Happy New Year! And welcome to the JREnsey blog for January, 2017. As I write, the temperature is dropping drastically across much of the nation, Al Gore notwithstanding. Get a cuppa java and let’s visit.
The Word for today
“So dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen, Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10-11 NLT).
Obtaining spiritual wisdom isn’t a once-a-week hobby, it is the daily discipline of a lifetime. But in this age of microwave ovens, fast foods, digests, and numerous “made easy” books, many people are out of the habit of daily investing time and energy in digging deep into Scripture and learning wisdom from the Lord. Thanks to television, their attention span is brief. Thanks to religious entertainment that passes for worship, their spiritual appetite is feeble and spiritual knowledge isn’t “pleasant to [their] soul” (Prov. 2:10). It’s no wonder fewer and fewer people “take time to be holy” and more and more people fall prey to the enemies that lurk along the way. – Warren Wiersbe in Be Skillful
Words of wisdom
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). If we pollute that wellspring, the infection will spread; before long, hidden appetites will become open sins and public shame. – Anonymous
100 years ago this month (January 1917)
1 – America has just ended its most prosperous year in history. Steel and iron soared to record levels. Foreign trade reaches the $8 billion mark.
The world war in Europe continues to take thousands daily from both sides.
9 – British push Turks from Sinai peninsula, capture 1600, and prepare to move on Palestine.
10 – Buffalo Bill Cody dies at age 71.
16 – Germany proposes an alliance with Mexico to make war on U.S. if America remains neutral, promising the return of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico to Mexico as part of Germany’s victorious peace terms.
17 – Denmark sells West Indies to U.S. for $25 Million; considered important to security of the Panama Canal.
27 – President calls for “peace without victory” in Europe during WWI.
31 – Germany declares unlimited sub warfare on all neutral ships in war zone.
Lame duck quacks again
The current president is in the final throes of his term in office. He is now freeing prisoners that in his judgment should be back on the streets. He is releasing some of the most violent terrorists from Guantanamo back to freedom, even though many of those previously released have returned to terrorism. Doubtless he will be in a pardoning mood before he leaves office and will probably pardon all his friends and political hacks who have accusations or indictments hanging over their heads. If you despised America as much as he does, you probably would do the same.
The president and Secretary of State have handed the Muslim nations of the world a long-desired gift on Christmas eve—the U.N. condemnation of Israel that seriously undercuts that nation’s security, something he was been wanting to do for eight years. Treachery, bold and brassy. Now we truly know whose side he is on.
We still have twenty days of this anti-American presidency. Daily the administration is passing new regulations, making sweeping foreign policy changes, and generally showing us where the president’s heart really is. What fools we be to have thought the hope and change we wanted in 2008 would turn out to be the very hope and change our international enemies wanted.
A Phoenix printing business that designs wedding invitations has been fined $2500 and its owners are facing possible jail time for refusing to print invitations for a same-sex wedding. I wonder if Muslim-owned businesses are treated that way when Jews attempt to buy silk-screened T-shirts imprinted with the Star of David or a “Death To Iran” slogan.
I wonder…should we patronize businesses that refuse service to our policemen because they carry weapons? The Cheesecake Factory in the Tacoma, Washington mall denied service to six policemen because they were carrying their weapons. That would make me feel safer, not less safe. More PC nonsense will only give comfort to terrorists. I may think twice before visiting the Cheesecake Factory again.
Some anonymous but knowing person wrote:
I would be true for there are those who trust me.
I would be pure for there are those who care.
I would be strong for there is much to suffer.
I would be brave for there is much to dare.
I would be friend of all—the poor and the friendless.
I would be giving and forget the gift.
I would be humble for I know my weakness.
I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift.
– Source: unknown
Think about it
There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures. – Josiah G. Holland
If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all? – Joe Namath
Don’t aspire to lead, aspire to attain the traits that give one the right to lead. Aspire to integrity, to determination, to sincerity, to perseverance, to courage, to fearlessness, and to godly character. Too many are protective of their reputation, but if you take care of your character, your reputation will take care of itself. Too many love their position more than they love their people.
From the UPCI Manual:
We wholeheartedly disapprove of our people indulging in any activities which are not conducive to good Christianity and godly living, such as theaters, dances, mixed bathing or swimming, women cutting their hair, make-up, any apparel that immodestly exposes the body, all worldly sports and amusements, and unwholesome radio programs and music.
Furthermore, because of the display of all these evils on television, we disapprove of any of our people having television sets in their homes. We admonish all of our people to refrain from any of these practices in the interest of spiritual progress and the soon coming of the Lord for His church.
In a later position paper on the subject of Holiness, the General Board made these observations:
“There are many who do not understand this great truth of holiness or the separated life unto God. The result of this misunderstanding is a very shallow walk with Christ. The holiness of the church body is greatly strengthened by the beautiful consecration of the individual members of the body of Christ. To these practices of holiness we must adhere in order to preserve the continuing sweet presence of the Holy Spirit in our worship and spiritual functions.”
It seems wise to occasional remind ourselves of what is in our Manual relative to the Apostolic lifestyle.
We are fed up with “fake news” and intentional misinformation. Some said it played a role in this election, but it was around long before this year. Here’s some examples:
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” – Barack Obama (2012)
“The Benghazi attack was sparked by an internet video and a demonstration to denounce it.” – Hillary Clinton (2010)
“There will be thousands of shovel-ready jobs waiting on applicants.” – Barack Obama (2008)
Then this year: “There will be some wonderful news awaiting us tonight.” – Nancy Pelosi (during the day on election day, November 8, 2016).
Well, some of these were just plain lies or inaccurate prognostications. However, Nancy was partly right. There was some good news that night.
Seriously, what’s with all these totally false accounts of people dying or doing strange, unthinkable things? Is it just to get you to click on the story so you will be forced to first see an ad? Probably. Ignore!
Other short-sighted predictions from the literati
In 2009 Al Gore quoted statistics suggesting that the arctic could have no ice by 2014 (or as little as five to seven years). Did he lie to manipulate legislatures to take action against industries, or did he ignorantly fall for someone else’s fake news? Or is New York, Miami, Galveston and Seattle under water right now? Such predictions assault truth but serve to shut down or seriously regulate U.S. industries and damage the American economy. He also said ten years ago that Mt. Kilimanjaro would have no snowcap today. Go to Google earth and take a look during the snowy season next June/July. It is now summer in Tanzania, but there’s even quite a bit of snow when I checked recently.
He/She being stricken from university language
Gender-specific pronouns like “he” and “she” are being stricken from usage in major universities. Favoring gender-neutral pronouns like “ze” or “xe,” Oxford and Cambridge universities are bowing to the politically correct activists. Even the University of Tennessee has joined the number of those leaning toward abandoning the traditional pronouns.
A sign in the University of Kansas reads, “Because gender is, itself, fluid and up to the individual,” the sign says, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. “Each person has the right to identify their own pronouns, and we encourage you to ask before assuming someone’s gender. Pronouns matter! Misgendering someone can have lasting consequences, and using the incorrect pronoun can be hurtful, disrespectful, and invalidate someone’s identity.” Buttons similar to those at left were being passed out. Fortunately, the student senate nixed the idea, manifesting more common sense than their professors and administrators.
What gross confusion. “God is not the author of confusion.” I read that in an old black-backed Book.
Maryland schools are considering banning “Christmas” because any reference to it is offending Muslims. The Christian majority should be outraged at that strangeness, but are our conservative Christians in Maryland raising a voice in behalf of our traditions that go back to our founding era?
The overly sensitive college students and millennials have not been able to cope with the loss of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency. The universities have provided “safe places” for them to go and “suck their thumbs,” providing puppies, kittens, coloring books, hot chocolate and play doh as “comfort.” The “greatest generation” (their grandfathers and great grandfathers) are twisting in their graves right now. God help us if America is ever again attacked militarily. What will our PC soldiers look like to the enemy? I am sure the pink booties, backward ball caps and pop-guns will scare the daylights of the enemy.
“Come ye out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Corinthians 6:17). The state universities are not safe places for our Apostolic youth!
There must be better alternatives
I personally have no hesitancy to encourage our Pentecostal youth to avoid the state universities. They have become little more than brain-washing sites for the socialist and leftist agendas. Our students must be made aware of the grave risks they take by exposing themselves to the influential pressure of the professors and other foreign and PC convinced (“snowflake”) students.
I can hear a few voices out there taking exception to that advice. One must never criticize the “god of humanistic education” lest he run the risk of being called an ignoramus or some kind of anti-education idiot. I have been involved with education at several levels for many years. I know what it is and what it isn’t. Too many have made it a god and worship at its pagan altars. Its professorial priests are not to be pilloried but praised. Its halls of ivy must be kept sacrosanct. Nay, I say it is our youth and young adults that must remain “unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
“But I attended the university and made it through with my faith.” Sure, there are exceptions. Some of our soldiers have made it through minefields while others were blown to bits. Should he call to others to follow him because he made it through? Call out the men with the Geiger counters and clear out the mines, then go. Excise the liberal professors and the politically correct curriculum and get back to basic education in our colleges, then go. Until then, choose nearby community colleges, Christian colleges, and known conservative institutions.
We have no Apostolic youth—none!—we can afford to lose.
Save the Snowflakes
In order to help “save the snowflakes,” the MRC created a video that informed viewers of the struggles these college students face in everyday life, such as hearing opinions they don’t agree with. (See it here.) They say that due to the recent presidential election, the fact that President-elect Donald Trump is going to assume office has sent “snowflakes” scampering into safe spaces provided to them by the Universities they attend.
“The University of Pennsylvania offered puppies and kittens to cuddle,” explained one presenter.
“The University of Michigan Law School scheduled a post-election self-care workshop where snowflakes could color and blow bubbles,” said another.
The MRC even went so far as to create the site “savethesnowflakes.org” with a donation button. The site explains the plight of the snowflakes, and how you can help.
Our nation’s snowflakes are being cared for by colleges and universities across the country. These schools are financially supporting cry-ins, hot chocolate, bubbles, kittens, puppies and ponies, crayons, and Play-Doh to comfort these wounded snowflakes. Some schools even canceled exams and classes to ensure that America’s youth are treated with extra care and understanding during these difficult times.
But clearly, it’s not enough. State budgets cannot be expected to bear this burden alone. It’s going to take a far more sustainable funding source to ensure special snowflakes have the emotional support they need. In response, we here at the Media Research Center have launched the Save the Snowflakes project to respond to this emergency and bring crucial attention to this devastating human crisis. (tic)
National Geographic magazine goes bonkers
We have noted the slide to the left for years now, but NatGeo has crossed the Rubicon and there is no going back. The magazine has pitched its tent with the transgender movement. They promise to add to the gender confusion of our American youth.
The January 2017 cover features a pubescent boy who has decided he is a girl. The entire issue is devoted to this “transgender revolution.”
This is a cultural movement separate and apart from biology. Matt Walsh suggests that we begin calling them “biology deniers.”
A few lines for our writers and lexophiles
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I’ll show you A-flat miner.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
Police were called to a day care center where a three-year old was resisting a rest.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
Why do we seldom hear of violence in Switzerland?
All citizens in that country are required to possess guns. There is not much crime there, in fact it has the lowest homicide rate in the world. A country that bans private ownership of guns—Honduras—has the highest homicide rate. Because the Swiss have guns does not make them a dangerous nation. Actually, less dangerous. Gun violence in Switzerland is almost non-existent. In a book I am reading right now, the author tells of family members living in Switzerland who have a machine gun mounted just inside the front door, ready for use.
Now I am not urging anyone here to mount a machine gun in your foyer. However, it is necessary to point out that law-abiding citizens having guns in their homes makes this nation safer and less apt to experience a take-over by enemies without or within.
Check out these Apostolic commentaries to assist you in sermon and lesson-building in 2017.
Better Than The Angels
by E. L. Holley
Here are the late E. L. Holley’s own teaching notes on the Book of Hebrews. His unique insight will provide a perspective that will shed new light on difficult passages. The material is clear, candid, and convincing. It has been winnowed so that the reader receives only the whole kernel, the heart of the matter and the real meaning that the author wanted to convey. The power of brevity is at work in these lines.
E. L. Holley was respected for his communication skills, his grasp of the Scriptures, and his insight into human nature that few have possessed. You will enjoy sitting at his feet and learning as he opens up the mysteries of Hebrews. AM price $6.95
In The Presence of His Glory
by E. L. Holley
The inimitable E. L. Holley presents a verse-by-verse commentary on the General Epistles as he taught them in the classrooms at Texas Bible College. AM Price $9.95
Letters From A Roman Jail
by J. R. Ensey
Some of the most beautiful and truly meaningful words that flowed from the pen of Paul are found in his letters written while incarcerated in Rome. They graphically display the triumph of the pen over the sword. Nero’s sword took Paul’s head, but Paul’s pen took Nero’s empire! Topical format permits not just word study and exposition, but teaching ideas and application. This is a good book for new converts who enjoy studying the Word. Also good for Bible classes in Christian schools. AM price $12.95
by J. R. Ensey
The apostle Paul wrote three letters to two younger ministers whom he affectionately called his “sons.” The epistles became part of the canon of Scripture and have served since then as the best instruction available for those in ministry and church leadership. Doctrine, practical church discipline, lifestyle and much more is all here. The verse-by-verse commentary is accompanied by a complete outline for ease of study and teaching. AM price $13.95
Letters to Pastors and Other Saints
by Peter Connell
“The pastors of seven churches of Asia, assemblies specifically named in the second and third chapters of Revelation, were selected as recipients of these “love letters” from Christ. Only one of them came out virtually unscathed. The others felt the Lord’s hot breath of correction. What did it all mean? How does it all relate to us?
Enter Peter Connell. He took up the challenge to dig into the background of each church and city to give us fresh insight into the relevance of these letters. I discovered information I had never read. Views that enhanced the parameters of their problems and what they were to do overcome them were laid out clearly. Letters to Pastors and Other Saints is an appeal to every leader and layman to live up to our first, high calling.” – J. R. Ensey
“Peter Connell has delivered a succinct, informative and insightful look into the letters to the seven churches of Asia. Ministers and lay members alike will glean much from this stirring and soul searching study.It has obviously been inspired by the Christ of the Candlesticks to help challenge and even awaken the church of today.It is a must read for anyone desiring to understand just how interested the Lord Jesus Christ is in the performance of His church assemblies and their overseers.” – Jonathan Alvear
“This timely book brings clarity and fresh new insights into the letters written to the pastors and saints of the seven churches of Asia. No matter how serious the issues, we can overcome, if we have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” – Nathan Dudley
AM price $14.95 To order these books click here or call 936-537-0250.
IHML makes it easy to win souls
Into His Marvelous Light
Available in English, Spanish, German & Italian
No other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never fully duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. Those who are seeking for truth will see that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. Over 2 million copies sold.
Guide For Living
A follow-up Study for the new convert. This little booklet can be given to the new convert to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It covers the new birth —what has happened to them and goes through what their responsibilities are now.
Available in English & Spanish
Hand out these tracts to help you promote the Bible study in your community. Available in English and Spanish. It’s easy to get Bible study opportunities with these tracts. $9.95 per 100
For every pastor and/or counselor
This free study about same sex parenting is a must read for all who are in Christian leadership. See it here:
Smile awhile and give your face a rest
See the difference?
The Last Shot
“We are blind until we see
That in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making
If it does not make the man.
Why build these glorious cities
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the world
Unless the builder grows.”
– Edwin Markham
Most of our comments on the blog come directly to my email rather than posted on the WordPress site. I would like to express our gratitude for your kind words and well-wishes. Roffie and I pray that all of our readers and subscribers enjoy the happiest New Year ever! Thanks for visiting with us today!
Our prayer for you:
“May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering Angel, so nothing can harm you,
Laughter to cheer you; Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”