Thursday, September 6, 2012

The National Conventions are Over -- Where is My Hope?

The National Conventions are Over -- Where is My Hope?


With the National Political Conventions behind us, one wonders where our hope for a better tomorrow lies. Pondering this thought brought to mind the old hymn, “The Solid Rock” written by Edward Mote in 1836:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

I will confess that neither presidential candidate appears to be a white knight in shining armor but there is One coming who will be wearing a white robe riding on a white horse. Revelation 19:6-15, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”


America has too long placed its hope in man – our military might, our creative genius, our financial wisdom, our medical advancement, our political power but none of these can stand the test of GOD. Proverbs 14:34 says clearly, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Who will issue the call to righteousness? It won’t come from the popularity of the people, republican or democrat, but can only come from the Church (saved body of believers). Oh church, will we rise up?


Grab some tracts hit the streets and sound the trumpet that righteous Jesus is coming soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

When Standing at the Corner of Compromise?

Recently Sharon and I took a leisurely afternoon drive to Berne Indiana to one of our favorite Amish restaurants and a street sign caught my attention. Normally I am not a reader of street signs I drive most often by landmarks (drive past Chuckie Cheese turn right to the high school turn left and the church is on the right). This sign caught my eye – I had never seen a street named “Compromise” Main Street – yes. First Street yes, Maple Street yes, Washington Street – yes but never in all my travels a “Comprise Street” (there is one in Annapolis Md). The thought of “Comprise Street” captivated my thinking I began to research where di this name come from? While I was unsuccessful in uncovering this mystery I did find some possible ideas to speculate on. Berne settled by some Swiss Mennonite immigrants in the mid 1800’s. The railroad brought other various religious faiths and nationalities both English and German speaking. Sixteen families in 1849 former the Baumgartner congregation. By 1852 it had grown and with the growth came division and the Baumgartner congregation split into three groups differing on various applications of scripture. Compromise Street is just a few blocks north of the First Mennonite Church – the largest Mennonite church in the US. Hmm…. Could that be where Compromise Street got its name? Division is not unique to any denomination nor are any exempt since the early church in the new testament the old nature of man has kept in the most sound churches and today that is still the same. But that is not the thought that captivated me rather “personal convictions and compromise” Compromise is not a bad word. Compromise is defined as “ A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions” Life is impossible without compromise the question is not “if” I should but “when’ I should compromise. When you find yourself at the corner of “Compromise” in life where do you turn? The Bible. There are times the Bible actually instructs us to compromise. Christians are not to be bull headed or I want it my way type of people. Lovingly and humbly we are to consider others above ourselves. Romans 14 teaches us to ‘compromise” in areas of debatable areas of conduct. Note the limitation of “compromise’ – is what is clearly taught in scripture 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” That is my friend when one finds themselves at the corner of life’s highway and compromise with God’s truth! Life’s decisions are not to be made like the game “Paper, Rock, Scissors – where any of the three can win but the Word of God always trumps whatever other reasoning we try to offer. When you find yourself are the corner of “Compromise Street” and the Highway of life turn to the Word of God and stand firm on it!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baseball Cards Worth Millions… Where is Your Treasure?

I recently read an Associated Press story from Defiance, Ohio, a little town close to where I grew up. “Karl Kissner picked up a soot-covered cardboard box that had been under a wooden dollhouse in his grandfather's attic. Taking a look inside, he saw hundreds of baseball cards bundled with twine. They were smaller than the ones he was used to seeing. But some of the names were familiar: Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Honus Wagner. Then he put the box on a dresser and went back to digging through the attic. It wasn't until two weeks later that he learned that his family had come across what experts say is one of the biggest, most exciting finds in the history of sports card collecting, a discovery worth perhaps millions.” Wow! I instantly wanted to rush up and search our attic – just in case. I am sure moving from house to house when we were young had its advantages but it sure didn’t give me any confidence that there could be treasures in our attic. This story did remind me of where we are to put our treasures.

Matthew 6:19-21 says, “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:1 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” This verse presents several “Deep” truths. Consider first what is “treasure”? Our dictionary defines treasure as “anything or person greatly valued or highly prized.” Isn’t it amazing what we treasure? I have a small pocket knife collection and in it are some really cool knives – a set of Case Kentucky NCAA Championship knives, some scripture knives and two knives that were my dad’s among others. Now honestly, while I store them away carefully and greatly value them, the actual dollar value is minimal and the eternal value is zero! The eternal value should be the measuring stick of what we value most! Along with the word treasures in this verse is a key word, heaven. Heaven is where true treasures are stored. How are we using what God has given us to lay up treasures in heaven? We all have three valuable assets: talents, time and money.

Our talents, or more appropriately, our spiritual gifts, were given in this context to be used in the church. Even though we are instructed to use our gifts is in the Lord’s church, it seems commitment to the local church is at an all-time low in today’s world. Work, recreation, and personal relaxation are the priorities of even God’s people.

In order to use our talents, we are required to give our time as well. I am encouraged greatly by people I see consistently give their valuable time sacrificially to serve the Lord. We are reminded in scripture to redeem the time because the days are evil.

We are to give joyfully and sacrificially of our financial wealth to further kingdom work which will result in treasures in heaven.

I do not know what Karl Kissner will do with his new found millions but this I do know, God will hold me accountable for what He has given me!