18 August 2007

Some more on the human cost of illegal aliens

Try some of these

The man accused of running a stop sign and causing a crash this week that killed a 17-year-old Port Washington boy is an illegal immigrant who was convicted in Wisconsin in December of first-offense drunken driving, authorities confirmed Friday.

What started as an argument between neighbors over a barking dog led to an assault with a golf club that left a 44-year-old man dead, police say.

or Oregon
Less than nine months before he allegedly killed a 15-year-old girl by stepping on her throat until she stopped breathing, Alejandro Rivera Gamboa pleaded guilty to drunken driving and disclosed that he was not a U.S. citizen.

or New Jersey
or North Carolina

We could probably fill the page. I know we could. Check out this YouTube spot - it shows some of the MANY victims.

And yet, Michael Chertoff proves himself to be an empty suit.
He was picked with that in mind.
One of the foreign phrases that some of us know is in French, ''J'accuse!'' You may recall it from the Dreyfus affair, and from a once famous movie made about it. Well,
J'accuse George W. Bush
I accuse you of criminal nonfeasance in office on this entire issue
I accuse you allowing the good citizens of this nation to be slaughtered like chickens in order to appease the open borders types
I accuse you of placing the interests of the money types of Mexico ahead of the lives of Americans
I accuse you of dishonor, dishonesty, and deceit on this issue
I accuse you, not of failing to do your duty, but of REFUSING to do your duty
I accuse you of spreading the lie of ''work Americans will not do''. It's a lie - I have personally done many of those jobs. So have others, citizens.
I do not respect or honor liars, no matter what their political affiliation. You, Sir, are a liar. I may respect the office, but I do not respect you. Go home.

And I accuse the so-called leaders of this nation, members of both the major political parties of treachery, deceit, and dishonor. High on that list are the names of Ted Kennedy (spit, spit), Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Mel Martinez. There are many, many names on that last. Decent people would cross the street to avoid them and, if that was impossible, would spit on their shadows.
They need to resign their posts and go serve unpaid and anonymously in far-off leper colonies.

Today's Reading August 18

Good morning. Last night the local weather told us we would hear thunder but would not see any rain, probably. We were awakened around 12:30am to heavy rain. We're grateful for it - the area's been in a drought condition for a year. But the same people purport to tell us things about the climate a hundred years from now. If they can't predict 3 hours ahead, may I be skeptical about their ability to predict a century out?
Continuing in the Psalms this morning, we get into Psalms 109, 110, and 111.
Of the three, I like 110 the best (but 111 is great read aloud - try it). And the reason I like it is because you see it quoted in the New Testament, quoted quite extensively in fact. Even when the Lord was inspiring the Psalmist, He was preparing for the Incarnation of the Son.

Chapter 110
1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Matt 22:44, 26:64
Mark 12:36
Luke 20:42
Acts 2:34
1 Cor 15:25
Heb 1:13

2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 5:6, 7:17, 21
5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.
6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.
7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.
See what I meant about the later use? Now, to be complete, it would be good to turn to those New Testament sections and see how this passage is used. I assure you, it's not there by accident.

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This evening we complete Romans with chapter 16. It is tempting to regard this as somewhat of a ''throwaway'' passage, consisting as it does primarily of Paul's greetings to individuals. Don't make that mistake. Do you know these people? No, and neither do I. But Paul did, and they were important to him. And they were important to God also. Someday we will meet them in Heaven. To an extent, the world in which we live was shaped by those people who,quietly and diligently, served the Lord and furthered the spread of the Gospel and lived in a world we can't imagine. Many of them died quite badly because that was the price paid for faithfulness. And yet, knowing this, Paul greets them and ends his letter quite well --
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
I'll take that blessing any day.

17 August 2007

Today's Reading August 17

Tough morning today, for a variety of reasons.
We were up late watching the unfolding events at the mine rescue effort in Utah. I was born in the coal mining areas on the corner of southeast Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, northwestern West Virginia. I have lived in northeastern Tennessee (coal country), western Arkansas (coal country) and am now located not too far from the coal mining territory of northern Alabama. While I have never been a miner, I've been around it virtually all of my life. It is a hard and dangerous occupation and like so many others, my thoughts and prayers are with the miners, the families, and the rescue workers.
On a personal note, I'm fighting discouragement. In the last month I've had half a dozen good on-site interviews in my job hunt. I had expected, based on what I was being told, that I should be hearing something this week. It's now Friday morning, we're about out of 'week', and there has been nothing, good or bad. I know we talk about 'waiting on the Lord', but waiting is not one of my chief virtues. Perhaps this is how you grow it.
Our Old Testament passage this morning is Psalms 107 and 108.
Some good praise here, but that's not the part that attracts my attention most.
Look at verse 2 of Psalm 107.

2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
A number of years ago we were part of one of the few remaining evangelistic Methodist churches left. The senior pastor there had been a missionary at one time, and a good friend of his was a wonderful gentleman by the name of Eddie Fox. Rev. Fox had written some things, one of which is a book titled, ''Let the Redeemed of the LORD, Say So!''. I think that this is one of those little phrases that ought to be a mission statement for a lot of us. How many of us are clandestine Christians, no one knows but the Lord? A lot of the Psalms, including the two before us, have a lot to say about proclaiming the Lord publicly. Shouldn't we be doing the same?
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This evening we get into Romans 15, verses 21 through 33
Paul is talking about his future plans in his letter to the Romans. He had plans to go all the way to Spain. Pull a map of the Mediterranean Sea when you get a chance. Only a few years after Jesus ascended into Heaven, the Gospel was being spread from Spain to Egypt, from Italy to the whole Middle East. Christians weren't keeping the Good News to themselves, they were spreading the Word.
28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.
29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;

Now go back and look at the exhortation, ''Let the redeemed of the Lord SAY SO!''

16 August 2007

Today's Reading August 16

Sorry for the delay this morning. I have not been in the proper frame of mind and spirit to do this. It happens sometimes.
This morning we turn to Psalms 105 and 106. These complete one of the great divisions of the the Psalms, the so-called 'Psalms of the Earth' that emphasize both the Lord's ruling power, and our capacity to resist that power and to wander from His care. But only He is trustworthy. Psalm 105 recounts the eternal faithfulness of the Lord, beginning with

1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

while Psalm 106 is subtitled in one of my Bibles as ''Joy in Forgiveness of Israel's Sins'', and begins with
1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?
3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, O LORD, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;
. Good themes both, and both of these would do well in public reading, such as in a worship service or group study.

This evening we get into Romans 15, verses 1 through 20. Paul is writing here about bearing one another's burdens. We need that reminder, don't we?
1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.
Psa 69:9
4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:
6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

15 August 2007

Today's Reading August 15

Psalms 103 and 104
One of the things we can do in our private moments is to count our blessings. The list can get quite long. Similarly, when you are in a moment of worship, it's a good thing to consider the blessings and the majesty of the Lord. Both of these Psalms are good for this, parts have, again, been incorporated into hymns and praise songs. I am personally very fond of Psalm 103, a portion of which is shown here. Like all the Psalms, this should be spoken aloud, not read silently.

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

This evening we look at Romans 14. Paul is continuing his instructions in the way that Christians ought to conduct themselves, now turning to some of the ways that we should act towards one another. The church was starting to see some of the effects of having believers of differing backgrounds. We see that today, unfortunately, we see people wanting to be part of a fellowship of those who are ''just like us''. Some of that is inevitable - I don't speak Sicilian , at all, and therefore would probably have some problems at a Sicilian Orthodox service. But Paul is addressing those situations where some of the believers are Jewish by heritage, others are various kinds of Gentiles. Some - many, particularly the Jews - had grown up with dietary restrictions among others. Again, we see that today - there are vegetarian Christians, there are those who oppose the use of coffee, or pork, or any number of other things. There are those who hold to an old language - the Orthodox churches, for example, who hold to the Liturgy in Russian or Greek or whatever, or my Amish cousins who still hold to a corrupt form of Low German. All of these and more besides were creating stresses and divisions in the Church, while others made to throw off all the rules and live however they pleased at the moment. We have that today too. Paul addresses both issues and urges the believers to focus on Christ and on building up one another.
1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
There is more here, and it needs to be taken seriously. Satan loves to create dissension in the Church, it keeps us focused on that rather than on reaching the lost.

14 August 2007

Today's Reading August 14

Today will be a tense day. I had a phone call last night, a VP from a manufacturer about an hour from here, wants me to come by this afternoon to speak about a job with the firm. I am also hoping to hear from some of the people I have interviewed withover the last few weeks - certainly have racked up the miles.
And I had a message the other day. Seems that one of my nephews is going into a divorce phase; I gather that he objects to his wife's boyfriends. He's still active duty military (Navy) and while he was floating on a frigate he wasn't aware of it, but now that he has shore duty it became too much to ignore. That is added to the message that I received from one of my brothers two weeks ago, his wife decided that she doesn't want to be married any more, at least not to him.
Our 19th wedding anniversary is in a few weeks, it is troubling to see marriages coming apart all around us. We learned last week that, in an SS class we were part of just three years ago, there have now been 3 divorces. One of the ladies is still employed by the church! This is just awful, and we need to be doing something different.
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This morning' readings go further into the Psalms, 99, 100, 101, and 102. These are all relatively short ones, praise primarily, and one of them is listed as a Psalm of David. One of them, Psalm 100, is one of those that I memorized as a young man and I still find that it comes to mind at certain times. Worth memorizing some of these.

Chapter 100
1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Some good theology there too.
This evening we turn to Romans chapter 13. This is more of Paul's admonitions on how to live as believers.
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Ex 20:13-17 Lev 19:18 Matt 5:43 Matt 19:19 Matt 22:39 Mark 12:31 Gal 5:14 Jam 2:8
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

13 August 2007

Today's Reading August 13

Happy Monday! The local school system starts up today, and I hear parents everywhere with prayers of thanksgiving.
This morning, continuing in the Psalms, we turn to Psalms 96, 97, and 98. We do well to sing praises to the Lord, Here are some good examples of that.

Chapter 98
1 O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
2 The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
3 He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.
7 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
8 Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together
9 Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

See what I mean?

This evening we get more into the letter to the Romans, all of chapter 12.
One of the common, and reasonable questions that a new believer (and more than a few of those who are not so new either) is ''How now shall I live?'', ''How should my faith play out in my life?''. These are reasonable questions. While the Christian life is not defined by rules but by faith and grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the character of Christ, nonetheless we do look for some guidelines. (and yes, I know the subject is a minefield). Paul addresses this in general terms. Here's a good start:
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

these are just excerpts, look through it all. These are, as I said, not steps towards salvation, but signs of it.

12 August 2007

Today's Reading August 12

Happy Sunday! We'll be off to church in just a bit here. It will be a bit strange, we'll have a guest preacher this morning as our former pastor has left to take up a new ministry in another state. We wish Brother Steve and Sister Rhonda all the best, but it will, as I said, be a bit strange without them.
This morning we continue in the Psalms, looking now at Psalms 93, 94, and 95. These are, all of them, good Psalms to pray, and you will find that phrases from them have been included in a number of hymns and praise songs. They have, for me, a depth of meaning that reminds me of the times I have read, sung, and prayed them. They hold a lot of personal meaning. But they also reflected the experiences of the writers, it makes it clear that they truly knew the Lord in a very real way, and that His inspiration during the composition was not the first encounter they'd had with Him. They left these Psalms as a tribute.
Question for all of us: what have we left as a monument?

Chapter 95
1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
To day if ye will hear his voice,
Heb 3:7, 4:7
8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Heb 3:8, 15
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This evening we return to chapter 11 of Paul's letter to the Romans, starting with verse 22 and continuing to the end of the chapter. Paul is really addressing both the Jewish believers (and unbelievers) and the Gentile Christians. He has a couple of themes here, one being that in Christ there is no distinction between the two - a radical thought at the time - and primarily the doctrine that the distinction in not between Jew and Gentile but in Christ and not. Our focus must be and must remain on Jesus. We see that still today, those groups that lose focus on Jesus and instead place the significance on other things seem to founder and lose their way. Paul speaks to that, and much else besides.
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Isa 59:20
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Isa 59:21
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father's sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Isa 40:13
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Job 41:11
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.