Welcome to the JREnsey blog for February, 2017.
The Word for today
“For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. 3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent. 4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. 5 But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these ‘super apostles’ who teach such things” (II Corinthians 11:2-6 NLT).
What losers we would be if we disappointed both the Lord and the apostle Paul by compromising a single iota of truth just before the return of Christ!
I had begun to wonder if the presidential campaign would ever end. When it did, it seems like the transition period lasted six months rather than two. I am now wondering how long the Trump presidency will seem to last. I trust it fulfills all of your hopes and dreams.
We desperately need the One who turned chaos into order in the beginning to step onto the present scene. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
Why the swamp needs draining
A lanky cowboy named Bud stood with his boot on the bottom strand of barbed wire fence overseeing his herd in a remote pasture in Wyoming when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, wearing Gucci® shoes, sporting RayBan® sunglasses and a YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?”
Bud looks at the man, who obviously was an easterner, then looks at his large peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, why not?”
The man parks his car, whips out his laptop computer, connects it with Bluetooth® to his IPhone®, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.
The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.
Within seconds, he receives an email on his I-pad that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his laptop and momentarily receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 15-page report on his hi-tech, portable HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves in this pasture.”
“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Bud.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then Bud says to the man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”
The easterner thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”
“You’re a junior Congressman in the U.S. Government,” says Bud.
“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”
“No guessing required.” answered the rancher. “You showed up here even though nobody called you. You want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are. And you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living—or about cows, for that matter. This is a flock of sheep.
“Now give me back my dog.”
Perhaps that is one reason why Trump is trying to drain the swamp back in D.C.
A word to the wise
A verse for President Trump: The ancient wisdom of Proverbs 26:4 warns, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.”
Hide and watch
Isn’t it amazing that only two days into his presidency the press was wondering why President Trump hadn’t fulfilled every campaign promise made during the last 18 months.
Ugh. Speeches made with forked tongue.
Officials of Planned Parenthood made speeches across the country promoting the prenatal care offered by that organization. But when callers contacted their local Planned Parenthood offices for appointments for prenatal care, they were told that PP does not offer prenatal care, only abortions. (http://www.theblaze.com)
Blessing that which is cursed
More than 20 local faith leaders, mostly female “theologians,” showed up to bless Planned Parenthood’s newest facility in Washington, D.C., in a ceremony recently organized by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, DCist reported. They gushed about the “sacred work” that they are doing. Should we bless that which God hates—hands that shed innocent blood (Proverbs 6:17)?
“If your sex life is none of my business, stop demanding that I finance it.” – Matt Walsh
It’s just perspective
When I was a child, I thought nap time was punishment. Now it’s like a mini-vacation.
ISIS is destroying many ancient historical monuments in Iraq and Syria, currently dismantling the Roman theater in Palmyra. One wonders just which of our national monuments or Christian churches would be the first to be reduced to rubble under Islam’s cultural cleansing mandate.
Beware the liberal fact checkers
“Fake news” was anticipated by the Founders: Here is what they did about it:
And the winner is…
In the race to see which news agency can embarrass and discredit Donald Trump the most, one outlet claimed on his first day in office that he had removed the bust of MLK, Jr. from the Oval Office. The news went international before it was exposed as a lie by the new administration. As you know, a lie is around the world before truth can get its britches on. A wise man with disappointment in his eyes once said, “Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.” Regarding the current news media, that is probably sound advice. Trump 1; Media 0.
A maximalist or minimalist?
The following statements by John Piper in a post on Theosophical Ruminations caught my attention. I thought they were worth reposting.
“[T]here are two kinds of approaches to questionable practices in life. One I would call a minimalist approach to holiness and godliness. The other maximalist.
“In the first case, your typical question is, “Well, what is wrong with it?” It would apply to movies and music, and kids often ask their parents, “What is wrong with it?” And the other approach is not to ask, “What is wrong with it?” mainly, but, “Will it make me more Christ like? Will it make me more devoted to Jesus? Will it make me more bold in witness or weaken me? Will it help me be spiritually discerning of the ways of Satan in the world and will it help me lay up treasures in heaven?…
“You can see that there are these two kinds of approaches to life. I want to maximize my godliness and my holiness by drawing nearer and nearer to God, and the other one is just trying to do as many things as you can do without being tripped up explicitly by sin.” [end]
After reading the Book of Acts and the Epistles, would we call the first century Christians minimalists or maximalists? What would you call yourself?
Sensationalism has been with us always
“What lies there are about relics! One claims to have a feather from the wing of the angel Gabriel, the Bishop of Mainz has a flame from Moses’ burning bush. And how does it happen that eighteen apostles are buried in Germany when Christ only had twelve?” – Martin Luther on Relics
Someone asked: What is the difference between the sensational and the supernatural? The supernatural is real and comes down from God in heaven; the sensational is fake and is conjured up by men on earth.
Putin on “Christian Values”
In a speech before the Russian Valdai-Forum on September 19, 2013, President Vladimir Putin made some statements that were somewhat out of character for a Russian leader. He reportedly said:
“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”
Putin seemed to be chiding Christians for departing from the faith. Mr. Putin also portrayed Russia as a staunch defender of “traditional values” against what he depicted as the morally bankrupt West. He suggested that social and religious conservatism “is the only way to prevent the world from slipping into chaotic darkness.” As part of this defense of “Christian values,” Russia has adopted a law banning “homosexual propaganda” and another that makes it a criminal offense to “insult the religious sensibilities of believers.”
It is truly a day of strange things. “For with…another tongue will I speak to this people” (Isaiah 28:11). Does this mean that Putin is now an Evangelical and has had a change of heart since his KGB days? Likely not. I’m just saying….
The American College of Pediatricians speaks out against National Geographic’s depiction of transgenders
In the January blog, we reported on the National Geographic magazine’s tasteless depiction of transgender children. The magazine, which has been in publication for 128 years, made headlines when it decided to highlight on its cover what it called “the gender revolution” in its January 2017 issue. The issue displayed pictures and a story of a 9-year-old boy named Avery, whose parents say he identifies as a girl.
American College of Pediatricians president Michelle Cretella (left) said that National Geographic is “promoting a political agenda over science and the wellbeing of innocent children” by displaying the young child as the face for their first ever transgender cover.
“Affirming so called transgender children means sterilizing them as young as 11-years-old,” Dr Cretella told Lifesite News. “Puberty blockers plus cross-sex hormones causes permanent sterility. And biological girls who ‘transition’ to male by taking testosterone may have a double mastectomy at age 16. The life time use of cross-sex hormones also puts these children at risk for stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancers and more.”
Cretella says that enabling a young child to become a transgender is harmful and based on illogical reasoning. “When a child under the age of 12 thinks they are the opposite sex and is allowed to naturally pass through puberty, 75%-95% of the time that child will accept his or her biological sex by the late teen years.”
She also added that the American College of Pediatrician’s position is that “When academic, medical and other public institutions propagate the lifetime use of toxic hormones and the surgical removal of healthy body parts as healthcare for children, they are engaged in institutionalized child abuse,” Cretella said.
Who should we listen to—real pediatricians or nutcases from Hollywood, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.?
More from KSM
Khalid Sheik Mohammed was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, as well as the knife-wielder who beheaded Daniel Pearl, journalist for the Wall Street Journal. After his capture, he was waterboarded and then began to reveal the Al Qaeda mindset. When being interrogated by the CIA, he explained that large-scale attacks such as 9/11 were “nice, but not necessary” and that a series of “low-tech attacks could bring down America the same way ‘enough disease-infected fleas can fell an elephant.’” KSM said “jihadi-minded brothers would immigrate into the United States” and “wrap themselves in America’s rights and laws” until they were strong enough to rise up and attack us. The brothers will relentlessly continue their attacks and the American people would eventually become so tired, so frightened, and so weary of war that they will just want it to end. Eventually America will expose her neck for us to slaughter.”
Our president for the past eight years knew exactly what KSM had said. And the terrorist was right. Our leaders have told us that we should quit worrying about the Muslims and allow them to immigrate freely into the U.S. and be “integrated.” They use that word rather than “assimilated.” The war Obama actually declared was on U.S. citizens and we have been defeating ourselves—just as KSM predicted.
America should not expect peace, KSM told James Mitchell, the CIA interrogator. He explained that “it does not matter that we do not want to fight them,” Mitchell writes, adding that KSM explained that “America may not be in a religious war with him, but he and other true Muslims are in a religious war with America” and “he and his brothers will not stop until the entire world lives under Sharia law.”
Merely hours before he was formally the “former president,” the outgoing president gave millions of our tax dollars to the Palestinians and other groups that oppose America and our values. But evidently the press didn’t notice because they were preoccupied with pushing the news about the number of Trump protesters.
It helps to know what our nation is up against. Cover the new administration, as imperfect as it may be, with your prayers.
“By” or “with” the skin of his teeth?
The Hebrew phrase used by Job in 19:20—“I am escaped with the skin of my teeth” (KJV)—has teased translators for generations. They are divided as to whether the Hebrew has Job saying “with” the skin of his teeth or “by” the skin of his teeth? Is he saying that all he has left in his mouth is the skin that once hugged his teeth? Had Job been reduced to a “gummer”? Had he lost all his teeth? Some commentators say that may well be what was meant here.
Some translations render the verse using “with” and others “by.” Whichever was meant by the Hebrew author, we have to acknowledge that teeth themselves have no skin. Therefore, we may assume that the writer was employing a Hebrew idiom or proverb here, perhaps meaning that Job had escaped or been spared death only “by the skin of his teeth”—suggesting the narrowest of margins.
How well do you know your Bible?
Pop quiz. Answers at the end of the blog. Don’t peek!
- Where did Cain go after he killed Able?
- Who was Cain’s firstborn?
- What price did Jesus put on two sparrows?
- Who offered Delilah silver to disclose the secret of Samson’s strength?
- How old was Uzziah when he began to reign in Judah?
- How long did it take Solomon to build the Temple?
- How many chariots did Pharaoh send after Moses and the Israelites?
- Who bought Joseph from the Midianite traders?
- Who refused to appear before her husband, the king, at his command?
- What verse in the New Testament tells us how to be born again?
More Bible trivia
The 46th word of the 46th Psalm in the KJV is “shake,” and the 46th word from the end of that Psalm is “spear.” William Shakespeare was 46 years old and a prominent English bard when the KJV was being translated. Some say this “coincidence” was a birthday gift to Shakespeare from the translators.
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His destructive behavior finally caught up with him. He was arrested twice in a two-month period, charged with aggravated robbery and drug abuse. He spent a year in prison. After being released, he returned to his old life and once came very close to being killed by one of his “friends” in the drug world who put a loaded gun to his face. Somehow God’s grace intervened and he escaped, although now realizing how fruitless such a life really was.
Somehow he found a sales job at age 24. This job allowed him to cross paths with a Pentecostal man from First UPC of Orange, TX, pastored by Brother Gary Wheeler. He was invited to church where he felt love for the first time in years. The presence of God renewed the innate desire of his soul to know the Lord. He met with Brother Wheeler in his office the following week and was taught the Into His Marvelous Light Bible study. “It was so easy to understand and it truly opened my eyes to the plan of salvation,” he said. A visit to the prayer room and the church altar was truly life transforming.
His words: “The experience obliterated every question I had ever had if there was truly a God in this world. The tears flowed uncontrollably and I poured out my life to God. All of my sins, all of my pain, all of my suffering, all of my failures, laid down at the feet of Jesus. That night I was baptized in Jesus’ wonderful name, born of the water, and washed white as snow by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. I left the church that night feeling that 100 pounds had been lifted from my shoulders and I couldn’t wait to share the good news with my family and friends. God then filled me with His Spirit, evidenced by speaking with other tongues.
“I thank God for allowing the Into His Marvelous Light Bible study to impact my life and help turn me around. God is so good! I praise the Lord because He didn’t give up on me!”
– David Colley, today a member of Living Way Church in Conroe, TX
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J. R. Ensey
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“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (I Peter 3:15,16).
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Take time to smile
“I get tired or running with same ol’ crowd all the time.” “Yeah, me too.”
“Where do I sign up for WIC?”
“Now that we’ve caught it, what do we do with it? With no more meat than this, it was hardly worth the race. Let’s wait a few months and chase it again.”
Git ’er done
A woman and her husband interrupted their vacation to go see a dentist. “I want a tooth pulled, and I don’t want any pain killers because I’m in a big hurry,” the woman said. “Just extract the tooth as quickly as possible, and we’ll be on our way.” The dentist was quite impressed. “You’re certainly a courageous woman,” he said. “Which tooth is it?” The woman turned to her husband and said, “Show him your tooth, dear.”
“When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he must cease being mistaken or cease being honest.” – John Thomas
You can make a life without knowing many things, but you can’t make a Christian life without knowing God’s Word.
It is better to be slapped by the truth than kissed by a lie. – Russian proverb
Answers to the Bible quiz:
- The land of Nod
- One farthing
- Lords of the Philistines
- Seven years old
- Seven years
- All he had.
- Acts 2:38
Thanks for visiting. Have a great day!