly said, “Well, she’s there.”

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Greater fruitfulness

The apple trees in our small orchard are short, wizened, and arthritic looking, but they are prolifically fruitful, as the deer have long since discovered. Now in May they blossom bountifully. Fruit will hang heavy in the transparent, crystal air of September. Boughs will bend low within reach of browsing deer. Limbs will release well-ripened apples that tumble into the long grass, there to await the approach of hungry whitetails.

It has always astonished me to see how many apples one diminutive tree can bear. Some apple growers contend that smallness of the tree’s structure and fruitfulness are related. Big apple trees are often too much absorbed in producing wood to give much botanical attention to yielding fruit. When the early orchardists in Maine had trouble with their apple trees growing too fast while producing little fruit, they used to correct the difficulty by wounding the tree. With a mighty swing of an axe they cut a deep gash in the tree trunk. Orchardists claimed that when an apple tree was hurt in this way the tree changed for the better. Instead of growing into a big woody plant, it converted its energy into greater fruitfulness and an abundance of apples.

Some people are like erring apple trees that misdirect their energies into accumulating of quantity. Such folk seem to think that what counts most is the number of years they live rather than the quality of their lives. Others measure life in terms of growth of material possessions, the amassing of things. Then some deep wound is sustained. A hurtful disappointment or a profound sorrow gashes them and they become suddenly aware of quality. No more do they care to merely produce more wood. They become fruitful. Far from being final disasters that destroy them, disappointment and sorrow become wounds that save them.

Could it be that our hurts are intended to enhance the quality of our living? Do our wounds tend toward fruitfulness?

– Harold Kohn in Adventures In Insight

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Defeat does not mean failure

Booker T. Washington said, “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while tying to succeed.”

By taking two steps forward and one step back, we still continually move closer to the goal. The man who makes no mistakes is the one who does nothing. Failure, disappointments, and setbacks are a part of life. We must learn not to identify with our failures. There are many, many examples of people who overcame backward steps. Abraham Lincoln ran for political office seven times and was defeated each time. Bobby Kennedy failed third grade and could not even take care of his own paper route. Babe Ruth struck out more times than any other baseball player. Ed Gibson, one of the astronauts on the Skylab Ill mission, failed first and fourth grades.

Learn from your mistakes, but identify with your success. Press on, confident in your own ability to succeed, backed by the power of God. Never forget that people who accomplish great things believe they can do it.

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Music can be a drug

“Sweet ones, music is such a big part of our worship experience, it produces highly emotional responses, all generated in the brain. Not all responses to worship music is spiritual, though often mistaken for such. Knowledge is power. A book I’ve found extremely helpful in understanding the relationship between the emotional and intellectual effects of music is Your Brain On Music. This book, written by a neuroscientist/musician offers a wealth of info. It is a secular book, which in my opinion makes a powerful statement to the fact that all brains react to music…in emotional ways. It is how God designed us. Interesting stuff.”

Rachel Coltharp, excerpted from her review of Your Brain On Music.

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So you want to be a psychotherapist?

Some time ago a missionary visited our church. Strangely, in his presentation, he spoke rather disparagingly of his lot in life. He said if he had his way, he would rather be a psychologist.

Encountering some raised eyebrows, he moved on. I wanted to say, “If you had rather be schooled in psychology and active in that field rather than doing what God called you to do, go for it.”

However, he may be looking on that activity through rose-colored glasses. According to announcements in the promotion for the American Psychotherapy Association Conference in October, “Psychotherapy is in precipitous decline, with referrals down 40% in the past decade, and they continue to decline. This has resulted in a glut of psychotherapists with stagnant incomes, and there is no end in sight as psychotropic medications increasingly replace psychosocial interventions.” So psychotherapists are being replaced by capsules. We saw it coming.

If you had plans to go to college to get a psychology degree, forget it. By the time you get it, there may not be a market for your theories. And besides, what theories you learn today may be out of date before you can get your shingle hung.

If God called you to preach, preach. Forget Freud. He forgot God, figuring God and religion was nothing more than “the opiate of the people.”

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A tale of two doctors

Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require hip surgery.

The FIRST patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The SECOND sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn’t reviewed for another week and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then, pending the review boards decision on his age and remaining value to society.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The FIRST is a Golden Retriever taken to a vet.

The SECOND is a senior citizen on Obamacare…

In November, if he and his czars get another term, all of the American people may need to find a good vet!

– Anonymous

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Can he do that?

Yes, he can. He just did.

Quietly, without media fanfare, on July 6, president Obama signed an executive order allowing the White House to control all private communications in the country in the name of national security. In effect, he gave himself control of the Internet. His definition of “national security” seems to be in line with that of Stalin, Hitler and Chavez. For more info, go to

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/06/executive-order-assignment-national-security

Please read the book by Dinesh D’Souza titled The Roots of Obama’s Rage to see what is driving Obama and why he feels he must take America down.

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No shirt, no shoes, no bulletin…no discount

A family-owned restaurant in Pennsylvania is under a state discrimination investigation for offering a ten percent discount for diners who present a church bulletin on Sundays.

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission confirmed there is an investigation against Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen in the town of Columbia. The complaint was filed by John Wolff, a retired electrical engineer.

“I did this not out of spite, but out of a feeling against the prevailing self-righteousness that stems from religion, particular in Lancaster County,” Wolff told the York Daily Record. “I don’t consider it an earth-shaking affair, but in this area in particular, we seem to have so many self-righteous religious people, so it just annoys me.”

According to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, a restaurant classified as a public accomodation.  As such, restaurants are not allowed to discriminate based on religion — among other things.

Source: Todd Starnes @ FoxNews

I can see why a Cajun restaurant in Pennsylvania would have “Lost” in its name. Anyway, thanks for the thought, John.

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In the July blog, I discussed so-called “progressive” Christians. If you really want to know where Progressives are going, click on the link below and follow it through to Christian Piatt’s website. Be sure to have a bag handy to throw up in.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/author-pens-10-more-cliches-christians-should-avoid/

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Should Apostolics publish a new Bible translation?

Would that be a good idea? Theoretically, yes; from a practical perspective, no. Why not?

We would be tempted—just like individual translators, or those who publish Bibles sponsored by a single denomination or fellowship—to make sure it reads in a way to support our theological positions. While I believe the Bible already does support our Apostolic theology, that is not a proper approach to translating the Bible. We might not yield to that temptation, but others have. The Church of England priests who translated the KJV made sure the Trinitarian doctrine was upheld, that their form of church government was supported, and that the king’s theory of his “divine right” was not undermined. The Jehovah’s Witnesses yielded when they published the New World Translation. The Mormon’s holy books were made to read in support of Joseph Smith’s visions.

The Catholics also yielded to the temptation. For example, the Douay-Rheims Version, a Catholic translation done originally in 1582 (NT; OT was completed later), renders “give us our daily bread” as “our supersubstantial bread” in Matthew 6:11. Supersubstantial is defined as “being above material substance: of a transcending substance.” In other words, this rendering supports the Catholic dogma of transubstantiation, or the idea that the wafer becomes the literal body of Christ upon priestly blessing.

My conviction is that translations that are produced by large committees made up of cross-denominational objective scholars are the most likely to be reliable.

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Trivia: Hocus-pocus

What is the origin of the words “hocus-pocus”? The words are often used to suggest that “something supernatural”—like magic—is going on here. Here is what Wikipedia says, “Hocus-pocus is a term used by magicians; usually the magic words spoken when bringing about some sort of change, which originated as a stage name for the magician William Vincent. It has been suggested that the term rose as a pejorative against Catholics, based on a perversion of the sacramental blessing Hoc est corpus meum (‘This is my body’).”

When the priest holds up the wafer and repeats this Latin phrase, the wafer is said to become the literal body of Christ, according to Catholic dogma. Truly there is some hocus-pocus going on there. Just thought you would like to know.

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NEW book

People in Proverbs

By J. R. Ensey

One of the most practical and helpful books in the Bible is Proverbs. The book describes a number of people that we regularly meet in church or at Wal-Mart. Preachers and teachers may find some interesting material herein to spice up a sermon or lesson. The Chapters:

The Man of Understanding                        The Offended Man

The Busy Woman                                                The Conceited Man

The Generous Man                                    The Fantasy-Chasing Man

The Powerful Man                                    The Conceited Man

The Virtuous Woman                                    The Contentious Woman

The Disciplined Man                                    The Prudent Man

The Deceitful Man                                    The Happy Man

The Proud Man                                                The Merciful Man

The Safe Man                                                The Stupid Man

The Lazy Man                                                The Offended Man

The Disciplined Man                                    The Risen Man

Only 7.95 as e-book in PDF format. Order online at advanceministries.org/store/e-books or by phone 936-537-0250. While at our web site, check out our other books and Bibles.

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Grin and bear it


Son, we need to have a dog-to-dog talk about those poodles over on the next block.

Just wanted everyone to know.

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Parting Shots

Deception often comes to us as a fresh revelation.

_________

Freedom is actually a bigger game than power.

Power is about what you can control.

Freedom is about what you can unleash.

– Harriet Rubin

_________

If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk a sign? – Albert Einstein

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Thanks for sharing a few moments of time with me.

JREnsey

Published in: on August 1, 2012 at 12:01 AM  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thank you for your blog. It is a wonderful read. I must echo your sentiment of what a privilege it is to be a true witness to his grace.


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