Mysterious (Ephesians 3:9)

God doesn’t always work the way we think He should. You can’t figure out someone as sovereign and divine and mysterious as God.

There’s a difference between people who are talented and those who are anointed.

He will illuminate the hearts and minds of men so they can see the mystery.

Jews are saved the same way Gentiles are. It’s not about who you are but whose you are.

1. It’s important to recognize God’s emphasis on diversity and unity in the body. One of the reasons our churches are filled with factions is that there isn’t enough unity. We don’t look the same and dress the same and have the same tastes and we have to learn to accept diversity in the church.

When Paul first preached after being saved and anointed, there were 17 nationalities who heard the gospel in their own languages.

A church that becomes selective in who they will accept is NOT a genuine New Testament church. There is no one of any lifestyle choice that this church would ever turn away. The gospel will be preached no matter who walks through our doors. Acceptance is not the same as approval. Don’t love people for who you want them to be but for who they are right now.

Differences and diversity do not make us enemies but humans.

When certain people are not allowed in a church it means that God probably isn’t there either.

2. Jesus is the sum total of all things from creation to redemption until the final revelation. If you don’t have Jesus, then you are bankrupt. Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. We have no creation without Jesus, no redemption, no fulfillment of prophecy.

Jesus didn’t only come into existence when He was born of Mary. Jesus has always existed. All things exist by Jesus Christ. There was nothing made that was made without Him.

The presence of God is never absent from us, but sometimes He is hidden. Sometimes we get so used to the presence of Jesus that we go home without Him and God will see how far we will go.

3. God reveals Himself in seasons. It never stays the same season forever. Sometimes we go through bad seasons but it doesn’t stay that way. New life is born. Things start to grow again. But eventually we go through all the seasons. Some seasons are longer than others depending on the sovereignty of God.

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)

The biggest reality of life is death. It is certain. Prepare for it.

We often try to speak death into things that God is trying to bring to life or we try to speak life into things that God is trying to let die. When people die we mourn. Even Jesus wept. There is a time to mourn. But God will build us back up.

The reason we need miracles is because there is a problem beforehand that needs a miracle.

There is also a time for happiness and laughter and joy. Joy is based on the Spirit of Christ who lives in us.

When someone throws stones don’t throw them back. If you sling mud with someone else you both end up dirty. Put the stones away and build an empire with them.

There is a time to tear things down and a time to build them up.

There is a time for silence and a time to speak up.

It is so easy to live in retaliation. It comes naturally to us. Yet sometimes the best thing you can say is nothing.

When you are silent it allows you to build up wisdom, and then is time to talk.

There is a time to love and hate. There is a time to walk away from chaos. Don’t subject yourself to foolishness.

There is a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing. Some things you cannot embrace but have to let go because they will destroy you if you try to hang on.

The book of Job consoles us during hard times. You see, Job went through his seasons, too.

We work ourselves for things that don’t really matter. God makes things beautiful in His time.

When God opens a door walk though it. When God closes a door don’t try to kick it down.

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Political “experience” on the line

“Politicians and baby diapers ought to be changed often, both for the same reason.”

The more I understand politics, the more I appreciate the veracity of that statement.

Next month is the August primary and there are two candidates running for the GOP nomination for state representative where I live. This is a Republican district, so the GOP primary more or less decides who will represent us come January.

Candidate A has served several terms in the House. She touts her conservative credentials and makes a big to-do about her political experience.

Candidate B is a political novice with strong private sector credentials, and this is who I will be voting for.

I have come to view “political experience” as an albatross. When I hear “political experience,” I think “establishment,” and tend to look for another candidate.

The irony is rich. You see, when Candidate A first ran for office 16 years ago, she had no political experience, either, but the lack of experience didn’t matter then. Everyone who is and has ever been elected to public office started out with no political experience.

So give me a candidate with no political experience, because this usually also means no deep ties or alliances or favors owed and all the other corrupting influences that give politicians bad names.

In most walks of life, experience counts for something. In politics, it is quite the opposite.

Law & injustice

“Where there’s law there’s injustice.”

That’s a quote from Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It’s one of those pithy statements that you’ll miss if your mind is wandering. If you catch it, you stop and mull over its implications.

We are a nation of laws and when he innocent and blameless are persecuted and prosecuted (think “deep state”), it’s an injustice and is properly met with outrage and indignation by those who respect the rule of law and desire justice. Likewise, when the overtly corrupt hold themselves above, or are held above the law by others (think “swamp”), it is likewise an injustice.

While the rule of law and concept of justice are threatened here in the United States, the greatest injustice of all was committed during the early 1st century A.D. in a place called Jerusalem when the only one who was ever truly blameless and innocent was nonetheless subjected to the most heinous type of execution imaginable. Indeed, the very one who fulfilled the law became the object of the greatest injustice, but because Jesus is who He is, even the worst injustice of all has been made right.

Words

immutable (adj.) — unchanging over time or unable to be changed

latent (adj.) — (of a quality or state) existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden or concealed

mésalliance (n.) — a marriage with a person thought to be unsuitable or of a lower social position

wonted (adj.) — habitual; usual

ukase (n.) — an arbitrary command

sanguine (adj.) — optimistic or positive, especially in an apparently bad or difficult situation

supple (adj.) — bending and moving easily and gracefully; flexible

transport (v.) — overwhelm (someone) with a strong emotion, especially joy

puckish (adj.) — playful, especially in a mischievous way

anticlerical (adj.) — opposed to the power of the clergy, especially in politics

solipsism (n.) — the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist

eponymous (adj.) — (of a person) giving their name to something

strident (adj.) — loud and harsh

waylay (v.) — stop or interrupt (someone) and detain them in conversation or trouble them in some other way

dudgeon (n.) — a feeling of offense or deep resentment

potboiler (n.) — a book, painting, or recording produced merely to make the writer or artist a living by catering to popular taste

moto perpetuo (n.) — perpetual motion

sozzled (adj.) — very drunk

July 4, 1826

One of the more remarkable facts of American history is that the day the United States turned 50 — July 4, 1826 — is also the day both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died. How ironic, and how fitting, that two of our more prominent Founders, who would become our second and third presidents, would die on the nation’s 50th birthday.

Thomas Jefferson was 83 years old when he died and John Adams was 90. Adams’ last words were, “Thomas Jefferson still survives.” What Adams did not know, nor could have known, is that his old friend and political adversary had died a only few hours before.

Making Italy great again

Last month, Matteo Salvini was sworn in as Italy’s new Interior Minister. He campaigned on a strict anti-illegal immigration platform that, much like Donald Trump, involved strict border control and deportations. This quite naturally puts him at odds with the globalists who run the EU, but Salvini is doubling down.

Salvini pledged to deport 100,000 illegal immigrants his first year and 500,000 within 5 years. This is a significant number, as Italy’s population is less that one-fifth that of the United States.

Just within the past week, Salvini has declared Italian ports closed to those who aid human traffickers, and also threw down an Italy-first gauntlet, asserting that “Transforming Italy into an enormous refugee camp is not our duty. Italy has stopped bowing its head and obeying.”

Good for him. Good for the Italians.

Salvini is already drawing comparisons as the European politician most like President Trump, and even took a Trump-like jab at the French president, who attacked him for being so tough on illegal immigration, remarking that Emmanuel Macron “is a polite young man who drinks too much champagne — he should give us the number of his port authority, and the next 10 migrant boats can go to Marseilles.”

And on Sunday, Salvini showed great leadership, explaining that “To win we had to unite Italy, now we will have to unite Europe — I am thinking about bringing together all the free and sovereign movements that want to defend their people and their borders.”

I’ll close with another quote, this one about (not by) Salvini: “In the past, Italy feared isolation, so they’d agree to EU legislation that wasn’t in their best interest. Salvini, however, is the first Italian politician who’s not interested in making friends with the elites. The EU hates that about him, and it’s great.” @ARmastrangelo

Matteo Salvini, alpha male

Monday morning musings

“The one who guards his mouth protects his life; the one who opens his lips invites his own ruin.”Liberals honestly think today’s cause du jour is so crucial that years from now we will remember what we were doing at this moment. Yet years from now the left and its #fakenews media will have cycled through so many manufactured crises and fake memes that they won’t remember what they were doing at this moment.If the Democrats had a reality show it would be called “The Biggest Victim” — a competition among Democrats to see who could out-victim the others.Liberals genuinely believe their political opponents are the cause of human suffering and socialism is its cure.Kamala Harris is just now calling for anti-lynching legislation. Does she not know that Republicans tried this decades ago but Democrats blocked them every time? Does she not know her party’s history?Every leftist protest is build on a fake premise.If you are a female and worried that Trump’s next SCOTUS pick is going to trump women’s rights, then exercise your #2A right and arm yourself. Oh wait, your side is trying to take away that right. Silly me.Let Maxine Waters speak her mind and speak it loudly! Tell the world she’s the de facto leader of the Democrat Party. How dare anyone demand an apology or try to silence her!If one SCOTUS judge retiring can cause so much panic and consternation, can we agree that SCOTUS has usurped too much power?You liberals who are trashing the venerable Anthony Kennedy for retiring, have you already forgotten that he gave you the 5th vote you needed to make same-sex marriage universal?Think about it. The left is in complete meltdown over the prospect that the unborn might all live.

Mysterious (Ephesians 3:8)

When God shows up and shows out, no one has to tell us. God is His own billboard.

Sometimes we don’t want to envelop brokenness or shame. But when we understand who we belong to, our brokenness and pain become part of our platform.

It is humility that leads to receiving the abundant grace of God.

Preaching still works. And Paul was determined to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.

1. Gods ways are beyond comprehension. We cannot figure out God. He is far too sovereign for us to comprehend. If you are saved, then you are rich. He has riches that we cannot fathom.

  • The riches of His word. The Bible is more up to date than today’s newspaper. It is given to us by divine inspiration. It is appropriate for all manner of living. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. His word is the truth. We can never mine all the jewels out of the word of God. When you get in it, it gets in you. When you read the Bible, the Bible will read you.
  • The riches of His wisdom. You are a fool if you only trust your heart because your heart will deceive you. Instead, trust in the wisdom of God. If you want to know His wisdom, then read the word of God. He will affirm your decisions through His wisdom.
  • The riches of His grace. By grace are we saved. You can never out-sin or out-run or out-rebel the grace of God. (2 Samuel 9, Mephibosheth) Like Mephibosheth, we have been affected and crippled by the fall of someone else (Adam & Eve). David took him in. This is a perfect picture of the gospel of Christ.
  • The riches of His love. It’s one of the smallest words in the entire Bible, but God So loved the world. You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving. You cannot do anything to make God love you more or less because we didn’t do anything to make God love us in the first place. There is no angel or demon that can change God’s love toward us. Don’t worry about next week because God has already been there.
  • The riches of His plan. Sometimes the plan of God does not make sense. Sometimes His direction does not make sense. He has plans for us that we know not of. The will of God is what we would choose for ourselves if we had God’s wisdom. You can’t mess up God’s plan nearly as badly as you think you can.
  • The riches of His name. The very name of Jesus means “saved.” If God’s name can save you then God’s name can protect you. Remind the devil who you belong to. There is glory and victory in the name of Jesus. There are inexhaustible riches in the name of Jesus. This should bring us to our knees as Jesus brings us out of bondage.

Fried chicken Saturday

Mrs. Lefty and I were in Milan (Tennessee, not Italy) today and enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Lee’s. This is the only Lee’s we still eat at. The ones we used to eat at in the Nashville area went out of business many years ago. We’ve been eating at the Milan Lee’s (much better than KFC) since before we were married, and we’ve been married 24 years. Milan is very close to both our hometowns, and so we have a long, deep attachment to these parts.

Quotes du jour (SCOTUS)

The Maha Rushie, Rush Limbaugh, spent a lot of time talking about the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, the left’s reaction to it, and the Supreme Court in general. The news of Kennedy’s retirement broke on Wednesday afternoon, between hours 2 and 3 of Rush’s program, and he dropped everything for awhile to talk about that. But his coverage on Thursday was a lot more thorough. I’ve gone through the transcript and pulled out what I think are the most salient points. If you want to read further, there’s a link at the bottom.

“We have a population of 300-some-odd million, and one 82-year-old has announced that he is retiring and heading off to that great cloakroom, wherever he goes after he retires. And look! Look at the absolute meltdown that has taken place over a single individual saying he’s leaving.”

“Change is supposed to occur at a snail’s pace in this country, as designed by our brilliant founders, for the express purpose of taking emotional reactions out of everything. But yet that’s all we’re dealing with now. The left has entirely gone every day… How much emotion is left in their reservoir? Do you realize every day is a panic and a crisis to everybody on the left? Every day!”

“If I were a member of Congress today, a member of the House or Senate, and one judge announces he’s quitting and everybody acts like it’s the end of whatever they believe in, I’d be asking myself, ‘Well, what am I, chopped liver here? Is the Congress chopped liver? Is everything deferred to the Supreme Court?’ And, yes, it is! And the reason for that is the left. I mean, you can go back to Marbury v. Madison where the Supreme Court said, ‘You know what? We are going to decide what’s constitutional or not.'”

“This was never what the Supreme Court was intended to be, the final authority. But the left insisted on it because the judiciary is their backup for losing elections. … How has it happened that a Supreme Court justice — one — is so powerful, when all they are supposed to do is to decide the law, whether a law is constitutional, whether the cases that come before them…”

“But we have invested in the Supreme Court as the final authority. … The left did that. When the Supreme Court trends to not giving them the final result they want, you think they’re just gonna sit there and accept it? They don’t accept anywhere else in our society where they lose. You think they’re just gonna sit there and accept if they lose it the Supreme Court? That’s not who they are. They will continue to agitate and try for more and more upheaval.”

“But what it really means is that the executive order branch and legislative branch have kind of ceded power. They’ve let it happen. They’ve let it happen that nine people in robes have the final authority on all of this, when they not supposed to do that, because they’re not elected. They’re not representatives of the people. They are appointed by the president, confirmed by the people in the Senate and so forth, but they are not elected, and therefore they have no direct link to the people.”

“Our country is a representative republic, and the people that we elect to the House and the Senate are there to represent us. I know judges are supposed to be totally free of bias and all that. Of course, that’s a myth as well. I just find it fascinating to watch the reaction when one judge decides to retire and what it says about what has happened to our country and where it’s going.”

Link