Monthly Archives: May 2017

GOD THE AUTHOR

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Imagine with me that I have been interviewing God, asking Him about Creation, and about how He relates to His Creation; and that these are my notes, from our conversation.
Generally, It is all Him, there is only One Spirit; and we’re like waves that rise up, take different forms, and then fall back into the Ocean.
Think about all of History, as His-Story.
Much like a human author writing a novel, first, with the ending in mind, the author sketches out a story line, then he creates characters, and fills them out in great detail, then he places his characters in different settings, and circumstances, and then the characters seem to take it from there, as if they know what to do. In this sense the characters co-author the story.
God’s Spirit is in all of His creation, so He has shared every breath, every heartbeat, every thought and every feeling with each of His characters, characters He calls His children.
However, His-Story is not just a book, or a movie, or a play; it’s much more real and complex than that; His characters are alive, and have free will.
God knows and loves each child so infinitely well that He could live any one of their lives much better than they can, so knowing what they will say and do is child’s play for Him.
God Loves every one of His children as if they were His only child, and relates to each of them in a unique way, depending on their level of maturity, the time period they live in, and the circumstances of their life.
The Bible says, before building a tower, or waging a war, to, “count the cost,” so I believe He took His own advice, and thought it all through, before saying, “Let there be Light.”
Before this moment it had all been only in God’s mind, much like what we might call a day dream, but now God had pushed the key domino, and everything became very real.
God doesn’t just sit back and watch. He’s infinitely involved in everything that happens in His Universe; and He is able to communicate with His children by His Spirit to our spirit.
However, so far, only a few have learned to still their mind, and listen close enough to hear Him.
Don’t think too much about God knowing what you will do and say, or you may find yourself sitting in a room with a bunch of philosophers and theologians, smoking a pipe, stroking your beard, and scratching your head.
Your life will generally go more smoothly if you place your confidence in Him, and live life like a small child, – – – moment by moment, enjoying the big adventure.
Never forget how real it is, but to understand how God relates to people in the Bible, it helps to think of God as the Author of a book, communicating somehow with his characters, as the story unfolds.
The Author has all Authority, and God assumes full responsibility, no matter how many middlemen may be involved, for each and every thing that happens in His Universe.
He doesn’t blame anyone else for any of it; and to make His point He seems to encourage Bible writers to say God commanded it, God caused it, or God did it.
After all God is ultimately responsible, – – – without creation there would have been no pain and suffering, and also, no characters, and no story.
God knows the future in infinite detail, so He can easily predict the future; however, He seems to always manage to find a way to fulfill prophecy in some mysterious unsuspected way so we don’t ever realize it until after it has happened. This way He can increase our faith without spoiling the suspense.
God seldom speaks as if He knows the future, most of the time He communicates to us as if He’s living with us in the moment. He often uses the word ‘if,’ because that’s the most loving way to speak to a free agents living in time.
Would you worship a God who said, “If you eat of this tree, (AND YOU WILL) you will die!”?
God may sound like He’s pretending not to know the future, but He’s only being polite. To the spiritual child God says, “If you do that your punishment will be.” To the more mature, “If you do this the consequences will be.” Or, “If you would have done that, this would have happened.” He also appears to change His mind, when we change ours.
God tests, teaches, disciplines, and reprimands, – – – most often He speaks to us through our circumstances. His ultimate purpose has always been to love us well, and in the process, make us more Christ like.

I believe this life is only the first chapter of a never ending story; and that our job is to simply play our part, and trust God The Author, for the happy ending.

 

 

 

May 12, 2017

OLD TESTAMENT WARRIOR GOD ON TRIAL

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COURT REPORTER’S BRIEF NOTES:

God is on trial for multiple mass murders, and Genocide.

Prosecution’s First witness; Job.

Job says God killed all of his children, and his livestock.

Defense’s First witness; Satan.

Who killed Job’s children and animals?

Satan says, I did.

Prosecution cross examines:

Why would you do that?

Satan answers, God gave me permission.

Prosecution asks God, is that true?

God says, Yes.

Does Exodus 21:29 say, “if a man’s ox has a habit of getting lose and killing people, and the man fails to keep him in, and it happens again, the ox must be killed and the man stoned?

God says, Yes.

Where did Satan come from?

God says, I created him.

Has Satan killed previously?

God answers, Yes.

And not only did you not restrain Satan, you gave him permission?

God says, Yes.

Prosecution calls King Saul.

Did God’s Prophet Samuel order you to kill the Amalekites; men, women, infants, and animals?

Saul says, Yes, that is correct.

Did you? Yes, all of them, except King Agag, and the best of the animals.

What did Samuel have to say about that?

He said, “Because I didn’t follow God’s commands exactly, God rejected me from being King.’

Prosecution asks God, is all of this true?

God answers, Yes.

Defense calls Peter, one of Jesus’ main disciple’s, as a character witness.

Do you know God?

In a way, I do. I spent three years in ministry with His Son, His name is Jesus, He’s also called The Prince of Peace, the kindest most loving person you could ever meet. Jesus never lied, and He would never harm a fly, and Jesus said, “If you have seen Me you’ve seen My Father.”

So your point is?

Jesus’ Father is a God of Love, He couldn’t possibly be guilty of any of these accusations, because Jesus said He’s the perfect Image of His Father.

Prosecution cross examines Peter; It sounds like you’re inferring that this Man could not be Jesus’ Father?

Peter answers, Yes, there is absolutely no way this could be the True God.

Prosecution calls God back to the witness stand.

And asks God; Peter says, you can’t possibly be Jesus’ real Father, because Jesus’ Father is Good and would never do evil; but you keep admitting to all of the charges. Do you do evil or not?

God says; It is true that Jesus and I are One in spirit, it is also true that it is written; “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil.” In the sense – – –

Never mind, that’s enough, I rest my case.

Defense has no more witnesses.

Jury comes in with the verdict:

The jury says; “Our decision is unanimous; CRUCIFY HIM!”

Defense says; “The Defense calls for a re-trial.”

 

 

May 10, 2017

THE ACCOMMODATING GOD

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OR RAISING ADAM

Most of the Old Testament was one big accommodation. 

How can I say that?

I’ll be 80 this December, so I have ‘retrospectual-vision.’ 

Reminiscing about my life I see God helping me fulfill all of my dreams; – – – they were great, but after each of them were accomplished, they faded away; like sandcastles on the seashore.

Then one bright and sunny day Jesus presented me with a choice.

Door #1. My dreams.

Door #2. HIS DREAMS.

I argued with Him for a quite awhile, “That’s who I am, that is how I live my life!”

Finally I smiled and chose Door #2, that’s when the REAL ADVENTURE began.

I believe God was deeply involved with me and my dreams, first of all because He loves me, but also to get them out of my system.

He was a very accommodating God, for the first fifty years of my life.

                        – – – – – – –

Lucifer said, “I have a better way.” God said, “It won’t work, but go ahead, show me.”

Adam and Eve said, “The serpent told us about a better way, and we want to take it.”  God said, “It leads to a dead end, but go ahead and try it.”

The Israelites dreamed dreams of freedom, and a land of milk and honey.  God said, “Ok let’s do that, and see how you like it.”

They cried out for meat in the wilderness.

They promised to keep the 10 Commandments, God said, “Good luck with that.”

They wanted an earthly King just like everyone else.

– – – – – – –

We wanted Nations, and flags, and cars, and airplanes, and fast food, an instant communication, and free sex, and entertainment, and robots, and space ships – – 

 

                                                     Adam’s life lessons:

Material things do not satisfy.

Land taken by force must be protected by force.  

War doesn’t work.

Love is the only true power.

You had it all in the garden.

I have never condemned you.

I have always loved you, and I always will.

What you really need is Me.

Follow Me, My way is better.

Ok, First, let’s make a New (Spiritual) Covenant.

 

“The idea of a kingdom that is not maintained by might is inconceivable to us.” – Oswald Chambers

 

 

May 8, 2017

KNIFE AND GUN INCIDENT

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I had recently received divorce papers from my second wife, and while I was waiting on money from the sale of property in San Diego, I had been sleeping in my van in Monroe Washington.

About eleven p.m. after working out at 24 hour fitness, I walked to my van and climbed in. A few minutes later a middle aged white man wearing a sports jacket got out of his car, and walked towards me holding a map.

He tapped gently on my window, so I rolled it half way down. He said: “Can you give me directions to the Mukilteo Ferry?” I said: “Yea, just continue down this road to the freeway, then turn west,- – – then – – – I couldn’t remember the name of the next street, so I said: “I was just getting ready to drive down that way, you can follow me if you like.”

He hesitated for a moment, and said: “Can’t you just show me on the map?” I said: “O.K.” and rolled the window the rest of the way down, and took his map.

While I was studying the map, he reached under the map and slit my throat!

He jumped back out of sight. I opened the door to see where he went. He was standing there quietly, watching me in the rearview mirror.

I said: “WHAT is the matter with you?” He reached in his coat pocket and pulled out a gun! Before I could get the door closed he was back inside. I jumped backwards, my feet were still on the driver’s seat.

He leaned over the front seat and shot me in the left cheek. I cried out “GOD HELP ME!!!”

 My feet started kicking, I don’t remember telling them to kick, they just started kicking. The gun flew out of his hand and landed outside. I moved back into the driver’s seat, hoping I could beat him to the gun, he had two steps on me, picked it up and came back inside. I climbed back behind the front seats, but now I was completely out of ideas. I couldn’t open the side door from the inside, there was nothing to throw at him, and nowhere to hide.

He leaned over the seat and aimed the gun at the middle of my forehead. I sat there staring at the barrel of the gun.

Time is distorted at a time like this, but I think he aimed for a full second before pulling the trigger. I was doing some quick shorthand prayers, “Please take care of my family, and find a good man for Sherry. – – – I know you could still save me, – – but if not, – – this is probably as good a time as any.”

He was staring into my eyes, I was looking back and forth between his eyes and the barrel of the gun. All I could see in his eyes was a slight question mark, he was probably wondering why I was so calm, I was experiencing great peace. God’s grace was so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Then the a gunshot, and felt the bullet hit the top of my head. I had heard that if you can hear the shot it’s supposed to be a good thing. He started to leave, hesitated, then looked in, pointing the gun at me again.

I didn’t think these thoughts, but these are the words that came out of my mouth; “Don’t hurt me any more- – – – I’m already dead!” Another moment and he turned and walked casually back toward his car.

I know it wasn’t out of sympathy, he was calm cool sober, and soul-less. He wasn’t out of bullets, the gun was a 22-caliber automatic, with five or six shots left in the clip.

I was bleeding profusely from my neck and head, so my best guess is after taking a look at me he believed what I said, and left me for dead.

My mind was still clear and I could still see out of my right eye, so I jumped into the driver’s seat and started the engine. I was only a block and a half from the fire station, so I was going to go for it.

Strangely enough he didn’t even look back, he just got in his car and drove away.

After turning around I saw a cab parked about thirty feet behind me. He was talking on his radio, so he hadn’t heard the shots. I circled around him so my door was by his and said: “Call 911, I’ve been stabbed and shot!”

He called, but was having a long drawn out conversation, so I got out and yelled in his window so the dispatcher could hear me. “I’m bleeding to death here, I need an ambulance RIGHT NOW!”

In about a minute there were three police cars, and then an ambulance. I gave my van keys to the police officer. I could still talk but I felt blood running down on the inside of my throat.

I described my assailant, and his car, and told them which way he went; then I gave them Sherry’s phone number and asked them to call her.

Then the ambulance attendants were inserting an I.V. and cutting my clothes off with a huge pair of scissors. They had called for a helicopter med-evac flight, which should arrive in fifteen minutes.

I wouldn’t be aware of anything else because they were sedating me. I heard the helicopter land, – – then I faded to black.

When I woke up in the hospital they told me the operation had been a success. I was on a respirator, so I had to write notes. I felt pretty good but I thought I had a bullet in my brain.

The doctors kept using the word miracle. They said one bullet had gone into my cheek and out the back of my neck, but missed everything important. One doctor said, “You should have at least lost your hearing!”

The second bullet hit high on my forehead and went under the skin, followed the top of my skull for about four inches and then back out. They thought the knife wound may have damaged my vocal cords, but it had missed both of my juggler veins.

The nurses kept asking me if I wanted pain medication. I said: “No thanks.” I didn’t even have a headache.

I was out of the hospital in three and a half days.

 

May 4, 2017

MID-AIR COLLISION

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 Doug, a close friend, and a student of mine, bought a used Citabria, a small two seat, high wing aircraft.  His insurance company required two hours of instruction before  carrying passengers.

We flew for about an hour and a half, and stopped for lunch. After lunch we planned to spend another half hour practicing landings. It was an exceptionally beautiful day for flying. The sky was clear and the air was smooth as glass. Except for a few hawks circling in a thermal, we had the flight pattern to ourselves.

I had never seen Doug so happy. He just kept grinning and grinning. I couldn’t help from getting high on his high. I commented to him that we were just like a couple of teenage boys with a new toy.

On final approach the thought crossed my mind: “Doug is doing just fine.” “Maybe we should make this the last landing.” Then for no special reason at all – – – (it was just one of those small decisions you make every day without thinking twice about it). I said to myself: “Naw; we’re having a good time, let’s go around one more time.”

Doug made another perfect touch-and-go landing, it was a joy seeing him starting to own his new plane. Then he flew around the pattern and lined up on final approach. I said: “Let’s make this one a full stop, O.K.!” “Sure, whatever you say.”

We were only about thirty yards from the end of the runway, and fifty feet high, when suddenly our aircraft lurched forward. Something had hit us from the rear! My mind raced through the possibilities. It had to be another airplane, and it had to be going faster.

My first thought was, it was a larger aircraft, and it was going to tear its way right through us— “Instant death for sure!”

However, it didn’t seem to happen instantly at all, I’m not sure if I could hear it or feel it, but I could sense that it was slowly but surely chewing its way up the fuselage towards me. I guessed it must me a smaller aircraft, but I was still sure it was going to chew us up and spit us out.

Then the chewing stopped, and for some mysterious reason we were still gliding in level flight. Suddenly something let loose, and we went into a vertical dive.  All I could see in the front windshield was asphalt.

My professional opinion? Sudden death!

A quick prayer crossed my mind asking God to take care of wife. I thought, just maybe, there was a slim chance of survival. So I crossed my arms in front of my face and grabbed my elbows, – – – – we slammed into the runway!

There was a deafening noise and all of the windows blew out. The airplane slumped over to one side, and then – – – silence. Doug’s head was buried in the dash, it looked like he was dead. Gasoline was running off of the wings, and down through the engine compartment. I could hear it sizzling as it hit the hot exhaust. I mentally reached for my seat belt, but my arms refused to move.

Extreme fear gripped me now, and shook my entire body. “Dying, well that was one thing, but being cooked alive—-?!”

I looked out and saw two men standing just outside the growing lake of gasoline. I yelled: “GET ME OUT OF HERE!”–“RIGHT NOW!!”

They waded bravely through the gasoline and tore open the door. They tried to lift me, but were having difficulty. One of them asked if I could push with my legs. I pushed, and they lifted me out and walked me over to a pickup truck and sat me on the tail gate. Then they went back to get Doug.

The Ramona firemen arrived. They put Doug on a stretcher. He was alive, but unconscious, and his head was bleeding badly. They called the Life-flight helicopter. I saw Doug’s girl friend Terry. She had watched the whole thing, and badly shaken. I gave her my wife’s work number and asked her to please call, and say: “Vance is O.K., but he’s been in an airplane accident.”

Life-flight arrived and flew us to Scripts Hospital. By the time we arrived things were starting to get blurry. In the emergency room a doctor cut a slit in my stomach and inserted a tube. I was bleeding internally. They ran down the hall with my gurney to the surgery room. As I began to lose consciousness my last thought was: “They’re running, it’s going to be a close one.”

Two years later we went to court. The accident, which seemed like five or ten seconds of total chaos, was blown up into thirty eight-hour days, and gone over in minute detail; with huge color photographs, computer generated videos, and hours and hours of testimony from eye witnesses and accident investigation experts.

After the court experience, I had a completely different perception of the word accident. With the facts laid out before me in all of this great detail, I decided that what I had perceived as total chaos was really more like a cross between a beautifully orchestrated ballet, and micro-surgery. Something like one of those ultra slow motion movies of a drop of milk hitting in a cup and bouncing up into a beautiful flower pattern.

While we were gliding in for our final landing, God was already moving in the witnesses for the upcoming law suit. A student pilot about to return to his home base on a solo cross-country flight taxied his airplane out to the engine run-up area. This gave him a ring side seat for the accident. And a lady pilot

in a Cessna 150 was just entering the downwind leg on her Private check-ride. She watched the Pitts biplane pass by her lower and inside; make a swooping left turn hit our airplane and chew off the tail section. (The tail section that would later be taken into the court room as evidence).

After studying the details, I call it a “Multiple stage miracle.”

First of all the Pitts stopped chewing two and a half feet behind me.

Secondly, his propeller surgically removed our battery, disconnecting the electrical system and preventing a fire.

His aircraft locked up with ours somehow, momentarily replacing the tail section it had cut off, and allowing us to remain in level flight down to about thirty-five feet.

All aircraft do not necessarily have shoulder harnesses, this one did, and we had them on.

The engine broke off, and the left wing crumpled, absorbing much of the impact.

Locking my arms in front of my face shattered my shoulders, but saved my face and neck, and probably my life.

The two guys were right there in time, and brave enough to pull us out.

One wing broke on the Pitts, causing it to roll over and land inverted. The top wing took most of the impact, and the pilot walked away without a scratch.

The biplane slid to a stop just a few feet short of hitting our aircraft a second time.

Instead of taking us in the ambulance they called the Life-flight helicopter. I would have bled to death internally before arriving at the hospital in an ambulance.

Doug had to have five pins put into his right ankle, and twenty-seven stitches in his forehead, but he was

Able to visit me on crutches a week after the accident.

During my first shoulder operation, I aspirated, which came closer to killing me than the airplane accident. They aborted the operation, and I ended up spending 44 days in I.C.U.

 

I was in the back seat of the orange and white aircraft,- – – note the tail section of our airplane to the right of the photograph, that was cut off in mid-air. Also note the red battery just ahead of the fireman; it was surgically removed by his propeller, thereby preventing a fire. The red bi-plane landed upside down and is lying just behind our aircraft.

 

 

 

May 3, 2017

Defining key words

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If only theologians could agree on the definition of these key words.

  1. GOD: THE I AM, THE SOURCE OF ALL THINGS.

 

  1. God’s Agape Love: GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. We will be studying this for all of eternity – – –

 

  1. Reality: The way The Creator God perceives things, and relates to them.

 

  1. Sin: Purposely acting (singing) out of harmony with God; The Master Tuning Fork.

 

  1. Self: Your true self is who God created you to be. Your self image is something you have patched together on your own, by attaching labels to your ‘I am.’

 

  1. Condemnation: After eating the fruit, Adam and Eve felt guilt and condemnation, and they projected their feelings of condemnation onto God, but I have never condemned my children, and God doesn’t condemn anyone.

 

  1. Judgment: God’s Judgment, is restorative, not retributive.

 

  1. Justice: God’s Justice isn’t blind, and He doesn’t punish people to get even.

 

God’s Justice is always doing the most loving thing for everyone, for all of eternity.

 

 

  1. Forgiveness:  Love and Forgiveness are Siamese twins that can not be separated. When you reach a point where you can no longer forgive, you have reached the limits of your love. There is no need to forgive a person you have not condemned.

 

  1. Perfect: For us; growing and learning while walking hand in hand with Jesus. A journey, not a destination.

 

For God; Holy Righteous Love.

 

  1. Wrath: I divide God’s wrath into two categories; lower case wrath, when God removes His protection, and upper case Wrath when God is more directly involved.

 

God is very slow to anger, and when He does become angry God doesn’t lose His temper, it’s just that things have gone far enough, and it is time for a change.

 

Jesus cleansing the temple is a very very mild version of God’s upper case direct action Wrath.

 

  1. Vengeance: Judgments, Discipline, Pruning; God making difficult decisions.

 

“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

 

Everything done by God or commanded by God in the Old Testament, was done from a motive of Love, under God’s Authority, the Righteous Judge of the Universe.

 

Call it vengeance or hard love if you like, but no matter how severe His actions appear to you, – – – you are not qualified to call it violence.

 

  1. Violence:  Violence has more to do with attitude than action. Violence proceeds out of the hearts of angry, selfish, greedy, impatient, unimaginative, power hungry beings.

 

The use of force may be either destructive, or restorative, depending upon the intentions of the person applying the force; if it is done by a qualified person with proper authority, from a motive of love, it does not equal violence.

 

For example; Parental discipline, Dentistry, Surgery, Arrest, Sentencing by Judge and Jury, and God’s Wrath.

 

  1. Death: Jesus calls it ‘sleep.’

 

  1. Hell: Separation from God, the Source of life. Turn your back on God and proceed into darkness to experience Hell on Earth.  Ultimately Hell is a word for the illusion of separation from God.

 

Death and hell will eventually be cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:14) When there is no longer any death or separation, these two words will have become obsolete.

 

The lake of fire purifies by burning away the dross.

 

  1. Faith: Trusting God. Not what He will or will not do, but for who He is, and for His Everlasting Love.

 

 

May 2, 2017

MY ESCHATOLOGY

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There are many conflicting versions of Judgment Day and end time scenarios, and considering the way God likes to tell us what He will do, and then does it right in front of our eyes in such an unique way that we only realize it has happened in retrospect; there’s a good chance we may all be wrong. For example, a babe in a manger, who saw that coming?

To be ‘Biblical’ one must stick to the bible verses, but apparently there’s more than one way to ‘connect-the-dots.’

Anyway, here’s my version:

At Christ’s second coming the dead in Christ will be resurrected, and the believers who are alive will go with them to meet the Lord in the air and be with Him forever. (1 Thess. 4:15-5:4)

But the rest of the dead are resurrected a thousand years later. (Rev. 20:5)

Why two resurrections?

My best guess; the good guys have admitted their guilt and thrown themselves on the mercy of the court, but the rest have denied any wrongdoing, so they’re being held for trial.

The Bible says Satan ‘deceives’ them (the nations) to gather to battle, so the wicked are still under the deception of Satan. (Revelation 20:7&8)

But, then everything is put on hold while the Books are opened. (Rev. 20:12)

Everything anyone has ever done, and everything that has ever happened has been recorded in the Books of Heaven, so after the books have been reviewed there can be no more deception.

My version of “The Books being opened,” is a sermon by Jesus, titled, ‘The Truth, the Whole Truth, and nothing but the TRUTH.’

After His sermon, Jesus makes an alter call, and “Every knee bows, and every tongue confesses that Jesus is LORD.” (Isaiah 45:23, Romans 2:10-11, and Phil. 2:10-11)

Note: The Bible says; “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13) And it also says, “No man can say Jesus is Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.”(1 Cor. 12:3)

The Bible also says, “The gates shall not be shut.” “Open continually.” (Rev. 21:25 & Isaiah 60:11)

So I believe, if one of the ‘wicked’ suddenly ran for the gates of the Holy City, Jesus would welcome him with open arms, just as the Prodigal father welcomed his wayward son.

I’m assuming the wicked will have freewill after they are resurrected, and I am assuming God’s heart for His children will be as merciful as ever. I also believe God’s Justice is restorative, rather than retributive.

 

May 2, 2017

TWO PAIRS OF GLASSES

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We know how the story ends; every knee bows, and every tongue confesses Jesus Christ is Lord; and Wisdom has been justified by all of her children. (Phil. 2:10-11 &. Luke 7:35)

So with this knowledge, let’s review a couple of major historical events, through two pairs of glasses; our ‘Good and evil glasses,’ and our ‘3-D Glasses of Wisdom.’

By banning us from the Tree of Life, God pronounced a death sentence on the entire human race.

Through our ‘good and evil glasses,’ God’s actions appear to be an extreme overreaction, and a horrible punishment, – – – for eating fruit.

However, with our ‘3-D wisdom glasses,’ we can see it was the most loving thing for God to do.

Now the Cross; what kind of Father would toss His only Beloved Son to an angry pack of humans, and watch them tear Him apart?

With one pair of glasses, the most evil and ugly event of all of time; but with our wisdom glasses we see God’s beautiful plan of redemption.

Note: Satan gave us our ‘good and evil glasses’ when we ate from the wrong tree.

So now you decide; which glasses will you wear, reading Scripture?

 

 

May 2, 2017