Let’s see where we have come to! If you are saved by the blood of Christ, having repented and believed in His life, death, and resurrection, then you have not come to Sinai, but to Zion! “For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and […]Thank goodness it’s not Sinai, but Zion! — The End Time
Category: Bible Walk
Supplementing Church Services
While pulling a flatbed for Arrow Trucking out of Tulsa, OK, I covered 125,000 miles and 46 states during my first year over the road. It was a blessing to attend many churches across the nation. Some I thoroughly enjoyed, others I found lacking. Not always was it possible to park near a church, however. There were many truck stops that allowed a pastor to conduct church on Sunday. Sometimes these services were in the truckers’ lounges. Others were held in converted semi-trailers. Several times a local church would send out a van or small bus to collect truckers, taking them to the services at their churches.
There were other ways to listen to church services too. As most of the newer trucks had CD players incorporated in the AM/FM radio, many preachers made CDs of their services and left them at truck stops in their areas. Not always was the quality “state of art,” so to speak. But mostly they worked well enough to hear a Sunday service.
It seems today, with churches still either under mandatory lockdown, or voluntarily suspending Sunday services, that this might be a way to reach those with no other means to hear their local church service.
As Pastor Martyn Lloyd-Jones points out a sermon from 1964, this is only a supplement to actually attending church: Why Preaching. In this sermon he says that many feel they can simple read the Bible and not need to attend church. Pastor Lloyd-Jones points to Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, as written about by Luke in Acts 8:26-40.
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south[a] to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”[b] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.Acts 8:26-40
It is the preachers role to preach Jesus, and to expound upon the meaning of the scriptures, according to Pastor Lloyd-Jones. He furthermore is adamant that one must actually sit in a seat in an assembly of other Christians to fully receive this teaching.
This brave new world in which we live has brought new problems, and old solutions might well be something G-D might wish for us to consider as a supplement to gathering in an assembly of Believers. Hearing the sermon, whether online or from a recorded CD is at least a valid supplement.
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .
Christian Fellowship is Booming; Zooming
Last Easter, in China, “Pastor Chen broke the bread and held the wine as he gave his blessings, following the Good Friday Holy Communion tradition that has been celebrated by Christians around the world for centuries – except there was no one to distribute the bread and wine to.”
That was the lead in an article in South China Morning Post titled: Underground Christians in China use faith and tech to reach out to followers at Easter amid Covid-19 crisis.
“In China, church groups have turned to WeChat and Zoom for their services since late January after religious gatherings were banned as part of the strict social distancing rules imposed to contain the virus,” the article continued. “The internet has provided a space for Christian communities to grow their congregations in a country where the government has intensified religious persecution and imposed stricter rules for managing churches.”
One pastor has not “not acquired a license from the government to live-stream or release records of its services, such as a few big state-approved churches in Shanghai and Beijing have done. It therefore relies on sending its congregation internet links to streamed services from other official churches and Bible schools in China.”
The pastor “also said there could be problems as believers became increasingly reliant on online materials that had been shared by sources from around the world. There had been cases in which believers “wrongly interpreted” certain concepts or became misled by cults that had elements of Christianity. And it could be more challenging for some elderly churchgoers to rely on a mobile device for access to church life than it was for younger people, Li said.”
Zoom is not the only way churches are able to deliver sermons to their congregations. Both FaceBook and YouTube are, and have been used, to reach out through the internet.
In Cleveland, Pastor Alistair Begg of Parkside Church has seen an increasing number of people from through America and from other countries tune in to his Sunday services posted on YouTube. Yesterday’s morning service can be viewed on YouTube here: Abner–The King Maker.
For the last couple of years Holy Trinity Christian Church in Alpharetta, GA, USA, has posted its Wednesday Noon Bible Study online live on FaceBook.
Another Georgia church, Calvary Chapel of Alpharetta, posts its Sunday service on YouTube. Yesterday’s service is here: Appearances. Pastor Blake also uses Zoom, having held a “Mens Breakfast” on Sunday afternoon.
These three methods are examples of ways in which churches are able to fellowship online. Each seems to have its on set of advantages and disadvantages. Both FaceBook and YouTube have a section that allows those who “tune in” to make comments, or not, as they please. These two methods seem to be well suited to Sermons where a large number of people will watch. Zoom is more interactive. As I understand it, each participant is seen in a small window within the larger browser window. This seems very well suited to small discussion groups, such as Bible Studies and small-group fellowships.
There are other ways for Pastors to get their sermons to their members. And they don’t involve the internet. L-RD willin’ that will be my next post.
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .
You don’t know?
A man and his wife are headed home. They’re walking down a stone-paved road descending westward toward their town. They’re talking about the same thing everyone else is taking about—the events of the weekend. A man approaches and walks next to them. The couple doesn’t recognize him. Their eyes were kept from recognizing him. The man asks what they are discussing. I love what Cleopas says. “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And Yeshua plays along, asking “What things?” Cleopas explains the events of the day as he understands them. (Read Luke Chapter 24)
Yeshua seizes the opportunity to let Cleopas and his wife in on what really happened, and who exactly the is the Messiah. Yeshua, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, . . . interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (v27)
When Cleopas and his wife arrive at their home, they invite the stranger in to stay, and for dinner. “When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.” (v.30,31)
The next part of the story is cool, I think. I can only imagine their jaws dropping as they looked at each other, both saying at the same time: “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (v.32)
This is one of my favorite stories. There’s a lot here, too. Luke tells the story like a reporter would tell it. It’s very matter-of-fact like. Straight forward. The words contain and elicit emotion. Luke doesn’t need to analyze or explain anything.
There’s a few things that come to mind when I think about this first occurrence in which Yeshua, having risen from the dead, visits his followers. First of all, He didn’t visit Peter first. Or the sons of thunder. Some say those three men were in the “Inner Circle.” They did go up to the top of a mountain with Him one day and see Him Glorified. But instead, Yeshua chose to visited a guy and his wife—ordinary folk. I think it says a lot, especially after Yeshua spoke just a few days before about the way leadership and greatness in the Kingdom differs from the way the world sees its authority structure.
Then there’s teaching that Yeshua conveyed to Cleopas and his wife. Luke doesn’t report exactly what it was. We are left to seek that ourselves. There is no Gospel according to Cleopas and Mary for us to read. What did Yeshua tell them about Himself? What scriptures did Yeshua explain, open up? Good questions, right?
“Probably He showed them that their notions of the Messiah were not according to the Scriptures. “They” expected a temporal prince; they were perplexed because Jesus had not assumed the regal power, but had been put to death. He showed them that according to the prophecies he ought to suffer, and that his “death,” therefore, was no argument that he was not the Messiah.
“In all the scriptures – In all the “writings” of the Old Testament. They were called “scriptures” because they were “written,” the art of printing being then unknown.
“The things concerning himself – Concerning the Messiah. It does not appear that he “applied” them to himself, but left them, probably, to make the application. He showed what the Scriptures foretold, and “they” saw that these things applied to Jesus of Nazareth, and began to be satisfied that he was the Messiah. The most striking passages foretelling the character and sufferings of Christ are the following, which we may suppose it possible our Saviour dwelt upon to convince them that, though he was crucified, yet he was the Christ: Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 18:15; Genesis 49:10; Numbers 21:8-9; Isaiah 53:1-12; Daniel 9:25-27; Isaiah 9:6-7; Psalm 110:1-7; Psalm 16:1-11; 22; Malachi 4:2-6.” —Barnes’s Notes
Another thing to consider is that when they all arrived at Cleopas’s and Mary’s home, Yeshua “acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” ” (v.28,29)
“Our Lord must be invited and constrained. He will not impose Himself on an unwilling host; but how glad He is to enter where a welcome awaits! He turns ordinary meals into sacraments; common rooms into royal chambers: and the homeliest things into symbols of the eternal. He sat with them, then vanished; but He was no less truly with them when He ceased to be seen-and all to teach them that when He had passed permanently from their sight He would be nearer than ever.” —F.B.Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .
Simchat Torah- 2018
Today is Simchat Torah ( שמחת†תורה†), Joy of the Torah, of which John Parson, writes,
“This holiday marks the completion of the Torah reading cycle for the year. Simchat Torah is based on the “hakhel gathering” ( הַקְהֵל†) commanded by God in the Torah: “At the end of every seven yearsat the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Sukkot ( בְּחַג†הַסֻּכּוֹת†), when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God … you shall read this Torah before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble ( הַקְהֵל†) the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this Torah” (Deut. 31:10-12).”
Sitting on the deck yesterday as I began writing this post, looking out into the wooded area where the pines are beginning to shed their inner needles, preparing for winter, I thought over this entire season. It begins with a shofar blast on New Year, which is a call to us all. The shofar is a rams horn, that reminds us of the ram that took the place of Issac. (Click link for reference.)
This season calls to us to pray, to look within ourselves, to be prepared for the Day of Atonement. Are we to be found among the goats or the sheep? Are we in a right relationship with G-D? Are we in a right relationship with our other people? It is a season of repentance and rejuvenation. It is a season that concludes with the Feast of Succoth, in which we are called to remember that we, during our lives on Earth, live but a temporal life. It reminds us of the time Israel spent in the desert after its exodus from Egypt.
The last day of Sukkoth is Simchat Torah. YeshuaJesus celebrated this Feast, as described by Apostle John in chapter seven.
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, asf the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37,38)
YeshuaJesus would have heard read the last two chapters of Deuteronomy and Genesis chapter one through chapter 2, verse 3. (Click on link to read this Simchat Torah reading.)
The first section of the reading is Moses’s final blessing upon the children of Israel. Deuteronomy concludes with Moses going to “Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho.” There G-D shows him the land Israel is being given, the land that Joshua will lead Israel into as its possession. Moses is only allowed to see the land, but not cross the Jordan, not enter the land of Israel. Moses sinned against the Lord. He “broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel.For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there, into the land that I am giving to the people of Israel.” (Deuteronomy 32:51,51)
As John Parson puts it, the scroll is rewound and we begin reading from Genesis, the story of G-D creating the world, and all that is in it.
Early this morning two cats were creating havoc, making noise in the living room. I got up to see what the commotion was about, only to find them chasing a mouse. I sat for a while drinking a cup of tea and thinking about Creation. After a creative event, the passages state that “G-D saw that it was good.” Once G-D created the first humans, He “saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”
I began to think how many times I’d sit in the garden and look out over the ponds, to the yard and into the woods and think of all the things that still need to be done. Trimming, tending, fertilizing. And there’s the pile of tree limbs I trimmed late last Spring that I still need to burn. . . If I don’t ignore it, it consumes by prayer time, my Garden Time. Contrast that attitude with G-D’s who surveyed all He’d done and saw that “It Was Very Good.” Didn’t G-D know there’d be more that needed doing? Didn’t G-D know the fragility of that pair of humans He’d created? They’d need a lot of care to be able to survive in the world outside of the Garden. G-D knew He kick them out for their rebellion against Him. He had a plan. Yet He looked out over the expanse of the world and saw its goodness, its rightness.
When I came back to bed, walking through the living room, I looked with a different set of eyes at some photographs on the wall. I’d walked by them thousands of time, but ignored them. They are of houses with blue shutters, taken on a trip to Siberia twenty years ago. They are beautiful. I looked around the dimly lite room, and though how lovely the room is. I didn’t see the dust on the furniture, the pillows pushed of the sofa–our ill mannered dog thinks she needs to stretch out the whole length of the couch.
It seems I can get so caught up in all that “needs” to be done, and simply not be grateful for the blessings that are around me.
The Life and Times of James T. Orwell
James T. Orwell, born sometime in 1963, isn’t real. Google him. Perhaps another James T. Orwell will appear in the search results. But not THIS James T. Orwell. He’s not called Jim or Jamie. He’s not called James, either. When I think of him, he’s always James T. Orwell. What’s the middle name, indicated by the “T”? I don’t know. I never figured that one out.
- Gasoline was about $0.29 a gallon. And Major News Stories include Start of Beatlemania, Zip codes implemented, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I have a dream” speech, Members of Ku Klux Klan dynamite Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, Sabin oral Polio Vaccine which is taken with a lump of sugar is given nationwide in US and UK, The Profumo Crisis in the UK, President John F Kennedy assassinated
One Terrence William Robinson, yours truly, had graduated valedictorian from Brown Military Academy in Glendora, California. I spent a pensive summer thinking about. . . I haven’t the foggiest notion what I was thinking. But I do know that I told my Dad I’d love to go to Northwestern Military and Navel Academy, the high school from where he’d graduated in 1942. I thought at the time I was destine to follow in his military marching footsteps. I had know clue. . . He’d graduated then gone directly into the Army, jump school, and assignment with the 327th Glider Regiment, 101st Airborne. Eventually, he went with the 101st from France all the way to the Germany, by way of Bastogne, the well-known Battle of the Bulge in which the division commander refused surrender with the words, “Nuts.” My father went on to serve, and serve well, fought in two wars, and finally retiring in the 1980s as a Colonel.
But eventually I knew what I wanted to do. I remember finally coming to terms and telling Dad that I wanted to major in English in college.
“An English degree and a dime will get you a cup of coffee,” was his only comment. I took it that he wasn’t pleased, thought it highly unlikely that his son would amount to anything, and dismissed my idea. The pen name, James T. Orwell, took a back seat. Oh, James T. Orwell resurfaced no and again. Especially when, as an adult I took night classes in writing and poetry and such.
My days at Northwestern were miserable. It wasn’t the wonderful experience Dad had there. It certainly was far different from the experience I had at Brown Military. There I’d seemed to fit in, did well in both academics and military subjects. Except for one fatal weekend, I excelled. I felt I was headed for great things, a wonderful future.
President Eisenhower, having served the military faithfully, and served America in the highest office, came to Brown one day. The cadet corps assembled on the football/parade field and passed in review. I was called forward and promoted in his presence. Such an honor. I revered both Generals and Priests. I also feared them.
Having been raised in the Episcopal Church, America’s version of the Anglican Church of England, I didn’t learn a lot of things about the Bible as did others who were raised in Bible-based Churches. But at Brown I had several teachers that were Christians, and we had religion classes that were Bible-based. That led to a weekend retreat in the mountains, and Church services that were new and very different to what I was accustom. It was at that Retreat I first encountered the alter call. The Big Decision. That was my “Fatal Weekend.” At least for many years that is how I looked at it.
It was the last day of the Retreat. A Sunday. The Church was filled. The service rousing. Praise songs instead of hymns. A sermon preached with assurance and with a power I’d never experienced. And an Alter Call.
“Everyone close your eyes,” the pastor cried out. And we all did.
“Raise your hands if you want to accept Jesus as your savior,” he went on. I wanted to raise my hand. I was afraid.
“Now come forward,” the pastor cried out. I sat there paralyzed. Others went forward. I stayed back. I held back. I was frozen in my seat. I didn’t know what it meant to accept Jesus. I thought I knew Jesus, having been in Church all my life. I wanted to know more. But fear of the unknown grasped me like chains about my ankles. Then the service was over, and soon I, and the guys I came with, were headed back to Brown. I’d missed my opportunity.
For years I thought that was my big chance and I’d missed it. When things got hard for me over the years, and I made poor choices, or no choices, I thought back to that Alter Call with regret.
Northwestern Military and Navel Academy was an Episcopal school. While my time there was miserable, at least in Church I was comfortable in the ritual and routine. I served as an Alter Boy. I retained my faith. But I lost something, too. At least that’s what I thought when I looked back at what I’d been offered at Brown. I blamed my misery on indecision.
When I thought of that Alter Call, I wished I’d have run, not walked, forward to the Alter. Forward to receive Jesus in the way that pastor had cried out to us. I stopped going to Episcopal Church after I graduated high school. I meandered forward, yet longed to have a greater faith, a true walk with Jesus. I was now bound with guilt of what I thought was my “chance.” It seemed like a lost opportunity.
That was wrong, of course. Opportunities abound. I just didn’t think so.
1973. Major News Stories include Skylab Launched, Cod War UK and Iceland, Secretariat Wins Triple Crown on June 9th , Three-Day Week put in place in the UK, Sydney Opera House is opened, Yom Kippur War and Oil Embargo, Watergate Hearings Begin, Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade.
One Terrence William Robinson, yours truly, had been infantry with the 40th Infantry Division of the California Army National Guard. I’d accepted a full-time position at Camp Roberts, and began working in communications systems, armament and small arms, and worked hard. I was not an officer, as my Grandfather and my Dad. I’d joined the National Guard simple doing what my Dad thought best. I’d trained at Fort Ord, California, along with 283 Army Infantry guys, who all went on to Viet Nam. After training, I went home. And for years I felt guilty about that, too.
It was in a barracks, at Fort Irwin, California, that a guy started talking about Jesus. And I started thinking again about my walk, my faith. And I enrolled in a Bible Study course, a correspondence course, to learn more.
As I look back, having dealt with the guilt of that “Fatal” Weekend of indecision, I now know that G-D had a call upon my life. I just didn’t realize it for too many years.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The LORD is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made. Psalm 145: 9, 10.
It seems to me, now so many years later, that even had I run to that Alter, did what that pastor cried out to do, I’d have still faced all the same difficult times that I faced. I’d have been the same me. Accepting Jesus isn’t the answer to some ideal life of ease. Accepting Jesus is assurance of Peace within one’s soul and an assurance of eternal life. I’d have still made some good decisions, and some that weren’t so good. Life is simply life. I’d have avoided the guilt, however. And, yes, it may just have presented some opportunities that were not available to me. Perhaps.
Realize, I have, that G-D has had a call on my life since I was conceived. For G-D has known me.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.a
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139: 13-16
Jesus promises life, and life of abundantly. It’s not too late to commit, to choose that life, either. For YeshuaJesus calls and is patient. When He calls, He continues to call. Our response is a response of the heart. A response of the soul. I know now that I responded in my heart as a child. I just needed to come to the mental awareness, the intellectual knowledge of that decision.
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .
R T F M
While working for the U. S. Forest Service as a “Radio Tech,” I had the pleasure of assisting in the installation of a forest-wide electronic public exchange (PBX), a telephone switch. In preparing for that experience, I attended a two-week course for certification on the Mitel 2000 PBX. It was a good course, well-taught, and I came back armed and ready not only for the installation and set up, but also for continued maintenance and upgrades. A major theme of the course was the Mitel Manual. Actually, it was not just one, but a series of manuals on the switch. Throughout the course, the instructors continually referred to one or more of the manuals stressing the critical nature of not just knowing the switch itself, but knowing the manuals. The key to expedient maintenance and repair was in knowing where to look for the answer. We were given our own copies of the manuals, and by the end of the two weeks, they were well worn.
Here’s some history on the celebration of Purim, which is today.
The Persian empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerushad his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he orchestrated a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen—though she refused to divulge the identity of her nationality.
Meanwhile, the antisemitic Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed, and convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar—a date chosen by a lottery Haman made (hence the name Purim, “lots”).
Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At the feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.
On the 13th of Adar the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar they rested and celebrated.
Your Life has Purpose. . .
and for a small fee/donation, our company/agency/ministry will help you find it. And for an additional very modest fee/donation, we can assist you in fulfilling it.
I cry out to G-d Most High,
to G-d who fulfills his purpose for me.
There, that was simple wasn’t it? Takes all the exasperation away. Doesn’t cost us anything (Y’shuaJesus already paid the price).
So. with what are we left? Listen to this great gospel song, it says it all:
I just want to Praise You Lord
I lift my hands to say I love You
You are everything to me
And I exalt Your holy name, (2x)
I exalt Your name, O Lord.
Be like a green olive tree
But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
I will thank you forever,
because you have done it.
I will wait for your name, for it is good,
in the presence of the godly.
“David contrasts Do’eg’s arrogance and self-reliance with his (David’s) faith in God, which guarantees his safety and protection (verse 10). While the wicked will ultimately wilt and wither, the righteous, who place their trust in the Almighty, will be like a “fresh olive tree”; they will be saved from the schemes of their adversaries and will enjoy a long life of success, blessing and prosperity.” — From Daily Tehillim, Perech Summary