JREnsey blog July 2017

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for JULY, 2017.

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The Word for Today

Revelation 2:22-27:

“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And Iwill give to each of you whatever you deserve. 24 “But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them—depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you 25 except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come. 26 To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, to them I will give authority over all the nations.”

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Eternal Spring

We recently spent some time living in the mountains of Boquete, Panama. The climate there is called Eternal Spring because there are no distinct seasons. The temperature remains virtually the same all year long. The seasons are simply defined as dry or rainy.

Though a few trees and plants do not survive the dry season in Panama, most return to their beautiful greens in the rainy season. Others, having deep roots, never change and give forth blooms of every color imaginable all year long.

So it is in our spiritual lives. Dry times may come—times when we do not feel the love and closeness of the Lord. But our faith is strengthened when we are deeply rooted in Scripture and prayer. We can rest in the hope that the dry times will be followed soon by seasons of God’s overflowing abundance. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  –  Susana M. Allen (URM)

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Herod’s ritual cleansing pools

Many of my readers will be familiar with the fortress-palace King Herod built on Masada, located on the western shores of the Dead Sea. I have been there three times and would love to go again. However, Herod also had a special “get away” fortress on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. It is known as Machaerus, as the crow flies only 28 southeast miles from Jerusalem.

Herod’s retreat became famous as the site where Salome danced for him and requested John the Baptist’s head. Aside from such excitement and gore, Machaerus was equipped with a special mikve, or immersion pool for ritual purification. It apparently was used by the king and his family to purify themselves in accordance with Jewish religious law (halakhah). Archaeologists have reported finding three other mikva’ot on the site. Some say these ritual pools were symbolic of future Christian baptism.

Herod was assigned the kingship of Judea by the Roman senate in 37 B.C. Although not Jewish by birth, some say he was a practicing Jew, perhaps partly because he wanted to keep the Jewish leadership pacified. I wonder if he took a dip in the mikve after ordering the death of John.

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More public school confusion

A school’s failure to use a transgender student’s preferred name or pronoun is considered gender-based harassment and can lead to an investigation by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

In a June 6 memo obtained by the Washington Post, Candice Jackson—acting assistant secretary for civil rights—also noted that the agency may open investigations if schools fail to properly assess whether such instances of gender-based harassment created a “hostile environment.”

What next, O twisted world? Maybe this, which could be coming to a school near you:

Dr. Richard Carranza, current Houston ISD Superintendent, who was once superintendent of schools in San Francisco, wanted to do here what he did in SF—install a school curriculum that highlighted the contributions of the LGBTQ community to society. In other words, how magnanimous it would be to let our kids know how they have rewritten American history. However, Houston pastors stood up and solidly opposed that move, saying, “This is Houston, Dr. Carranza, not San Francisco.” As you know, Houston’s former mayor, a lesbian, attempted in other ways to turn this fourth largest city in America into another San Francisco. Not here; not among our kids; not on our turf. Thanks for standing up, Houston pastors!

Wash your ears out with this: By a 7-2 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot refuse grants based on religious beliefs. They stated that churches have the same right as other charitable groups to seek state money for new playground surfaces and other non-religious needs. – Source: Associated Press

If we keep putting folks in those Washington offices who have some sand in their craw, perhaps we will see more conservative judges on the Supreme Court. If we don’t, we could see the following story repeated in America.

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Private school in London may close—why?

An all girls Jewish Orthodox school in London may close due to its curriculum not including classes about homosexuality, and gender reassignment surgery.

According to Heat Street, a report by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools (Ofsted) says that the Vishnitz Girls School does not teach its 212 attending children—aged three through eight—“a full understanding of fundamental British values.”

The report explained that the girls “are not taught explicitly about issues such as sexual orientation. This restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles.”

Usually what is over there comes over  here—unless our leaders have the guts to stand up and do the right thing. One thing is sure: while we don’t advocate any bullying or violence toward anyone, we are not morally obligated to promote the offbeat, sinful practices of a minority as “fundamental American values.” Love is owed to everyone, but that does not mean that everyone’s lifestyle is to be advocated or approved. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Cynical philosopher  

♦ I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year. Not to cause any trouble, but shouldn’t that be an even number?

♦ I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

♦ America is a country that produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

♦ You know that tingly little feeling you get when you like someone? That’s your common sense leaving your body.

♦ Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

♦ Money talks …but all mine ever says is good-bye.

♦ You’re not fat, you’re just…easier to see.

♦ If you think nobody cares whether you’re even alive, try missing a couple of payments.

♦ The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can be in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

♦ I think it’s pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

♦ Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

♦ My 60-year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.

Now, go have a nice day!

Cynical Philosopher@ebaum’sworld.com

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LGBTQs want crosswalks honoring them

LGBTQ activists in cities across the country are calling for city officials to create “rainbow crosswalks” to “honor the LGBTQ community.”

“Rainbow crosswalks” are public crosswalks that have been repainted in rainbow colors, which have been adopted by the LGBTQ community as a symbol of greater acceptance and rights for LGBTQ causes and beliefs.

Activists are urging local lawmakers to create the crosswalks through the use of petitions. Currently, one of the cities targeted is Chicago. A petition is now circulating there that has garnered more than 4,000 signatures. According to the petition’s text, “Some cities, like San Francisco, have made LGBTQ people feel more at home by creating permanent rainbow crosswalks to honor the LGBTQ community. …This is one small thing that could be done to signal to one of the most marginalized communities in the country that we are here for them, we see them, and we support them.” (Marginalized? Seems to me that they are having laws passed in their favor and Pride Marches in all the major cities. Should there be Straight Marches?)

Washington, D.C., already installed temporary rainbow crosswalks honoring transgender persons earlier this year, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced that the city will make its rainbow crosswalks permanent following the circulation of a petition that amassed more than 22,000 signatures. Reed said the crosswalks would be featured year-round in part to honor those who lost their lives in the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Accommodate them and there will be no end to their demands.

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Trump’s tax returns found

Following a recent public speech, a heckler from the audience hollered, “Hey Trump, where are you hiding your tax returns?”

The Donald politely responded, “I’ve found a very secure place that I’m certain they won’t be found.”

The insistent heckler, then shouted, “And just where is that, dummy?”

The Donald smiled and said, “They are underneath Obama’s college records, his passport application, his immigration status as a student, his funding sources to pay for college, his college records, and his Selective Service registration. What’s your next question?”

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Book Review

Decoding Nicea

by Paul Pavao, Publisher: The Greatest Stories Ever Told; 462 pages; 12.95

Throughout sixty years of ministry, I have been drawn to any credible article or book on the Council of Nicea. It was the first major convocation after the supposed conversion of the emperor Constantine. That latter event in 312 and the council that followed in 325 did indeed change the course of Christianity. Roman persecution of Christians halted and the attempt was made to pull together the warring factions of the Empire. After the emperor’s conversion, it was the “in” thing to become a Christian. Mostly without complete Bibles under one cover, bishops scrambling for power in the new structure, and the influx of multitudes who were unconverted in heart, the situation was ripe for the approval of heresy, if not apostasy.

The author begins with a presupposition that what was decided at Nicea was merely a general stamp of approval on what was already being taught as orthodoxy throughout Christendom. That seems to be the book’s bottom line—to affirm the deity of Jesus but within the framework of the Trinity doctrine. While Sabellianism (a form of Oneness belief) is mentioned as a strong element in the church at one point, it is set aside as heresy. Arianism is discussed at length as a doctrine that was here today, gone tomorrow, and set to re-emerge next week. The book is filled with quotes from the “Church Fathers” of the post-Apostolic era. One has to be discerning when reading excerpts from the Fathers since their writings may express variant views at different times of their lives.

The author tarries long at concepts of the Logos, the meaning of homoosios, gnosticism and Proverbs 8:22-30 while providing little information that was new. Although history is always interesting, there is not much “meat” here to justify 462 pages put together in a piecemeal sort of way that flows rather awkwardly. Probably worth the dozen bucks, but don’t expect flashes of lightning and peals of thunder.

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Your family needs this book

Weekly Family Devotions

by Jason and Brenda Carr

Whether you already have a time of family devotion or would like to begin a family devotion in your home, we encourage you to let this book guide you on a journey you will never regret. The family that prays and plays together stays together! Each of the 52 devotions include Scripture, a short story, application, prayer, and a family fun activity. 8 1/2 X 11.    AM price $12.00.  Call 936-537-0250 to order.

Order your Into His Marvelous Light Bible studies from us. Why pay more? Only $1.25 each in quantities of 100 or more; 1.50 for quantities of 5-99; only 1.75 each in quantities less than 50. This is the greatest soul winning tool being used today. Available in English, Spanish, Italian.

Order online at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

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Storylines

Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed. – Storm Jameson

We like people in proportion to the good we do them and not to the good they do us. – Laurence Sterne

Prayer is neither black magic nor is it a form of demand note. Prayer is a relationship. The act of praying is more analogous to clearing away the underbrush which shuts out a view than it is to begging in the street. There are many different kinds of prayer. Yet all prayer has one basic purpose. We pray not to get something, but to open up a two-way street between us and God, so that we and others may inwardly become something. – John Heuss

I am not a teacher, but an awakener. – Robert Frost

He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help. – Abraham Lincoln

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Babies say it so well

“And I want those reports out today, Brother Jones!”

“Aww…not creamed spinach again! I’m calling Domino’s!”

“I hear that cute babysitter is coming over tonight!”

“Pampers, of course. What do you wear?”

“Pastor just told me I was too young to go to NAYC!”

“Sorry, Mom. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go!”

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The last word

“When we buy the lie that our identity is nothing more than the sum total of our inclinations, there is no limit to the lengths we will go to normalize our sin!”  – President Everette Piper, Oklahoma Wesleyan University

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Thanks for stopping by! And don’t forget to fly your flag on July 4!

JREnsey

Published in: on July 1, 2017 at 12:04 AM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great as usual!

  2. I love those babiesI just can’t get enough of babies! You were right: they say it so well.


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