The Chapel Door is Open

One of the things we’ve talked about on the open threads is provided for in the Chapel in the Woods which Sundance has constructed at the lower right.  Comments and conversations about what the Bible has to say about world events have always been welcome here in the woods, and the Chapel is where we can extend those conversations.  It will be open 24/7, just like the Prayer Request thread, functioning as a “perpetual open thread.”

The Chapel is the place to drop in when we notice that our questions or statements, reasonings or fears are best expressed with a Judeo-Christian historical and spiritual context. Anyone who doesn’t care to talk about or pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is  just as welcome in the Chapel as they are in the Treehouse.

The tone and content of Chapel conversations is expected to be the same as elsewhere in the Treehouse: honest and thoughtful.  The Chapel has been built to provide a place for folks to discuss what the Bible says about any number of things~~past, present or future.

Argumentiveness and unkindness will be quickly deleted.  Anyone who comes through the Chapel door to argue against the Bible as our primary source of information about God and what He thinks about things will be ushered out by the ushers.  Anyone who comes to the Chapel for the purpose of Christian-bashing will be thrown out on their ear.

This nation has been a gift of God for well over 200 years, displaying among the nations what a fine thing it is when people are allowed to enjoy those things given by their Creator; among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The United States of America is our nation-house, and there are people trying to burn it down.

This nation is a blessing given to all of us, and there is no supposed “spiritual reason” for people who believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to sit back and fold their hands and somehow assume that it would be wrong for them to stand up and fight.  We will fight and we will stand~~and we consider ourselves free to talk about, refer to, think about and pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob while we do it.

So come on in.  The Chapel’s open.

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356 Responses to The Chapel Door is Open

  1. Walther PPK says:

    Maybe something like this

    Like

  2. Sharon says:

    Romans 1:18 gives some insight into how seriously God sees and will deal with those who suppress truth: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrightness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

    I will not be so frustrated or feel so helpless if I take time to think about the fact that God is a holy and awesome God who will not forget the wretched liars and their wicked plans. He notices them. He sees them. For our part, it is worth it to struggle against untruth and wickedness–there is power in what we do as we take our place in opposing them. By its very existence, the wickednesses that drive us crazy and that we attempt to do battle against are both displacing and occupying the place of truth. There IS no such thing as shared authority between wickedness and truth. It is a matter of wickedness OR truth.

    There’s no “titer mix” that is safe here as though 2 parts of godlessness with 1 part truth is workable. It is not. Being drawn to truth and desiring to internalize truth as we oppose untruth and wickedness is no easy task. There is good reason for our internal discomfiture and dis-ease as we discover that our cultural training (for many of us) that says “keep a low profile” and “keep your own nose clean” and just “stay away from the bad people” won’t cut it any more. Our inexperience with opposing untruth and open wickedness will exact a price. Experiencing that should not cause us to abandon the battle, but rather cause us to just plan to get better at advancing the truth.

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  3. Walther PPK says:

    Count me in on any plan for advancing the truth. Chapel attendance seemed to be down a bit and I sort of had the feeling posting religious music here may be putting the light under a bushel and/or preaching to the choir. You have seen those bumper stickers saying I brake for imaginary animals. Maybe my bumper sticker reads Baby Jesus On Board, driver is subject to occasional inspired outbursts of hymns, gospel music, and bible verses.

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    • Sharon says:

      “Chapel attendance” is not a scheduled event! ;) and we don’t assume group events necessarily. As described in the opening post for the chapel, there are those times in current events when subjects such as evil, what’s happening with Israel, does Putin’s visit to Jerusalem this week have any connection to a future peace treaty?….such things invite discussion on the part of Jews and Christians. Most blogs and news sites certainly do not invite such discussion. To the contrary, most of them discourage it and some flat out forbid it, just because it tends to brings the kooks out–kooks on both sides of the issues, and the resulting mess makes actual discussion of issues almost impossible, even for people of faith who desire to have an intelligent and heartfelt discussion. Having the chapel gives us a place to welcome that conversation and make it less likely that we go to either extreme–that of forbidding open and casual discussion on one hand, and that of driving readers away because of dominating threads that are not intended for faith discussions on the other hand.

      The purpose of the chapel is simply a place for conversation what we notice “that our questions or statements, reasonings or fears are best expressed with a Judeo-Christian historical and spiritual context.” That’s all.

      I have another thought that is connected perhaps: Over the decades we (DH and I) have experienced the burnout of churches, groups and individuals who are so afraid of “preaching to the choir” and were so determined to become a gathering point for those who had no interest in being in the choir and, in their success at NOT preaching to the choir, they attracted so many who had no interest in the music or the lyrics or the composers or the point that eventually the choir is outnumbered about 10:1. The choir wants to sing. The choir wants to have a place to practice. The choir needs a place to talk about the music, and discuss the meaning of the music. That’s what the chapel is for. It is not good to ignore the needs of those who are already motivated and thinking and reading. The letters of Paul and the pastoral epistles are almost exclusively addressed to “the care of the choir” and, in fact, being careful about how they relate to those who do not choose to be part of the church.

      The purpose of the chapel is not a place for preaching to those who aren’t interested in being in the chapel, nor is that the purpose of the open thread. Genuine expressions from individuals are welcome on both threads.

      Be encouraged about another angle: the views of items posted in the Chapel, in terms of actual count, are always much higher than the numbers of posts…so just posting it in the chapel does not equal “nobody will look.” Not true at all!

      We have never moved posts from one thread to another, and certainly would not do that to the music posts that are put on the open thread, but I wanted to encourage you to realize that if you have a number of Scriptures or musical good stuff to post, please don’t assume that putting it in the chapel thread means it will not be watched. It always catches my eye when there’s a chapel or prayer thread entry in that right hand margin where posts are listed….and I always, always go to look, read and listen.

      I’ve just started rereading Randy Alcorn’s Heaven. Oh, my, I like that book! His care with hermaneutics, his willingness to deal with historical theological problems and his desire to encourage disciples of Jesus, the Christ, with regard to conscious anticipation of the “new heaven and earth” –all of these things he does with such skill and heart for the Body of Christ.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts plainly! :) I hope I’ve shared mine appropriately and without causing offense. I can certainly “do” plain speaking, but sometimes in so doing I create problems because of thoughtlessness. I hope I have not done that here.

      Like

  4. Walther PPK says:

    Hmmmm okay how about this

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  5. Walther PPK says:

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      Beautiful….and love the visuals. On my Pandora radio, I have one station set up to bring me the Russian Orthodox choirs, St. John’s choir and anything I can find from the old Cathedral music. So excellent. As you can see from earlier postings above here I’m always drawn toward old hymns and everything Gaither Homecoming.

      We didn’t have electricity on our farm in Montana until I was about 8 years old. One of the wonders that came from that was that finally we had more music than that which we made ourselves! To be able to turn the radio on and later, “play the hi-fi” with Her Majesty Royal Marines Band was sort of a bit of heaven for us.

      Like

  6. Walther PPK says:

    You may like this one. It has an unusual sound and I’m still working on the latin give me time

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  7. Sharon says:

    Here we go..WPPK!

    No need to mince words on this. Payday arrived for TM Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord

    While physical death (as in TM’s case) may be an obvious result of personal sin and foolishness, the “wages of sin” in its doctrinal meaning has particular reference to that final separation referred to in Revelation 21:8. “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

    In general, the physical death of any of us is actually a result of the damage that sin has brought on God’s creation; so I suppose we might acknowledge that Romans 6:23 applies to any of us in that general sense.

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  8. waltherppk says:

    Yeah that payday comes for all of us one way or another and it is not entirely within our control nor is that necessarily the only reason for an early departure, but certainly there is foolishness that can increase the chances of dying sooner rather than later, and that is surely what the reckless conduct of TM did. i have said already that TM in effect committed suicide by his own reckless bad choices, GZ just pulled the trigger and GZ could have been anybody. If a person does something highly likely to get them killed and they do get killed then whose fault is that ?
    If a person steps in front of a train and gets killed is it the locomotive engineer’s fault ?

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  9. Sharon says:

    Well….pffft….the one I was putting here was “A Pile of Crowns.” I’ll leave this one for now and see if I can still get the other one up. The following comments had to do with Pile of Crowns. Ok…I can’t get the other one to set in. so I’ll just leave this one up–it’s excellent also, of course.

    These were my “Pile of Crowns” comments anyway……This was good for my heart this evening. Sometimes it’s hard in the daily chaos for folks of faith to clearly remember, know and THINK that there is a day coming when, in a new heaven and new earth, life will continue and enlarge and be exactly what we were created for to begin with. That’s the essence of redemption: something being actually redeemed. Not thrown away. Not discarded as no good. Redeemed. Amazing grace.

    Any time there are attacks on believers who may have stumbled in their lives or expressed themselves poorly and then there come the attackers who want to use those flaws to discredit their faith or the Gospel…. well, that just illustrates they really don’t get it. We know how flawed we are. That’s why we accept the premise of redemption as arranged for by the Triune God who had both the willingness and the ability to work out the legal and physical and spiritual details.

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  10. Sharon says:

    The Bible was written over about a 1500 year span and had more than 40 writers. Some of it was written in times of war and sacrifice(King David) and some in times of peace and prosperity (King Solomon). It was written on three different continents in three different languages. Humanly speaking, the folks involved were those who experienced the realities of life with hardships, victories, defeats and messes (some of their own making, some not).

    I was reading Psalm 35 this morning and got to thinking about King David and George Zimmerman. If we forget that King David was a real person with mighty big troubles–over a long period of time–we may miss the comforts and the challenges of the Scriptures. Psalm 35 is King David’s prayer in a time of trouble, and it is a reality-based prayer for George Zimmerman and his family as well.

    Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me;
    Fight against those who fight against me.
    Take hold of shield and buckler (a buckler is simply a small shield),
    And stand up for my help.
    Also draw out the spear, and stop those who pursue me.
    Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
    Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor
    Who seek after my life;
    Let those be turned back and brought to confusion who plot my hurt.
    Let them be like chaff before the wind,
    And let the angel of the Lord chase them.
    Let their way be dark and slippery,
    And let the angel of the Lord pursue them.
    For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit,
    Which they have dug without cause for my life.
    Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly,
    And let his net that he has hidden catch himself;
    Into that very destruction let him fall.

    (that’s about the first 1/4 of the psalm, which ends with this verse….)

    And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness
    And of Your praise all the day long.

    King David is telling the truth both about his adversaries’ tactics and his own limitations. He is seeking God’s help from a place of humility (“I can’t stop them, Lord, and I’m gonna go under unless you help”). King David is not looking for a God-Gotcha. The last verse let us know that while the difficulty continues and without knowing the outcome, David shares his heart-thoughts–it’s all about God’s righteousness and the fact that He deserves praise.

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  11. waltherppk says:

    David was a real sinner too a murderer and an adulterer with the wife of the murdered man which seems remarkable as bad conduct for such a prayerful God fearing man as David…but it is true. The devil sure can make a mess of things, even for a righteous king. Then it could be that beautiful women are just automatically going to be trouble even if through no fault of their own.

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      Here’s a word picture of David I wrote some years back trying to get “the big picture” of the chaos of the life of this man

      David had a spiritual boldness by which he addressed issues instead of dancing around symptoms.

      He was a musical sheepherder from a dysfunctional family
      who had a wife who mocked him,
      a son who wanted to kill him,
      a baby who died because of him,
      a father-in-law who pursued him with murder in mind,
      a grandson whose choices resulted in the destruction of everything he and his son, Solomon, had built spiritually, politically, nationally and militarily.

      He himself was a shepherd,
      a king,
      a murderer,
      an adulterer,
      a musician,
      a general,
      a poet,
      a survivalist,
      an outcast,
      a victor,
      a worshipper of YHWH,
      a lousy father
      and a man after God’s own heart.

      He was not equipped for his calling except by the call.

      He lived out the calling of his life by refusing to be defined by the events and failures of that life.

      He kept staking his life to God’s call, not to his family photos.

      Like

  12. waltherppk says:

    That’s good verse , I like that. I could say I can relate to David in some ways but not all.
    I’m thinking you may like this

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      That’s wonderful. The visuals are amazing and the lyrics unique. The creativity that comes out of the hearts of individuals is something to behold, isn’t it? ….illustrates that we are indeed made in the image of God. Thank for posting this.

      Like

  13. waltherppk says:

    BTW Please tell me if you know the reason why my every reply is delayed awaiting moderation. Thank you.

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      It’s been happening alot this morning with several commenters with no reason that we know of. Sorry about that!

      Like

      • waltherppk says:

        The delay awaiting moderation is still appearing for every reply I make sometimes only for a few minutes but sometimes for nearly two hours and this makes real time blogging impossible. I think somebody put a filter on me. Maybe a babysitting cookie I can get rid of, What do you think?

        Like

        • WeeWeed says:

          I’ll try to check when I get home, PPK – it might be in your IP address but I can’t check for a bit. Sorry – I DID notice that a lot of folks are going straight to moderation but I’m not sure why…. :(

          Like

          • Sharon says:

            waltherppk, I’m sorry you’re still having problems with that. Weed, I did a quick check, and I’m not seeing any issues. Will look it over again…..

            ppk, I won’t be right here all the time, but I will make it a point to frequently check the spam bucket today to let you out quickly if you get caught. Sometimes things get squirrelly and it’s just hard to figure out why. I’m sorry this has continued. We’ll work on it.

            Like

            • waltherppk says:

              Thanks WeeWeed and Happy Birthday. I can change my IP with a mouse click so I will try that too as well as a clear cookies reboot. Logging out and back in didn’t help.
              Sharon not your fault and thanks for unspamfiltering me. I thought wordpress had maybe put me on a watchlist for being such a big friend of Obama and all…hehehe.
              Replying is like getting past the TSA checkpoint at the airport somebody is checking me out, going by the varying times to clear it looks to be manual review and authorize filtering.

              Like

  14. Sharon says:

    Isaiah 12:2 says “I will trust and will not be afraid.”

    Psalm 56:3 says “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.”

    So we’re covered either way–we may trust (the verb form of “faith” sort of) when we are afraid; or trust as a way to avoid becoming afraid.

    BTW, Psalm 34 and Psalm 56 are both written by David in the context of one event. It is the only event connected to two psalms like this.

    Here’s the setup: King Saul is trying to kill him. (I Samuel 21:10-15)

    He flees to King Achish at Gath, thinking to find safety there.

    Some of King Achish’s soldiers turn on him and ruin that place of refuge.

    So David has to pretend to be a crazy man and takes a whiz on the wall and spits all over himself.

    Achish derides him as a crazy man, and David ends up hiding in a cave in the earth. (I Samuel 22:1)

    David’s psalms never came out of his heart because he was artsy-fartsy. They came out of his heart because he was often in desperate need [physically, mentally, spiritually, militarily, politically and in danger of being murdered by family (King Saul tried to kill him both before and after David married King Saul’s daughter)] combined with his confidence in YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Sovereign God, who would have mercy and come to his aid.

    Soap operas could save a lot on their writers’ salaries if they would just tap into some of the stories in Scripture. Seriously.

    So when I am fearful because of overwhelming events (most of which I have no control over) or want to avoid becoming fearful, my choice to trust God alleviates my fear and provides genuine peace in a context of “deep waters and the grace of God.”

    Like

  15. waltherppk says:

    There is a spring which flows from a rock that was split by a bolt of lightning. Do you know it ?

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      I know that spring. I also find that the gunk and chaos resulting from deliberate reality-contact increases my need to go there.

      I like some of the rewritten lyrics in this version. Very nice. Often lyric-rewrites on the old hymns are a disaster–not so much this one.

      Like

  16. waltherppk says:

    It is not just speaking figuratively that I mean, that also being true of course, but I speak of real places on earth today where the water from those springs there still flows…… so far as I know.

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      Our amazingly wonderful and very, very deep fresh water well in Montana from which the entire region pumped (by hand for many, many years) their household water was a deep, underground artesian spring/well. Oh, goodness! That was wonderful water! So yes–both kinds are wonderful.

      Like

  17. waltherppk says:

    Water is a beautiful thing

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  18. texan59 says:

    A place I start this day every year with a prayer for the original Mrs. Tex. Without her I wouldn’t be here. January 31, 1935 – October 2, 1992.
    :(

    Like

  19. Sharon says:

    http://www.redstate.com/2012/11/02/50000-feet-looking-down/

    Erick Erickson writes a good one–a review of the big picture…no matter what….

    Like

  20. Sharon says:

    During these cross-over hours–headed for what we cannot yet be certain of–my thoughts keep going to these facts:

    The Apostles John and Peter lived their entire lives under Roman occupation.

    The Prophet Daniel performed both his prophetic and national administrative duties serving the empire that conquered his homeland.

    The Prophet Isaiah served under a derelict national leadership and very likely died being sawn in two by one of the forces fighting to snuff out resistance to their influence.

    Believe me, I could go on and on. But I won’t. My spirit can’t easily bear even a portion of the weight that theirs did, on days that were far worse for them than this is for me.

    My thoughts remind me that millions over the centuries have lived and served, survived and died, fought and ministered under diabolical authority.

    All of this is true in the wake of a Romney victory as well. We do not hold any other standing before the Sovereign God than they did. We stand in the sanctuary as they did, asking for His mercy and intervention. My spirit is focused on these truths pretty clearly right now.

    Winston Churchill said, “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” That’s also true regardless of today’s election results.

    Like

  21. LRRP says:

    While I’m sure that God wants us to be politically involved and to vote, I’m sure that He does not hold us responsible for the _outcome_ of the election. That’s in His hands. (Thankfully!)

    It’s my job to line up the sights, hold my breathe, and squeeze the trigger. Once the round leaves the tube, my responsibility is over.

    Whatever happens today, we’re still in His hands.

    Like

  22. Jenny says:

    “Our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of liberty, of patriotism and everthing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase… If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country. Victory or death”.

    Lt. Col. William Travis
    Alamo

    Hold on to your beliefs, no matter the cost.

    Like

  23. Sharon says:

    King Solomon was king over Israel from 970-930 AD after his father, King David.

    The following is part of Solomon’s prayer to God in I Kings, chapter 8, at the time of the dedication of the magnificent temple that is spoken of to this day as “Solomon’s Temple” —

    44“When Your people go out to battle against their enemy, wherever You send them, and when they pray to the Lord toward the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name, 45then hear in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
    46“When they sin against You (for there is no one who does not sin), and You become angry with them and deliver them to the enemy, and they take them captive to the land of the enemy, far or near; 47yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and repent, and make supplication to You in the land of those who took them captive, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong, we have committed wickedness’; 48and when they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies who led them away captive, and pray to You toward their land which You gave to their fathers, the city which You have chosen and the temple which I have built for Your name: 49then hear in heaven Your dwelling place their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause, 50and forgive Your people who have sinned against You, and all their transgressions which they have transgressed against You; and grant them compassion before those who took them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51(for they are Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out of Egypt, out of the iron furnace), 52that Your eyes may be open to the supplication of Your servant and the supplication of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they call to You. 53For You separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be Your inheritance, as You spoke by Your servant Moses, when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”

    Psalm 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all their troubles!

    Like

  24. Sharon says:

    Proverbs 1:33 “But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”

    The qualifying action on my part is to actually listen to what God says. Listening takes time. However, it’s completely reasonable. It something I can choose to do at any time. Then, having made the decision, having listened…there’s a much-needed result: security.

    Not security from events necessarily, ….but security…without fear of evil. And this is what struck me: God does not promise here the absence of evil. He promises the absence of fear of evil.

    Another verse I was thinking about yesterday and then it was mentioned by our pastor this morning: Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” and there is a promised recovery from sinful failure promised in Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.”

    If we are to move through what’s ahead of us with peace and strength, I believe it is necessary for us to do it on God’s terms–asking Him for His provision.

    Like

  25. Sharon says:

    As we struggle to anticipate positive momentum in national and international events, we cannot sustain ourselves if we get caught up and deceived into a mindset of “I’VE GOT TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.” (or “we”)

    Even in the greatest battle, those who speak of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob always come back to the point of acknowledging that there is nothing within themselves that will bring the desired haven or the power-driven result. There’s great energy and focus in individuals of faith because they do not look to themselves. That’s not a contradiction or a problem–it’s a feature of faith.

    We do not think much of ourselves in terms of being good (because we trust in the goodness of God) and do not think of ourselves as being all-powerful (because we know God to be all-powerful and we know ourselves to be in need of His work on our behalf–including in the affairs of men and nations.

    So–thinking about this aspect of how we do not think much of ourselves–there is something else that we ought not to “think much of.” We ought not think of Islam as an unconquerable evil force.

    Neither the devil nor his demons, in all their array and all the depths of their evil, constitute an equal opposite of God, in all of His omniscience and omnipresence. The devil (evil) is not the equal opposite of God.

    Even as it is necessary and wise to identify evil and arm ourselves against it, there is no need for us to do that in a way that suggests that the evil manifested the enemy is just as strong as holiness is in the Sovereign God.

    The Sovereign God and the demons of hell (and their leader) are NOT equal opposites. Demons were originally created as angels and rose up in rebellion against God. They are a defeated foe (the book of Revelation describes Satan as “knowing his time is short” which inherently confirms that he also knows he is, literally, under authority….under the authority of the Lord God. And when the Lord God yanks his chain, he is going down in that very moment. (the “well, why does God allow evil??” is for another conversation).

    I said all that to say this: even as we realize, experience and recognize that Islam is inherently evil, that should not “make the situation worse” in our eyes. That kind of destruction, chaos, darkness and murderous living comes from spirits that are evil, personalities that are fighting against the Lord God in this day.

    There is no “false god” in Islam because there is no god in Islam at all. Demons are the power behind the spiritual facade and they are not the equal opposites of God.

    Jeremiah 10:10 describes the Lord God this way:

    But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to abide His indigation.

    Then verse 11 gives a “negative identification” to His evil opposition:

    The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.

    It’s necessary to contend with evil. The outcome is certain. Our portion is simply to stand in the evil day

    Ephesians 6:13 “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” We are not told to win. We are not told to “make him pay.” We are told to stand. That’s quite enough of an assignment, to be sure. But “standing” is a distinct assignment that does not require chasing down, exhausting myself, being smarter than, being scared of, trying to outwit or trying to outshout the enemy. Our task is designed with our capabilities in mind. None of us is asked to do hand-to-hand combat with evil.

    So, then, let us stand.

    This may be awkwardly expressed, and I may revisit it, but it’s been on my mind and I had to try tonight….this is the main point of what I’m trying to get at in my thoughts (repeating from above):

    There is no “false god” in Islam because there is no god in Islam at all. Demons are the power behind the spiritual facade and they are not the equal opposites of God

    Like

  26. Sharon says:

    In the midst of the chaos of reality, partially focused national and local events that are ugly, even though only partially focused, I notice that faith, in one sense, is not a “default position.” Even though it’s my habit born out of some level of discipline over the years, even though faith is clearly a gift from God, faith is also, still, a choice.

    In the midst of chaos, clamor, confusion and intermittent fear it is possible to choose faith, to choose to believe.

    I’m reminded of that comment “If it were easy, everyone would do it…” That applies to lots of stuff. It also applies to exercising general and specific faith in the Sovereign God in these difficult days.

    May God’s mercy deliver the Marine sitting in jail in Mexico.

    May His mercy deliver back into the light the survivors of Benghazi–wherever they are.

    May His consuming light blind and burn the deceivers and liars who are destroying our nation.

    May His light of healing touch George Zimmerman’s heart and his family tonight, giving them rest.

    May the Lord of the Hosts strengthen those who are standing on the walls of liberty tonight, laying down their lives and their strength hour by hour, for the sake of those rights which still are–no matter what they do to us–unalienable: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights came from God and man can’t take them away.

    Father, we need to see reality from your point of view so that we don’t slip into just enduring, but instead, persist in pressing on.

    Like

  27. Sharon says:

    Psalm 73:38-ff

    Surely You set them (the psalmist is speaking of wicked and violent people) in slippery places; you cast them down to destruction…they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awakes, so, Lord, when You awake, You shall despise their image.”

    vv. 25, 26

    Whom have I in heaven but Thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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  28. Sharon says:

    How will God help us?

    How has God helped “His people” in the past? (“His people” may mean specifically Israel, or the church [including both Jews and Gentiles] or those nations who acknowledge God as the Lord of their nation) I keep going back to Jeremiah to see how He deals with nations.

    In Jeremiah, He deals specifically with rebellious Judah, which was neck deep in idolatry at the time. He also deals specifically with the Gentile nations surrounding Judah, some of which took great pleasure in being the tool God used to punish Judah; not anticipating that when He was quite finished using them (as His tool) that His wrath would turn on them for their destruction, specifically because they so enjoyed cleaning Judah’s clock….completely missing the fact that Israel’s God was, literally, using them. So when it was all done, He cleaned THEIR clocks.

    In Jer. 4:22 God gives this description of His own people, and it is a sharp and accurate description of our formerly/so-called “Christian nation” today, a nation which was founded on Judeo-Christian principles:

    For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

    That verse is a descriptive denunciation of our culture and our government today. Our nation has long since ceased to even pretend to be “God’s people” and has publicly bellowed against him–see the DNC in September in Charlottesville.

    On. p. 142 of Eric Metaxas’ biography Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the bottom paragraph, there is this chilling sentence,

    “Of course Hitler never publicly denounced God.”

    So there it is: the twists of evil in the Third Reich trumpeted by the evil Adolph Hitler did not include any public denunciation of God. Ever! That is quite different than the 2012 convention of the democrat party.

    Evil will adapt its own presentation according to its audience: I find it very disturbing that Adolph Hitler knew better than to denounce God, because (as another sentence in this paragraph says) “He knew well that there were many churchgoers in Germany who had some vague idea that real authority should come from their God…” Adolph Hitler accepted in his behaviors and public pronouncements that a public denunciation of God would not serve him well.

    The democrat party and barackhusseinobama suffer no such limitation: the evil that resides within them freely and easily mock God, the church and Christians. They have taken the measure of this nation and have realized there will be no significant political or personal loss of stature as a result of such statements. They bellow their opposition against Israel, the apple of God’s eye, publicly and with visible fury.

    What Adolph Hitler did not dare do in Germany, obama feels free to do in the United States in 2012.

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  29. tessa50 says:

    I am having trouble posting as wordpress keeps kicking my email to diff carrier, but if this goes through just want to say thank you to sharon for letting people know the other day that this is here. I didn’t know and I can’t tell you how much it means to me to read this part of the tree. Am only about maybe a third through reading and just uplifts me. I can see that many here are much more knowledgeable about the Bible than me so am absorbing the answers as I find them and feel that it would be ok here to ask questions. Thank you again sharon and I hope others saw your post.

    Like

    • Sharon says:

      tessa50, I’m glad you found the Chapel. Do feel free to ask questions as they occur to you. The CTH is not a “religious” site or a “Christian site” but when we first put it together, we were well aware that many of our readers are people of faith, and we just wanted to make a place available where they could have conversations that focused on faith issues. We thought it would be helpful to just create a separate spot for that rather than having it mixed it with other threads.

      Since you just happened to come in now, I will let you know that probably tomorrow we will be splitting this large section of comments and starting a “new Chapel thread.” You will still access the Chapel exactly the same way, and the comments that are here will still be available by clicking in an archive of sorts. The comments from the last couple of months will also be here still as a transition to the new thread. This thread has just been getting so long to scroll down, we think it will make it easier to start a fresh thread.

      What you have just posted will be here, as will my response. Look forward to conversation with you…drop in any time.

      Like

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