September 3, 2016
Not long after Maggie came into our lives, Jeanne and I began praying for the day we all now share. I am sure that Jim and Betty did the same for their son, Jarod. The occasion of the marriage of our daughter and the man to whom she has pledged herself has now arrived.
This good day is a happy time, a celebration, and a solemn commemoration. As you have just heard, two of the BOBs (Brothers of the Bide), Sam and Max have expressed their happiness over the acquisition of their new “big brother”. It should be noted that BOB #3, Charlie, has also rendered an enthusiastic endorsement of his sister’s decision and looks forward to the blessings this relationship will bring to his life.
It is to these testimonies and those already spoken that my wife Jeanne and I now stand, with the chorus of family and friends gathered here in agreement to congratulate Maggie and Jarod and, entrust them to the care of their vows to each other. This is, I suspect, one of those special times in life when so many people can so freely be in singular agreement.
We all wish you well…….
That the joy of your hearts be fulfilled in each other and overflowing to others,
That your “I, Me, and Mine” becomes instead the “Our, We, and Us”,
That the expression of your love for each other yields the fruit that God ordains and,
for which He promises to provide and,
That in all the matters of your lives you remember from whence you came,
Who it is that has given to you His everlastings promises and,
Before Whom, when all is said and done in this world,
You will stand to show yourself a “good and faithful servant.”
To these wishes I would include the admonition to seek wisdom and understanding. Now, perhaps more than any previous time in history you will need the consolation and blessings of the LORD, for these are the days which the Prophets of the Old and New Testaments longed to see. The bad guys have been given the high ground in the spheres of power throughout the world as Biblical Prophecy is being fulfilled in real time. Technology has made this information unavoidable and decisions will be demanded of you. Pray for discernment.
In considering the preeminence of prayer in the life of Christ we see our LORD leading by example; as the Incarnation of the Divine on the Mount of Transfiguration, the newly baptized God-Man fasting alone in the desert for those 40 days, the Lamb of God sweating blood in the Garden, and as the suffering servant abandoned on the cross. Follow Him to those places He would take you to be alone with Him. Make room in the closet of your hearts for the voice of the Holy Spirit. Learn to pray……. without ceasing.
You will also need to learn to pray collectively. Jarod has been ordained as the head of your family and that job description includes the growing weights of responsibility for you, your household, and the name you now carry. Pray that he becomes wise in the things of the LORD.
Some married couples claim they “never fight.” At best this is an unrealistic statement. How can two sinners living in this fallen world not come into conflict? The nature of life and the changes it brings to us (see sanctification) will inevitably create points of friction as one partner moves in a direction or pace different from the other. This is where wisdom must be applied. Learn what roles are fixed and which duties are discretionary. As members of the post-modern generation this may raise challenges for both Jarod and yourself. Have no fear of fighting. Pray that both of you become discerning in the matters of “space” learning when to close on the targets of your hearts and throw your arms around each other or render/receive a figurative “kick in the butt”. Choose rather to seek the mediation of the Holy Spirit to understand emotional warfare and practice both the graceful surrender and the Castle Doctrine.
Your wedding ceremony featured excerpts from the “love chapter” of the Bible. It is an encouraging notion that “loves never fails.” In this promise God gives hope in times of trial and points to faith as your roadmap. A road-sign sure to be seen along this path will remind you that “love holdeth no grudges.” Learn to forgive.
The flow of 1st Corinthians 13 involves spiritual and emotional maturation as well as Pharisaical distinctions. Forgiving the transgressions of others is wisely established if with an acute awareness of your own failures before the Most High God and the abundant mercies He has applied to your own account. In other words, be merciful to others just as God has been merciful to you. But, if hurt you must, be quick to dress and care for the wounds inflicted. Tears can be antiseptic.
All these thoughts mean nothing if not animated by the love which comes from God, and that is what we wish for the both of you. And, if your love be of God, it must grow and endure as the cement that binds your hearts together. Just as the marriage bed must be a sanctuary for the married couple, so too must the repository of trust in the hearts of the beloved. With great jealousy guard your thoughts and your hearts from all intruders, including the pride of your human nature.
You have chosen to begin your walk along the path of life together at a time when your journey will be littered with the debris of a society in collapse. While it is the way of parents to wish for their children a brighter day that may have been their own we cannot but also lament the lay of the land we leave you. However, in spite of this world’s current tribulations we are satisfied, that by God’s grace what we sought to place in your hearts and minds through your education and in our late night prayers and conversations with you these past couple of years, you have been well prepared for what lies ahead. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and your hope in heaven.
As you shared your wedding vows we were, like many of the witnesses on the side of that hill outside Steamboat Springs, as well as those abiding in the clouds above, praying that God who watches over all, bless you, keep you and protect you. It is to Him that we commit your marriage, your hopes, your love, and your joy.
We love you-
Tyler & Jeanne
Once upon a time, there was a father and his little boy. The man was dutiful and taught his son diligence, the arts and sciences, and the importance of church as well. Every Sunday he would show him how and when to stand and kneel, fold his hands, and bow his head. The father showered his little boy with gifts of praise and gave him all his heart’s desire. His precious child was never without food, clothes, or shelter. Happily, and without exception, he blessed him with all the means at his disposal, and his son gained the materials for a life of riches and great achievement. By his father’s hand and words, the boy was never the subject of wrath, abuse, rebuke, or condescension. In all of his academic, professional, and personal life, he knew only success. He grew to seem a happy and fulfilled man.
Not far away, and at the same time, another little boy was born to a different father. This little boy had not a father such as told in the first story. This father was a selfish and uncaring man. To his son he bequeathed a life of deprivation, misery, and suffering. No gifts of praise or blessing came his way from the heart or hand of this indifferent and cruel father. The little boy’s body betrayed the hunger of his stomach and the void in his soul. His childhood brought no smile to his face, no laughter was heard in his voice. Great melancholy greeted him as an adult and pressed down on his spirit with an unremitting sense of utter abandonment.
At the end of his years, the first little boy surveyed his life. Moved along by the force of his father’s teachings, he set sail through a life of approval and the pleasures of his achievements. He found much satisfaction in his father’s precepts and built his life upon them. But, over time, slowly and almost imperceptibly, he lost the brightness in his eyes which was his common fare in childhood. The easy feeling in his heart vanished as well, and in its place came a sense of foreboding and uncertainty. Bewilderment consumed his last days. He had abundance surrounding him, but his heart was empty, save for anxiety and fear. In the end he had no peace, and neither was hope his final blessing.
As his life was different from the first little boy, so too was the end for the second man. The emptiness of his heart grew large through childhood, and matured into a desperate need for what he knew not. Time and again he tried to fill the void inside himself. He searched for understanding but came upon confusion; he sought out knowledge but was deceived; he surrendered to his passions only to find his self-respect cast aside. But, the man pressed on, searching, hoping, and praying. Then, with desperation nearly overwhelming him, there began to grow within him a certainty in the rightness of his cause. That certainty gave rise to a promising hope and continued growing, taking on form and substance. His sense of hope deep inside him grew stronger and spread through his soul. When his days became few, he came to know in his mind and hold close to his heart, the peace which had never been his. In the last moments of his life a wonderful smile washed over his face, and with great expectation, he slowly closed his eyes.
Who was the good father?
Adapted from a sermon by the great 18th century American Puritan Pastor and Reformed Theologian, Jonathan Edwards.
Flash-mob eruptions in 2012, over the demands of Sandra Fluke, show an ominous connection between “religious” institutions and Liberalism’s agenda through the Democratic Party. The 30 year old student, a past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, evidently felt very strongly that any repression of her sexual expression was right-wing oppression. Unfortunately, her educational experience at Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, appears to have had little demonstrable impact on her critical thinking skills, as she speaks not with the wisdom of reasoned thought, but rather with the passions of an immature character development. Her rant, cloaked in the social justice motif of the left, demonstrates a gross disconnect between the Liberal’s notion of the “good” and their actual behavior. “What careth thee for me if I have not life and liberty”? is a question resonating in the distant darkness where abide 55 million testimonies against which Sandra and her ilk can never respond.
“War on Women, Redux,” is a media-directed drama starring Ms. Fluke in a misdirection play where our law student heroine is sent in motion babbling about the delusions of reproductive rights, in order to draw attention away from the actual goals of the players, who are none other than the infamous media/education/government establishment. The play, taken from the “Liberalism 101” handbook and inculcated in freshman, is stock in trade boilerplate used to inflame the prurient interests of the foolish and easily manipulated. Ultimately, these appeals are designed to cultivate a worldview in opposition to Judeo-Christian principles and, essentially crash the Republic by destroying the moral foundations of self-government. Actually, it’s a “twofer.” After destroying the individual’s existential anchor, they are reset as compliant grovelers prostrating themselves before the throne of government. It’s simply Alinsky. Not surprisingly, however, and given the craven appreciation of reality possessed by Americans, this play is yielding great success for the Left and all its fellow travelers.
And that’s a bad thing. For, if El Presidente Obama prevails in his take-down of America, a jack-booted dependency on the state will soon evolve with individual identity and personal freedoms being assigned by heartless bureaucrats. Ominously, it appears that religious leaders in America, by their muted responses to this administration’s gross incursions into the domain of the sacred have become, in fact, Obama associates and enablers.
It further appears that Catholic/Jesuit objections to providing for the reproductive services demanded by feminists such as Ms. Fluke, are rooted less in their church’s code of conduct, philosophy, or ethics, and more in the politics of power. Sandra, along with many of Georgetown’s faculty, insist others enjoin her crusade for entitlement. With manifest indifference, she demands that my children and I enable her Estrogen supplements, abortions, gender reassignment surgery, or whatever she and her enthusiastic comrades may require of society. Recent reports have stated, “The President of the Association of Jesuit Colleges…appreciate….the compromises of the Obama administration”, as if Team Obama is backing down. Try doubling down. Those compromises, involving health insurance payments courtesy the Affordable Care Act, or Obama-Care, are cosmetic in nature, and focus not on principled adult-level self-control, but rather political exploitation and bureaucratic expediency. What, pray tell, does the Jesuit College President appreciate?
The Georgetown Jesuit’s dance with Obama is a fraud. Ask any Kennedy, Joe Biden, or Nancy Pelosi if their standing in the Catholic Church is in any jeopardy for their glaring and willful disobedience to Church teachings. In another age, ex-communication and shunning, or worse, would have been the order of the day for propagating infanticide. Today, support for abortion and other behaviors and lifestyles are, in fact, career enhancements. Surprisingly few Catholics or Protestants, and even fewer in the Democratic Party are really serious about restraining and removing the top down moral corruption that permeates society. Having tacitly accepted Liberalism’s dumbing down of deviance, the American Church has become snuggling bedfellows ensconced in a cradle of corruption. Both institutions are hemorrhaging members and what little remains of their credibility.
One can only hope that after Maximum Ruler’s manipulation of the issue and the impressionable Ms. Fluke, her 15 minutes on stage will quickly consign her nameless face to post-notoriety oblivion.
Barring her recently floated potential candidacy for political office, she will do no better with her handlers, professors, or confessors. It is unlikely that any tenure-seeking, chin-pulling liberal academic, certainly not a prelate of the church, is likely to risk their professional future by playing the supporting role of human shield for Ms. Fluke’s passionate proclivities. After all is said and done, her tour de force is at most a niche production of the “vagina monologues,” with a contemporized Shakespearean bump for respectability as in, “get thee to a sluttery.”
Seriously though, the Christian Church, as well as the Catholic hierarchy should be thoroughly embarrassed for that in which Ms. Fluke is, in fact, correct. To their shame, most people, in particular Roman Catholics, approve of clinical interventions as a primary remedy for failures of moral behavior, rather than a true repentance of heart which leads to a change in thinking and conduct. That is basic biblical teaching. But, the Bishops have failed in their teaching on the great moral issues of the day because their loyalties have been divided; you know, part one of the “twofer” cited above. The piously robed and mitered men of the church also should be chagrined because their shtick is wearing thin and the laity knows it. Check out the shrinking attendance in the pews.
In the early 1990’s, my wife and I drove to Fargo, North Dakota, where we joined a silent march and demonstration against the Fargo Women’s Clinic, a facility prominent for its abortion practices in North Dakota. The organizers and speakers of the rally were all lay persons. As the marchers formed up, I found the clergy conspicuous in their lagging at the rear of the formation. The priests, nuns, and brothers needed repeated prompting by the rally’s leaders to take up positions more to the front of the marchers. When we finally arrived at the clinic, and the palpable wickedness of the place stared down at us from the clinic’s porch through the sarcastic and mocking faces of the clinic workers, there were no clergy to be seen at the front of our assembly. It is virtually the same today, with religious leaders from nearly all Christian denominations pounding their pulpits in righteous indignation from the rear of the assembly.
If the pursuit of knowledge at Georgetown University does not center on the acquisition of truth, Ms. Fluke’s education is at best a rank rip-off, or a massive deception at worst.
Therefore, I must assign a failing grade to the student, her professors, and the University at large for their failure to demonstrate through Ms. Fluke a rudimentary understanding of Basics: 101, you know, personal responsibility and good sense.
It is to the Jesuits and their deceptions, the American Church and it’s failure to shepherd their flocks by all that dancin’ with Obama, that God will reserve His final grades.
Several months ago a stranger came to my home. While I had never met him I knew immediately who he was. He asked me if I knew the “name of God.” As a friendly fellow, and a man interested in the things of God, I replied that I did, and that I would, indeed, be interested in talking with him. I also shared that I was hard pressed for time and would get back to him when time allowed for discussing the things of God.
Most people are unaware of just how important the things of God really are. They may think they know enough, or the important stuff about God, like how to keep from going to hell. But, people’s lifestyles, their daily focus, and they way they treat others are measures I use to determine where people really are coming from, what they really believe, and whether they can be trusted.
So, I wondered if the strange man could be trusted. Did he really want to talk with me about the things of God? And, if so, why?
As person who was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, I know that biblical understanding is critical to gaining eternal life and living a life pleasing to God. The work of God in my life has led me down a narrow path at theological odds with many. When I read the bible and asked God to show me the truth, I learned the Roman Catholic Church was nothing more than Babylonian mysticism. And, so I walked away from the belief system of Rome. My wife came under the same conviction. We have lost virtually all of our family relationships because of our commitment to the things of God. Hers was a big family. It was a big loss that cut deeply in areas of a person’s heart with a pain that few people even know exists. It is a hurt she will carry throughout her life on this earth.
The strange man returned again to my front door. I had not invited him. He just came back and stood at my door, wanting to talk about the things of God. I repeated that I was very busy and that I would get back to him when I had time to talk with him. I even called him on the phone to ask him to please let me find time to devote to speaking with him about the things of God before he returned to my home.
He did not. Instead, he brought friends along with him a couple of weeks later. They waited in his car while he asked to speak to me about the things of God. It was 10 AM and I was feeding my son, my wife was working, and I was very busy. The strange man’s demands could not be met, and I asked him to let me get back to him. I wanted to share some things about my life with him; in the hopes he would come to understand something important about our discussion about the things of God.
In the late 1960’s I became interested in world religions, primarily Eastern mysticisms. In the 1970’s, I leaned into the sub-Christian cults such as the World Wide Church of God, The Way International, and Mormonism to mention a few. I got into “auditing” myself with Scientology, immersed myself in liberalism and the associated political lifestyle, and latched on big-time to the gratifications of the music world. I became a Jesus freak but failed to make his acquaintance.
It was at the same time that I became interested in the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. I studied it’s teachings, read it’s publications, and even participated in much of its community life, attending bible studies, Kingdom Hall activities, and even the 1975 Regional Conference at what was then the St. Paul Civic Center. 15,000 people attended the conference. I recall being greatly impressed that Jehovah’s Witnesses looked and acted differently from the hedonistic society surrounding them. More to the point, they seemed to have a peace and assurance that I lacked.
But, that peace was empty and their assurance is false. One only need look deeply into one’s own heart to know if this is true. Those 15,000 souls could never be assured of forgiveness from their sins or be given the genuine hope of eternal life with God, because those 15,000 people all mocked God to His very face. In the same way as Roman Catholics they deny the power of God given them in their Savior.
The teachings of their Watchtower Elders have always been and will remain contradictory to the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. The evidence of same is irrefutable to anyone possessing a humble, honest, and thinking mind, even a stranger at my door and his friends waiting in a car. But, I doubted my strange friend would, in fact, listen to the words of God because he would not listen to me. And, I asked so little. God would ask my strange friend for everything.
The stranger came to my door again, still wanting to talk about the things of God. Sounding like a broken record, I again, for the 5th time, asked him to please stop coming to my house and wait until I could find time to visit with him privately to speak about the things of God.
I wanted to hear how he explained his Watchtower’s numerous false prophecies predicting the end of the world and his Elders refusing to take responsibility for the same. I wanted to know why my stranger friend so enthusiastically follows the teachings of a counterfeit bible. Isn’t he interested in the fact that the authoritative source of his belief system, The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is not an actual translation of the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts, but a completely fabricated counterfeit? The NWT‘s primary purpose is to change the nature of Christ in the awareness of the reader. I wanted to know if my friend ever wondered why none of the translators of the NWT are identified. Who gave Russell, Rutherford, et al permission to change the word of God and strip Jesus naked of his glory and deity? Why does his Watchtower openly defy the numerous and explicit warnings of God not to “add or take away from” what He has committed to the ages through true prophets? These are nothing less than anti-Christ.
If my friend would have given me the time I asked for, I would have told him about the great work God has done in cleansing me of my pride and self-centeredness. I could cite a litany of sins from the catalogue of classical concupiscence. But, my friend would have none of that. Instead, he again came to my house, unannounced and uninvited. My spirit was growing weary of his indifference to me and my family. He began to seem a selfish man.
In the years subsequent to the 1970’s and my studies and experiences living my life in various philosophies and religious systems, God pressed me down to take the academic and intellectual understanding of His truth and apply it in concrete ways to my life. But, it was only after my marriage and starting a family that I realized the gravity of importance concerning how my family should then live. If I, as a father and husband, didn’t know the truth in obedience, what good would I be to my children and my wife? I could know all about the lies of the devil in the false teachings of those religions I had studied and lived, but until I knew the truth of God from His word, and submitted to that truth, I would be at best an educated fool. My wife and children need more than a fool for a father.
Some people like time-lines. So, I will give 1983 as a date by which my change began. Since then, and by the graces of God, I lay claim to the manifold mercies of the Most High God that I am no longer a fool, but a forgiven man by testimony of a changed life. I was born again by the One who died for my sins.
I wanted to share with my friend, during what may have been our discussions concerning the things of God that he, too, could forsake his foolishness and become a man forgiven of his sins. He could come to know eternal life by faith in the finished and perfect sacrifice of God himself.
I wanted to find the time to spend with him searching out the scriptures and letting the Spirit of God inform our beliefs in true biblical fellowship. But, my friend would not. He came to my home again a few days ago. This will be his last visit. I decided to write him this letter.
I told him that he didn’t appear to be interested in me, or the things of God, in a biblically submissive way. If he was, he would have shown the respect and deference I had asked for. Rather, he repeatedly disrespected me by denying basic kindness by intruding upon my personal time and home life. He became a vexation.
He demonstrated the aggressive pride of the immature religious zealot. All his witnessing for Jehovah God is, in stark reality, nothing more than showing others his filthy menstrual cloths. And, that is because his works for the Kingdom of Jehovah is void of the essential mark of a true disciple. That mark is the love that proceeds from the Spirit of God Himself. I asked my friend to examine the passages of the Apostle Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthian’s, chapter 13. Then, ask God to reveal to him if he really has God’s love in his heart, if he is, in fact, a saved man.
The “ministry” my friend claims for himself is of concern to me in that his zealotry is not informed of biblical truth. As such, it is critically dangerous. I know very well the teachings of the Watchtower, Russell, Rutherford, et al, and like the clerics of the Roman Catholic Church, it is not good news because it cannot help or save anyone. Their gospels are simply false, a dead hope. The only real hope for the remission of sins for every man and woman has always been, and can only be, the once for all sacrifice by God, of God, through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He will be either your savior or your judge…….. Who will it be that you see in the moment of your passing into eternity? I asked my friend to think seriously about that.
I gave my friend 6 opportunities to consider the things of God with me. The door to those opportunities has now been closed. God has given to all of us, including my friend, a set time in which to repent. But, as of this writing my friend has not demonstrated true faith, which is necessary to please God.
It is my fear for my friend that should he fail to understand His predicament and continue in the error of following the Watchtower, he will never come to know the love of the one true God, by which he might be saved. Should he persist in his zealotry and continue to mislead others to their damnation, my friend will come to know the exquisitely intimate terrors of being cast into the very real abyss of eternal torment.
Please tell my friend all of this.
Please tell him that I have been praying for him and his family since God first inserted him into my life. We will be praying for my friend’s salvation tonight and tomorrow’s nights.
Please tell him that should he come to accept Jesus Christ as his own personal savior and flee the Watchtower to lead his family to the safety of the Savior he may gain fellowship with me and my family. Then, we will be able to sit down, spend some time together, and talk seriously about the things of God.
I would then look forward to answering his question as to the name of God. It is YHWH, or I AM. It means the self-existent one. It is the name given to Moses on the Holy Mountain. And, it is, among many other names, the name that Jesus Christ claimed for himself.
Finally, please tell my friend that when he first came to my home his feet walked on the holy ground of a family who’s Savior and Master is, in fact, the Lord Jesus Christ. I will not allow my friend to defile my home with his strange fire and gross heresies. Unless and until my friend understands what that means and demonstrates a humble, loving and respectful spirit toward the God of the Universe, he is not welcome on my property or in my fellowship.
It is my prayer that my friend hear the call of Jesus Christ in this letter and change his way of thinking, call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in true humility, and be saved.
Now, that would be wonderful, one of the great things of God!