Trick or Treat and Fake Apples

plastic_apple

This Halloween has inspired me to think about all the little ghouls and goblins that were out scurrying around the neighborhood last evening; frantically running from door to door excitedly anticipating the next hand full of fancy wrapped delicious treats being dropped in their little bags and pumpkin head buckets!

A question came to mind. What would you think if someone dropped a handful of fancy wrapped treats in your child’s little pumpkin bucket only to find that it was fancy wrapped FAKE candy! You’d be upset wouldn’t you. Besides your little goblin being emotionally disappointed as well. I’m sure it wouldn’t set well with you or the little goblin as well as engendering a less than desirable opinion of the one giving out this fancy fake candy.

This brought to mind when I once mistakenly picked up a plastic apple from a bowl on my mother’s table, only to realize it was fake. It looked exactly like an apple but by the feel and weight of it upon picking it up I immediately realized it was made of plastic, hollow and empty, lacking any real substance. Also realizing by the same token it had no life-giving nutritional value whatsoever. Although on the outside it did look just like an apple.

This reminds me of an immensely important lesson I had to learn in my Christian life and bible study. Which is expressly, trying to please God by doing good works is useless. Let me be completely clear, self-effort to produce good works or good standing with God is totally, utterly, entirely useless! It achieves absolutely nothing as far as our relationship with God is concerned. Furthermore and even more shocking is the that this is even offensive to God! So offensive that a scripture expressing God’s opinion of it is lets say; not even suitable for all ages in the original language…

“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6,)

The_New_International_Version_and_Logos_Bible_Software

– Quite graphic in the original language isn’t it… –

Speaking of his past religious good works the apostle Paul wrote:

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” (Philippians 3:7–9, NLT)

The good ole King James Version brings out one particularly offensive word here in this same text which is descriptive of good works by self-effort more clearly and bluntly.

8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord:for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but DUNG,”

(Philippians 3:8 KJV)

Yes the Bible uses some extremely harsh yet clear language defining God’s opinion of our man-made good works! These have never pleased God and never will. In fact, according to the writer of Hebrews, it’s IMPOSSIBLE! – It doesn’t matter how full or pretty your righteous bag is. Just try eating a plastic apple!

“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NLT)

Absolutely Nothing but faith in Christ Jesus pleases God and the good fruit that WILL RESULT from this faith as it grows from the inside out. This will be good works you probably won’t even give any thought to doing. (Matt 25:37-39) You most likely will not even be aware you are doing these, because it will become part of your new nature in Christ and naturally flow out from within. Self-effort only produces fake fruit which is hard to discern from an outward view.

“Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”” (John 6:29, NLT)

= Think about it; does God like tricks or treats? =

Put your complete faith in Christ and be sure you don’t take any plastic apples.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

God Bless,

Daniel W Isrite

Everybody wants to see things change…

Wait... Wait... Wait...

Everybody wants to see things change… Nonetheless, who is actually responsible for things changing? Most are just waiting for change to happen, sort of wishful thinking or keeping a positive attitude. Yet, is this how it will come? I’m a believer in the Holy Scriptures as a rule and guide for all things; as antiquated as that may sound, it has not failed me yet!

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

(2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

This popular verse is often quoted as an answer to our nation’s woes. It is a good one and if we look closely at the wording it says much more than initially comes to mind.

Notice God says “If my people” He doesn’t say hey everyone! He puts the obligation on His people. It’s true, all people are not God’s people. This is why God makes a distinction here. It is up to the Christians whether this Nation stands or falls, is prosperous or goes bankrupt, has just or unjust laws and lawmakers. I know that this is speaking to Israel many years ago; nevertheless there is a principle here that stands throughout the ages. God has put this world and the rulership of it in “His People’s” hands. Yes Adam lost this authority in the fall; but Jesus Christ turned it back over to His followers when He Defeated the devil and his unholy herd of demons many years ago making a public spectacle of them through the victory won at His cross and resurrection.

“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

(Colossians 2:15 NIV)

Today, “Called by my name” would be easy enough to understand to mean Christians. We are God’s people of the book; if you believe the whole message from Genesis to Revelation. The word “Called” is also interesting as it refers to those “Called out” which is the exact meaning of the word Church in the original Greek. Called also comes from a root word which interestingly means “to meet’ or  happen to ‘encounter”. This could also refer to any situation when a couple of Christian friends come together. When meet together as a Church or a couple friends we should be praying for our country if we expect God to act and change or heal our land.  It is good to keep in mind that the original word here translated “pray” also sometimes has the meaning of “Judge or make a judgment of right and wrong” it is so used in 1 Sam. 2:25, Psa. 106:30, Ezk. 16:52 This should warn us of calling right wrong and wrong right so not to be desensitized by the world’s sickness and fall into a trap of praying the wrong way.

This has been God’s mode of operation throughout history. God first calls His people to turn from their own sins, (Get the beam out of your own eye before trying to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye Matt. 7:3-5) then to join together in praying for Him to act in the hearts and minds of those who are in leadership. Only then will we see the change we desire; it’s not just going to happen by wishful or positive thinking. God is in charge, yes, He has a wonderful plan to restore any situation, yes; but it always calls on and includes us as we work together with and through Him by the Holy Spirit,  in the restitution, and reconciliation of the world.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

(2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV)

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky””

(Philippians 2:13-15 NIV)

Then and only then will we see real change.

It’s up to us, God has handed us the baton and said “run with it, I’ve given you the victory in Christ!”

We should remember, John the Baptist proclaimed a similar message to the people of his day, although in much stronger language. He was warning them not to become too comfortable just because they thought they were God’s people.   Matt. 3:1-12

Daniel W Isrite

HELP!!!… someone

heavyload

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” (Galatians 6:1–6, NIV)

The New Living Translation says it like this:

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” (Galatians 6:1–5, NLT)

The Lord Jesus said the whole law could be summed up in loving God and loving our neighbor Matt. 22:37-40.

James calls it the “Royal Law” James 2:8 So if you are walking in the Spirit of Christ this will be the prominent characteristic of your life and nature. An interesting Greek word is used by Paul here, a Greek term which means “an extremely heavy and unbearable load, one person alone can’t carry” There are many “Loads or Burdens” people carry along life’s path. Some are just too much for them to handle alone; wether they admit it or not… It could be something as simple as a physical need for help; but this passage goes much deeper in suggesting a spiritual burden like guilt over some sinful weakness or huge mistake. They need help. We as Christ’s representatives, if we are walking in the Spirit should recognize this and in the Sprit of Love offer whatever help we can give. This is not a command per say as much as it is something that we should “want to do” if The Holy Spirit is living within us. Our helping them carry this burden could be as simple as just being there to talk and pray with them as long as it takes to lighten their load. In this way we will be making the world a happier place as we encourage each other in these things. And maybe even expand the Kingdom of God a little more by bringing our straying or weak neighbors by the Spirit that lives in us. As we are reminded here, none of us should think we are above helping a fallen fellowman because “we” have gotten passed whatever it may be; this “holier than thou” attitude has no place in Christianity; if someone has it, they are not nearly what they think they are and are likely the next candidate for a fall. Then they will need help. As the old saying goes “what goes around comes around” So true.

Note:

Verse 6 is not a contradiction of verse 2, it is simply saying that we should not carry the whole load for them; but ‘help’ them carry it as they do their part… or, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves…

Peace,

Daniel W Isrite

WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH CHANGING, YOU ARE THROUGH!

I will pour out my Spirit on All flesh- Joel 2:28

Had a revelation I believe was from the Lord yesterday about all this change in beliefs again…

I was just writing in my journal about how I am so sick and tired of all this changing. here I go again I thought… I am so tired of changing what I believe. finding out I am wrong once again… it’s so disheartening. i wish i could just settle down somewhere and be happy with that. but no, I have to continually change and go back and forth and have to revisit and study all over again whatever it is that has come back to me.  Lately as I have journaled a few days ago; I had the strangest experience when I was having my quiet time. I was sitting there praying and reading scripture like usual and suddenly something clicked, broke, came apart, dismantled…I’m not sure what happened but It was like I dosed off and instantly opened my eyes back up into a very different world and all I had been so sure of was gone! i didn’t know what I believed again and was seeing how I could prove any of them wrong with the other one.

So sitting here typing out my journal and writing the sentence “I am so tired of all this change and changing all the time” as I was writing this very sentence my iPhone started to ding in text messages. I continued to write about it then checked my messages. I was shocked! it was someone favoriting some of my tweets. on my twitter account. it was this:

“To change and to change for the better are two different things.” (German proverb)

Then:

“Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.” (George Shinn)

Then:

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” (Charles Franklin Kettering)

Then:

“When you’re through changing, you’re through” – bruce barton

Then as I was looking back at these this morning I saw this mixed with these:

“People who never live their life today; they continuously live in past regrets or worry about future problems while neither is real” -(me) #reality

Wow! What a revelation! It has to be The Lord letting me know he was preparing me for this a few days ago when I tweeted these. Also and even more marvelous is that it totally explains what is going on and gives me a choice.

This change is a normal part of “growth”

This change is necessary – for me to go on with my journey with the Lord.

If you are growing you are changing or you’re not growing.

All growth involves risk.

Risk because you are stepping once again from the ‘known’ to the ‘unknown’ (just like what is happening)

People generally hate change, but remember it is the only thing that has brought progress

Not all these changes I have made were good – some where, I guess I’m working through that…

And then:

WHEN YOU ARE THROUGH CHANGING, YOU ARE THROUGH!

That’s not what I want. I want to go on, that will involve risk, I have to take it and go on. in order to become and grow into whatever it is that Lord wants me to be do or become as I have always prayed through all my spiritual journey.

Then finally:

“People who never live their life today; they continuously live in past regrets or worry about future problems while neither is real” #reality

That fits this somehow.. having put it together yet, my head is hurting…

A few thought’s I have had and noted on this:

I think my problem is that there are way too many religious sages, denominations, sects, cults, churches, ministry leaders, preachers and bible teachers that are all saying they have all the answers – they have it all figured out – “listen to me!” “I know!” “I have the light” “The Lord Himself REVEALED this to me” They start with “Most don’t know or understand this but…” or “Here’s what the bible REALLY means” All claiming The Lord’s anointing and authority; Screaming in my ears from every direction. I’ll admit, I have been one of them at times… Deep in my heart, hidden even from me, I wanted to be one of these “Special Messengers” only to fall on my face time after time… Oh I didn’t want fame or glory, I really didn’t. I just wanted to know that I knew and share it with others. I suppose this is not a bad desire; the bible says it isn’t. Although the bible warns those who would claim such authority had better have it right and would face stricter judgment than others.

1 “Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

(James 3:1 NLTse)

But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed”

(2 Peter 2:1-3 NLTse)

God help us all.

I was reading this morning in 2 Corinthians chapter 3 about the old and new testaments which ironically and conveniently fits in with all this…

17 You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ’s authority, knowing that God is watching us.

1 Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. 5 It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 6 He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

7 The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For his face shone with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. 8 Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? 9 If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! 10 In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. 11 So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!

12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away. 14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. 15 Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.

16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image

(2 Corinthians 3:2-18 NLTse)

Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III also has something to do with it because it keeps popping up in my reading, viewing, and study, which was somehow referenced in my Logos 5 Library Software reading and referencing the above verses. I have 4164 study Books, containing over 50 versions of the bible that I can read – more in original languages I cannot read without using other resources to decipher the words. I have illustrated dictionaries, lexicons, several map sets, books on the history of the church fathers, Egyptian history and it’s ancient writings, American history with with whole sets on everything from the civil war to the making of the constitution, World history, religions, and otherwise etc. which I can search the whole library for any word, phrase, topic, subject or whatever in literally seconds; pulling up literally thousands of references, book, chapter and page. It will even narrow it down to the verb tense, voice, mood, first second or third person, wild card etc. in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic or English. This is not to mention the poetry, regular novels, true and fictional – instead of days or hours of research it does it in literally seconds and pulls it all together in an organized fashion. So here I sit cross-eyed and overwhelmed with all this information trying to sort through it for whatever I am supposed to see…

So, I keep reading, researching, studying, praying through it all; hoping to not miss the next exit ramp or get in the wrong lane of this super-highway of Theological, biblical, historical, philosophical information!

Well, I guess there’s nothing left to do but buckle my spiritual-theological seatbelt and hit the power button and blast-off on yet another journey into realms I have never gone before! (Again) I’ll tell you all about it when I get there…

The main and most important thing I DO KNOW is very simple, yet profoundly mysterious – Jesus Christ Saves! Thank God!

Peace,

Daniel W Isrite

A Prayer of Moses:

1 Lord, through all the generations

you have been our home!

2 Before the mountains were born,

before you gave birth to the earth and the world,

from beginning to end, you are God.

3 You turn people back to dust, saying,

“Return to dust, you mortals!”

4 For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,

as brief as a few night hours.

5 You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.

They are like grass that springs up in the morning.

6 In the morning it blooms and flourishes,

but by evening it is dry and withered.

7 We wither beneath your anger;

we are overwhelmed by your fury.

8 You spread out our sins before you—

our secret sins—and you see them all.

9 We live our lives beneath your wrath,

ending our years with a groan.

10 Seventy years are given to us!

Some even live to eighty.

But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;

soon they disappear, and we fly away.

11 Who can comprehend the power of your anger?

Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.

12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life,

so that we may grow in wisdom.

13 O L ord, come back to us!

How long will you delay?

Take pity on your servants!

14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,

so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!

Replace the evil years with good.

16 Let us, your servants, see you work again;

let our children see your glory.

17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval

and make our efforts successful.

Yes, make our efforts successful

(Psalms 90:1-17 NLTse)

Finally, A Nice Day at The RV Park!

Nice Day RV Park
I woke up this morning before daylight, went back to sleep until light coming through the bedroom RV window awoke me. I looked out to see what kind of day it was and if the lake was receding any. It does seem to be going down some

RV Park 1I got up went to the bathroom, got my coffee water started in the microwave, got Yogi and Rascal out of bed and put them on the kitchen table bench, took my medicine and sat down and peered out the picture window while I had a few drinks of coffee.

In a few minuets after I got myself going enough I took the boys out for a morning peepee, just a short time at first in the morning. The cool but not too cool breeze was nice. Brilliant sunshine filtering through the trees gave me the feeling that this was going to be a good day!

For
“He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.

(1 Peter 3:10 NKJV)

I came back in and sat down at the table and talked to The Lord a while and then opened my bible and read from proverbs then psalms which lead me over to Matthew and a topic search in my Thompson KJV Large Print (Small print doesn’t work well for me anymore) on the importance of words. Another way to put it is guarding what comes out of our mouths. The good and the bad words, warning about negative or hurtful words mostly. I think the point was that the bad things we say about others end up hurting us more than the one’s they are directed at. It just occurred to me that the bible must have a lot more to say in warning about negative speach than the positive benefits of speaking good words.

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned

(Matthew 12:34-37 KJV)

I suppose these frequent warnings are because of God’s protective nature towards His children. Like us, if we can’t get our kids to do things that benefit them we try to at least keep them from doing things that will hurt them. God isn’t so mean as people suppose Him to be, just protective of His children. We like children rebel against his advice many times thinking He is only wanting to spoil our party or just won’t let us have any fun; sound familiar? That’s why Jesus introduced us to God as “Father” so we would get an idea of how He thinks and operates, the reason behind the commandments, He loves us.

boys looking water RV park

It rained for four days when we first got here at this park. The lake kept coming up until the park ranger came and told me we would have to move to higher ground. They were going to shut off the electric to the site I was on and it may even get overrun with water. I’m looking down from this site now on the site I was on and it did almost get covered over. The road going around the park on that end is under water right now.

 

 

looking down on site where I was

 

 

 

leaves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is gorgeous! It’s been worth the wait even if I only enjoy this for today. It is so beautiful looking out the RV windows across the woods and the lake. The other campers out here are very quiet; all I can hear right now is the gentle rustle of the breeze blowing through the green leaves glittering with silver light. A bird chirps its song now and then and the distant sound of children’s laughter. There is something calming to me about hearing the sound of children playing in the distance.

Home away from home!

Home away from home!

boys looking out across the back of the RV Park

boys looking out across the back of the RV Park

The boys, my fur babies as I refer to them, and I went for a slow stroll around the park about mid morning. We stopped and talked to a couple of people just briefly. The boys barked their hellos, especially at one site where the couple had another Maltese. They know they are special and don’t think any others like them should be in their territory. The little one is a little fire cracker and thinks he rules the world and can tackle anything from German Shepherds to Doberman Pinschers.

 

My mother had me worried this morning for a while. I couldn’t get her to answer the phone till about 11:00 am. All was well though, she was just sleeping late. I have to keep a close eye on her any way I can even when I am away. She is in her 80s and has crippling arthritis and getting Alzheimer’s in early stages. I stay with her often and help her as much as I can. My own thinking isn’t so clear anymore since my life is split up in so many pieces, from home to moms to going out in the RV just to get away for a while to clear my thoughts. Although, I seem to always have a gnawing feeling of guilt in my guts that I am being selfish. I try to tell myself it’s not reasonable and I do deserve to get away now and then but another voice from somewhere says“ No you don’t, you’re a selfish person and you know you should be somewhere else, at home doing things or taking care of your mother”. I can’t seem to kick it, although I do not believe it is right. I have many health issues of my own that I am struggling with as well which doesn’t make it any easier. As a matter of fact it makes nearly everything I do painful or more difficult than what used to be normal. Normal, that’s only a faint memory of the way things used to be way back in what seems now to be another world entirely. We find ourselves sometimes somewhere and we are not sure how we got there. This is why I hang on so dearly to my God; He is the only lasting stability that has stuck with me through these years. Yes, unchanging, ever-present, always knowing and understanding me as He loves me through my life. I don’t know what I would do without my faith in my God and Father, my Lord Jesus Christ and His precious Spirit and Holy Word. I would probably have imploded by now I’m sure.

It’s about time to take my two little bosses out again, so I guess I’ll have to go for now.

Peace,
Daniel W Isrite