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

FALLING IN LOVE WITH THE WARRIOR GOD

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Lately some of my theological friends have been writing books about how to read the Old Testament in a way that reconciles Jesus, the peaceful Nazarene, with what they are calling ‘The Violent Warrior God of the Old Testament.’

They begin with this verse, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father,” and then they go on to say, “To understand what Scripture says about God, you must read it through the lens of Jesus.”

With all due respect, this is where they go wrong, because any time God says or does something they can’t imagine Jesus of Nazareth doing, they go into their theological song and dance.

“Jesus would never do that, so that must have been Satan.” Or, “The Bible was written by men, and they must have gotten that part wrong.” Or, “The translators misinterpreted that verse, you have to read it in the original Greek and Hebrew.” Or, “God didn’t actually do that, He only allowed it.” Or, “That’s just a poem, a metaphor, or a parable, and it must be read subjectively, you can’t take that literally.”

One of my secondary assumptions is, ‘The Bible writers were inspired by God, so God has the responsibility to provide us with a certain degree of clarity. If it takes a degree in theology, or if you must read all of their books to begin to comprehend the Bible, that’s simply not fair to us common folks; personally I expect much more from The God of the Universe.’

No matter how many pages a theological book may have, what its pages are filled with depends mostly on the original premise their argument is based upon.

 

I begin with a slightly different basic premise. Yes, I do believe in the Trinity, but that’s a different subject; – – –  my premise is, “God is One,” and, “God is Love.”

“No one has ever seen the Father,” so anything you read about God speaking, (except for the few times Father spoke audibly from the sky), or doing, or appearing in any form, anywhere in the Bible, it is referring to The Christ, the Son of God; sometimes called, Michael the Archangel, the pre-incarnate Christ, the Captain of the LORD’s Host, the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Prince of Peace, etc.

I do begin with the same verse, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father,” and yes, most certainly without any shadow of doubt whatsoever, Jesus on the Cross is the perfect window into the Heart of God.

However, I read this verse to mean, when you read anything about God anywhere in the Bible, Jesus is saying, ‘Assume it’s Me, Jesus; and whatever you see Me do and say, take it as if you have heard and seen the actions of My Father.’

I assume, “God is Love,” means, everything God has ever said or done, has always been the most loving thing He could possibly have done for everyone concerned, for all of eternity.

God has sworn that on Judgment day, when the Books have been opened, and all of history has been reviewed, when there is no longer any room for deception, “Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is LORD.”

This is God promising we will all understand, and agree, that His plan was perfect, that He got it exactly right at every stage of the game. So anytime His actions do not seem to agree with the Heart of Jesus, we must keep studying, until we see His Love.

To really get to know a person, you need to observe them in many different situations and circumstances. If the person happens to be a Judge, you will see a different facet of his character while he’s playing with his children, than you will when he is in court, pronouncing a death sentence.

Even if you think you know God’s Heart, to more fully understand His Character, you will need to consider all of His actions in the Old, and the New Testament.

“There is nothing new under the Sun.” So everything I have to say has probably been said before, but I haven’t heard it, or read it, so here’s my take on reconciling the peace loving Jesus of Nazareth, with ‘The violent Warrior God of the Old Testament.’

I believe the key to the solution is refining the definition of the word ‘violence.’

Violence proceeds out of the sinful hearts of angry, selfish, greedy, impatient, unimaginative, power hungry beings.

The use of force may be either destructive, or restorative, depending on the qualifications and intentions of the person applying the force.

The actions of a qualified person with proper authority, done from the motive of love, may be called ‘tough love,’ but should not be called violence.

The vengeance of a God of Love, The Ultimate Authority, can not equal violence, and therefore we have a God throughout the Bible, who is non-violent.

Simple, yes; – – – but certainly not easily understood, so please bear with me while I explain.

Here are some examples:

Medical procedures:

Dentistry, heart surgery, amputations, radiation, chemotherapy, etc.

Punishment/Discipline:

Parental discipline; for running into the street, or fighting with siblings. Peace Officers; arresting and incarcerating a person who is an apparent danger to themselves or others.  A Judge and jury; imposing a life sentence.

God’s vengeance:

Banning Adam and Eve from the Tree of Life, and thereby pronouncing a death sentence on the entire human race.

Most of us Bible students understand this to be a loving act that was necessary to prevent sin from becoming eternal.

IMO, all of God’s actions, throughout Scripture, may be seen to be just as loving and non-violent as this.

He is the JUDGE, we are not. “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

I contend that anything done by God or commanded by God in the Old Testament, was done from a motive of Love, with full authority, as the Righteous Judge of the Universe.

Call it vengeance if you like, but no matter how severe His loving actions may appear to you, – – – you are simply not qualified to judge them as evil or violent.

Remember this; the human race gained our ‘talent’ to judge good and evil, by eating from the WRONG TREE.

Another key word we need to learn to see from Jesus’ point of view, is the word ‘death.’

Us humans are generally pretty freaked out about anything that has to do with death or dying, but Jesus sees death as a sleep. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I’m going there to wake him up.”

An Anesthesiologist has the authority to place a patient into a deep sleep and then wake them back up again, nonviolently.

Therefore I have no problem with God putting people into a ‘dirt-nap-timeout,’ so He can deal with them later.

However, for me to be Ok with God placing people in this kind of timeout, I find it necessary to believe His mercy endures forever, and that He is a God of second chances.

For details, about second chances, see my blog, MY ESCATOLOGY.

MY ESCHATOLOGY

Another important factor is; God has designed our body and minds to refuse extreme amounts of pain, by going into shock.

I’ve been in aircraft and auto accidents, and on one occasion had my throat slit, and was shot in the head twice; so from my personal experiences, I can say, “dying quickly must not hurt very much,” because in all of these occasions, I felt very little pain until after I woke up in the hospital.

So I’m saying, God has already sentenced us all to die the first death, and if and when it becomes the most loving thing for Him to do, He has a perfect right to take as many people as He wants as early as necessary, and then continue His conversation with them later.

And yes, God does seem to like a dramatic story, so sometimes He cracks open the earth, and swallows people, sometimes He rains down fire and brimstone, or sends plagues, and causes floods, but for the people involved, it may be as painless as dying in your sleep, or experiencing an unsuspected catastrophe; – – – going into shock, and then fading to black.

At one point The Angel of the Lord killed one hundred and eighty five thousand Assyrians in their sleep, but then, the next moment, as far as the Assyrians would have known, they found themselves in heaven, surrounded by God’s Holy Angels.

Egypt’s firstborn died in their sleep also; and Ananias and Sapphira simply passed out.

I could go on and on, but I’ve decided to leave you with this.

I’m simply saying, I believe we need to trust our Loving God to do whatever He thinks is best, and Divine violence is an oxymoron.

JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, YES, YES, YES!

However, just lately I find myself falling in love with the Warrior God of the Old Testament, – – – be still my heart.

My plan is to simply play my part, and trust the Author for the happy ending.

 

Feel free to share this link, or copy any part of it, and if you have questions please leave them as a comment.

God’s Blessings on you and yours, Vance

 

April 13, 2017

JESUS IS THE SHOT CALLER

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Earth has become a prison planet, all of the bad guys in the universe live here, and Jesus is ‘The Shot Caller.’
He is the ‘Word’ who said, “Let there be light,” and “Let Us create man.”
Jesus drove us out of the garden, and called Cherubims with flaming swords East of Eden to guard the the tree of life.
He sent Moses to Pharaoh, to say, “LET MY PEOPLE GO!”
He called the shot at Sodom and Gomorrah.
And He sent the flood.
Jesus doesn’t hold anyone responsible for the ugliness in this world, He’s ‘the buck stops here’ God, who takes full responsibility for everything that happens on His watch, because He knows none of this would have happened unless He said, “Let there be light.”
So ultimately He is responsible, and He took that responsibility on the cross; but this is not His mess, it’s ours.
And yet, when it’s all said and done we will see that Jesus is Love.
Everything He has ever said or done has always been the most loving thing for everyone concerned, for all of eternity.
So if anything He’s done seems un-loving to you, don’t just throw up your hands, don’t cut verses out of your Bible, don’t blame it on the writers, or the translators, don’t try to blame it all on Satan, and don’t try to understand it all at once; assume it’s because of your fallen judgmental mind that God appears to do evil, then hold it all in tension by faith, and never stop praying and studying.
April 5, 2017

The Problem of Devine Violence

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If we take Jesus at His word, when He said, “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father,” and add this verse that says, “He (the Messiah) had done no violence,” (Isaiah 53:9) then it becomes clear to me that Devine Violence is an oxymoron.

Over the centuries theologians have attempted to deal with the “violent” stories of the God of the Old Testament in three different ways.

1. Discounting the violent texts.

2. Attempting to distance God from the violence.

3. By reinterpreting the violent verses.

But what if the root of the problem could be found in our definition of the word ‘violence.’

Some things that appear to be violent are medical procedures being done in love.

Tooth pulling, heart transplant, even amputations.

In an emergency in the mission field it may be necessary to pull an infected tooth without pain killer.

Sometimes punishment can be done in love.

Parents have the authority to punish a small child for running into the street, or for fighting with their brother or sister.

Police have been given authority to restrain and incarcerate a person who is a danger to themselves or others.

A judge and jury have the authority to sentence a person to a number of years in prison.

And God The Judge of the Universe certainly had the authority to banish Adam and Eve from The Tree of Life, thereby pronouncing a death sentence on the human race.

I contend that none of these actions are violent, because they were done under proper authority, from a motive of love.

April 5, 2017

THE BLAME GAME

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(Connecting Job with the Cross)
Just after the fall, The man (Adam) said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” And the woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.”
God did give Adam the woman, and He did plant both trees, and allowed the serpent into the garden; but notice that God did not defend Himself, because God does not play the blame game.
Job said, “God gives, and God takes away.” (Job 1:21)
And God said, “Job got it right.”
The LORD said to Eliphaz, “ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” (Job 42:7)
I had previously thought God only gives, but now I had new information, and who am I to argue with God.
However, now I had a new problem.
Job didn’t know about Satan, so he assumed everything came from God. And yes, God did tell Job about the Leviathan later on, but that didn’t change Job’s mind, and God did not correct him.
So here is my new insight; connecting this new concept of everything essentially coming from God, with Jesus on the Cross.
I now see Jesus hanging there doing what He has always been doing; never blaming anyone else, but taking full responsibility for everything that happens in His universe.
God’s attitude is, and always has been, ‘if it happened in My universe, forget about the middlemen, – – – just assume it came from Me.’
Yes, there is an adversary, angels, armies, and many people involved, but if it happened on His watch, as far as He’s concerned, it’s all on Him.
If He would have never said, “Let there be light,” none of this would have ever happened.
On the Cross The Trinity took full responsibility for it all.
So as far as God is concerned He would like you to assume that everything that happens in your life comes directly from Him.
Not to punish or reward, but always from a motive of love, for our freedom, and the perfection of our character.
April 5, 2017

The Book of Job Decoded

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The Book of Job; decoded:

Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, sumerized:

God is a Santa Claus god; a rewarder and punisher of good and bad deeds.

– – – –

Job’s message summarized:

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Job 13:15

1:20,21&22, Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

2:10. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

– – – –

In Job 42:7, (God says Job got it right)

“And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.”

– – – –

Elihu summarized:

(Job had it right, you three got it wrong)

Job 32:12, (NIV) I gave you my full attention. But not one of you has proved Job wrong; none of you has answered his arguments.

– – –

Job nailed it.

“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.”

“God gives, and God takes away.”

In a material/temporal world, how else can it be?

 

March 25, 2017